Friday, November 5, 2010

Why Rabbit and Turtle?

It dawned on me tonight while driving home that I've never explained why this blog is called what it is, and why I go by this alias.

First, why an alias? Years ago, when I was younger and stupid, I was on a message board and posted my first name and where I worked. Hello, large university with an online staff directory. Someone put the pieces together, figured out who I was, and emailed the chair of my department, telling them that I was posting on this site and what I was saying (just ranting about how miserable I was at my first big girl job, wah-wah). While I never got into huge trouble--I was "spoken to" about my extra-curricular activity--this really scared me. Someone found me out! (By the way, I never was able to find out who ratted me out.) I've always been paranoid about being "discovered" ever since. Some of you do know my real name, and that's fine. I trust you. It's more for the people who might stumble upon this blog and say "heyyy wait a sec..." I try not to post too many specific details about my life, which is a double-edged sword. Posts might be easier to understand or easier to relate to if I could use names or details. But on the other hand, it gives me a sense of security, even if it's thin.

How did I get *this* particular alias? (it's a long story, better get comfy)

When Turtle and I were dating, he was in a bad accident and almost died. I'm actually debating on how much of THIS to share, but let's just say he was an innocent bystander and was minding his own business. Initially, his injuries presented as very minor, but a little stomachache, followed by a random CT scan probably saved his life. A year later, thank God, he made an almost full recovery. This was after a few surgeries, an ICU stay for 3 weeks including a medically induced coma, a temporary but life-changing procedure, a tenure at a rehab facility (for physical therapy, not painkillers, jeez people! I have to make a funny somewhere in this seriousness), more surgeries (including one to reverse the life-changing procedure), some freaky scares including ambulance rides back to the name it, he probably had it. It was a slow and painful process to recover. He still has scars and pain, but for the most part, he's the same as he was before the accident.

Oh yeah, so how the names came about. The accident happened on Holy Thursday and he almost died the evening of Easter Sunday. Yeah, we get the symbolism, and it's really creepy, and Easter is very serious business for us. Moreso than it was prior to the accident. While he was in the "he'll be fine, he'll go home Monday" part of this adventure (before he got REALLY sick), I was putting a few things together in a little Easter basket for him. It was our first Easter together and I wasn't really sure what to put in a basket for a 27 year old man! Besides candy...

There was a turtle beanie animal (not a Beanie Baby) at the drugstore where I was getting the candy, so I thought, why not, and got that for him. He fishes and hunts and likes the outdoors, and if he didn't want it, we could give it to my cats. He didn't get the basket until months later, when he was in rehab, but he got the turtle almost immediately. I gave him the turtle to have while he was in ICU. He was heavily drugged as part of his treatment--his body was so sick/hurt that sedation was really the only way to help him heal--but I wanted him to have SOMETHING. The room was so bare and cold.

The turtle would become a metaphor, as well as a name. I'm sure you all know the Aesop fable. And when one is recovering from any sort of physical set back, you have to take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race, right? When he "woke up" and began to readjust to life after this injury, he was very slow. Even talking was difficult, since he'd been intubated. He said it was like the worst strep throat times 100. He couldn't really feed himself too well, as his body was "asleep" for 3 weeks. and pretty stiff. Everyone kept reassuring him that he'd get back to "normal" and that he just needed to take things slow and steady, like Tortoise in the fable. He had his little buddy there to remind him that he would get to his finish line, eventually.

The turtle was named Turtle and he had a lot of adventures, including going for rides in laundry carts and going for swims in washing machines! There were some near-losses, which freaked out the "real" Turtle. But he always came back to us. Now he lives on Turtle's nightstand, nice and safe and dry!

So...what about the Rabbit?

Hello there! I can get pretty hyper at times. I have a hard time sitting still when it's necessary. I can also be very impatient. I like to see results, and FAST. Tomorrow? No, how about YESTERDAY. Turtle's recovery was the best thing that ever happened to me in regards to learning to be patient. Just because the doctor said he could go home next week, didn't necessarily mean it would REALLY be next week. Oh, we have to wait for the infection to clear...bummer. What do you mean, my boyfriend doesn't want to hang out with me tonight at the hospital/rehab center/his dad's house because he's sick/tired/in pain/annoyed?

Also, looking back, there have been a lot of rabbits/bunnies in my life. I was a bunny for my first Halloween (like so many other babies, I'm sure), my favorite aunt called me Bunny when I was little, I was a bunny in my first/last (haha) ballet recital, there are some other instances, too. I also have an uncanny knack at spotting rabbits while driving, walking by a field, etc. Before anyone else sees them. While driving on an interstate, seeing them on the side of the road, nibbling grass. It's weird how I can spot them.

Although many years have passed since we acquired these names/identities/whatever, we still emulate them, but the lines have blurred a bit. (By the way, we've never called each other Rabbit/Turtle, it's always been more of "I'm being a Rabbit today" or "Remember, slow and steady.") I've slowed down somewhat (althought Turtle might beg to differ!) and Turtle's actually gotten a little hyper. I think the accident and recovery made him more impatient about the little things in life, only because he's dealt with serious situations many of us will never experience.

That's our story. I wrote it in two parts, so I think the writing is a little lacking towards the end. But I think the important details are there :-)

[Oh, another thing about anonymity on the web. We have a sort of built-in anonymity, as our first names are VERY common for people our common that I'm sure you can guess what mine is ;-) Our last name is a fairly common Irish one. I mean, my first and last name together are SO common that there are THREE of "me" at my eye doctor's office! Two at my dentist! But still, you can never be too sure.]

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