THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOUR DOCTOR

Does anyone else absolutely avoid making doctor’s appointments? The whole thing is kind of a hassle and I, for one, just don’t like going to the doctor. Because when do you have to go to the doctor? When you’re not feeling well. When you’re injured. When you need an annual “check-up” where they can offer “helpful” suggestions on how to change your lifestyle. When you need a prescription refill (and continue to take your chances with the SIDE EFFECTS). When another doctor refers you. When your kid falls into any of the aforementioned options. 

Ok, I think you get it. Typically you aren’t just hitting up the doctor’s offices the same way you would a grocery store – on a weekly basis and in an excited fashion. For starters, the DECOR OPTIONS are interesting. Then, making an appointment is almost always a hurdle. You just have to be available indefinitely over the next year to hopefully get scheduled. And never at a convenient time. Always at like 1:15PM on a Thursday where you have to rearrange work meetings, figure out when you’re going to eat lunch, and then remember to put on pants. 

Finally, you arrive at your appointment and then the real waiting game begins. You wait to be called back to a room. You wait for the doctor to come in. You wait for the checkout person to schedule your next visit. You wait at the pharmacy to pick up your prescription. You wait for the copay to hit your credit card statement. You wait for your test results to come back. You wait for the bill to be mailed. Fun times all around, really! 

So, clearly going to the doctor is an exciting time for me, specifically. Maybe you feel differently, and that’s fantastic! I think we can all agree, though, that despite your feelings about talking on the phone, or to a person, to schedule another appointment, there are certain things you don’t want to hear from your doctor during the visit. Specifically, these phrases come to mind:

  • Huh, that’s new
  • I’ve never seen that before
  • Well that doesn’t look good
  • Let’s talk about your diet
  • Let’s talk about your exercise routine
  • I think we should do some blood work
  • Your blood work came back abnormal
  • I’ve got some bad news
  • This is not a good range to be in
  • I’d like to schedule a follow-up appointment
  • I’m going to refer you to a specialist
  • Go ahead and take it easy for 4-6 weeks
  • Should be a quick recovery, but just in case let’s see each other again in about 8 weeks
  • Let’s try this medicine and see how it works
  • Insurance won’t cover that
  • They can take your copay at the exit desk
  • You have COVID

Basically, it breaks down to this. We don’t like surprising doctors with the reason for our visit. We don’t like turning the camera around on our lives and having to admit that we aren’t being as healthy as we should be, or worse, we haven’t been following previous instructions from this very doctor. We don’t like having our blood drawn and analyzed, because that internal stuff is so hard to control. But, also, ugh needles and veins and pinching and nope. We don’t like getting bad news – does anyone? We don’t like having to follow-up on the same issue – please just fix it! Same with work meetings, it should be a one and done. We don’t like a time range – just pick one end of the spectrum and be confident about it. We don’t like being experimented on with prescription drugs. Is there an OTC alternative? Great! Let’s start there. We don’t like spending money to be told that something is wrong. We knew that, thus the visit. Maybe I should replace all these we’s with me? Anyone else feel the same? 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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TRAFFIC LIGHTS SHOULDN’T BE A THING AFTER MIDNIGHT

I hate red lights, you hate red lights, we all hate red lights! Because they’re the worst. They’re a straight up vibe killer. You’re rolling down the road, minding your own business, jamming to your best carpool karaoke song, or gaining some knowledge from your favorite podcast, and simply don’t have time to hit the brakes. And yet, traffic lights don’t care. There’s never a fun time for a red light. Either you know it’s coming and have to go through the long, slow, demoralizing braking process, or you think you’re going to make it and then, at the last second, the yellow disappears in half a millisecond and you have to slam on the brakes since you’re too far to make it, but too close to be smooth about it. 

What do we do when that happens? I scream, you scream, we all scream for it to turn green! So we can literally move on with our lives. Green is just a better color than red anyways. It means go. It’s a symbol for money. It’s the color of nature. It’s what the inside of mint Oreos looks like. It’s 50% of the Christmas holiday color scheme. It’s great! Red, on the other hand, not so much. It means stop. It’s a symbol for anger. It’s the color of fire. It’s what the inside of a tomato looks like. It’s 33.3333% of the singles awareness holiday color scheme. It’s the worst!

