At Least You're Better Off Than: The Single Pharmacist

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes, I think to myself, "My left arm is really uncomfortable in this position, on this TempurPedic mattress."  I feel like my world is ending.  And then I think, "Matt, you're a fucking asshole."  This series "At Least You're Better Off Than" is in tribute to that second thought.

The Single Pharmacist

There are times, albeit not often, but some times, when I can't think of anything worse than being a single pharmacist in a small to medium sized town.

Sure you have some real upsides.  Being a pharmacist means you get face time with a large segment of the town's population.  You meet everybody.  You are a central meeting place for people of means great enough to receive health care benefits.  And people trust you.  I mean, you are the local neighborhood drug dealer . . . with a smile.

Sure you see that cute guy in line for the first time, and you flash him the hint of a flirty smile with the reluctance of being trapped behind this indomitable counter.   But by the third time he calls in for refills of his fungal cream, that smile has morphed into the smallest flit of upward movement in recognition that you have sensed his presence in the pharmacy.

And no one is doubting the safety that comes from knowing that the cute woman who seems to be eyeing you picks up her birth control with responsible regularity.  But can that small benefit outweigh all of those scripts you've filled for yeast infections, herpes medication, and specialized foot powder?

As a single pharmacist, what begins as your greatest resource, contact with people. becomes your worst nightmare.  You are the victim of too much knowledge.  To be clear, none of the above conditions are innately embarrassing.  I am saying that if you knew every medication that anyone is on, it would most likely, consciously or subconsciously, add a few items to your list of "turns-offs." Because we don't go to the pharmacy to buy products that enhance what we consider to be the best parts of our body and our personality, we go to the pharmacy to buy solutions, or partial solutions, to what we consider the broken or imperfect parts of ourselves.

And so the single pharmacist ends up, ironically, looking at a dating pool just outside of her or his pharmacy's geographic area.  If you live in a really small town, that might mean you have to commute to date "outsiders."  That's some rough stuff.

So the next time you find yourself lamenting the texture of the product at the new frozen yogurt shoppe, just be thankful you aren't a single pharmacist, trying to find love in a world in which you know everyone's STD's.

The Real Garbage in the Disposal

Monday, July 29, 2013 | 1 Comment(s)

I was in LA this weekend visiting a bunch of people that I have known forever and therefore who couldn't believe that a real human woman would marry me.  The only way to convince them (short of them coming to my wedding . . . *cough cough*) was to bring the real mccoy straight to their doorstep.  And so, I did just that.

We were crashing at my friends' Josh & Lauren's place for the weekend.  While out for dinner with some other local friends, the following scenario played out:

Erin and I return to the house and Lauren "has a face on."

"You guys will not believe what happened.  As soon as you left, the garbage disposal broke while I was cooking for Josh's birthday party (happy birthday Josh).  I called the plumber (this is on a Saturday) and he has been here the last 3 hours.  He just left right before you got back," she says.

"What happened to it?"

"Well, I'm not sure, I mean, I was just putting cucumber in there . . . and  . . . well . . . maybe a lot of cucumber . . .  but still, I mean, it's cucumber . . . and the thing just stopped working completely . . . crazy right . . ."

My wife agrees.  Wives always agree with each other though.  It's like a rule.  They have to agree or they lose wife camaraderie. I, bound by a different set of rules, am still taking in information on the situation.  As I walk into the living room, Josh is sitting on the couch watching TV.    He looks up.  

"Did Lauren tell you how she put a pound of cucumber in the disposal?" he asks. 

"She did," I respond. 

The picture is getting a bit clearer.  

It does sound like the plumber was a bit of a jerk-wad.  He charged them $300 and additionally actually said the line, "A garbage disposal is a luxury, not a necessity," which is the verbal equivalent of your boss telling you that "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean."  He also intimated that their dog, a 35-pound love-bug lab-pit mix named Lilah, was racist.  That's a tough sell.  I mean, sure you're black and Josh & Lauren are white, but they are also in their house and you are a total stranger with a variety of crazy-ass smells on you.  "Racist dog" is a  tough sell in this instance, especially considering the amount of flak Lilah barked at me upon my initial arrival (despite only a hint of a tan), until I loved her into submission (we're besties now). 

All that said, this guy was not without his cab-driver like wisdom.

Upon completion of the disposal being fixed, Josh asked the guy how best to keep this type of thing from happening in the future.  The plumber gave one of the all-time best responses imaginable. 

He says, "I don't like to use the word "allow".  Pause Pause Pause.   But I have strongly suggested to my wife that she not use the disposal without me around.  I've suggested that she not use it at all.   Suggestive look at Lauren.  Suggestive look back at Josh." 

Wow.  Ballsy and wow.  I don't like to use the word "allow" either.  But I bet you that in the same situation, my wife would have strongly suggested to this crust of a plumber that he get on his knees and suck her dick.

