Code Brown

I have high expectations of myself. I also tend to excel in pressure situations. As such, when I was first informed of such a risk, I was completely unbothered and amused. The thought was so outside of the realm of possibility from a personal standpoint that it was simply absurd.  I control my own destiny at game time. In addition, I pride myself in having more self control and basic dignity than the average joe, so I was highly confident my ducks were in a row. Carry on with your nonsense givers of advice, I got this.

In hindsight it seems so simple and preventable. I let myself down and as a result will never be the same. There is no turning back and/or fully recovering from something like that either. I will never be able to retrieve or genuinely claim any sort of dignified identity ever again. Whereas I was once self assured and confident, I am now incredibly weak and insecure. Even the tiniest most basic of tasks has since become a mountain of uncertainty and self doubt.

It couldn’t have been more than a dime in diameter, maybe a nickel, I don’t know. The actual size is debatable yet sadly irrelevant. My husband tells me all the time that size doesn’t matter and he’s a scientist so I almost always believe him. What matters is the actual physical existence of something in time and space. The “now you see it, now you don’t” phenomenon still implies that someone actually saw it once. There’s proof!

I could feel it. I felt it, okay? I couldn’t see it but I knew it had happened. It’s been over a decade yet I close my eyes and still immediately feel the shame. Despite the fact that most feeling in that region was virtually gone, I knew it had happened. Maybe I’m a medical marvel, who knows, but explosive rocket-like projectile force out of a bodily orifice is impossible to ignore regardless of actual site specific nervous system sensation. Besides, the, “Oh dear don’t make eye contact” expression on her face immediately confirmed it. Her nonchalant and pathetic attempt to run off with the evidence without being noticed failed miserably. Does she even know who the hell I am? I’m not the type of person you pull stuff over on lady. I’m the puller, every single goddamn time! The fact that hubby dearest was cowering in a corner wishing himself into the invisible man to avoid any sort of confrontation was predictably annoying yet strangely unimportant at the time. The difference is I know stuff about him too. A tit for tat knowledge of unpleasant and humiliating personal traits and experiences feeds our relationship. She knows nothing else about me! This is it! You only get one chance to make a first impression!

I can tolerate a basic degree of bullshit from time to time, but blatant lying to my face regardless of the intent is not one of them. I asked her a direct question and she not only attempted to discredit my intelligence by answering dishonestly but went one step further and completely changed the subject.

“Meet your new baby Mrs. Veldhouse. Congratulations, she’s beautiful!”

I pooped on the table. Nothing else matters.

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Dear John,

In order for a relationship to thrive or to even be classified as a relationship at all, some sort of regular reciprocal interaction must take place in which both parties acknowledge and respectfully respond to the other person’s concerted and life sucking efforts to indeed grow the relationship. I’m a trier to say the least. I’ve never been one to give up on anything. Quitting has never been an option for me in any phase and/or aspect of my life, ever. It’s a weakness at this point. You lured me in with your sick promise of contributing to my overall self worth and personal list of accomplishments. Clearly I am the sucker in this scenario and you my friend are not only not my friend but a master of disguise. I see you watching me from every angle, growing like a tumor in every hidden corner of my existence. I hear you snickering when I open a door, any door, every door, everywhere. I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to connect the dots but I have indeed finally connected them and the picture it has produced before my very eyes is one of complete abandonment of my soul. You ring your bell and I come running, over and over and over again like an overzealous handmaid under your spell, desperate for self worth and importance. I let you swoop in and take advantage of my affinity for order and I am utterly ashamed of myself. Whereas your false promises might’ve once seemed incredibly sexy and alluring, you have become nothing but a complete joke and waste of time and space. It’s difficult for me to say that to you. We’ve been simpatico for quite some time, a sick codependency entrenched in a fear of the unknown, or what else might be out there for us, or for me to be more perfectly blunt. Rest assured, there is nothing else out there for you. I give you life. You are nothing without me but a lonely pile of stench frantically seeking attention for your pathetic and constantly evolving disgust.

