Ohio is Not a Tropical Paradise, (So Put on Some Pants,) the Second Amendment, and Navigational Exploits

For the past five years or so, and most especially for the year or thereabouts following my hysterectomy, I have been somewhat plagued with hot flashes.  At times they have been so severe that I have found myself completely drenched in sweat and burning up for no apparent reason.   Since my Dr.s expressly forbid me to take any kind of hormone replacement, given my history, I have to deal with it.  I’ve been tempted at times to sit in the freezer, I often (even in winter) use a small table fan at night, and it has to be extremely cold for me to even entertain the idea of wearing a sweater or heavy shirt.   Over the past year or so my heat sensitivity has improved somewhat, but even now I am more likely to overheat than to freeze.  The only exception to this is my hands.  My hands still freeze very easily even if the rest of my body is burning up.  Go figure.

Even given the inconvenience of menopausal heat sensitivity, I can’t bring myself to wear shorts outside in the winter.  Every time I see young punks outside in shorts- even the Bermuda type- and/or flip-flops when it’s below freezing, I really have to wonder.  I know damned well the girls are too young for menopause and the boys don’t really have any excuse other than maybe the man-fur on their legs does something as far as insulation, but I doubt it.

Despite the wistful imaginings of the global warming crowd, Ohio is not a tropical paradise.  Maybe for three months out of the year we have near-tropical weather, as in stygian heat, 100% humidity and plenty of rain, but it’s not year-round.   The remainder of the year is still 100% humidity, and plenty of precipitation, but cold, and at times that precipitation is freezing rain or snow.

The lesson in this:  It’s February.  Put on some damned pants.  At least until the end of May, when it might actually be warmer than fifty degrees.  I blame Target for putting the bathing suits out in January.  Just because it’s currently on the store shelf does not mean that it’s the appropriate clothing item for the season.

Some clothing items are never appropriate, regardless of the season. 

Yesterday I was reminded of why I very seldom go on shopping excursions with Jerry.  I hate shopping anyway, and I loathe crowds.  I am surprised I volunteered myself into that one, but he always likes it better if I drive.  It’s always better for him if it’s my car and my gasoline, and me driving, for two reasons.  One, my car gets far better mileage than his truck, and two, I am less likely to get lost.   He refuses to drive my car (good for me in the grand scheme of things, as I really don’t like anyone driving my car) because I have a concealed carry permit.  If the cops would pull him over in my car, they would run the plate and assume that there are weapons in the vehicle.  It is also likely that anyone driving my car would be approached by the cops at gunpoint, which would really freak him out.   I know if I’m pulled over that I’m supposed to put my hands on the wheel and let the cop know whether or not I’m packing, but Jerry has been known to get lippy with cops, which is never a good idea, even if you’re right.  A good friend once told me that there are two good reasons why you won’t overpower, outsmart, or outrun cops: Smith & Wesson and Motorola.  One cop is always going to be armed, and one cop always has that nice little radio to call for backup.  It’s better to comply with their requests and figure out the details later.

I’ve never been a fan of gun control.  I’ve never been a fan of government absolving people from the consequences of their poor decisions either, but what do I know?  If the government seems to think that encouraging stupidity as well as shielding people from the consequences of their own stupidity, have suddenly become civil rights, then I guess it is a good idea (for the law-abiding, rational person) to be armed and to protect oneself even if it is necessary to go through some red tape and hoop jumping.  Thankfully the Framers of the Constitution were a lot smarter than the current crop of jackoffs holding office, and- at least for now- the Second Amendment still stands.  I could go on for days on this particular tangent, but I’m not going to.  Unlike a good number of politicians, I’ve read the Constitution.  I believe I have a pretty solid understanding of it. If you take your time and sift through some of the archaic language, it’s not terribly difficult to understand.  Government has responsibilities, but more importantly it is supposed to have boundaries. 

The weather was quite cold and windy yesterday, but it was sunny for a change,  so I had to deal with both Jerry’s waywardness and unduly crowded stores.  By the time we got home I was thoroughly worn out not so much from walking or driving, but by chasing Jerry about and weaving in and out of crowded aisles and displays.  Jerry is not terribly easy to keep track of, as he is prone to wander off and then I am not only manuevering my way through the crowds but I’m trying to find him as well.  It’s a sort of a twisted three dimensional version of “Where’s Waldo,” only it’s “Where’s Jerry,” and unlike Waldo, he keeps moving.