The Candy Man

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Every parent steals their kid's Halloween candy.  I know, I know, it is shattering news.  As a Halloween baby, you can imagine the cracks in my mental well-being tumbling into a sea of disillusionment when I found this fact out for the first time.   I mean, when you are born on Halloween, candy is the birthday present that the whole neighborhood gives you.  Because I'm a beautiful special snowflake who everyone wants to celebrate.  At least thats how I saw it.  How else can one explain my sprinting from house the house that night, in a pre-mapped route, time tested for maximizing the amount of ground my tiny legs could carry me while wearing a cardboard box/robot costume. 

Of course, there were other ways I added to my candy count.  Since it was my birthday, when I encountered those magically lazy families who left a whole tray of candy out with a sign that said, "Only Take One Please," I wasn't bound by the same rules as the other children.  It was my friggin birthday, and kid justice deemed that I could tilt that tray at a 45-degree angle for just one dump of all the Kit Kat goodness. 

Back to the present, I'm not angry with my parents for stealing out of my Birthday Halloween Candy.   Wait, did I emphasize that too much for it to be believable?   I swear.  I'm not.  I'm like, 97% totally over it.  Now I feel like I'm protesting a little too much.  I best move on.   What most disappoints me now, is that their ill-gotten gains probably kept me from breaking the only world record I had a chance at. 

I am fairly certainly, had I been an orphan (well, an upper-middle class orphan with severely diabetic caregivers), I could have easily rationed my Halloween candy for a full year.   Which means that by Halloween Part Deux, I would finish my last box of, let's face it, probably DOTS (those things were horrible), in order to give me the sugary boost I needed in order to once again ransack the neighborhood of it's Hershey's products. 

We are talking about missing out on learning true self-sufficiency by the age 14 (is 14 too old to be competitively trick-or-treating? Let's say 10, just so I don't get any of those weird looks).  It could have been a game changer. 

"Matt, take out the garbage and do the yard work, and I'll give you 4 bucks."

"That's cool dad, I've got candy . . . so, I'm like . . . all good."

Game.  Changed. 

Of course, my parental units were on to my hoarding ways early.  They had seen how I could chew one piece of celery for hours (true story) and suck a lollipop all the way down to the nub (still true – I could have taught that Tootsie Pop Owl a thing or two about self-restraint).   Their whole parental power structure was effectively challenged come October 31rst. 

I like to think it was out of fear that my father (yes dad, I know you were the main culprit) raided that plastic cereal container full of tiny candy packets (and that was after he personally 'inspected' various pieces for 'safety reasons').  In my mind's eye, he struggles with the screw top as the guilt of his actions hold the cap in place.  It finally relents, his child defeated, as the melted chocolate mustache begins its stubbly growth.  

You don't understand.  I coulda had classic caramels.  I coulda had the whole container. I coulda been somebody, instead of just crums, which is what I had left.  Let's face it.  It was you, Daddy.


Saturday, July 13, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

I love me some good onomatopoeia, and the word for 'thank you' in Tahiti is Maruru, which is semi-sung like it was coming out of an anime animal's whisper-hole. It is particularly difficult to say without a smile on your face.  But, in all honesty, it is difficult to not have a smile on your face at any given moment down here in Moorea.  It's paradise on steroids.  A more deluxe version of luxury.  Not over the top, but rather gliding along the crisp turquoise water's surface.

For example.  At the end of our first full day down here on honeymoon, I took to the Wi-fi hotspot to send my parents a quick "holy shit this is amaze-balls" email.  It also included a "we survived the 46 straight hour journey without killing each other or deciding not honeymoon together" clause.   As I was typing out our early adventures, our eyes were pulled towards the lagoon by an older French couple's grunting.  (Ok, it wasn't grunting, it was French, but come ON). We look off the balcony filled with boat drinks to see a spray of water appear at the edge of the lagoon (yes, we are at a lagoon -- 5 foot deep water for 250 yards).

"That's weird," I say to my wife.  "No, that's a friggin whale," she replies.  And, because I married her, I know she's right.  It's a friggin whale.  Not a Right whale, a humpback. You know, just chillin by the lagoon for happy hour, like us.  In actuality it was feeding while we were drinking, but i was totally ok with that.  Sip of mango daiquiri, whale scoops up krill.  Repeat.

And then, a deep dive and its entire tail emerges and reenters the French Polynesian Ocean, not to be seen again.  Our jaws, however, are still dragging along the ground.  "Did that just happen?" our eyes can't seem to stop saying.

It's the same look we had coming out of the water from our first snorkel.  The look that says, "I just saw a moral eye!" Like an, "I'm at the Boston Aquarium" moray eye.  Huge.  And that really put the lotion in our basket until the 4 foot black tip reef shark decided to do a quick drive by of our snorkel spot.

The times are few and far between in life when you can't wrap your mind around your own good fortune.  I don't think we are coming home.   Sorry.