Am I Really Offending People With My Surgical Mask?

The new fall fashion.

The new fall fashion.

Well it’s here. The very first documented case of the Ebola virus here in the United States. Oh, and just ten minutes down the road from my family here in Dallas.

To say I am less than thrilled would be an understatement. I am scared sh*tless. Yes, yes, I know it can only be transmitted via symptomatic booger to booger. But knowing that does nothing to help alleviate fears. At. All.

With all the medical crap floating around (enterovirus, Ebola, cooties in general), I think we need to implement a “This might be offending you, but you’ll get over it,” policy.

Seriously, this is no time to be that polite. No, I’m not talking about being purposely rude to your fellow man, but we definitely shouldn’t say, “That’s okay you sneezed on me!”

Look, I am a nice person. Too often in the past, I have been screwed over trying not to offend people or keep the peace. Guess what? The only person hurt in the end was me.

Don’t be a nation of me.

To reiterate what’s already been said a thousand different ways at the daily press conferences, here are some ideas on how to keep your health in check:

Just saying....

Just saying….

Be a Howie Mandel. Fist bump, fist bump, fist bump. You might make fun of him and his germaphobia, but a little less touchy feely is the way to go here. In Liberia, shaking hands is taboo now.

Don’t Be a Hero. The gang down at the work will file your report. The bake sale will go on without your sticky buns. Your to do list will survive just fine, but you and others may not if make just one more Target run while puking your guts out. If you are sick, stay home. Period.

Close the Drawbridge. Maybe for a while, we don’t have flights to and from that part of the world. It’s a little crappy, but we really need to contain this thing. British Airways suspended flights to and from Sierra Leone for the month of August. Even more airlines have stopped flying to the affected areas indefinitely. Think of it this way, no one has ever said, “Hey, look at the leak under the sink. I should open this cabinet in case it wants to come into the house. It’s not my business to stop it.” Terrible example, but you get the idea. The US, along with other countries, might need to close the hatch for a while.

Just go home already.

Just go home already.

This is such a human issue. Not only is our physical health at stake, but also our humanity and how we treat one another. Viewing the images of the affected areas is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what families, children, and loved ones are going through. If I am really honest with myself – I don’t want to imagine it. It is entirely too much to process.

But we can still care about others without being that PC.

So don’t take it personally when I don’t shake your hand at mass. Don’t think I’m being rude when I douse myself with hand sanitizer after using your pen. It is not you the human being I take issue with, it’s all the little germs that are hanging onto you.

So go ahead, start calling me Crazy Hand Sanitizer Sue, I’ll take it. When we’re all feeling a little bit better, I’ll take you out for a beer and apologize.


Photos courtesy of:


Am I Really Saying Goodbye…Again?

Today I found a hole in my favorite sweater. Crap.

While thinking of ways to disguise the rather large gap (hmm, maybe a decorative button), it dawned on me the appropriateness of this sweater/hole metaphor: I too have a bit of a tear, in my heart.

Yep, I’m moving…again.

My time in Massachusetts seemed to be one of an extended holiday. I went to the beach, a lot. I ate and drank, a lot. I took long walks, all the time. And of course, I made amazing connections and friendships that I will forever keep.

Wow, it sucks saying goodbye to them.

Growing up I moved around, a lot. I would say my farewells (some tearful, some thank-God-I-don’t-have-to-deal-with-your-banoney-anymore) to my friends, teachers, school, boyfriends, and neighborhoods. Then off my family went into the sunset like a band of gypsies to a new home, new adventure, and new school uniforms…because my dad was on the lamb. Just kidding, it was his job and the military that moved us around, but running from the law sounds better.

I used to play a little game with myself so I would not be so sad leaving my current location. I called it the, “Something new – it’s going to be so exciting” game. Instead of worrying about who I was going to sit with at lunch, I would think about how much cooler this cafeteria was going to be. Sadness about leaving a boyfriend behind was replaced by thoughts of, “Surely there is someone just as ‘fine’ out there who listens to Heavy Metal like me, instead of Milli Vanilli.” When worries crept in about all the laughter I would miss because I was leaving behind my best friend, I imagined all the new people I would meet, all the new places I would go, and the new person I could be.

Those cookie-peddling Girl Scouts had it right: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold. I could forever keep in my heart friends and experiences, while my head was wrapping itself around a new school schedule, locker, and climate.

Sometimes, before moving forward, it is fun to look back at where we’ve been. I thought I’d share with you some of the goodies I gathered during my past re-locations:

Move – Tulsa, OK.  I was into Duran Duran and jellies (ladies you remember those). There were lots of Tornados that allowed me to sit in my walk-in closet and listen to Thriller and Lionel Richie on my walk-man.  Friend Bonus – My friend Sascha and her family took me under their wings like a small bird – which I was compared to my BFF. Sascha was a foot taller than me so we often resembled a puppeteer and his marionette walking around the mall.

Move – Littleton, CO.   This move only lasted ten months, half of which was spent living at a Residence Inn while we waited to close on the house and my sister dealt with repetitive nose bleeds (altitude, not cocaine – she was eight people!). Somehow I bawled my eyes out and was NOT happy about leaving the mile high city. Friend Bonus – My friend Sarah’s family took me in so I could stay a few extra weeks there while we listened to Pyromania and prank called people. I left my boyfriend and his sweet center-parted hair. A sad day.

Move – Dallas, TX. It took me a year to adjust to all the bedazzled denim-ware and large hair. I know it was the eighties, but ain’t no hair like Texas-sized hair. Friend Bonus – My BFF Kris. Her family harbored and fed me like a refuge, letting me stay over during play practice b/c my family lived in North Dallas, which was like living in another state. Also, the Big D is in my blood now, along with a severe addiction to Tex-Mex.

Move – Arlington, VA. It was really Annandale, but nobody knows where that is. I made this moving during my senior year of HS – yeah, I know, and no, my parents are not sadists. This school took a while to accept me with my loud talking and purse matching my shoes and scrunchy ways. I finally broke them down. Friend Bonus – Friends to this day.

The list continues on from there, but those were the beginnings.

Growing up, and even sometimes in adulthood, I always envied those friends who grew up in one place, one home, and had friends from the first grade who always had their back. I’ve seen those friends get into fist fights just because their friend needed help – no explanation necessary.  I would think to myself, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if I had those kinds of rooted friendships? They are like family.”

Guess what. I do.

Somehow, throughout this life, I have gathered friends who would go to bat for me, donate a kidney if I needed it, or wipe snot off my child’s face. Sometimes I knew these people for years, others months, always the same result.

I have done some pretty stupid things in my life. Like: let-me-color-my-roots-with-this-last-box-of-hair-dye-left-at-CVS-how-pink-can-it-really-be? Stupid. But the one thing that I have been Mensa candidate smart about is choosing friends. And by choosing, I mean, I luckily got chosen.

I swear I have guardian angels looking out for me BIG TIME in this department. I’m pretty sure they drive Harleys with a giant colander weeding out all the bad eggs and leaving me with all the gold nuggets of friends.

Today, as I wipe away tears (trust me, there are a lot of them) and say goodbye to my wonderful friends on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I get to walk into the hugs of another set of amazing friends back in the Lone Star State.

I may have a hole in my sweater, but the fibers of my friendships are beyond strong.

So pony up, here I go on another adventure. Stick with me guardian angels, I’ll need it.

Especially travelling in a car with a dog, a child, my mother, and way too many Selena Gomez songs on repeat.

Seriously guardian angels, bring back up…and a bottle of Merlot.