Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) : Tuesday Starts With Tea

This week I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by: Mindy Kaling.

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For tea this week I drank another Harney and Son’s tea. (Shocker, right…ha!) A fruity tea this week; Black Current. I really like this one! The flavor sort of reminds me of blackberry.

Steep for 5 minutes. I add a little bit of organic honey to make it a little sweeter than it already is. You can buy it here.

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Now on to the book.

I bought this book when I decided I was going to read the books written by the cast of The Office. I started The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson first, but a few chapters in I changed my mind, I’m going to save that one for last.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is funny (I mean, obviously it’s funny; it was written by Mindy Kaling.) In this book she tells you about her family, being bullied when she was in school. Mindy even dedicated a whole chapter to The Office.

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Mindy tells you what you really get in those celebrity swag bags that they give out at parties. Found out through this book that she is like me in the fact that she doesn’t like one night stands. I think they are gross. Plus, I’m way too shy to do that with some random guy, and it’s way better with someone you actully care about. I’ve never understood the appeal of a one night stand honestly.

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Mindy even planned her own funeral in the book, so that when the time comes everyone will know exactly what to do.

I recommend this book to fans of Mindy, or The Office. You can buy the book here.

-laurenmikael

PS: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you choose to buy from the links provided I will make a profit, at no extra cost to you of course.

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🚩Each Day is a Special Gift 🚩

I used to go to this bar called Fox and Hound on Tuesday nights because Phil Houston (Nothing for 7 months, now twice in one week! If this confuses you, that means you didn’t read my last post, click his name to do that now) ran karaoke there on Tuesdays.

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One Tuesday night I was sitting with friends at our usual table, we were half way through the night so each of us had a few drinks in our system already.

A lady I had never seen before tapped me on the shoulder and said something along the lines of:

“I just wanted to say I’m so proud of you for getting out of the house and having fun!”

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I know people who say and do these kind of things mean well (this sort of thing happens a lot, so by now I’m pretty much used to it) but I wish they realized how ridiculous they sound when they decide to tell me, or any other disabled person something of this nature. I’m just as much of a human as anyone else in this bar, yet I’m the only one you chose to congratulate on leaving my home? See how dumb that is? Do able-bodied people think all disabled people do is sit at home feeling sad and depressed about the fact they are a little bit different than others? I bet there are a few of us that do; but I definitely am not one of them.

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Sure, I have my moments where it sometimes gets to me a little, but I refuse to sit at home all the time and dwell on the fact that I’m in a wheelchair. I could have it so much worse…I could have been a brain dead vegetable in a bed; but I’m not. So, I’m going to live the life I was given the best I can and be as “normal” possible, because aside from the fact that I sit in a wheelchair, I am normal…yes my muscles are tighter than your average person (there are some situations where this is a good thing, if you know what I mean. 😉)

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After this lady walked away my friends were all “what the f*** was that?”

One friend even said he was going to make me a flag, so I can carry it with me when I go out, and each time someone says something stupid like that to me I can wave it around and proclaim to them that Each Day is a Special Gift

Moral of this story: please do not be like the lady I just told you about when you see a disabled person, we are just regular people like you; if you are currently like this lady…just know that we get drunk and laugh at how silly you sound with our friends once you go away.

-laurenmikael

PS: I’m still waiting on that flag Matthew! 😝

PS: Are you following me on Facebook, so you will never miss a new posr? If not you guys should do that here and always make sure you always remember that Each Day is a Special Gift. 🚩🏴‍☠️

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Phil Houston: Fangirl Friday

First off I gotta say I’m a little shocked at myself, that this blog has been up since Halloween 2019 and today is the first time I have ever mentioned Phil Houston on Life As Lauren Mikael.

It’s Friday after all so what better day to bring him up than now?

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If you ever read my other blog Rockstars and Randomness, you know that I practically always found some kind of way to mention him or one of his bands. Why? Cause he’s awesome, and a very good friend of mine. If you are all sorts of lost and you have no idea who this is…well I’m gonna fix that.

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Phil Houston is one of…if not the best, frontman of the Arkansas music scene. He has been in some of the greatest local bands; Se7en Sharp, The Revolutioners, and more recently The Resistance.

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Basically anytime there is a big name band coming to Arkansas to perform, you can bet one of Phil’s bands is going to be playing on the bill of that show too. Buckcherry, Hinder, Bret Michaels, Fuel, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Highly Suspect, and that’s just naming a few; the list goes on… The Revolutioners even went on tour with Saving Abel for awhile.

