Yesterday started with eyeliner. Well, it started with me feeling brave and adventurous, which is why I put on eyeliner before going to work. I do not have a good relationship with eyeliner. Like Adam Sandler movies and my math skills, it always disappoints me. First, I rarely apply it correctly. I don’t know if I was absent the day eyeliner application was taught to the world (even Johnny Depp can handle it!), but I almost always end up with a zig-zagged line above my eye that would not pass any sobriety test. Even if I do manage the desired look, it never lasts. For one thing, I have a tendency to touch my eyes throughout the day when I’m bored, frustrated, or deep in thought. I also have a theory that I blink more vigorously and more often than most people. The result is raccoon eyes, and I’m pretty sure raccoons are not sexy.
As you can tell, I’ve given the subject of eyeliner a lot of thought. Actually, that’s what today’s post was going to be about. (I know, now you’re saying to yourself That’s what this post IS about! Well first of all, don’t jump to conclusions. Second of all, are you talking to yourself in front of people? Are you at work? You should be careful, your boss might not appreciate my relevance and your good taste in blogs.) Things, and post subjects, have a way of changing though.
After I left work yesterday, I dropped some books off at the library, made an exchange at Target, and stocked up on craft supplies at Ben Franklin. The sunshine made me cheery, and as I drove home I was doing crafts in my head and thinking about what to eat. There were three messages on the machine and I started rummaging in the fridge as I half-listened. The first two were unimportant, but the unimportant callers talked and talked until they were cut off. Then, the third message came on. It was my grandma. “Hello? When you get home from work, I’m in the emergency room. Just….well, just come get me. And hurry. I want to leave.” There was some background noise, and then, “oh, how do you turn the damn thing off? Hello? Nurse? Hello? Wonderful. I’m blind and they’re deaf. Shi–oh nurse! would you turn this off, please? Thank you much.”
I didn’t know what time she had called because she hadn’t said and our answering machine isn’t that smart. When I got to the ER, a nurse in a smock with sleeping kitties brought me to the back where the examining rooms are. She pointed towards one room. “Is that your grandma?” I looked over. It was a white-haired grandma, but it wasn’t my white-haired grandma and I told her so. “Okay, over here,” she said. She led me towards another room, which also had somebody else’s grandma in it. I was starting to wonder about the professionalism of this ER–had they lost my grandma? Was this some sort of Grandma Identification test? I turned to the nurse to ask some form of these questions and she looked sort of startled. Then she patted my arm and pointed straight ahead. “There you go.”
She’d gotten grandma on the third try. There she was, in all her grumpy glory. She’d been there for more than eight hours and was anxious to go. The docs believed she’d had a “heart spasm,” which means she probably had a heart attack but they were too chicken to commit to the words. “Why didn’t you CALL me??” I scolded. Because she’d called the ambulance at 6:30 and knew I wasn’t awake. “So what? I’d wake up when you called.” Well, she didn’t want me to miss work. This was unbelievable. “You mean my unpaid internship? Don’t you think they would have understood?? I think I could afford to miss one day.”
We stood there arguing until the nurse came with the release papers, then we smiled and thanked her and looked cute. Then we walked outside arguing, got in the car arguing, and argued during the short trip to the pharmacy where I had to pick up her new medicines. I waited in line for 25 minutes and when I got to the front the woman said that one medicine was not quite ready. I huffed out a breath and tried to decide whether to leave grandma waiting longer (she was sitting in the car) or come back later. The pharmacist pursed her lips while I thought. She looked like a grandma herself, and her eyes were full of sympathy over her tiny rectangular glasses. “Why don’t I check again?” Pleased and surprised, I just stood there. I don’t know if the woman lit a fire under one of the other pill counters, but pretty soon everything was ready. I thanked her and she smiled and said she hoped my grandmother felt better soon.
Grandma and I got home and I made her eat something. After I checked on her medicine, it was time for Jeopardy. The two of us blew the competition away and by the time I left, I was feeling reassured that Grandma was doing better. I got home and made a bee line for the bathroom to take my contacts out. I almost had a heart attack. (Is it inappropriate to make heart attack jokes, given the circumstances? hmmm…) I had the BIGGEST black rings under my eyes. I not only looked like I had slept in my makeup, I looked like I had swam, jogged, and wrestled in it. It was black and blurred and it had gotten all over. How many people had seen me like this? Did I go a whole day at work with black craters under my eyes? Did I come into the ER looking like a zombie? Couldn’t someone have TOLD me?
Looking back, I have to wonder if the ER nurse and the pharmacist thought I’d been crying. They both knew my grandma had had a health scare and that I was anxious about it. Maybe that pat on the arm and those odd, sympathetic looks were more than they seemed at the time. I don’t cry for just any crisis, but those women couldn’t have known that. I think I’d prefer it if they thought I’d been crying, because the alternatives are a) they thought that was the look I was going for, or b) they knew it was a makeup meltdown and let me go about my day. I don’t know how they could have brought it up (I suppose it would be an awkward conversation), but it seems to me that people should always let you know if you have something in your teeth or grotesque smudges under your eyes. Just saying.
So, yesterday ended with eyeliner. Well, it ended with me taking the dratted stuff off. I think the next time I’m feeling brave and adventurous, I’ll just have a cookie for breakfast. Oh, and you know what? You were sort of right–this post was partly about eyeliner. So there you go, I half-apologize. But then, I’m also going to squeeze in a half-I-told-you-so, because it wasn’t all about eyeliner. See how that works?
Whew, I think I need a cookie.