Sunday, January 30, 2011

My love/hate relationship

Sometimes, I hate work.

It's hard to wake up early and get home late. To never see daylight on those days. To deal with confused old people or people that can't do anything for themselves that also happen to be on isolation. Being on isolation means we gown and glove up before going in the room. To make that person feel like a living biohazard. And also to bring out the color of my eyes. I struggle with the barrage of foul language that assaults my ears, the rude doctors, and that always, always present feeling of having more to do than my merely mortal body can accomplish. It nags at me like a sticker in my sock that I can't find to pull out.

I'll admit, after work one day this week, I confessed to Isaac that I don't think I can do this job anymore. We talked about options.

And then I went back. And I had, yes, a needy old lady on isolation. And in another room, a confused old lady who swore at me and told me to leave. I started dreaming about a long-overdue career change. And then, moments later, she apologized profusely and begged my forgiveness. I gave it. And my other patient said, "I'm so glad you were my nurse today. You made this day so much better." And I took my third patient for a walk in her leopard-print slippers and listened to stories about her grandchildren.

She was adorable.

My career change is back on hold.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Appendix A: Tribute to Freda

For fun, I am going to include the Reader's Digest version of our courtship.

It was summertime, and I had just returned from a study abroad during spring term. I needed somewhere to live for about 8 weeks. So I moved to the apartments where my dear friend and long-time roommate Freda was living.

Short on time to make friends, I hung out with her friends. I joined her dinner-group. And I met Isaac, her running buddy that she talked about constantly. When I asked her about guys that might pose potential interest, Isaac was one of the first mentioned--because they were already good friends.

One weekend I felt bummed because a planned trip to Arizona had fallen through, and so consented to go on a camping trip with, among others, Freda and Isaac. Freda and Isaac talked the whole time, another couple flirted the whole time, and the remaining other boy and I looked awkwardly at each other in silence. Not my favorite camping trip.

The next night, Freda and Isaac talked me into a late-night hike to a nearby summit to watch Fourth of July fireworks. I was a little worried about again being the awkward third wheel. Rather, Isaac and I started talking and kept finding things in common. I had never talked to him before (I thought of him as Freda's friend) but we had a great conversation. That night, as Freda and I had a final, half-asleep conversation before drifting off, she said, "Camber, if you ever want to go for Isaac, you can." Whatever, I thought. He's not my type.

The next week, four of us planned to fly kites together in the evening. One guy bailed, and Freda decided, last-minute, to go to California. That left Isaac and I alone to fly kites. There wasn't any breeze. So we talked instead. And talked. And talked. Until 2 AM. By the time Freda got back, only 4 nights later, we were dating. And the rest, as they say, was history. We married 5 1/2 months later.

How did Freda react? She was true to her word. She stepped aside, expressed sincere happiness for me, and never once even hinted that she was mad at me for stealing away a potential interest. We remain good friends to this day.

After 4 very happy years of marriage, I still give Freda credit every time I tell our story. I am positive I would not have my wonderful husband now if not for our mutual friendship with Freda. And I still marvel that today I have her friendship instead of a grudge.

Thanks, Freda.

--A note to readers: Freda later married a great guy and now has an adorable baby. So maybe her husband should also be thanking me?...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A perfect Cooper Christmas

Shotguns, skeets, and the sexy smell of gun powder.

The only thing that could make it more perfect would be if we were in Arizona and it was a balmy 65 degrees.

Oh wait, we were, and it was.

Merry Christmas!