…and yes, I was at every single one of them. Front row of course. That’s my rule with going to shows: Front row or don’t go. For many reasons:

Everything is better in the front row- closer to the action, better photos, You up your chances of having some sort of personal interaction with the band and/or artist; and most important to me as a wheelchair user- You can actually see, because you don’t have some tall…or um, those who are how do I put this nicely? A rather large person in your way, blocking your view.

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I first saw Phil Houston when his band Se7en Sharp opened for Aranda on March 23rd 2012. Which is when I took this photo:

I’m going to be real with you…this was back when I used to drink. I am very surprised that this photo even turned out as well as it did…my cranberry vodka was like, one tiny splash of cranberry juice and the other 16.8 ounces were vodka. Whoops!

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Not long after this show Se7en Sharp played with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I was sober for this one, so I actually was able to pay attention to how talented Phil is.

Below is a popular Se7en Sharp song “Kami”

See? I told you he was good!

Here is another really good one “Give Me a Chance”

If I had to pick a favorite, I think this would be it.

I feel like this is going to be a really long post already, so let’s go ahead and move on to The Revolutioners.

This band as far as the members go, and friends I’ve made because of The Revolutioners makes this band of his, probably my favorite out of all of the bands he has been in.

Pretty sure I only missed 3 shows The Revolultioners played out of the 5-ish? years they were together, which isn’t bad at all, considering how often they played (sometimes 3 times in one day! Yes, I was at all of those too!) Why? Cause they are/were really good and it was so much more entertaining than sitting in my apartment by myself all day.

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I think this was at the Arkansas State Fair when they played with Everclear…fun times!

Below is the song they were most popular for “Pop Rocks”

…but my favorite is this one…”Razors and the World”

Although…”Glitter King VS. The Rock N’ Roller” is awesome too!

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Now on to the newest one.

The Resistance:

The Resistance is made up of some very talented members.

They actually released a new song yesterday, which is why I thought today’s Fangirl Friday topic was very fitting.

it’s called “Push You Away” It’s a ballad. Really good. I love it! Push play, you’ll see.

Here is a link to their Youtube channel, because you need to listen to all of the other songs they have too, and I don’t want this to turn into the longest blog post in the world.

This is my favorite picture I’ve taken of him performing

You can see more of these pictures (and photos of other bands I have photographed) on my Facebook Photography page here.

To end this blog post here is a picture of the members of The Revolutioners and I on my 24th birthday. That was a really fun party!

-laurenmikael

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PS: Phil has a blog too where he tells you all kinds of fun things you can do in Arkansas. Check it out here.

Talking As Fast As I Can: Tuesday Starts with Tea

Okay, so to be honest with you I am sort of cheating this week for Tuesday Starts with Tea. This post is from my old blog Rockstars and Randomness.

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Quarantine has thrown off my blogging schedule. I’ll stay up too late and end up sleeping the next day away, and since I can’t blog in my sleep, that means I miss out on writing new posts. I’m handling it better from now on. I’ve already came up with a plan. In the meantime check out this post from my R&R days that conveniently fits in with Tuesday Starts with Tea.

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This was originally posted by me on June 28th 2017:

On Sunday I finished Talking As Fast As I Can By Lauren Graham (AKA Lorelai Gilmore)

You also get an inside look at my Converse collection.

I absolutely love Lauren Graham, so as soon as I found out she was coming out with another book, I had to have it.

This was a pretty quick read for me, it definitely kept my attention all the way through.  So many times while reading, I found myself laughing out loud.

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She tells you about her life and gives you some scoop on Gilmore Girls.

I learned a few life lessons as well…like:

Don’t accept something just because it is free.

Look up from your phone, so you don’t miss your life passing you by

When dating take your time, and focus on other things. such as writing or photography; instead of spending so much time worrying in a negative way about the relationship and things that could go wrong.  (I worry way too much and I do need to focus more on those very things.)

I have even learned a new method to help me become a better writer.  It’s already working for me.

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Oh, and I really loved Old Lady Jackson…confused? Well, that’s why you need to read it, go on, go read it.  Thank me later.

Talking As Fast As I Can is a great book, I really enjoyed reading it.  If you want to read it too, you can buy it from Amazon here.

