When Are You Due?

“When are you due?”  “Are you pregnant?” “Take care of that little baby of ours!” (Ours??) “How far along are you?” **rubs my belly**  Or the worst of all – “Please tell me you’re getting fat and not pregnant!”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that by a patient since I started working out of the home, I would be at least halfway to my new tattoo (it’ll be of Audrey Hepburn, by the way, by the one and only Sarah Miller!  But I digress…).

Not a week, NOT ONE, has gone by, without someone asking about my “pregnancy”.  I had 7 people in 4 days straight say it in one way or another.  Do you know what it’s like to say LOUDLY, in a room full of patients, that you’re not pregnant; that you’re just fat???  Do you?????  Do you know how hard it is to laugh it off too?????   Yes, I imagine that there might be a reader or two out there with similar situations, but not the whole lot of you.

I had two kids.  I got lazy.  I ate a lot.  But, on the brighter side, I’ve lost 15 lbs in the last couple of months.  I’m not down to my goal weight yet, but I’ll get there.  You can bet your ass, I will.  Will my stomach ever get back to “normal”?  You can bet your ass, it won’t.  But I’m still going to lose it anyway, because I’m tired of these….these….motherfuckers (YES.  I fucking said it.) saying this shit to me all the time.

There are clothes that I bought that I love to wear.  They happen to accentuate my misshapen body.  It’s not going to stop me from wearing them.  And if you’re sitting there saying “Wear looser clothes, then.” – fine.  You go out and buy them for me.  These are the clothes that I like.  And one day, I’ll fit even better into them.

No matter what they say, I still get compliments, winks and different types of proposals too.  Granted, I’m married – no harm, no foul though.  All of these people don’t know when to keep their mouths shut, no matter what it’s saying.

Until I do lose the weight that I want, go ahead and say something to my face.  I’ve been wanting to throat-punch a bitch so bad these days.  And like I said before, I’m Flawless…

May 25, 2015 – Paris

So, we started our day off at a market that I asked the concierge about to find a marker and a lock.  Being that today was a “free day”, their Pentecost, she wasn’t sure what was open.  Ernie and I walked down to the market to no avail.  Then I found a souvenir shop that had a marker (which i could “borrow for 2 minutes”) and locks.  I wanted the marker for two things – one, for the lock and two, for Jim Morrison’s grave.  That’s right.  Ernie agreed to go to Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise!

However, first things first.  We borrowed the marker to write “Steph & Ernie” and “2015” on a lock engraved with “Paris” and a heart on it.  Then we crossed the bridge that we were on yesterday and locked it on somewhere around the middle. (There were quite a few other Stephanies on there too.)  I kept the keys as a memento to remind me of it.  (Only after we got back home did I see that Paris was taking down all of the locks from the different bridges for safety reasons.  We got it there just in time and I have pictures to prove it.)

Love Lock on the Passerelle de Solférino

Love Lock on the Passerelle de Solférino

From there, we traveled by metro to Père-Lachaise.  I saw a flower shop and since Ernie didn’t want me to desecrate a grave – which I had no marker to do so anyway – I bought a beautiful silk rose to place on his grave site.  We made a mistake though and walked up a hill in a park that we had no clue it had nothing (that I could tell) to do with the cemetery.

After getting out of there, we saw a sign pointing to the entry to Père-Lachaise.  The place is huge, with worn-down and moss-covered monuments and markers.  And each section was numbered in an odd way – at least to me, it was.  I got the idea of the arrondissements of Paris being numbered in a spiral pattern, but I couldn’t figure this one out.  After some well-intentioned but aimless walking, we finally came upon Jim Morrison’s grave.  And it was blocked off.  Dammit!  And they must have cleaned it up too because at the few moments I looked at and took pictures of it, I hardly saw any graffiti like I did in pictures years ago.  So I asked the man next to me (who happened to be American) “How the hell am I going to get this (the flower) over there?”  He laughed and said he didn’t know.  So I decided to launch it like a large dart.  It landed on the grave and rolled off next to it.  The guy said “Nice shot!”

Jim Morrison's Grave with my flower

Jim Morrison’s Grave with my flower

Then I went about, taking pictures quickly to get out of everyone’s way.  Only seemed fair.  Then, Ernie and I set off to go sit down for a minute.  As I sat there, I realized I didn’t get artistic mode shots, nor did I get rocks for Marci and me (bonus one for her).  So, I went back to the business at hand.  Did that, went back to Ernie and we were off.  Except for a quick bathroom stop – no paper of any kind in there…boo.  Off to manger!

