Saturday, June 07, 2008

packing anxiety and smell disorders

Jessica does not rise to the same level of anticipation as I do when it comes to getting packed and organized. She's in her room playing hand-held Tetris, and I'm freaking out because it is already 11am and she hasn't yet gotten her laundry together.

She leaves on Monday night for Germany, and I want her ass 100% ready to go by tomorrow afternoon. Part of me knows I'm anxious because I'll miss her as she's gone for three weeks this time instead of ten days. But another part of me knows what it is like when shit gets left to the last minute before a trip and the packing isn't ready, and the yelling, screaming and panic that result are honestly going to kill me some one of these fine days.

I know I say it every single blasted time we go somewhere, but damnit if this time everything isn't ready, I swear to you and to God as my Witness that my head will just explode right the hell off the top of my shoulders.

Good luck to the poor bastards who have to come cart away my gianormous, fat carcass wherever it may fall, and those who have to scrub the mess I leave behind on the walls and ceilings. Blame my kid for not getting packed and organized in time.

I will miss her though, and she's just a few feet away from me right now and I already do miss her. I don't know what I'll feel like when she leaves for college. It makes me dizzy just imagining that time.

In the past few years, I think really since the July 4th Trip To Doug's Uncle's Funeral in Pennsylvania Fiasco that I had to live through, I get exceptionally anxious about getting organized and ready on time.

[sidebar note]: It was quite the horrid adventure, which to this day I am still thankful to Carrie for everything she did for me before we left. I still can't believe I survived it without hurting someone or myself. For newer readers, you simply must take a trip back in the Way Back Machine and relive it with me...Click

  • here ... where I write how Doug's uncle died and Doug tells me I don't have to come to the funeral, and I let you know my washer died and we have a new one getting delivered that weekend... foreshadowing/doom/etc...
  • here ... where I write that Doug calls me and says "um, yeah -- come to the funeral please. I need you here," and all the chaos and horror that surrounded getting ready... and
  • here ... where I write about how an 11 hour trip took me closer to 15, and how my husband asked me to get the truck washed before coming to the funeral and my head exploded.

I just re-read it all and am shaking my head in disbelief and it is no wonder that I have an anxiety disorder now about getting ready to go places. Good God, that whole thing changed my life forever... [/sidebar note]

So yeah, I'm experiencing anxiety about getting her ready because shit always explodes right when you're trying to walk out the door and if you aren't prepared in advance then you're in big trouble.

Unlike some people I know who would have packed LAST weekend, I'm not THAT silly. I do think though that 50 hours in advance is a good time to get everything organized.

I have a list of things we need to do. Doug got 250 Euros (ooo, is there HTML Code for that? Let's see... € !!!!! Yes yes yes! Almost as exciting as when I found the code for British Pounds!) So yeah, he got the €250 that we planned on her taking, seeing as the ATM card didn't work in England.

She's not a huge spender so I figure that should cover her expenses the whole time. I will make sure she has a little American money too so that if she does need extra she can access some. Actually, I hope she doesn't come home with like €200 and only spend a fraction of it, because I doubt we can exchange the money BACK.

I know when Anna was here we wouldn't let her spend money on things like meals if we ate out. She wanted to -- she wanted to treat us to dinner but we were all like "dude, we eat a LOT and you don't want to volunteer THAT! You'll be out of money!" So I'm hoping that Jess will have a similar familial experience with Anna's folks and won't have to worry about her fun money keeping her alive. The teachers said to budget €40 a day while there and everyone here was like "Are you KIDDING???!!!" because that is like $80 a day.

Stupid weak dollar.

It's lucky she's not a big spender, because I think she'll do well. I just have to get her to remember to send postcards this time, and get little gifts. She blew it in England and didn't come home with enough gifty love (one should really bring home gifty love to one's Auntie when one's Auntie gives her $500 cash).

Anyway, Hayfever wrote me to point out that I hadn't updated in eight years and it is sad but true. There aren't may excuses, except that this getting her ready for the trip thing has made my head hurt and I haven't been able to think about or concentrate upon much of anything else.

On Sunday when we were on our way home from church I got exceptionally sick. Dizzy, migraine, sensitive to light and of all things smell. I thought I was just getting car sick from Doug's Sunday Driving style; I thought I was going to vomit.

I went from "Why are you hitting every pot hole in Essex County???" to "Oh My GOD why are you swerving to avoid every pot hole in Essex County! Learn to DRIVE!!!" I felt the constriction of my throat and the bizarre sensation of flooding cold and heat across my chest, neck and shoulders that I get right befor I hurl. I was ready for him to pull over and let me out so I could fall into a ditch on the side of the road, convulse, vomit and die.

We made it home, and he asked me if this was like the time I had vertigo a few years back (longtime readers may remember that incident as well...) After crashing and spending the entire day in bed, taking medicine and putting ice packs on the back of my neck, I realized that I'm horribly stressed out and freaking out in ways that I used to be able to control but now cannot.

The real sucky thing was Sunday was our 17th wedding anniversary and I spent it with a headache. I ended up having to make dinner and do dishes (because no one else would and Geoff kept asking me what was for dinner) and I screamed at everyone and went to bed. That was awesome. So the following night we all went out to dinner and it was very nice and relaxing and I felt a little better.

The thing that really got me confused about this incident was why I'm suddenly incredibly sensitive to smells that have never bothered me before... The dogs, the deodorant I was wearing, Geoff's breath, dinner... all these things made me sick to my stomach and I thought I was going to pass out. I'm still kind of feeling it... my carpet here in the study smells like two years of sleeping damp dog and I have to go and get some carpet freshener and vacuum it.

The couch slipcover downstairs smells the same and I'm ready to tear it off and burn it instead of washing it. But it smelled the same two weeks ago, and it didn't bother me at all.

So I'm kind of concerned I'm having some sort of neurological event here. Smells have never bothered me. Noise and light, yes. Smells? This is new.

Anyway -- I have to unsmellify somethings and take a shower and run some errands. I bought a few gifts for our host family but want to print a picture for Anna and frame it. She liked our dogs so much that I thought it would be nice for her to have a copy of a picture of them... So I'm off. More later. Sorry for the eight year lapse in updates. You know how it is!

My next update will probably be after Jess leaves on Monday. Talk at you then.

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