Tuesday, January 15, 2019

An apology?

I have this friend who I’ve known for several years, who I would consider one of my closest friends. But recently, she’s been acting a little bit… To put it simply, mean.  She’s been making some hurtful comments that have come out of nowhere, but I tried to ignore them because we were such good friends and I didn’t want to throw it away.  And I also sensed she might have been going through something she was keeping to herself.

Anyway, the two of us often carpool to book club together.  Because she doesn’t like to drive and has frequent issues with her car, I often pick her up and bring her to book club. It is in the opposite direction of the restaurant where we usually meet, so it’s an extra 20 minutes of driving for me in either direction, but I didn’t mind doing it and I never made a thing of it. And if I ever had an issue where I couldn’t drive, she would pick me up, but 90% of the time, I was picking her up.  Ditto when we got together to go elsewhere. 

Recently, I texted her to find out if she could be the one to drive to the next book club, because for reasons I don’t want to get into, I wasn’t sure if I was going to have my car available. She didn’t respond, so I sent her another couple of texts, thinking maybe she hadn’t seen my first text.

When she finally responded, she sort of blew up at me over text message. She told me I was selfish for asking her repeatedly to bring me to book club when she had been ill the last few days (which I didn’t know).  I showed her text messages to my husband, and he was totally shocked, especially given how many times I have driven her. After some of the complaints I had lately about her, he said that I shouldn’t speak to her anymore.

But after years of friendship, I felt I couldn’t do that. So I basically wrote her an email explaining to her nicely that what she had written had hurt my feelings and why. A day later, she responded:

“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.  We will always be friends no matter what.”

That response really bothered me. Because she didn’t apologize, first of all. Saying she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings is not an apology. An apology involves the word “sorry.“ She didn’t even offer to drive me to the book club to make amends. Furthermore, I didn’t write to her to be reassured that we would be friends.  So the second statement was odd, especially considering it’s been weeks since then and I haven’t heard from her so I am feeling like if I don’t reach out, we are no longer friends.

What do you think? Did her response count as an apology?

Monday, January 7, 2019


A colleague of mine was recently asking me this question and I couldn't figure out how to answer it...

As doctors, filling out paperwork for patients and family to get Family Medical Leave is something we sometimes have to do.  My understanding (from the times I've done it for patients and taken it myself when I had a baby) is that it guarantees when you take no more than 12 weeks leave, your job will be safe.

My colleague was saying that if he discharges a patient to a nursing home or assisted living, he won't fill out FMLA paperwork for family members.  Because the patient isn't going home, so why do they need to take a leave?  They're taking advantage of the system!

I'm not sure how to respond.  This isn't like giving someone a handicapped placard.  This is an unpaid leave.  A lot of people can't even afford to take 12 weeks off without a salary.  So I figure if they want that, it's for a good reason.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

I don't get it

I recently wrote a new women’s thriller. I thought of this really great twist for the ending, and then kind of worked my way backwards.

The first person who read the book thought the twist was pretty cool. But then my mother read it.

“I don’t understand the ending,” she said.

“What part didn’t you understand?”

“All of it.”

I proceeded to try to explain it to her. And she still didn’t understand. After several minutes of this, she said she had a headache and walked away.

So I’ve come up with a brilliant twist. So brilliant, apparently it’s impossible to understand.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Cleaning dilemma

I was wondering if I could get advice on this....

We recently moved into a house where laundry has become a huge pain in the neck.  Our W/D is in the basement and our bedrooms are on the second floor, and since I injured myself twice trying to carry laundry upstairs, I've decided I'm not going to do that anymore.  Part of having money is being able to pay people to do stuff you don't want to do.

So we have a cleaning woman to whom I pay $150/session, and she has agreed to do the laundry.  But she feels our dryer takes too long, so last time I came home from an exhausting day at work to find dry clothes in the dryer, wet clothes in the washer, and ANOTHER load of wet clothes in a basket.  I literally started to cry because I had a headache and I couldn't deal with three loads of laundry right then.

I don't know what to do.  I feel like there must be a solution to this problem, but I haven't found it.  I don't know if I'm expecting too much from our cleaning woman either.  But I know I don't want to come home on her cleaning days to a shitload of wet clothes I then have to deal with.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Do I eat healthy?

I've been looking at my diet lately and trying to figure out if I eat healthy or not-so-healthy.  And I'm honestly not sure.

So one of my favorite things to eat is vegetables.  Good start, right?  I buy about 3-4 bags of frozen veggies every week. (I heard freezing them maintains the nutrients.)  That said, I don't steam them or anything like that.  I will put them in the frying pan with a little olive oil, some butter (maybe a tablespoon), and cook until delicious.  I top it with a sprinkling of sea salt, and that's dinner.

What's the verdict?  Healthy?  Unhealthy?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guest post: Adorable

A senior doctor came home and told his physician wife about the adorable first year medical student who came to clinic that day. Quiet, in her little white coat, she listened attentively and ‘actually’ spoke up at the end of the discussion and made a valuable observation.

His doctor- wife was none too pleased. “Adorable? How could you even say that? At least don’t repeat it to anyone else.”

I already did,” he admitted sheepishly. “But it was to a woman faculty member, and I prefaced it by saying, “this might be inappropriate, but…”

It reminded her of her childhood when the mean girls would say ‘no offense, but…’ then follow with a totally offensive comment. She secretly hoped those girls googled her now. Anyway.

