According to my mother, I have a few pet peeves that mark me out for the profession of being a nurse. I cannot stand it that people call every common cold a sinus infection, or every sore throat strepp. Did we learn nothing from The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Not to mention how unsympathetic it to to people who are suffering from real strepp throat, which is a horrible fate. I also don’t think anyone has a right to complain about pain if they haven’t already taken ibuprofen. If you’re making an active decision to suffer, don’t drag me into it.
I used to think that people who complained about migraines were being over dramatic: a headache can’t be that bad. I’m paying now for that naive belief, and my own pet peeves are coming back to haunt me. I don’t want to take my migraine medication every single time I have a tiny baby headache, but there’s a very fine line before it becomes too late for help. The blessing, I suppose, is that I can prevent them from changing the way I live my life. I’m getting better at recognizing them, and as long as I don’t let it get too far, I’m fine. Perhaps a little loopy and not allowed to operate a motor vehicle, but generally fine.
I had a small headache all afternoon. I was in studio making brilliant progress, and it was just a slight annoyance at best. By the time it was 5:00 and time to go home it was just a tad worse, so I took some ibuprofen and decided to do some light reading before I began work on my essay. I sat down on my bed with my copy of Madame Bovary, and I believe I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I blame my head. The silent effects of migraines are truly the strangest. They differ every time for me, so they’re hard to really prepare for.
There’s really nothing I love more than a nice afternoon nap. The only drawback today is that it really meant I didn’t have time to be productive, which was a bit disappointing. After the headache didn’t respond to the ibuprofen, I took a migraine pill and it was gone almost immediately. Thank goodness for that!
My day was so uneventful beyond that. I’ve been trying very hard to make up for lost time in studio. I want to be in the best position possible before I leave for my grand European tour.
There was something a little odd on my way in to studio. I was about to cross the street, and I looked to my right (to see if any cars were about to come speeding around the corner) and saw a slightly older man waving at me. There was no one behind me or anywhere near me, so there couldn’t really have been a mistake. It wasn’t a friendly acknowledgement that one person makes to another as they pass on the street, this was a “Hello! Good to see you again!” kind of wave.
Confused, because I did not recognize this man in the slightest, I took off my headphones. We walked over to each other, we hadn’t been exactly near. I asked him if we’d met, and his smart response was “No, but we have now!”
This is another thing that irritated me to no-freaking-end. Clearly, I have somewhere to go. I’m walking with purpose in the opposite direction. You really think that hailing me down like a taxi cab is going to go well? And yet I’m put in that incredibly awkward social situation where it’s impossible to just walk away. If it had been someone I’d met before and didn’t remember off-hand, it would be unspeakably rude to just keep walking. I have a bad memory for faces. For all I know, it really could have been a visiting artist to Brighton University who remembered me from some lecture and wanted to see how my studio work was going. Sometimes it really is someone I know… or, it could just be some creep named Ola.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. I wonder how often that strategy actually pays off for men.
One time, I was in Kansas City. It was December and bitterly cold. I was just off Independence Avenue, at the wonderful government building where you go to acquire your liquor permit needed for all service industry employees who handle alcohol. Incidentally, it’s the same place you go to get your adult entertainment license. Classy place. I get to the door of the building, which will at least be warm, when I hear someone yell “HAY!” from across the parking lot. “HOLD ON A MINUTE!” Assuming that there must be some emergency for this stranger to keep me standing in the frigid cold, sooo close to central heating, I waited.
He sure took his time jogging over to me, and when hey arrived: “Hey uh, do you have a boyfriend?” Are you kidding me? Are you stupid?
I didn’t mean for this to be a rant about my pet peeves. Today was a generally good day, it just so happens that the two most specific incidents happen to be things I find unpleasant: migraines, and inconvenient creeps who take advantage of general politeness to put me in an awkward social dilemma.