Then there’s yellow. A perfectly mediocre color in every sense. In my, obviously correct, opinion, seeing a yellow light is worse than a red light. Have you ever wondered if you’ve had a LIFE CRISIS? Have you ever had to play the will I / won’t I make it game with a yellow light? Then yes, you’ve had a crisis. What a cruel world we live in where traffic lights are a tease. Because not all yellows are the same length of time. Which makes sense, I guess. If you live on the moon! What?! It’s either half a millisecond or ten seconds or somewhere in between. We don’t know.

So here we all are, playing traffic light roulette, and hoping not to get a brake sentence. As annoying as traffic lights are, though, they are important during traffic. Thus the traffic part of traffic lights. It’s a control method. Otherwise it would be a madhouse. Survival of the quickest and the fearless. Enter the eyes in the sky to make sure we all maintain some semblance of sanity during our drives. But it seems to me that they don’t make a lot of sense when there is no traffic.

Not, oh look there’s casually no traffic because it’s 10:52AM on a Tuesday morning. No. That’s a happy coincidence for you – thank the traffic gods and maybe buy a lottery ticket since you’re clearly getting some good luck in your corner. I’m talking about when it’s 3:27AM and you’re clearly making good choices with your life and trying to make it home before you fall asleep. When the rest of the world is asleep, well mostly. Other than cool kids like you and your friends.

If you live in a big city, disregard what I’m saying. But if you don’t live in a place that people fly into America just to visit, then read on! At a certain time, lights could turn to flashing yellows and everyone would be happier. Or, at the very least, turn off the timers and turn on the sensors! Don’t tempt me with a red light, a 30+ second crosswalk countdown, and not a soul in sight. When I’m tired. And it’s late at night, or very early in the morning. Situations like those don’t lead to smart, lawful decisions. As I roll up, so should the light color. Just a smooth beautiful transition where, at most, I take my foot off the gas and coast, but I don’t have to tap the brakes. Imagine what that world would be like where you get rewarded for not going to bed at a socially acceptable hour. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WAITING IN THE CHICK-FIL-A DRIVE-THRU LINE

Like a good Southerner, I understand that Chick-fil-A is part of the food pyramid. Not the whole base, but the second biggest tier for sure. Combined, of course, with Bojangles’ and their legendary sweet tea. In essence, people living south of Virginia are 50% chicken, 10% sweet tea, and 10% seasoned fries. The remaining 30% is gravy, banana pudding, and mac n’ cheese #math.

Since our sustenance relies heavily on the big red C, it’s imperative that I make regular appearances. Except on Sundays because the owners are clearly good southern christians and leave one day a week for home cooked meals at Grandma’s house. Unfortunately, I am not the only one living with this gratitude mindset. For all of the genius that is the CFA kitchen, their parking lot layouts leave a lot to be desired. Specifically the drive-thru portion of the design. Everyone, and their mothers, know that there is never a dead period at CFA. Everyone except the car space architects apparently.

It does not matter what time of day you get a hankering for waffle fries and magical chicken, there will be a full drive-thru line. 3:45PM on a Tuesday? Packed. 11:15AM on a Thursday? Can’t even get in the parking lot. Anytime before 10:30AM? Forget it! People will fight to get their Chick-n-Minis before the breakfast menu shuts down. They are also the only restaurant I know with an all day lunch rush. How is that even possible?! How is the whole world eating both an early, on time, and late lunch every day of the week every week of the year? That’s not possible. 

I’m sure we’ve all waited in a long drive-thru line before and been super thrilled about watching our gas efficiency rating drop consistently and trying to communicate with the employee through the high quality speaker system. How many times have you waited in a double drive-thru line? I don’t mean the supposedly more efficient double lane options. No, no. I mean the double line that occurs in the same way that you would draw a spiral. The drive-thru line is full and wraps all the way around the building. Um, what? Yes, you start in line near the speaker to order … but are the second to third layer of the circle. Is there anything more soul crushing when you’re hungry? No.

