Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Cup Runneth Over

I was filling out my daughter's application for the North American Challenge Cup last week, a big international all-star meet for juniors that happens each year in early August, when I realized that forms just aren't what they used to be. Long gone are the days when a scribbled index card in your best imitation of mom's handwriting could excuse you from Algebra. Not that I know that from personal experience.

There were at least 20 pages in the damn thing, and it included consent to have their picture taken, consent to have their name published in the results, consent to travel, signing of USA Swimming's Honor Code, complete medical history, order form for swag, food preferences, passport info and photocopy, times achieved out of our "zone," coach's cell phone, emergency
contacts, photocopy of insurance card, and finally, notarized signatures from both parents. Why you need to have this notorized signature is baffling, considering that only a saintly parent who spent many hours in labor agony would sit there for three hours filling out these forms in the first place.

So up and down the stairs I went, printing out times that were swum in Southern California, digging up the passports, finding phone numbers of relatives, dentists, doctors, and her swim coach, making copies, and rooting around for the immunization log. Of course once I find that log, I then have to google (again) which abbreviation means tetanus because there are like three diseases that could possibly be it. Then it's on to checking on sizes of all clothing, and figuring out which clothing is still the correct size because it has totally stretched out and which is really legit. I thought I totally knew the gimme question, sandwich preference, until I found out that sometime during the last year "nobody" eats turkey.

So then it was time for my daughter to sign off on her pages, me to sign after her, (print name, sign name, date), and then the notary to drive the stake in the overkill machine's heart. And just to make it even more complicated, when I was filling this stuff out my husband was a couple days post-surgery for a repair to a hole in his eye's macula.

The surgery itself was quite clever, where a gas bubble was inserted into the eye to squish the hole closed, like a bandaid keeps a cut together until it heals tightly. But the macula is in the front of the eye, so the bubble needed to be in the back of the eye at all times, until the hole had a chance to heal. Whatever you do, don't google the macular hole eye surgery video unless you are well past dinner time. Trust me. The point of this digression is that my husband had to recover completely face down for seven days and nights, 24/7. He had a special chair with a massage table head-holder and a tray to look down onto. Also from Vitrectomy Rentals (talk about specialty businesses), was a double mirror to watch TV.

So husband spent most of his time face down, with a silver patch over one eye, looking into a double mirror watching every "guy" movie available at our local library. World War II, Westerns, Steve McQueen, and any comedy where someone farts or gets hit in the crotch were big hits. After another hour spent googling mobile notaries and getting nothing, I had the inspiration of calling our neighborhood realtor, who graciously came by with his notary book to help us out. He walked in only to find a house in complete chaos (a decline from our normal 70 percent chaos), a man with an eyepatch staring face down into a mirror, machine guns going off through the speakers, and a dining room table overflowing with papers, printouts, vaccination records, copies, and eyedrops. Welcome to our home!

Doing an extrapolation back from the face down man before him, whose parrot had obviously just flown away with the bottle of rum, to the picture on my husband's driver's license went more quickly than I thought.

Then it was bundling everything up, writing a check for our share of the trip, and driving down to San Jose to turn it all in because it was too late to mail as I had neglected to read the page about the notary before I began filling it out. And now it's wait till Wednesday until we hear if this has all been in vain.