PS: The tea will return next Tuesday when I tell you about the book I am reading by Mindy Kaling.

-laurenmikael

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PS: This post contains an affiliate links, meaning if you buy something from this link I will make a profit, at no additional cost to you of course.

Billie Joe Armstrong: Fangirl Friday

Today Billie Joe Armstrong (of Green Day) released a new single “I Think We’re Alone Now” originally released by Tommy James & the Shondells in 1967; later released by Tiffany in 1987.

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You can watch the video for the song below:

Billie recorded this in his bedroom a few weeks ago, to entertain us all during quarantine.

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I listened to all 3 versions of this song that I mentioned, and this is probably no surprise…but I definitely like the Billie Joe Armstrong take on this song best. If you have been reading my blog for a while now I’m sure you know by now that Green Day is my all-time favorite band. If you or new here (I know I have gained quite a few new readers lately…thank you for that by the way! 🙂 Or if you just happened to miss it, check out this post about when I got to go see Green Day live. It was truly amazing! Below is a collage of photos I took of Billie Joe from that show:

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You can also stream “I Think We’re Alone Now” on Apple Music and Spotify.

Today I watched Like Sunday, Like Rain, and Ordinary World. Both movies star Billie Joe.

Like Sunday, Like Rain also stars Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl) and Debra Messing (Grace from Will & Grace.) It’s a cute movie about a girl who takes on the job of being a live-in nanny for a wealthy family’s intellectually talented son. You can watch the trailer here, or buy the movie here.

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In Ordinary World Billie stars alongside Selma Blair, Judy Greer and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin of The Office.) A guy who gives up his dream of being a musician to be a father spends his birthday living in the past wondering what might have been, as sort of a mid-life crisis. You can buy the movie here. The trailer is below:

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Since Billie is basically the king of eyeliner he also collaborated on an eyeliner with Kat Von D. I love makeup, so when I found this out I had to have it. I bought multiples, because of the fact that my favorite way to wear eyeliner is chunky…I go through a lot of eyeliner, and the Basket Case packaging was limited edition.

Kat Von D Basket Case Anti-Precision Eyeliner reviews, photos ...
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You can still buy the eyeliner but it is in different packaging and is marketed as Anti-Precision now. You can get it on Sephora’s website.

-laurenmikael

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PS: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you choose to buy something from one of the links I will make a profit…at no extra cost to you of course.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Tuesday Starts with Tea

I started reading Girl, Wash your Face this morning and finished it just a few hours later. It has been a really long time since I read an entire book from start to finish in one day…I haven’t done that in years.

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Let’s back up a little bit and talk about the tea first. While reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, I drank Mandarin Orange Spice by Celestial Seasonings.

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It’s an herbal tea. It reminds me of a tea my Mama used to make me when I was little. (You can find a recipe very to the one she made here.) Full of citrus and cloves.

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I found Mandarin Orange Spice from Celestial Seasonings a few years ago on Amazon when I was craving the kind Mama made but, I didn’t know how she made it at the time.

I was really happy when it arrived to find that it was a lot like her recipe; minus the fact that there is actually no tea in it, since it is an herbal tea.

You can find it on Amazon here. They even have it in K-cup form.

Now on to the book.

Girl, Wash Your Face by: Rachel Hollis

I had heard a lot of good things about this book for a long time now, so last month when I ordered a lot of books for Tuesday Starts with Tea I decided to pick this one up too.

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There was a reason for all the hype I had heard. Like I said I finished it the same day I started it which probably says something in itself considering how I’ve been taking my time reading lately.

Throughout the whole book Rachel teaches you to stop listening to the negative thoughts we tell ourselves. I feel like there is something everyone can learn from this book, since in each chapter she covers a different lie our mind tells us…

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There is a chapter for people who think they are bad moms, there is a chapter for people who struggle with thinking they aren’t the right weight…there is even a chapter for people who think they are bad at sex. I only told you a few of them. There are 20 chapters, which means 20 things that you maybe feeling like you are failing at, but Rachel teaches you that you aren’t actually failing at all, plus at the end of each chapter she tells you what helped her overcome thinking negatively about the topic of whatever chapter you are reading.

Oh, and close to the end of the book she also mentioned how important it is to write your vision. You guys know how much I love that!

