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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Word Choice

A couple of weeks ago our friends invited us out to dinner to celebrate Trent's recent birthday. These wonderful friends of ours are currently in the throes of Weight Watchers. Now, I've never been a member of a weight-loss program, so I really can't say a great deal about how they work. However, you do pick up bits and pieces of information from people you know and advertisements and such. What follows is based on information I have gotten by those means, and any errors are entirely mine. This is also neither an endorsement or indictment of Weight Watchers or any other dieting plan or method, it's just another story from The Lunatic.

WW (Weight Watchers) has created a system to make the task of losing weight less like a job. Instead of counting calories or portions of foods from various food groups, they use a point system. Every food has a point value per serving. Every member has a daily points allowance which is undoubtedly based on their current size and weight loss goals. There are points values for all sorts of things, including dishes on restaurant menus.

Since the amount of points at your disposal covers everything you will eat in a day, some planning and sacrifice might be necessary so that you don't end up going to dinner and being unable to eat anything. That extra breakfast sandwich might make lunch or dinner quite a bit smaller, and a light lunch might enable you to splurge at dinnertime. When we eat with our friends who are on WW, whether at home or at a restaurant, they use their points allowance to help determine what they will be able to eat.

So, when we went out for dinner at a steakhouse nearby, our friends got out their smartphones and searched for the points values of the various items they were interested in eating. I looked at the menu and decided fairly quickly what I wanted to eat, but enjoyed being a lookie-Lou and reading all of the offerings on the menu. As I read about various sauces and preparations I was aware of the discussion of points from the other side of the table, something I've grown used to hearing.

When our server delivered our drinks and asked us if we wanted an appetizer, Mr. Host said that he could afford it but wasn't sure if Mrs. Host could, would he give us a few more minutes, please? Our server abruptly turned on his heels and walked away from the table. Ouch. I was fairly certain that the server had no idea that Mr. Host was referring to daily points allowances. I said very quietly to our hosts that perhaps that wasn't the best thing to say to a server in a restaurant, that you could afford something and another person might not be able to do so. The server would probably assume that one was referring to money.

I'm afraid that on that count, I may have been right. It would seem that our server jumped to a few conclusions based on the most common usage of the word afford. I'm guessing that he thought our host wasn't paying for his wife's dinner, and that she didn't have much to spend, because our service was abysmal. From sitting down to getting up to leave the restaurant, it took two hours for us to get through our meal, and we had been seated before five o'clock. There were long periods of neglect interspersed with things like our server walking away while we were trying to decide whether we wanted to order desserts. He was probably afraid we were going to do a D&D (dine and dash) and run out on the big bill. Sigh.

When Mr. Host spoke to the manager about our poor service, the manager was surprised because he considers our server to be one of the best members of his staff. What can I say? I think it was an unfortunate case of being bitten by the words we use. Often what is so clear to us conveys an entirely different message to others. It happens. We all survived, we ate well, the bill was paid and the server tipped. My food was fabulous and the dessert was a sinfully delightful mix of chocolate, ice cream, and whipped cream. And we had plenty of time to eat it...



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Monday, June 20, 2016

Sometimes You Just Can't

I want to begin by apologizing for my long hiatus. As May wound down, I found myself feeling quite ill. My stomach was in a great deal of pain, and food just didn't seem to taste right. After taking a ten-day break from the antibiotics I use to control my rosacea, coupled with adding heartburn medicine to my routine, my stomach improved a great deal. But I didn't feel better. I was hurting all over and exhausted and headache-y and weak. As much as I hated to admit it, it seemed pretty certain that I was having a mild flare of my lupus. I hate to admit it because it feels like defeat. My body is out of my control and has betrayed me once again.

Now, this flare hasn't been dangerous to my health, but it certainly has had an impact. We have gone grocery shopping, for example, and I run out of energy quite quickly. I don't even have the strength to think of what we need to get other than the obvious one or two things whose absence has prompted us to go shopping. When Trent asks if we need to get x or y, I hear myself saying that we can come back and get it tomorrow, I just want to go home. I get home, exhausted, and bumble through the rest of my day, only to be plagued with insomnia. Well, crap.

So that's where The Lunatic has been lately. I have thought of writing but haven't been able to find the energy to do so. There are times when you can just ignore the fatigue and weakness and push though. Sometimes, even though the aches and tiredness may not be as bad as they've been in the past, you just can't fake your way through it. A mental and emotional fatigue sets in as well, and the head isn't strong enough to push the rest of the body into doing what it might normally be convinced to do. Sometimes you can manage it, and sometimes you just can't.

Being in that situation really bothers me. I feel like I have let myself and others down. I remember some of the bad episodes in the past, and get a bit depressed because I don't want to take a step backward. I also feel guilt at not being more productive. The worries feed one another and I fight feelings of failure. As the days pass by and become weeks, I wonder if I should quit writing. I ask Trent if I should stop and he asks me if I enjoy writing. He knows how I will answer. I love it. So I will keep on. Thanks for coming back to read after this long absence. It would be easy for you to say that you're done with me. But I'm really hoping that, like me trying to fight through my rough patch, you just can't.



***************************************************************

The Tip Jar:

As always, I am happy and honored to write for you. It brings me great joy, and I hope that it gives you joy and/or food for thought. If you'd like to support the cause, please visit:

https://www.paypal.me/TheLunatic




Thank you for reading!