Make no mistake about it, we are through. I’m done. Begging for attention at this point will get you nowhere. I see now that my life without you is one of hope and promise and projects that can actually be completed. A life that offers opportunity to be proud of an actual real life accomplishment and not one that is smugly waiting for me to accomplish it again five minutes before thinking I had already accomplished it. Get my drift? I am crawling out from under your grip and I can finally breathe again. It’s glorious!

I don’t love you anymore, okay?! I don’t know if I ever did and by saying that I feel like I have lost a piece of who I thought I was as a person. Love can’t exist without a ongoing cooperative effort from both parties you absolute soul sucking egomaniac. If you had any selfless awareness at all, you would’ve tried harder. After all we’ve been through together, you should’ve tried harder. Alas, it’s too late for us. You don’t deserve me. I am better than you. I have other things to do and while I am not quite certain of what those things are, you can be sure that today is the day I release myself from the pangs of guilt and reclaim my life. I fully intend to disregard you like nothing I have ever disregarded before. I will walk over you, on top of you, under you and/or around you without a damn care in the world. I don’t consider myself a vindictive or vengeful person, but the thought of you choking on your own stagnant pool of filth while I eventually run out of clothes and prance around naked in your presence arouses me like I have never been aroused before. I am alive and I am free!

Go fuck yourself laundry pile. I quit.

Identified Weakness

I can do a lot of things.

I can shoot a basketball relatively well from a short distance away from the hoop while not being guarded. I can peel the entire surface area of an apple peeling without breakage and/or interruption. I can remember birthdays of my grade school crushes on a yearly basis without fail. I can not poop for a week and still ambulate around somewhat normally. I can touch the tip of my nose with the end of my tongue. I can lip sync Ice Ice Baby in its entirety like a boss. I can pretend to be interested when I am in fact not. I can take a nap as soon as I wake up. I can avoid elevator buttons and public door handles and still manage to function in society quite well. I can turn my husband into a 13 year old boy by simply not wearing a bra. I can tell you the difference between your and you’re in no uncertain terms 777 times and you will still fucking use it wrong. I can use sarcasm and dark humor to hide emotional pain and anguish. I can be Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy in the same night without so much as a costume change. I can also give vaginal birth to three kids and still somehow love them immediately afterwards. I’m gifted like that.

Do you know what I can’t do?

I can’t put a bun in someone else’s hair. I’ve never had long hair in my life, which is kind of weird because I’m almost 42 years old and a girl. I’ve also never been a dancer or anything that would require me to even attempt to put my hair in a perfectly formed circular roll on the top of my head. Quite honestly, I think my personality jives more with the messy bun type of situation but I’ve never had to explore my affinity for the bun in any form. It’s a skill I have never needed or even remotely wanted to acquire in my entire life as a human being on this planet.

Do you know what else I can’t do?

I can’t put a bun in someone else’s hair when they are angrily screaming at me to do so. I have limitations. Tolerating shitty behavior, forming a bun on top of a head under pressure and not losing my mind when asked to do both at the same time are definitely three of them. Not to mention the 13 bobby pins that are doing absolutely nothing to help ease my pain. All of a sudden I hate myself. More importantly, in 2.5 seconds she is going to see them poking out at every angle and shit is going to get real.

Serenity now!

Fuck picture day.

Gut check time

She wants to “walk around downtown.”  What the hell does that even mean these days?  It’s probably some middle school code language for something not good, or even bad.  How would I know, I’m 41 (i.e. not cool anymore).  I barely even remember middle school let alone the exact methods I used to snow my parents into thinking I was actually just going to “walk around downtown.”  Regardless, there was no getting away with much of anything in the town I grew up in.  It had 3 streets.  And 2 cops.  My friends and I literally had to walk past my own house at least five times during the walk just to make it not seem weird and/or suspicious to the locals that we were walking up and down one street all night long.  Not to mention the fact that my parent’s business was on the corner of main street, right by where the stop light would be if the town ever decided to put one in.  Walking around downtown during business hours meant literally waving to my Mom and Dad through the giant glass windows that faced main street as they greeted and then served their valued and loyal customer who two minutes before I walked past the window had already told my parents, “I just saw Jill walking around downtown.”  