She pointed out how the desire to apologize meant you should keep your mouth shut. She then trotted out all the reasons why he should never do it again.

It is demeaning. Would he have referred to a male student that way? Yes, he replied. Even if they were 6’3” and ‘built’ (he is 5’9”). Yes, he replied. I doubt it, she responded sagely.

It implies naïveté. Babies are adorable, puppies are adorable. Both being tabla Rosa, unformed, certainly not learned. Which leads to:

It is disrespectful. Prior to arriving in his clinic, she had devoted at least 6 years of AP classes, SAT prep, pSATs, SATs, a pre-Med curriculum, extracurriculars, MCAT prep, MCATs, interviews. That’s not ‘adorable’, it’s impressive. Very impressive for a woman or man (another pet peeve, calling med students and residents ‘kids’, but that’s for another time).

Finally, she is not sure the student would want to be graded on a rotation by someone who thought she was adorable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Stuffing emergency!

Two posts two days in a row??  What's going on!

But I need help!

Thanksgiving is next week.  And I'm not gonna lie, one of my favorite things is Stovetop Stuffing.  I will eat it all year round.  Usually I buy it in the canister and eat it over the course of a month or so.

Recently, I moved to a new town, and they don't have the canister at the grocery stores.  So I got the box, which is also fine usually.  Except when I made it, it tasted awful.  It tasted like mushy bread with no seasoning.

That was the chicken flavored stuffing, so I then bought a box of savory herb stuffing, thinking that might taste better.  It was not.

Now it said it was savory herb, but here is a sampling of stuffing from the box.  See if you can spot the ONE herb. It's harder than finding Waldo. It basically just tastes like flavorless chunks of bread.

What is going on here???  Why is all the stovetop stuffing I buy awful????!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Don't stop reading

I was reading some old blog entries I'd written here ages ago.  It shocked me how brazenly I criticized my co-residents and attendings.  I was fearless and/or stupid.

I didn't care if they discovered those posts.  In fact, I hoped they would.  Because then they would see what a jackass they were for complaining to the female resident who had to take time off to have surgical repair for her fourth degree tear during childbirth that "you just had a vacation!" (Vacation = maternity leave)

But now I care.  I wouldn't insult people from my current job or even my last job.  It's a small field, and I respect those people too much.

And I don't want to just talk about my family.  This is not a Mommy Blog.  I don't want to be the author of a Mommy Blog. 

So the only thing left to write about is how my cat writes emojis in her litterbox:

(Honestly, I always felt like my cat isn't that playful, but this litterbox winky face proves me wrong.)

Fortunately, I recently made an online friend who is a female physician who expressed interest in writing some guest posts.  And she's at the end of her career, so she does not give a shit who she insults.  That must be nice.

So stay tuned.  I should have a post from her this week.  Or failing that, more cat poop emojis.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


In the next twenty-four hours, I will be arrested for first-degree murder.

I don’t know how this could be happening. I’m not the kind of person who goes to jail for murder. I’m not. I’ve never even gotten a speeding ticket. Hell, I’ve never even jaywalked before. I’m the most law-abiding citizen who ever was.

“They have a pretty solid case against you, Abby.”

My lawyer, Robert Frisch, does not sugar coat things. I’ve only known him a short time, but I already know he’s not about handholding and gumdrops and lollipops. He has spent the last twenty minutes enumerating all the police department’s evidence against me. And when I hear it all laid out for me like that, it sounds bad. If I were some neutral third party listening to everything Frisch was saying, I’d be thinking to myself, That woman is definitely guilty. Lock her up—throw away the key.

The whole time I was listening to Frisch, my heart was thumping wildly in my chest. It actually made it a bit hard to hear him for stretches of time. To my right, my husband Sam is slumped in his chair, a glassy look in his eyes. Sam was the one who hired Frisch. He’s your best chance, Abby, he told me.

So if he can’t help me, that means I have no chance.

“It’s all circumstantial evidence,” I say, even though I’m not certain that’s the case or even exactly what circumstantial evidence is. But I know one thing: “I didn’t do it.”

Frisch lets out an extended sigh and folds his arms across his chest. “You have to understand that if this goes to court, you’re going to be convicted.”

If this goes to court?”

“I’d recommend a plea bargain,” he says. “When they arrest you—”

I imagine the police showing up at my door, snapping metal cuffs on my wrists. Reading me my rights. You have the right to remain silent. Is that something they really say in real life? I don’t want to find out.

If they arrest me,” I correct him.

Frisch gives me a look like I’m out of my mind. He’s been a criminal attorney for nearly thirty years. One of the best. You can tell how successful he is by the leather sofa pushed up against the wall and the mahogany desk where he’s got a photo of himself shaking the hand of Barack Obama. I’ve got money, but the length of a full trial might bleed us dry.

“Second degree murder is fifteen years to life,” Frisch says. “Whereas for Murder One, you could get life without possibility of parole. If you plea down to Murder Two—”

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Book!!!!!

So after taking a bit of a hiatus, I wanted to let everyone know that I have published a new novel, The Surrogate Mother:

This one is a pure thriller. But it’s a thriller with a sense of humor!  I was trying to write the sort of book that you had to finish in one day because you can’t put it down. There's a name for that sort of book, but I can't remember what it is.  Unabletostopreadingable, I think.

Please check it out!  I usually price my thrillers at $3.99 but I’m going to keep it at $2.99 for the first few weeks.