Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The great steamed dumpling event....

Now that I am in my 40's, I have encountered a few things that the older women in my life really should have given me a heads up about.  Of course, that is not how the old lady clan rolls and I know it. That would take some of their fun away and god forbid someone try to disrupt their fun!
It doesn't really bother me that they didn't tell me what they KNOW is coming with each new decade of life so much as the sheer pleasure, some could argue joy and possibly even elation (they sometimes share their friends) as they validate that this really is "normal" ohdearlordwhatinthehellishappeningtome female aging and that I am really not some alien.  I'm just saying, it isn't exactly as the text books described.  Like most things in life, it's all about where in the spectrum you happen to fall with a dash of the genetic deck you're dealt.
Near the top of the list of these new adventures is what I have affectionately dubbed "40's brain".
40's brain strikes without warning and presents with many symptoms--Distant cousins include:  toddler brain, teenage brain, pregnant brain, well--you get the idea.  I had my very own, undeniable, Hallmark should have a freakin' card for this 40's brain moment a few months ago that was almost repeated today.   
Then, I had plans to spend the weekend with the Donnas plus Susan in Hilton Head, SC and was super ready to roll out for a girl's getaway weekend.  You can never have a bad time when you're spending time with the Donnas. It's not just 'cause I could potentially be slightly biased as I love them both dearly. 
I had asked for the day off at least a couple of months in advance, but got the fabulous non-approved, but not quite denied, response of "We'll see how things are when it gets closer."  Unfortunately, as a contractor, I did not have the magic vacation/comp time card or the sick day trump card.  The week of the great runaway, the message became, "Maybe you can take 1/2 day on Friday."  On Friday, the message was "I'll let you go as soon as things settle down a little."  Considering that a 4 pm (Central time mind you, so 5 pm EST) meeting invite had just hit my Outlook inbox before lunch, I knew that time wasn't going to be nearly as soon as I wanted it to be.
At some point there was enough of a break between calls and UAT discussions that I was able to pull leftover steamed dumplings from the fridge and toss 'em in the microwave for "lunch".  Lunch is air quoted as at some point after the normal time for lunch but before the last two calls of my day, I remembered the forgotten and long cooled off dumplings.  I flipped the closed container over and hit the :30 button to make it all better and enjoy a slightly later lunch.  Just something else on my to-do list before wrapping up work and heading south to meet up with the girls, who were already on their way to the reward of cocktails at the bar with a water view at the end of the drive down I-95.
My call ended just before 6 pm EST and I hopped in the car and headed south for a fabulous out of town weekend.  Sunday came way before any of us were ready and we headed back to reality in our northbound caravan of two vehicles.
Fast forward to early Tuesday afternoon, I opened the door to the microwave to nuke lunch. Imagine my shock and surprise at the re-discovery of the neglected steamed dumplings that had been hanging out in the microwave since Friday afternoon. OhMyFreakin'GodJebusOnAStick! Dumplings that have been hanging out in the microwave since Friday......so not my favorite!  I gingerly pushed down on the bottom of the plastic bowl to ensure that it really was closed and then using as few fingers as possible from each hand slowly turned the bowl right side up where I was greeted by a glimpse of the now batik/shades of grey tie-dyed dumplings safely encapsulated within the fortunately well closed container.  I promptly placed container and dumplings unopened (I have gotten that t-shirt repeatedly during past close encounters with forgotten items found while cleaning out the fridge) into a plastic bag which went into another plastic bag and then to the garbage container outside.  Fortunately for me (and the furry kidlets), no toxic fumes were released during the potential Haz-Mat incident, although the person I was on the phone with took a hot minute to stop laughing at me.  Really, who am I kidding.  It took ME a hot minute to stop laughing at me. 
The lessons:
1. Life is a long, strange trip best enjoyed with the ones you love as much as possible
2. Aging is not for sissies
3. If you can laugh at it, it'll be OK
4. Thank God for plastic Chinese containers that can be tossed in the trash without guilt.
5. Always check the microwave and/or toaster oven before you run away for the weekend.

Thankfully, today the replication of said 40's brain moment was avoided and I thoroughly enjoyed my leftover steamed dumplings for brunch.