To make matters worse, her genes sadly work against her in this department.  Her dad was a little shit when he was a kid.  Damn him.  And damn karma.

“All my friends get to do it Mom.” 

Well that’s just great.  They clearly have horrible parents, or no parents at all, or really stupid parents.  I am not stupid and this ain’t my first rodeo.  She doesn’t know what I know.  If she did, she would understand my reservation to let her do anything outside the boundaries of our home without parental supervision from now until the end of time.  I’ve been schooled before by the universe’s random acts of unkindness bullshit.  Really shitty things can happen to really undeserving people through zero fault of their own and that’s all I’m going to say about that.  I am on to the universe and it’s shenanigans.  My kids are off limits.  I got my dukes up, eyes in the back of my head, and a delusional sense of control that you can pry from my dead hands someday.  I actually dare you.

My children should be grateful to have such a caring and loving mother, not annoyed that I probably just saved their life by saying no to each and every request that may or may not pose danger.   Damn the universe and damn trustworthy and responsible children around the world that give their parents absolutely no reason to say no to an age appropriate request.

She’s going to “walk around downtown” today after school with her friends.

And I am going to spy on her.

I’m kidding…

Or not.

Metaphorically speaking

I don’t know why I’ve let it go on for so long.  I know better.  As a rule, the longer I let things fester, the worse things get for everyone involved.  Truth be told, I don’t even think they want to be here anymore.  They have to know how I feel about them.  I’m not sure I ever really liked them nor do I remember what the hell possessed me to bring them home at separate and unrelated moments in history in the first place.  They don’t even go together, each one silently repelling the other while projecting negativity all around.  I want to start over, but how?  So many things rely on them.  Oh, they’d love nothing more than to think this is all about them, but I have news for those soul sucking egomaniacs.  It’s not.  They would’ve been long gone by now if it wasn’t for my inability to think outside the box.  Change is hard for me.  Almost as hard as big decision making.  Both require a certain skill set that I have yet to attain, despite really needing/wanting it.

I’m pretty sure I hate them at this point.  I’m not proud of it.  I for sure hate myself for not standing up to them and what they represent.  Stagnation.  Indifference.  Boredom.  Regret.  One has a giant fucking snowflake on it okay?  It’s almost April.  No one wants to look at a giant fucking snowflake anymore, even if it’s really pretty.  Sadly, that’s the best one of the bunch and I’d be a complete dick if I get rid of the best one first.  The fact that I couldn’t have cared less to pack it away with its chipper seasonal friends a few months back speaks volumes, but that ship has sailed.  I went all in on the complimentary fucking snowflake because it made sense at the time and prevented me from confronting the real problem.

Then there’s the big guy who clearly missed the memo that burnt orange is definitely not what all the cool kids are doing anymore.  Even I know that and I own one purse.  Let me tell you something else about Mr. Ginormous Eyesore.  He scares the living shit out of me, okay?  I’m not sure I have the balls to even get near him without surgical gloves and/or a long stick at this point.  Ugh. 

The middle one is a great big sad and pathetic story of its own.  What used to be sparkly and full of intrigue, now appears weathered and dull and completely insignificant.  Truth be told, no one would even notice if it was gone, poor thing.  Its personality has literally been chipped away over years of misuse to reveal an abrasiveness I never thought possible.  It hurts and I don’t know what the hell happened.  It used to be my favorite one.  Yes, I pick favorites.  Sue me.

Let’s assume for a moment that I can actually go through with replacing them.  What if I make the wrong decision?  What if they don’t get along with the ceramic elephant in the room?  I can’t get rid of the elephant in the room.  He’s symbolic and he has a name.  It’s Gustavo.   The whole return process and thought of starting over at square one is so unbelievably exhausting that I honestly don’t think I have the stamina to recover from something like that.  I know my limits and pointless running around from place to place with nothing to show for it at the end of the day is definitely one of them.  I’d rather take a nap.  Doing things that don’t matter have become highly bothersome.  It’s hard to care.

