Monthly Archives: July 2008

My Mother’s Daughter

As I prepare for a trip, I am again reminded that I am my mother’s daughter. Growing up, we joked that Cleary trips left at the crack of noon. We always aimed to leave town at the crack of dawn. It rarely happened.

Every summer, the family drove 700 miles from Bartlesville, OK, to Chicago to visit my grandmother and other relatives. For some reason unknown to me, my dad always wanted to drive straight through. I don’t know how we did it –  2 parents, 4 kids, 1 sedan, 14 hours on the road. Occasionally, we would stop a night at a relative’s house somewhere in Missouri, shortening the trip to a mere 12 hours.

But I’m getting off topic. We usually got off to a late start because of my mom. She would spend the night before cleaning the entire house and then packing. Once she finished packing, then we (I mean my sister Karen, the space-unchallenged) would have to figure out how to pack the car. Remember – 6 people in one sedan. Packing became a nightmare.

In case you were wondering, since I was the smallest person in the family, I rode in the back windshield shelf. Parents soooo couldn’t get away with that today. Life got much better when we got a station wagon.

Today, I wanted to leave for San Diego around 11am. It’s after 1pm and I still haven’t done laundry yet. At least I have done the vacuuming. And I am procrastinating even more by writing this post.

How I have applied these early travel experiences into my adult life:
1. Always clean the house before you leave on a trip.
2. If you are driving, your time schedule is nebulous.
3. There is no shame in staying a night in a motel if you don’t make your destination.
4. Kids today are coddled.
5. I almost always overpack.



Let me yell it to the four corners of the web, I can talk again!

After a week of not talking, eating soft foods, not talking, using hot and cold packs on the face, and not talking, my jaw doesn’t hurt any more. Yippee! Of course, my ear started to ache again. I have a bona fide ear infection. Boo! But being able to eat crunchy foods again is worth it.

I Can’t Talk, So I Will Write

AN: Apparently, this was my first ever post on LJ.
Have you ever spent a week without talking? Not a word, not a phone call, not even singing along with ABBA songs on the radio? I’m finding it quite difficult. I’m under doctor’s orders to not speak for a week to relax my jaw. Love that TMJ.

It’s easiest not to talk while at work. My co-workers support me, and chide me when I slip and say something. They warn visitors that I cannot speak. For the past week I have communicated with them through gestures, facial expressions, a notepad, and computers. My handwriting has become illegible even to me. I am ashamed that I didn’t think of using my computer’s text editors during face-to-face “conversations” until Wednesday. Walking around the school was hard until I started wearing a badge with the note “Per doctor’s orders, I am not allowed to talk for a week. Please be patient.” Thank goodness I hadn’t thrown out my ALA badge and lanyard!

Shopping is harder. Check-out workers expect some amount of small talk. I have given in and said “Thank you” a few times. The most frustrating retail experience I had this week, though, was at a massage studio. I requested an appointment via email explaining how I was not allowed to talk, etc. When I arrived at the studio for my appointment, the receptionist had not been warned. She asked for my name, I handed her my ALA badge. She gave me an odd look, so I turned the badge around with the note. She still didn’t get it. So I got out a notepad and wrote “I have an appointment at 6pm.” Oh, the light finally dawned on her marble head. Luckily the massage was worth the hassle of the check-in.

Surprisingly, the hardest place not to talk is when I am at home. I’ll accidentally yell “Allez! Allez!” at the Tour de France riders on the tv. I want to sing while I do the dishes. Worst of all, I can’t speak with my cats. They are confused by me humming. They start purring, I want to start cooing.

If the gottverdamte TMJ-induced earache disappears, I’ll be able to speak again on Tuesday. If not, another doctor’s visit. Yuck.

Top 5 Benefits of Being Voluntarily Mute
1. I don’t have to answer my phone. I can let it ring and ring. I’ve always hated talking on the phone.
2. Soy-enhanced fruit juices are tasty. This week’s liquid diet is probably more healthy than my regular diet.
3. No guilt eating ice cream every day. Wait, what was that about a better diet?
4. My verbal anomia has disappeared.
5. My jaw does hurt less.