We found a place – I believe it was called Restaurant Obododo – with seating outside.  This seems to be a big thing in Paris, seating outside of nearly every place that we saw.  A plus for me because I could smoke right there at the table (Thanks for putting up with that, Ern).  The food was great.  Unfortunately, we’re not well-versed in mLs when it comes to wine, so we each ordered what we thought were medium glasses of wine.  Nope.  We each had our own bottle!  Needless to say, we were both a bit tipsy after that.  Time to walk it off.

We headed over to Voltaire Circle (?), then Bastille, took pictures and kept going.

I found a store with some nice scarves in it and we went and checked it out.  I ended up with a sparkly coral one for about €15.  Brilliant.  Then we found a little toy boutique and got the girls some interesting puzzles.

Ernie wanted to visit Notre-Dame Cathedral so we took the Metro to get us their quickly. (My feet weren’t getting any better.)  Little did he or I know that our walk out after the ride would take us past L’Occitane en Provence.  I, naturally, had to stop and get something.

Unfortunately, at some point, the handle on the children’s bag broke, so I found a souvenir shop with small but useful totes.  Snatched one up, put everything from both stores in there and set off to Notre-Dame.

This place, from the outside, looks marvelous.  We took quite a few pictures from different sides of the building and the statue of St. John Paul II (my favorite pope, even though I’m not religious).  The queues were too long, like the Eiffel Tower, so we skipped the inside and went in search of bathrooms (damn you, large carafe of wine…).

After a quick respite on a bench, we took a walk back to our hotel to unload and regroup.  The reason we walked so far?  Ernie couldn’t find a nearby Metro.  While he was looking for on on his phone, I saw a bike with a basket of Pomeranians in it.  It was a must for me to have my picture taken with at least one of them.  So I did.  Cute little basket of lovely furriness.

Since he couldn’t find the Metro, we decided to walk by the Seine.  We followed that the majority of the way and went back up, with hopes of finding a stall for drinks (again, damn you, wine).  After what seemed like forever – Musée d’Orsay seemed like a mile long – we finally made it back to our room to figure out the next plan.  I ended up napping while looking at the Christian Louboutin website.  Got back up around 6:30 and hurried to get ready for some sightseeing and dinner.  I know we were in the 6th arrondissement but can’t remember the name of the town we were in.  Did a little walking and found a “tourist trap” restaurant and were seated right away.  We stayed for quite a while, eating and drinking and people-watching.  When we were done, I was ready to go back to the hotel.  After what took forever (again), we found our Metro station and headed back.

Ernie headed up to the room for a minute and I sat downstairs by the bar until he came back.  We did a shot of Jack and called it a night.  These days, so far, have been daunting with all the walking we’re doing.  At least for today, I really didn’t get homesick!  Bonus!

May 22, 2015 – London

(For some reason, I skipped writing on 5/21.  I think I was too tired.)

Okay, now that I got that out of my system…I got hit with hard news over Facebook that my brother had to put one of his beloved dogs down.  It was, quite simply, unsettling.  Losing your furry best friend is hard to do, especially when you’re the one making the decision to do so.  All of the postings from Jay and Kelly just broke my heart.  But what can I do 3,000+ miles away but offer some kind words and hope that they creep in a bit?  Losing dogs are tough, but seeing them suffer, no matter how much they “smile”, is even harder.  So I say, rest in peace, Bella, and go run around with J.R. and Bubba.

Across the pond, we had a wonderful day, besides the fact that I slept until 8:30 (unheard of for me).  I needed it, I guess.  I had the most thrilling experience in Westminster Abbey (even though I couldn’t take a fucking picture in there to save my life).  It was absolutely breathtaking and I only wished my mom could’ve been there to experience it as well.  So much history.  So many tombs.  So many thoughts and remembrances of watching the wedding of Kate and Will in the wee hours of the morning.

Even though I’m not a practicing Catholic (although raised as one), I decided to light a candle and write a prayer for my family that they would see better days ahead.  Don’t get me wrong – this trip, so far, has been an absolutely wonderful experience.  But my family – both sides – have been through some awful shit since the new year rang in.  To all of my family members, both gone and those not ready to move on – I’m grateful for all of you.

Back to the trip, I guess.  So, Westminster was phenomenal.  We did a lot of walking today including to and fro on the Tower Bridge (aka London Bridge).  Just realized earlier that my phone can count miles walked.  Have to do that tomorrow.  We had a superb lunch at Northall.  Fan-fucking-tastic.  After (or was it before?). we crossed back over…and now I forget what I was going to say.  Oh, piss it.