That said, it’s not like it’s a bedroom or the office where I can just close the door and no one will be the wiser.  There is no door.  It’s the living room for fuck sake!  People will notice and then draw conclusions regarding my personality, general appeal, and overall worldly significance.  What does Jill bring to the room?  Am I bright and cheery, purple and mysterious, brown and feckless, white and crazy?  It’s a giant fucking snowflake and it’s almost summer!  You do the math.

I need new throw pillows.  Whatever.

Royalty

There are certain things/procedures I swore I would never voluntarily choose to undergo and this one definitely tops the list.  Things happen though.  Time has a way of passing us by in a flash until all we are left with are memories of youthful days gone by.  Days when little to no maintenance was required to simply just be.  Like many ignorant souls before me, I took that for granted.  I now have to pay the price.  As I sit her typing this very sentence, I reflect on my decision to move forward and examine the process that led to my current state of swollenness and regret, accompanied only by a lingering and diffuse pain so widely disproportionate to the site specific problem area that nothing in the world makes sense to me anymore.

Call it a sixth sense or whatever, but I had a feeling going into it that it would be bad.  Who comes up with this stuff anyway?  Regardless, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t the kid with baby soft skin and three pimples playing dress-up in a white coat and the cascade of emotions that immediately followed our introduction.  He couldn’t possibly be ready for something like this!  Someone else was surely coming in.  Where was his mother?  Why was he asking me to verify my birthday?  That’s none of his damn business.  It’s Tuesday.  He should be in school!

Then it hit me, like 41 bolts of lightning into the chair I was reclined and lying defenseless in below.  No one else was coming.  Furthermore, that overly confident toddler over there sharpening his tools was my surgeon and I am old enough to be his mother.  In one fell swoop, the world as I knew it and my place within it seemed implausible and foreign.  Newsflash granny!  He’s not young.  You’re old.  Not old old, but old enough to now require routine procedures performed by a kid half your age designed to fix problem areas that have simply worn out because of the aging process alone.  Ugh.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.  I go above and beyond with daily routine practice to specifically avoid shit like this.  Furthermore, I refuse to be the exception to the rule unless it involves lottery tickets or extended family gatherings.  Here’s a random idea!  Why don’t we all take turns side swiping each other with one of grandma’s old cast iron frying pans.  You know, the ones you can’t even buy anymore without some sort of special permit because they double as weapons.  At least in that scenario I’d have an outside mark to account for my pain.  It’s definitely a stretch, but maybe in that instance if I were to desperately plead to my children to refrain from behavior that would require me to raise my voice because mommy’s face hurts so unbelievably bad when she speaks they would actually listen to me because well, I would have a visible welt and maybe (God willing) a gaping wound to show for it and not just be standing there like an idiot with a bruised ego and face that could double as half a chipmunk.

I digress.

It hurts to talk.  The involved postoperative tissue stretches out when I open my mouth, even just a little bit, and this is very uncomfortable.  Furthermore, the intensity of discomfort directly correlates to my voice volume.  I explained this to them in no uncertain terms.  I just don’t want to yell.  Is that too much to ask?  In the whole scheme of life, I don’t think so.  The only expectation is to behave in a manner that doesn’t warrant yelling from an outside party.  They don’t have to be perfect.  I am capable of restraint and gentle reminders.  I am not a monster.  But repeated poor behavior at some point leads to yelling.  It’s simple math.  Do they like it when I yell?  Do they want to be the direct cause of my pain?  Why can’t they exist in the same space for five minutes without an on-call crisis intervention unit awaiting in the wings?  It’s not that they don’t care about me.  They are not monsters.  They just don’t all care about me at the same time.  With three of them, this leaves room for multiple scenarios of non-caring and poor judgment and thus more yelling.