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While reading this book I laughed, and I cried. There were a lot of things she pointed out that I have struggled with too. I’m going to be honest here, I’m glad to find out that I’m not the only person out there that has worried whether I’m good at sex. I always worried about it because of being in a wheelchair, in the past a few situations came up where I had reason to believe I wasn’t…but at least over the years I’ve learned that is not true.

So…anyway. Great book! I definitely recommend it. You can buy it here.

-laurenmikael

PS: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you choose to buy from the links provided I will make a profit, at no extra cost to you of course.

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If you liked this post (or my blog in general) a donation of any size would be greatly appreciated! Update the quantity in your cart to adjust the amount of your donation.

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Wondercide: Flea & Tick Spray

My sweet little Dookie has been battling fleas for quite some time now. I’ve tried Raid flea killer, but the fleas kept coming back, even tried a flea collar (caused him to have seizures.) Dookie having seizures scared me away from using any more products that are not made from natural ingredients. That’s when I found Wondercide. Safe for dogs, cats and humans.

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Wondercide is made with essential oils; it comes in a few different scents like: Peppermint, Lemongrass, Cedarwood and Rosemary.

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To try it out I bought as spray bottle in Cedarwood scent. They even have wipes for on the go, in a small enough container to fit in you purse or backpack. Perfect for trips to the dog park. I bought some of the wipes in Lemongrass.

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Dookie is not a fan of bath time, or being sprayed with stuff. Which is part of the reason I also bought the wipes…figured they might make things a little easier; and they did for the most part. My package of Wondercide arrived today. I spent most of the day practically chasing Dookie around the apartment to apply the product to him. I did it…finally. After that, I had to rub him down with a towel to get the dead fleas off of him. Wondercide works practically immediately. After rubbing Dookie down with a towel, I sprayed the carpet and the baseboards (It kills, fleas, ticks, spiders, roaches…all kinds of nasty bugs too!)

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Dookie is already feeling so much better; my poor baby was so miserable for such a long time. He was even starting to lose his fur. I just wish I would have found this spray sooner. I definitely know why they call it Wondercide now…it really is wonderful. Plus, my whole apartment smells fresh now. Since it is also safe for human use, no more annoying mosquito bites while you are outdoors.

I took this picture today after his treatment. He’s so happy to be rid of those nasty old fleas! You can buy some through Amazon here, it is prime eligible…or you can also buy it directly through the Wondercide website.

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-laurenmikael

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If you liked this post (or my blog in general) a donation of any size would be greatly appreciated! Update the quantity in your cart to adjust the amount of your donation.

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PS: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you chose to make a purchase through the Amazon link provided I will make a profit, at no extra cost to you of course!

She’s got a Body like an Hourglass, It’s Ticking like a Clock

…and beeping.

I know it’s Tuesday, but today isn’t going to be like the usual Tuesday Starts with Tea. I haven’t been in the mood to read lately; which means I haven’t gotten any farther into The Bassoon King. In fact I think am going to have to pick another book soon, and maybe we can come back to The Bassoon King some other time.

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I’ve had a rough few days, my Baclofen pump started beeping this past Saturday….it beeps when it is getting low on medication. Most of the time that means there is still a week’s worth in the reservoir, but sometimes it can differ.

Baclofen relaxes your muscles, so obviously when it’s running low I get tense and more anxious than usual. Everytime I hear myself beep it freaks me out. People aren’t supposed to beep.

When I get tense and anxious I get little or no sleep. Plus, it’s hard to sleep when you beep at least once every hour until you can make it to the doctor, I always get scared I am going to go through drug withdrawal again. (Click the Baclofen pump link above to read about that.)

I was finally able to get it refilled today. I’m so glad; the beeping was getting annoying.

I usually get it filled a few days before beeping even starts, but the hospital made a scheduling error and never notified me of my appointment. I was under the impression that I wasn’t supposed to beep for almost another month…well, clearly not.

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For the first time in my life I was actually a little excited to go to the doctor, because that meant I was getting out of my apartment. I’ve been social distancing for weeks now. Aside from taking out the trash, and grabbing the mail I try my best to stay in.

I’ve tried to not talk or post about Corona virus much…because honestly I’m tired of hearing about it. Every meme you see that isn’t about that Tiger King show (which I don’t really ever plan on watching.) is about Corona. I may be tired of seeing it everywhere, but at least I understand how important it is to take precautions.