If I could I would get Jerry one of those kid leashes specifically for shopping excursions or times when I have to take him out in public and I know it will be difficult to retrieve him.  It’s a thought.  Or I could modify one of the Flexi leashes we have for the dogs.

Twisted Ann Landers, (Why Are You Asking Me?) and Suffering Fools- Begrudgingly

Some days are meant just to catch up and ruminate – and others to indulge others’ laziness and/or stupidity. I thought this morning that today might be the first of those choices, (and I enjoy the rare delight of not being overly pestered or rushed,) but I am finding out very quickly that it’s going to be one of those days I spend thinking for and pointing out the obvious for others because they are unwilling to think for themselves, or are incapable of thinking, and/or of discerning the obvious for themselves. 

I’ve said it before.  I am certainly no rocket scientist.  I’m lucky to get out the door with all the crap I need for one day.  I forget things, misplace things, and I find that most of the time I am more reactive than proactive.  As far as examples go, everyone is an example of something, and for the most part my example is a cautionary tale of, “What Not to Do.”   As far as “What Not to Do” goes, I could write a book.  Maybe I should.

So who died and made me some sort of twisted Ann Landers, whose advice is sought in matters ranging from things automotive (while I am not the final authority by any means, at least I do have some experience and expertise in this field) to relationships (really good to ask advice on interpersonal relationships from someone with Asperger’s who borders on being both agoraphobic and antisocial) to (and this is the kicker) “Where the Hell Did I Put My Stuff?”  As far as relationships go, asking me advice would be about as effective as asking the guys who built the Titanic to engineer you an unsinkable boat.  I am not the right person to find anyone else’s stuff, either.  Half the time I can’t find my own.  I’m doing good to make it through the day without misplacing one of my three essentials- the cell phone, the Bluetooth, and the MP3 player.

One of my favorite tools when I am asked for advice is the Magic 8 Ball.  I have one.  They’re about $8 at Target- look in the toys and games.  I know, it’s a rather technologically primitive device  that dates back to the late 1940’s, but it is every bit as accurate as my advice on subjects outside the narrow areas of my expertise. 

Perhaps those around me don’t realize just how emotionally stunted I am, or maybe they ask my opinion because most of the time I make decisions based on practicality and utility- or expediency.  I have worked very hard my entire life to compensate for my weaknesses, but there are some areas in which I am just plain inept no matter how hard I try.  Anything involving gross motor coordination- forget it.  I do good to walk in a straight line without tripping or falling down.  As far as social interaction goes, I am always monitoring and second-guessing myself because I am not good at reading (or sending) non-verbals.  I can put on a good show if I need to, but it takes far too much conscious effort.  Imagine if you had to consciously think about and analyze your breathing.  This is the mental effort it takes for me in social situations.  The ability to socialize and converse face to face with people does not come naturally to me at all. 

So, by some strange twist of fate, who always seems to get elected to be the hospitality committee?  It’s like expecting the class midget to play center on the basketball team.

I’ve never seen myself as having anything but rudimentary (at best) social skills, but other people either don’t seem to notice or don’t seem to care.  Maybe I put on a better show than I thought.

Shakespeare said that “all the world’s a stage.”  The sad thing for me is that most of the time I want nothing more than to escape scrutiny and blend into the wall.  I seriously need to schedule a real vacation (root word: vacate, as in get out of Dodge) and get in some extreme ivory tower time before I start ripping people’s heads off.  Dealing with other people just plain wears me out.

I wouldn’t mind just camping out at home- sleeping, reading, writing, doing some cross-stitch, digging me some Tru-TV and jamming to some classic rock, except that I won’t be left alone to do those sorts of things.  I would end up being roped into errand-running, cleaning, and divers other activities that I don’t want to do.   I know I should put my foot down at times but I also  have to choose my battles.  As much as I hate to admit it, usually it’s easier to just do whatever so I don’t have to take the browbeating.

I have been challenged to refrain from making negative comments about Jerry for entire month of February.  I am sincerely going to try.  I admit, while he is challenging, I can be a rather harsh judge.  In some ways he deserves it, but I couldn’t be easy to live with either.