So clearly, as you can imagine, this line does not fall into the definition of fast food. It’s a slow burner. And time with your thoughts is a fun place to be. Well, fun may not be the right adjective. It’s an interesting place to be. My hungry thoughts are not on the same reading level as my well-fed thoughts. They get weird, they get abstract, they get confusing, they get twisted in circles (like the line I’m sitting in). It’s a black hole – one that I’m going to throw you into so you, too, can ponder these existential moments in my Chick-Fil-A waiting life:

  • Who taught the cows to spell? They didn’t do a good job
  • Who decided that the font should be a backwards foggy mirror attempt at writing?
  • Are CFA employees allowed to eat beef while at the office?
  • Does part of an employee’s non-compete contain information about dietary restrictions?
  • When will an employee be allowed to eat beef again?
  • Are all catered meals at corporate from CFA?
  • Has anyone ever pulled a prank and ordered Wendy’s or McDonald’s on “accident”?
  • Why was the chicken salad sandwich removed from the menu?
  • Why is there no option to supersize a meal? It could be the Fox option, get it
  • Is there a reason why sandwiches don’t come with a normal amount of pickles? What is so significant about two?
  • Is it a coincidence that the sun is always shining when I’m at CFA? No, it’s a sign from the heavens to eat mor chikin! (Side question: how did Google know to autocorrect that to the CFA version?! My mind just exploded)
  • Why were the color choices not orange? Like, you know, a chicken
  • How have I not moved at all?
  • If I use the app and place a mobile order while in the drive-thru, will I get my food faster? Spoiler: yes
  • Why is the peach milkshake not a year round treat? That’s the best option
  • Why do the cookies taste better when they’re catered?
  • How many times can an employee say ‘my pleasure’ before they explode?
  • How rapidly can I repeatedly say ‘thank you’ to test this out?
  • If the employees are taking my order, what is the point of moving through the line? Can they not also bring me the food?
  • Why is every parking lot so small? And tight? Neither is conducive for heavy drive-thru traffic
  • How many accidents happen each year in CFA parking lots? An acchickdent lol
  • Is there any way we could get a cow fence around the buildings? A normal fence with giant cutouts of the billboard cows? For full branding efforts
  • Do the billboard cows have names? If so, what are they?
  • How many free sandwiches are given away on Cow Appreciation Day?
  • Why don’t I own a full cow costume like a lot of the people here? Why do so many people own full cow costumes?
  • What if I had grown up in the North and not known about the mouth party that is CFA? The horror
  • How am I only one car closer to the goal?!

That feels like a sufficient share. Feel free to traverse that thought train at your own pace. Dive deeper into your feelings if you need to. Don’t if your care level for these questions is negative. You do you, but whatever path you decide, it’s better with a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries. What drive-thru thoughts do you have while waiting to relieve the hangriness?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THE OPTIMISM OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION CREWS

I’m all for optimism – it makes life so much more fun! Don’t agree? Alright, you pessimistic son of gun, clearly you need a hug and some CHEWY CHIPS AHOY (because they are everything that’s right in this world). Then you probably need to be slapped because no one else needs your negativity. Keep that mess to yourself.

Anyways, I digress, like a turn lane with no road to turn onto. Have you ever noticed how many turn lanes lead, well, nowhere? Who put them there? More importantly, what higher up approved the paving of said turn lane? And of course, who pitched the idea? Who woke up one morning and thought ‘This new road is going to be great, but if we put some random turn lanes in the public will think we plan to come back and maintain the road for future development’? Because that is what you think, right? Oh, clearly they are going to build something there, otherwise why put a turn lane in? And if they’re building something new they will want to make sure the road stays in decent shape to attract all the young, hip people to make this town a global hot spot for the yuppies .

The funniest part is you never see one of these stag turn lanes that have been freshly paved. They’re all slightly faded, the paint is cracking – clearly it’s been there for awhile and still it leads into the always desirable wooded area where a serial killer is probably waiting for you to wander in like the curious being you are. Or it goes to a swamp which is most intriguing because what on earth is being built there?! A water park?! A pool?! Last I checked solid structures on a liquid foundation don’t work…outside of Venice of course, which should be a wonder of the world.

I wish I could have the same optimistic outlook on potential future endeavors in my job. If I could go to my manager and say ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great if I spent three months working on a project that will do NOTHING for our business currently, but if we decide one day down the road that it might be feasible for us to explore possibilities in that direction, I’d have laid the very first step by creating a Google Doc, putting a title on it, and formatting it to perfection…but nothing more’. What would the response be? Well, probably a drug test for starters, then some variation of ‘hell no, get back to work’!