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Today when we (Mama and I) were out we wore masks and used hand sanitizer very frequently. (Mama is a nurse so she understands how serious all of this is.) After the appointment we ran another errand. Besides the two of us, we only ran into one other person wearing a mask during this errand, that frustrates me. All of those people aren’t taking this virus seriously. I understand a lot of people don’t have access to actual an actual mask, but there are alternatives you could use: A bandana, or cut up a T-shirt.

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The one masked person we saw today kept pulling her mask down exposing her mouth when she would talk to people. (Um, really dumb…that defeats the whole purpose!) The longer people do stupid things like not wearing a mask, or wearing one, but removing it and touching it while out in public…the longer that everything is going to be messed up and shut down the way it is. I would rather wear a mask and be safe than assume this is no big deal the way a lot of people still seem to think it is. I’m ready to hang out with friends, go to the movies…I miss going to live shows so bad, I need live music.

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Please be smart and stay in unless you absolutely have to get out of the house; and make sure to protect yourself if you do.

-laurenmikael

PS: Baclofen pumps occasionally make a very quiet ticking sound…just like a clock; hence the title of this post. Also, due to scoliosis my body is not like an hourglass. Title comes from the lyrics of Paramore’s “Misery Business

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Drew: POF Stories

Okay, so I know I have done a few POF Conversations, but I haven’t really told any stories of failed dates. So let’s start with Drew. I met him sometime in 2015.

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Drew was one of those guys that didn’t look like his profile picture…not a catfish, he was who he said he was but somehow he looks much different on camera.

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He came over and brought Chipotle. Which was very sweet; I love Chipotle (as long as there is no cilantro. Tastes like soap. Never understood why anyone would want to eat soap, but whatever.)

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We had a fun time, he was a major nerd. Honestly I’m a nerd too, but he took nerd to a whole other level. (Magic the Gathering, and Pokemon Go. Like, really hardcore into them both.) Super sweet though. In my head I decided we should be friends, if anything. I used to bad with confrontation (I’m getting better at it now.) So, I wasn’t able to tell him that I didn’t like him in that way.

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Drew wasn’t attractive in my opinion. I know everything isn’t about looks and I wish I could be one of those people could see past looks when it comes to dating, but I can’t. I tried really hard…but it didn’t work.

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One morning a few days after we met, he texted me and asked if he could come over and bring some lunch (which I loved, because if I hang out with someone it’s always been because I was the one who initiated it.) It was nice to actually be the one getting asked for once. Another good thing about Drew is that he always showed up, he never bailed on plans; which has also been very rare in my life.

He brought over high-end Mexican food and we watched Deadpool, since he was surprised that I had never seen it. Great movie, but it was awkward since he was interested in me and I didn’t feel the same way. He kept trying to cuddle and whatnot.

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I was throwing out all kinds of signs that he was not picking up on.

Eventually I decided to give him a chance, because being around him was better than being alone…as awful as that probably sounds.

One day he introduced me to the greatness that is Game of Thrones. That pretty much became the backbone of our “relationship.”

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I needed a new bottle of body wash and we needed something to make for dinner so we went to Target to get some stuff. Honestly, that was a really nice moment too; I had never really gone anywhere with a guy friend, up until that point I had only ever been somewhere with caregivers or my family. It was nice to feel normal, if you understand what I mean.

I’ve missed out on so many small moments like that in my life, being in a wheelchair most people don’t bother taking me to do things that other people probably consider basic everyday task…a quick Wal-Mart trip or going into a gas station. (I have only been inside a gas station twice in my entire 30 years of life.) I kind of understand that, people don’t want to get my chair out of the car and wait for me to transfer to my chair, when they can just jump out and run into the store or wherever really fast, but I’m tired of missing out on stuff…even the really small stuff.

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On the way to my apartment Drew said he needed to stop somewhere before we went back to my place, which was fine…until I realized where we were going. To chase Pokemon. (He was 33 years old at the time; like I said major nerd!) It was hard to let this go. I prayed that he would go away somehow in a way that didn’t involve any confrontation on my part.

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Later that night he started getting on my nerves, he picked his nose…which is bad enough in itself. (Why not go get a tissue or toilet paper, that’s just gross. According to your age you are a grown man.) He then wiped his findings on my bed sheets. (Nasty! Get out!) He thought I was asleep. I wasn’t. He was on Tinder looking for someone else…while in my bed; with me. Jerk. After he realized I was awake, he clicked out of that app so fast.

My prayer was answered right there. Get out of my apartment Drew.

-laurenmikael

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