Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fake it till you make it!

OK, first, sorry no blog post in a long time.  But, unfortunately the state requires I attend to my children from time to time so that is what I have been doing.  Even though I have not been blogging doesn't mean things have been running smoothly.  Let me tell you about one such evening...

So one of my all time favorite doctors asked me to give a presentation at their annual gathering.  "Sure" I said.  I had at least a solid 2 months to put together what I was going to talk about... no problem.  So of course the day of the presentation I am printing off my power point notes at 5:40.  Five friggin forty!!!  The doors for the event were opening at 6!  On another campus!  But that is how I role.  I mean other than cramming for an exam, getting a presentation pulled together or cleaning your house at the 11th hour before a family gathering what the hell was the last minute created for?

So I jump in my car and head to the hotel for the dinner.  Now, let's just back up a bit.  Though I got my presentation done with about 26 seconds to spare, leading up to 5:40 was no picnic!  So even though I am 43 years old, mother to 3 children, a homeowner, a working mom, the secretary for our town's PTA and a Girl Scout Troop leader I do not for one second feel like an adult.  I still feel like a teenager just kind of playing dress up or house.  Not sure if feeling like an adult will ever kick in, or if I really want that feeling to kick in. 

But either way when I was asked to present to this group of doctors I kind of felt like a kid invited to sit at the grown ups table.  I felt like I needed to get it right...I always wonder, since I, myself don't feel like an adult do I come across as one in my various roles at work, within the community, etc?  I have plenty of experience with public speaking and I am pretty comfortable with it, but, this was a different audience and I wanted to make sure I came across as a knowledgeable professional.  Now, if you are worried about me getting all philosophical or zen on you, I want you to stop, take a minute to sum up all my past blog posts, breathe those in and know that sh*t ain't going to happen!  This is me we are talking about for Christ's sake!!

 I have to get the kids off to school.  Get Emily to my in-laws and then volunteer in Anna's class all before heading into work.  You know, just a typical day in the life of a mom.  So I get dressed in a serious looking outfit.  Black dress pants, my fancy black shoes, or at least ones the dog hasn't nibbled on and my black suit jacket....AKA-my wake/funeral outfit.  With the clock hands not in my favor, Emily comes and gives me a big hug.  F*CK NO!!!  Now, I don't want you thinking I don't love when my children express their love for me, but, the little bugga had Nutella toast for breakfast.  She is 2 years old and the furthest thing from clean you can be.  I'm talking polar opposites.  So now I have Nutella hand prints all over my funeral clothes.  Thank Christ Chuck did laundry the night before, so I threw on a pair of meh black pants and a black sweater about as old as the Christ I was thanking.  Not the professional image I wanted to project, but hey lets face it, it could have been worse....I could have been febreezing some wanky clothes from the top of the hamper.  Oh, like none of you haven't done that before!

So I get to the hotel just in the nick of time and all is well with the world.  Well, everyone's world except mine.  There is one major detail I haven't disclosed yet.  If you are a faithful Minivan Mom reader you know that I have had the pleasure of being diagnosed with IBS-D.  For those of you non-medically inclined, let me break it down for is a sh*tting disorder and don't let those cutesy commercials on TV fool you.  It isn't as whimsical as the latest ad showing a lady clad in a body suit with cartoon-like intestines drawn on it following you around.  It is a down and dirty evil, evil character.  Think more  the alien coming out of the stomach in the movie Alien and less like a pretty red-headed lady giggling as she follows the IBS sufferer.  Well my friends, I was in the middle of a full blown (pun intended) flare up...about a week into a 2 week flare.  So as you can expect, things were about to get real exciting...

There is some time to kill before dinner so what do I do?  I get a glass of wine.  Mistake #1.  Mistake #2--I drink it.  The whole thing!  WTF was I thinking?  Oh gee Erin, lets see, you have really, really bad GI issues going on...why not have a glass of wine.  As you can well imagine, that did not end well.

So now as it is getting closer to the time I am supposed to speak to this room full of grown ups it happens.  My stomach feels as though it is being wrung out like a piece of laundry from an old timey washer woman.  The gas building up must have made me look a good 8, 9 months pregnant.  The sweat from the belly issues is greeted by the sweat from drinking an entire glass of wine in about 2 minutes flat.  They meet up and start pouring down my temples.  The back of my hair, you know the fringey ends are now soaking wet.  I looked hot...and not in a good way.  I had no time to go to the bathroom.  Plus it would only make things worse.  It is kind of like when you are drunk and you hold off peeing because you don't want to break the seal because you know from that point on the bathroom will own you? is exactly like that...but somehow making poop runs to the bathroom isn't quite as cute and pee runs.

So I gingerly make my way to the podium.  Now, I mentioned before I am very comfortable with public speaking.  I actually like it.  But tonight, tonight all bets were off!  I was supposed to give a 45-50 minute presentation and then 10 minutes for questions.  I flew through the presentation in 27 minutes.  I know it was only 27 minutes because the laptop was keeping track of it for me.  Now, I am sure most of the docs in the audience were grateful it was a quick talk, but let me tell you it may well have been the longest 27 minutes of my life!  I was talking so fast I could have substituted for an auctioneer.  I was afraid if I left any gap in my words, even the slightest moment of silence, the microphone would pick up the noises from the sh*t storm brewing in my belly.  I was also very cautious not to make any sudden movements.  I was one wrong posture shift away from recreating the Mya Rudolph scene from know the one when she ends up crapping herself?  Yeah.  That one.  As I clench my ass together with strength I never knew I had...I was already planning in my head where I would be sending my resume to should the unthinkable happen.  There would be no coming back from that.  I get done with the talk in record time and I pray with all my might to any and all walking upright Gods that no one has a question.  Fortunately for me and the hotel cleaning crew no one wanted any further information from me.  For the record Dr. T, you are lucky I love you!  If it had been anyone else I would have bailed and made up some "family emergency" excuse.

I hightail it out of the conference room and head straight for the bathroom.  Just my luck it is full of other conference attendees!  There was no way I go go there.  They all seemed like nice, pleasant people.  They did not deserve to come under attack like that, though it would be friendly fire, I felt they respected me during my talk there was no way I could justify taking them down with me.  I left the bathroom feeling defeated and with more of an urgency to get the hell out of there.  I make the obligatory small talk and I head straight for the minivan.  I drive down 146 like my life and the lives of my children depended on it.  It kind of did.  I felt if anymore gas were to accumulate in my gut I would explode and the poor guys at Jiffy Lube would be scraping whats left of my body parts off the roof and walls of the van.  I pull into a Walmart parking lot and make a beeline for the bathroom inside.  I make it just in the nick of time.  Not that I would care much.  This is the Bad Walmart---the Fire Walmart as my kids call it.  Long story short I went to the register with a pair of kids mittens for a Halloween costume and they tell me they are a fire hazard and refused to sell them to me.  There may or may not have been a slight scene and I may or may not have stormed out loudly declaring I will never shop here again.  Well, payback is a b*tch and I'm baaaaaack! 

Obviously I survived the night and my flare up has subsided.   Life lesson learned;  I don't think I was meant to sit at the grown up table...I don't think I will ever feel like an adult and here is why...all the while this was happening to me aside from praying I don't explode in a public venue, I was thinking how friggin funny it was and how it would make a great blog post!!

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