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  • Jennifer Zarifeh Major

Valentine's Day Tubes.

WAY back in September, I ended up in our local ER, or as we Canadians call it, "Emerg".

Pronounced "E-merge".

One of the things they said that day that I needed was an abdominal MRI.

"Okay. When will that be?"

Considering I had x-rays and a CT scan that day, I figured that the MRI would also be that day.

Ummmm, nooooooope.

It was on the 14th.

Of February.

(Also, NO ONE pronounces that the way it's written. Is the R silent in every English speaking country?)

As in, 5 months later! And that was only because of a cancellation!

Ahem, anyway, it was for 7:15am.

Yes, I got there in time, but after I registered, I went to the wrong spot. Then the nice MRI technician had to come and find me. I felt bad and apologized.

Then he announced that I needed an IV. Ummm, no one mentioned needles!!!!


Since both arms like to hide my veins, he had to use the top of my right hand.

And a few days later, the swelling is gone and the bruise is back to being brown.

It's a good thing that I look fabulous in purple.

The Tube of Doom.

Image from Stanford Health Care.

Then they told me to lay on the table.

Then they explained the procedure.

Then they strapped me in and gave me the "emergency ball", which was a panic button in a rubber ball that nestled in my hand.

Then I was rolled into the machine/fed to the monster.

Then I lost my mind.

It was LOUD, and tight, and all I could do was run through the storyline of the book I'm working on, count whenever they said "take a deep breathe...breathe", and try not to open my eyes.

I opened my eyes once and AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! That machine is TIGHT and the roof of it is right over the patient's face!!! I kept thinking "how would a big man fit in this!?" That, and in case of some epic emergency, I had NO WAY of freeing myself.

I was in a very very expensive tube and was at the mercy of the technicians. And I was VERY happy to get out and go home!

On my way to my van, I kept thinking, "I need a drink!".

But umm...

A) I don't really drink.

B) I really don't really drink at 8:45am!!

I went home and chilled, and consumed a bucket or two of Earl Grey and waited for my friend AWF, because we were hitting the road and driving to the exotic locale of Houlton, Maine!!

Hey, stop it! Envy is a SIN.

So while she drove, we chatted and caught each other up on our lives, and an hour later, crossed the border into the US of A. Our first stop was to pick up a parcel she'd ordered, then we went to the post office, and I mailed a couple of things, and then we had a great lunch...and then we hit Marden's.

Now, Marden's is a Maine legend. Their ads say "I should've got it when I saw it at Marden's".

*Okay, random favourite mascara is L'Oreal's Voluminous Miss Manga, which is discontinued. Silly, silly L'Oreal!

It's anywhere from 9$ to 20$ on eBay. Yeahno.

After admiring the nice boots on sale, and roaming and shopping and meandering through every aisle, we were close to being ready to roll...but what did I see?

>>> At least 30 packages!!!!!!!!!! <<<

Now, I do understand that finding The Lost Mascara is definitely a Privileged People Problem, I do.

Yes, this is just mascara.

No, this is not anything remotely world-changing.

Yes, there are plenty of other mascara-fish in the sea.

No, I won't cease to function if I have to switch mascaras.

But think of it this way...I got to have my own personal hide-and-seek game in Marden's, and I won!

I hauled 10 off the shelf, and considering the fact that I'd have to pay duty on anything over 25$, I put 4 back. I really should've bought all 10. Seriously.

So, what is the moral of the story here?

Well, I'm going to go out on the "I prayed for a parking spot" limb and say exactly what I think.

Which is...that in all the things we go through in life, and all the "big" challenges, God sees us.

He sees our teeny, tiny, temporal worries, such as mascara, and bigger more serious things such as the sudden realization that one can be more than slightly claustrophobic and never have known, and He knows.

He knows how freaked out I was in that MRI tube. How I just.wanted.out.

He knows I'm hanging on for news about my books, and that limbo is a soul-drying experience.

I've seen memes that say something along the lines of "If God could create the ocean and and grace it with a sunset, every night, He can sort your career".

Which brings me back to mascara.

Still wondering if I've lost it? Think of it this way, He created joy. He created fun. He created us to be creatures who appreciate the smallest gestures of kindness. He created us to feel. He created us to experience the sweetness of giving the perfect gift to someone who least expects it.

That saying "it's better to give than to receive" came from a pure-hearted soul who excelled at the art of giving, whether in secret or in public.

So, whether it's a bouquet of a dozen roses, or a bouquet of a half-dozen tubes of my favourite mascara, encouraging news about my work, or no news at all, God reminded me that of something so simple that I'd overlooked it.

He is always present, including in the "small things" part of "all things".

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