Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Saw The Sign

Yesterday morning, I may or may not have been sneaking in a quick Grey's Anatomy episode before work when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, and I don't usually pick up those calls because they are invariably either an irate Spanish-speaking man who insists on calling me Luis or some earnest freshman from Wesleyan, my alma mater, trying to get me to send them money for their new nudist performing arts center or whatever. But yesterday I was just chillin' in my sweatpants eatin' some eggs and watchin' a biopsy, and I thought, What the hell? Live a little.

"Did you call to make an appointment in this department?" asked a friendly, West Indian-sounding woman when I picked up the phone.

Um... I don't think so. What department is this?


No, I definitely didn't.

"OK, thank you."


Maybe it was just the Grey's Anatomy, but as soon as I hung up I thought, Shit. That was God telling me I have a brain tumor.

Because, seriously, why would a random hospital call me to ask if I called them? I have never once gotten a live person on the phone at a hospital when I actually needed to. It is a fact that in 2007 I took Jeff to the emergency room and the only person on call was a homeless woman in a wheelchair asleep by the vending machine. And now they're calling me? It had to be a sign.

I'm big on signs. I'm like Mel Gibson in the cornfield (is that what happened? I didn't even see that movie). Anyway, what I'm saying is, I have a little... problem with believing too much in fate sometimes.

For example, I often play iPod roulette. I step out my door in the morning, set my iPod to shuffle, and decide that whatever comes on will determine the course of my day, or, at least, contain some hidden message, like an aural horoscope. Sometimes this works out, because I have a lot of Nina Simone and The Beatles, so I'll get "My Baby Just Cares For Me" or "Let It Be," which are both pleasant and straightforward. Other times I set myself up for bad omens like "Everybody Hurts" or "Toxic." But more often I'll get something cryptic like "Humpin' Around" or "Eat Em Up El Chill," (or one of my 1500 Christmas carols that I forget to remove, year after year, so that I'm constantly flipping past "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in the middle of July when all I want is my summer jam) and so I have to play again and again until I get a clear message (I realize that I'm starting to sound crazy now).

I also ascribe irrational psychic powers to my BlackBerry... or, more specifically, to my Brick Breaker score. Once, on the way to a job interview, I decided that if I beat my high score I would get it (and I did!) Since that worked out, I then decided that somehow I could control other things with the BlackBerry, like when I might get knocked up. What should have been a mindless diversion morphed into a crazy high-stakes game with fate as I attempted to will myself to become impregnated by manipulating a tiny ball (which sounds wrong in so many ways). I might actually have a touch of OCD. When I was an adolescent, in the summers my dad and I would play paddleball at the beach. We got pretty good, even getting a volley up to 500 once. Before every round, though, I remember I used to discretely kiss both sides of the paddle. If I didn't, I was convinced I'd falter.

Wow, guys, this has been really therapeutic. I just convinced myself that I'm probably not dying of a brain tumor, but that I should really think about starting therapy again. Of course, to make the final decision I'm going to consult the ol' iPod.

"Girl, You Know It's True." (HA! I didn't even fake that. But damn. Even lip-synced it stings.)


  1. I bet the person they were trying to reach didn't write their number down legibly(due to their brain tumor) so they were dialing whatever it looked like hoping for a hit.
    I have some morning OCD stuff I do. It's cleaning stuff, leftovers from when I was home full time with my kids then became a single mom who worked full time. I couldn't leave the house messy, couldn't come home to a mess, had to come home to neat so I had to make neat before I left. I still do it.
    But here's the thing. I found that when I stay to straighten one more thing before I leave for work I always drive past a car accident. God/Fate makes me want to clean it so that I won't be in said accident. Now I look around before I leave to see if I get a sign to stay a moment more or not.

  2. I didn't know anyone else did the iPod thing! I have it hooked up in my car on shuffle and I feel like if I hear one of my favorites it's going to be a good day. And now I'm wondering if I can control getting pregnant faster with one of the games on my phone....

  3. Weird! I also assign irrational authority to my Brick Breaker performance! Only, I'll think, "If I die in this level, then I'll probably die today." Clearly I've never been right, but I continue to think it to drive home the importance of beating my high score.

  4. I do the same thing! Just not with brickbreaker cause my phones too old school to have that. But after watching True Life: I have OCD, I'm pretty convinced that my problems aren't that big a deal.

  5. Telemarketers across West India now think you'll answer the phone at certain time. Little do they know the stars must align at precicely the right time...pjs, semi full belly and mindless drama on the tube.

  6. The Brick Breaker/ Flip a coin/iPod shuffle thing would never work for me because when it wasn't the answer I wanted the ol' 2 out of 3 would come into play and defeat the purpose!

    Also, please watch Signs. Please. M. Night Shyamalan is so misunderstood. Why can't people just love him???? Ok, sorry for the random rant. But do try Signs. Mel Gibson was only on the edge of crazy when it was made so it's a good movie!

  7. When I saw the title of your post I assumed you were going to disect the secret meaning behind the Ace of Base song. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed.

    But if we're being honest, I make too many life decisions based on what the Magic 8-Ball there's that.

    Also, a Christmas song snuck? sneaked? its way onto my gym playlist and I'm too lazy to take it off so I feel your pain.

  8. My favorite line: "I attempted to will myself to become impregnated by manipulating a tiny ball"

    'Nuff said!

  9. Once I was grumbling against God as I came out of the 6 train on 40th Street (I think that's where it was) and a piece of ice fell from the top of a high rise and BOUNCED on the bottom part of the building as it sloped back upwards and whacked me on the head.

    I believe in signs too. :-)

    Except I don't think you have a brain tumor.

  10. Was it that terrible musical episode? What a tragedy...

  11. Una... When I read your part about the iPod shuffle, I almost cried! Finally, someone who is just like me. I do the same thing. And I also fall victim to the Christmas music situation. By the time I take it off, it's time for Christmas, and so it stays on forever...

    Quick game! I am interested! Shuffle your iPod and tell me the first 5 songs... Here are mine, no joke:

    "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", from the Across the Universe soundtrack

    "Ironic" by Alanis. DUH. Best part, though? It's from the acoustic album, which is

    "Only One" Lifehouse. Awesome CD. Classic.

    "What Child is This" by Parachute (see?????)

    "I'm not that Girl" from the Wicked soundtrack.

    Nuts. I'm excited to see what yours are!! If you are willing to play along, that is... haha


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