I really shouldn’t be taking this out on them.  They are not programmed to give a shit yet about much of anything besides their own immediate gratification and/or whose turn it is to pick out the next new box of band aids.  I get it.  Someday their concern for my well-being will be sincere.  They will ask me how my day was and genuinely care that I found it quite bothersome that the man-child who I swear was playing the clarinet at my daughter’s middle school band concert last week just performed minor senior citizen surgery on me like a goddamn champ.  He was so professional and caring and only a tiny bit condescending…

“Are you sure you still feel that?  It’s unusual to still feel it at this point.”

And I was like, “Yep.  That’s why I jumped off the table just there.”

And he was like, “Oh I’m so sorry, do you need a break?  Maybe we should reschedule?”

And I was like, “I’ve had 3 kids okay?  One almost without an epidural.”

And he was like, “Okay, well, uh, are you sure ma’am?  I haven’t had to do this in a while.”

And I was like, “You’re ten years old.”

And then I was like, “O.M.G.  He thinks I’m a fragile old person!”

And he was like, “You’re doing a great job.”

And I was like, “I’m so proud of you.”

Extreme pain and shock kicked in shortly thereafter.

There will definitely be a bill.  I was also promised a crown in a couple of weeks for good behavior.  My kids will be so jealous.

Geriatric or not, I’m going to be a queen.  Nothing else matters.

 

 

 

Mr. Teddy and Me

It’s 11:00 in the morning and I just woke up from a nap.  I did it yesterday too.  It wasn’t so much a nap as it was hiding under the covers in a shivering ball of uncertainty for an hour or so, but surprisingly a mid-morning nap sounds less pathetic, so I’ll stick with that.  It’s where I generally go to think when there is big thinking to be done.  Let’s face it, if there was ever a time for a big idea, yesterday would’ve been it.  Or today.  Pretty soon it will be tomorrow and the expectation will be for something even bigger.  A gigantic idea.  What if tomorrow passes and it becomes the next day and I still haven’t even formed a micro idea.  Before I know it, it’ll be the weekend AND NOTHING EVER GETS DONE ON THE WEEKEND!  What if too much time passes and the mere idea that I might have a big idea disappears like the trash on garbage day, never to be seen or heard from again?  What if I already literally threw something away that would’ve inspired my big idea?  That’s it!  I’m going to start saving everything!  That’ll definitely help.  More clutter will provide more possible inspiration for ideas.  Brilliant idea!

Maybe it’s the complete darkness underneath the covers that’s inhibiting my big idea?  That’s plausible.  Maybe I should open the blinds or consider turning the side table lamp on low?  Maybe I need an actual light bulb on to have an actual light bulb moment?  What an idiot idea.  The light stays off.

Thank God.  I look terrible.

Maybe I should weed out the bad ideas first and start thinking about the things I definitely do not need, like a hug.  Trust me.  Someone tried it.  He almost died.

Maybe it’s the sudden lack of daily structured chaos?  Empty space and time with no clear direction.  I am not doing laundry.  Laundry is not a big idea, nor is it the first thing I want to tell people I did with my alone time.  I will sit here upside down in my bed tangled up in a ball of sweaty sheets FOREVER (until the kids get home) before I start doing laundry.  Oh look, Mr. Teddy!  How’d you get down here?  Why do you always smell so weird?  Why am I talking to you?

It’s the kid thing.  They’re gone.  Left on the bus yesterday morning one by one by one (even the littlest one this time) with their eager smiles and crazy ambitions ready to embark on a new school year with overwhelming zeal.  I smiled, gave them all a hug, saw them off on the bus, waved until they could no longer see me, and proceeded to swim home in a sea of ugly tears, alone.

“Get up!,” I thought.  “Do something!  You have no excuse to not do something now!  Take a bath.  Read a book.  Search your soul woman!  Opportunity awaits!”

Nothing.

I don’t know what to do.

It’s too quiet.  I followed a housefly into the next room simply to have an annoying sound within earshot, just like the good old days (yesterday and every day before that times infinity).

I miss them.  What the hell is wrong with me?