From Showgirls to Stitches

I have had quite a whirlwind of activities, incidents, and emotions the past several days. Not quite sure what this post will look like, so I guess I’ll just start writing and we’ll discover it together.
Let’s start with my 24 hour trip to Las Vegas. It was the last place I wanted to go, for so many reasons, and although it was on the calendar for months, up until about 2 weeks ago I was wavering daily with the decision. The lure was an opportunity to see all of my immediate family, something that hasn’t happened since my mother’s funeral almost 2 years ago. The biggest reason for not going was the fact that I am unemployed and reaching some critical financial constraints. Even using frequent flier points, and with some subsidizing by very generous “patrons” there was no way the trip would be without some extra expenses I can ill afford at this time.
I actually decided a few weeks ago that I wasn’t going to go, and informed various members of the family. I explained that it seemed foolish for me to spend unbudgeted funds to have dinner, which was essentially the one event we all were to attend. And with a large and loud family like mine, I know from experience that a group dinner usually means you can talk to the people on either side of you, and that’s about it. But after telling the family that I wasn’t going, I had some pangs and decided to go.
I don’t really like Vegas, and this trip didn’t change my mind, but the people watching opportunities are excellent. From the sulky showgirl in the hotel lobby, to the drunken hordes carrying yard long goblets of neon beverages, to the worn old ladies parked at the penny slots, it’s an assault on the mind and senses. I would so rather be at the mountains or the beach, or in a beautiful city like San Francisco or New York. It’s just really not my kind of town.
Although it wasn’t planned this way at all, the trip morphed into an unofficial celebration for my Dad’s 80th birthday. My father insisted he didn’t want a celebration, and we insisted this wasn’t one, but in spite of all that insistence on all parties, it became one. And it made him very happy to have all of his kids and their significant others around him for a loud but fun dinner. Which made me very happy. I’m glad I went.
The weekend ended on an unhappy note for one beloved family member, my sister’s sweet pug, Scooter Pie Leberman. Through a terrible accident, he suffered a detached retina, which resulted in his having his eye removed. It was a horribly upsetting event for Wendy and her family, and when she hurts, I hurt. There was concern about his surviving his operation, and how he would adapt, at the age of 10, to being a one eyed pup. Fortunately, he did well, he is back at home recovering nicely, and we can start to joke about blinged out eye patches and pirate costumes. Thank goodness!
Yesterday, I had my own little surgery, a very minor one, but unexpectedly a bit traumatic. I had to have a growth removed from my leg. I was told it would be a very quick procedure, in and out in 30 to 45 minutes, and I could drive myself. The surgeon was a disgruntled sort, not comforting by any means, who spent the whole surgery telling me how he was soon retiring, because he was too stressed out. I kid you not! The whole thing took about 2 hours, was extremely painful, and I came home with a hugely bandaged leg, 12 stitches and a whimper. Remember this is the same person who walked around with a ruptured appendix for a day and then drove myself to the hospital. I don’t think I am a wimp, but I would have been happy to have someone hold my hand on this one, and then take me home and gently feed me ice cream.
Are you exhausted by all of the above? It was a lot to pack into a few short days, right? But any three day weekend that includes a sulky showgirl, slot machines, sangria, a one eyed dog, a grumpy doctor, and stitches can’t be considered boring by any means. Add the rare and lovely opportunity to share a loud and laugh filled dinner with some of the people I love the most and I would say I definitely came out of it a winner.
The end, for now

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