Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ahnd we LOFF and LOFF, dewnt we, AUNTIE?

Years ago, in a fit of pretentiousness, my sister decided her kids would call me "Auntie."  You know, like Dorothy's Aunt in the Wizard of Oz, only more silly/snobby-sounding?  Like "AHHntee?"  It's an affectation that has always driven me nuts.  Our family never used that term (not even my sister, who says "aunt" when referring to parental sisters), and it's utterly ridiculous-sounding to me.  It grates like teeth on wool, truth be told.  I never, ever wanted to be anyone's "auntie," always wanted to be their "aunt."  I approached my sister about this a few times, and spoke to her kids about it even more times, but to no avail.  The kids, when they started to call me "aunt," were roundly dressed down by her, told that they MUST use "auntie" because it pleases her.  

Never mind how it makes the "auntie" feel.  I was reminded of how my dad used to shout at me for calling Frank "Frank" instead of "Mr. Whittemore."  Never mind that Frank told me to call him "Frank," that being called "Mr. Whittemore" grated on him.  Back then, my sister went on and on about how stupid and unreasonable our father was.  


Finally, about four years ago, I put  my foot down.  I told my sister that it had to stop, it was getting to the point that, every time her kids addressed me, I was feeling angry.  I told her I'd rather her kids just call me by my first name, if "aunt" was too onerous.  Her response? That she would tell her kids to stop calling me "auntie" ONLY if I forced my then-12 year old to start calling her "auntie."  Period.  

If the pettiness surprises you, you clearly don't know my sister.  She had never been called "auntie," not in the twelve years she'd been an aunt, but now, suddenly, because I was asking to please, please not be called by a title I hated, she decided to turn the tables.  This is absolutely typical behavior.

I spoke to my son about calling her "auntie," and he promptly said, "That's stupid and childish--how about I don't call her anything at all?"

And he hasn't.  From that point on, he's only used her first name, no title whatsoever.  And that was the beginning of him not really talking to her at all.  He avoids her on the phone, he became completely withdrawn in her presence.  And it's because of this--he felt uncomfortable talking to her because he thinks "auntie" is breathtakingly stupid, and didn't want to have to say it.  Rather than risk running afoul of her, he just avoided her.  

For years.

He's only lately having any interaction with her, and that's because she responds to his Facebook things.  But I find it sad that her stupid pettiness interfered in that way.  I kept close to her kids, even when the "auntie" thing was driving me buggy, and, in fact, told her kids to never mind, call me whatever kept them from getting in trouble at home.  

It's a small thing, but you see, today my sister's daughter posted that it's so awful when people insist on calling you something you've asked them not to call you.  And it was all I could do to refrain from saying, "Gosh, yeah, don't I know it?"


Waiting until nine this morning to call a doctor about my arm.  I guess an orthopedist?  Funny, the closer I've gotten to today, the more twitchy and jumpy my arrhythmia's been.  Yesterday, the lip twitch started.  Just a small, irritating, hyperactive little tic that's got me feeling like Elvis.  Woke up at five this morning, wowserly sick to my stomach.  Paid our last rent on this lease on Friday, still no word on a new lease.  Making an appointment for our boy today, too.  

I need a break.  Just typing that up made my heart start thwacking.

A small post-script--couldn't get an orthopedist to give a spit, so I've made an appointment with my primary care.  No, not the primary care who said it wasn't something she was concerned about--I don't see her anymore, though still in the same practice.  I'll go in, refuse to be weighed, and start pushing for an orthopedist and an MRI.  Which is what I should have done a year + ago, but I was so relieved to hear that nothing was wrong, you know?  I HATE that I still do that. 


On a sad/funny note, I was searching for a birthdate for an old classmate who's died.  For that database I'm building for the alumni group.  For some reason, his obituary, which I dug out of my scrapbook, doesn't have a date of birth.  When searching online, the first result I got?

His son's mugshot.  You see, his son has, apparently, TATTOOED his father's name, birth date, and death date on his BACK.  I guess that's not too crazy (until you see the other tattoos), but I think it's the oddest source of information I've tapped in this search.  And goodness knows, there are worse things to tattoo on your back.

Not sure if that's supposed to be Cliff, Robert, or Jason.  Just saying that likely made a Metallica fan explode.

Back from the doctor's office.  Where I was told that they don't know what it is, how about I see an orthopedist.

I PAID for that!  25 bucks I dropped for that when we can barely make the RENT!  And then? Then they recommended an orthopedist who ISN'T COVERED BY MY PLAN!  The three I can find who ARE?  Two aren't board certified, one IS board certified, but has an atrocious reputation and doesn't operate out of the ONLY hospital I'm approved for, and all describe themselves as "spine and sports" orthopedics.

SINGLE payer!  This jumping through hoops bullshit is exactly that--BULLSHIT!  I've been on the phone to my insurance provider three time, and my PCP twice, just since NOON.  That doesn't count the calls to various orthopedists.  And after all that, what do I have?

SQUAT!  No appointment with an orthopedist, no answers, no MRI lined up, NOTHING.  Oh, and to top it off?  An MRI "might" be covered, but it might NOT be--who knows?  I'll bet my insurance company does, but they're playing it close.

. . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .  . . . . .  . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .

Two hours later.  I was just turned down by six different ortho offices--apparently spines and sports are where it's AT.  Lumpy, tumorous arms just aren't glamorous enough.  All of them recommended I go with the guy my PCP recommended.  You know, the guy who isn't covered by my plan?  Wound up going with someone three towns and vicious traffic away, not because he seems particularly competent or a good fit, but because he's who'll see me AND is covered by my insurance.

And he can't see me until the middle of next month.

American healthcare.  I'd laugh, if my upper lip would stop spasming long enough.


It's been an exhausting day.  Exhausting and super-duper irritating.  Ever spend five minutes listening to a receptionist chomp gum and snort/grunt through her nose while she takes a note for you and checks your files?  I have.  Today, in fact.  Began to worry she was eating the patients.

It was almost as irritating as someone naming their kid "Consatyn."


Hey!  Hey, you!  Yeah, the one with the flowered acrylic nails!  CONSATYN isn't a name!  Okay?


And now for something ugly.

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