So clearly my job doesn’t follow the optimism model that road construction companies do and what a shame that is. At the end of the day, those workers probably go home satisfied and feeling like a true team player. They set another crew up for success after all…at some point, maybe, in the future. Not only did they do their job, oh no! They went above and beyond and added turn lanes everywhere. Like Oprah. YOU GET A TURN LANE AND YOU GET A TURN LANE AND YOU GET A TURN LANE! EVERYBODY GETS A TURN LANE!

It could be worse though. There could be NO turn lanes. Then the whole country would be like Atlanta and everyone’s Google Maps would be purple during rush hour. Purple?! Yes, purple. I didn’t realize there could be traffic worse than the deep maroon color, but leave it to hotlanta to give us a new level of stoppage. They don’t even use the traffic lights because no one would move – there are traffic cops that man EVERY INTERSECTION to shut down the drivers who think that as long as they are in the act of turning it’s fine regardless of the impact it has on traffic going the other way. That’s a topic for ANOTHER TIME though.

Moral of the story: more turn lanes are better than no turn lanes. If nothing else they allow you to imagine what might be coming. And, as Albert Einstein said, ‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.’ So these seemingly random turn lanes are making us smarter…wow are road construction crews thoughtful!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is frustrated about the never-ending road construction, share this with them so they stop complaining and start realizing that it’s all for their greater good. Thanks for reading!


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YOU CAN LOOK AT THE MENU BEFORE IT’S YOUR TURN TO ORDER, NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU

Waiting in line is simply the worst. Sure, you can check email, browse all your social media accounts, play 10 levels on your favorite game, check your bank statement, find potential flights for your upcoming vacation, register for a local event, check current sport scores, send some beautiful selfies of yourself to your friends, make a to-do list, see what the weather will be like this weekend, get directions to the nearest bakery, connect with people you just met in line on LinkedIn, order a car to pick you up after you’re done waiting in line, read some motivational quotes, make your selfies professional looking with photoshop, learn a new language, manage your blog…oh my goodness who even needs computers anymore?!

Let me start over. Waiting in line may be the most productive place on the planet. Productive, or not, though, does anyone really enjoy it? Like to the point where you just hope that you get stuck in a line? If so, kudos to you and your patience. For everyone else (who is normal) it’s still no fun. Especially when you’re waiting for food. Did I stress that enough? When you’re hungry, or hangry, waiting in line is THE WORST!

So if I feel that way, and you feel that way, how then are there people who think it’s acceptable to stand in line and not even look at the menu until it’s their turn to order?! It’s one thing if you walk into a restaurant, and there is no one waiting to order and so you stroll up to the counter and read every item on the menu like you’re going to be tested on it. Totally fine! You’re not impeding anyone from their destiny of fulfillment.

That, however, is the one acceptable scenario here. If you enter a restaurant, there’s no one in line, you stroll up to the counter, pore over the menu in depth, but refuse to let someone who entered after you order first – well that’s just rude. Unlike you, I frequent this establishment and the cashier knows my order by heart so please make way. Not sure what that says about my choices in life, but when you’re hungry there is no better feeling than giving that high school worker a nod and a smile and have everything you want brought out to you quickly.

Although, worst case is that you have to wait a few tortuous minutes for the noob to make a decision. So it’s kind of acceptable. In the spirit of kindness or something like that. If, however, you enter a restaurant and there’s a long line, then people continue to pile in behind you, do all of humanity a favor and use your time to run through the different meal scenarios in your head. Instead of say, sending another ermahgerd face to someone who will likely screenshot it and blackmail you at your wedding or some other unfortunate time.

What exactly are you waiting for? Do you think the food will be fresher if you wait to look at the menu? Sorry I have to be the one that explains this, but the menu does not create the food. People do. In a kitchen. Behind the menu. Like Keebler elves. You tell a middleman what you want. They relay that in a secret code to the magical humans in charge of the grill. Then, like magic, it appears. Sometimes instantaneously. But it isn’t magic. It’s literally just people cooking. And, like good cooks, they meal prep. So chances are whatever basic thing you want was made a while ago and is just toasting its buns in a warming oven somewhere.

Thus the concept of fast food. And large font sizes. It’s not just for fun, it’s functional. Someone, somewhere, spent a lot of money (and probably time) researching how to speed up the line. It’s fine though, I’m sure that doesn’t frustrate them at all to see their hard work get rejected for Instagram.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you tend to procrastinate making food decisions, then try switching it up for a change and skip the niceties with the cashier. ‘Hi, I want A, B, and C, have a good day.’ Thanks for reading!


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