Posts Tagged ‘personal’

I’ve Also Been Avoiding Finishing This Post

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I like to think of myself as quirky. Every once in a while I start to worry that my strangeness isn’t so much cute and endearing as a sign of an actual mental illness. But then I come here to the internet and find out that TONS of people are weird! And only SOME of them are crazy! Definitely not more than 60%. The rest of us are fine, really. No need to worry or keep us away from sharp objects and firearms.

So here’s the quirk I’ve found myself facing a lot in the past few weeks – I often suffer through something I dread and hate instead of fixing it, even if fixing it would take almost NO EFFORT.

Exhibit A: When we were still deep in Baby Evan’s constant puking stage (aka the first 6 months of his life) I kept a pile of old-fashioned cloth diapers around as burp cloths. In my stash was one weird cloth that must have come from a box of hand-me-downs. It was too big and not very absorbent and I hated using it AND YET every time I did the laundry I put it back in the pile. This cloth was free. I had 45 other, better cloths. I had no attachment to this cloth. WHY DIDN’T I JUST THROW IT OUT rather than spend so much time dreading the moment it was on the top of my pile?

Exhibit B: I HATE cleaning up the family room and kitchen because cleaning up means I’ll probably have to throw something away and the trash can might be full. MIGHT be full. Or close to full. Or halfway full, which means I’ll have to deal with it soon. This problem could easily be solved by simply taking out the trash…but I don’t want to. I just avoid avoid avoid dread hate worry avoid until E gets fed up with the overflowing trash and takes care of it. If E went out of town for a month I suspect we all might suffocate under piles of garbage. The saddest part is I don’t even have to go outside to throw out the trash – I can reach the cans from our side door – and yet I STILL hate it.

Exhibit C: My underwear drawer is FULL of underwear. I hate almost all of it. AND YET I will put on a pair I KNOW are uncomfortable and wear them all day as if there was a rule saying I must wear every pair at least once before I can repeat. I could easily solve this problem by just throwing away the old/too big/too small/too itchy/too pinchy underwear but I just…don’t. Instead I just dread those pink ones with the flowers that are supposed to be “boy-cut” but really just mean front-wedgie.

Exhibit D: I keep a lot of stuff that isn’t silverware in our silverware drawer. Serving spoons, the baby’s old meshie feeders, bamboo skewers, a jar opener. It makes the drawer hard to open and close because stuff is always getting stuck and every time I’m fighting with it I think “GOD WHAT A STUPID WAY TO STORE THIS STUFF. WHAT KIND OF IDIOT PUT ALL THIS JUNK IN HERE?” And the answer of course is ME. I did it. I continue to put stuff in that drawer and then HATE MYSELF for doing it. Why don’t I just put it one drawer down where there is room and I already keep other, very similar stuff? WHO KNOWS.

Actually, I moved a bunch of stuff to another drawer last week and now every time I open the silverware drawer I think “Wow, I’m a genius! This is so much better!” and conveniently forget it took me FIVE YEARS of living in this house to do it.

OK, now you show me yours.

Don’t Wanna

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Diagnose me, interwebs. I need you to tell me I’m normal. Or maybe just a quick kick in the ass and someone to drag me out of this giant hole of ennui and laziness I’ve fallen into. I don’t really feel like doing anything anymore. And I really mean anything. Getting dressed is boring. Going to Stroller Strides is too much work. Taking the kids to the grocery store is exhausting. Washing my hair is pointless. My diet plan sucks. Talking to people is hard. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I don’t wanna and this couch is so comfortable and no one actually cares if I get off it.

As a stay at home mom, I have the option to just…stay home. And lately that sounds more and more appealing.

I can complain about being So Busy with the best of them – “Oh yes! I’m So Busy! I’m on a diet and exercise plan, plus I’m really into making soup from scratch these days. And the blog! People are counting on me to…write stuff!” – but really? Besides providing basic food stuffs and making sure the laundry piles don’t get too high (and you know, keeping two children alive) I have no mandatory activities. So when I’m exhausted and in bed at 9 pm it’s my own doing. I’m not busy. I MAKE myself busy to make myself feel more important.

(Insert paragraph about how raising human beings IS important! I am creating loving, kind, functional adults who might cure cancer or fly to Mars or invent calorie-free dark chocolate! Now insert massive eye roll because all I’m actually doing these days is wiping butts and filling sippy cups.)

Lately, when we’re on our way to somewhere I start fantasizing about how I could just NOT. I can seeeeeeee us, all NOT DOING THINGS, and we are are enjoying it. I can feel my desire to be still and quiet pulling on me, whispering in my ear that my kids are too young to even remember these places so why bother? For the blog pictures? That’s stupid.

I’ve given in to my laziness a few times over the last few weeks and it is kind of fantastic. Kid’s TV for the toddler, stretchy pants and a Diet Coke for me, grapes and a teether toy for Caroline and we can all do nothing until E gets home from work. But it makes me sort of nervous because there is a fine, well walked line between taking a few days off from regular life and becoming a shut in whose kids no longer know how to interact with the general public. How deep can I let my hole get?

Also, my desire not to do stuff has also started creeping into stuff that’s slightly less optional, like dinner and laundry. How about pizza for dinner? Why put these clothes away when they’re just going to get dirty? Who cares if the half of the house we don’t use is a mess? None of the other people who live here seem to. And then a teeny tiny thought that says Why don’t you just not get up with the baby? You can let your husband do it. You can just stay in bed. He would HAVE to deal with it eventually. It only takes a few seconds for me to shake it off, but the idea showing up in my head at all is like having your grandma show up in your sexy dream about George Clooney. That’s weird, Grandma. Go away.

I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse, since the colder weather means fewer places to go (mall, aquarium, children’s museum, mall, aquarium, lather rinse repeat) and bundling up two kids is about as much fun as bundling up two rabid badgers. And when it’s snowing, staying home is allowed – encouraged, even! – so the people I see on a regular basis won’t even start to wonder where I am. Which might be nice for a while, since I can’t seem to hold a normal conversation without talking about my toddler’s potty training efforts or my baby’s habit of biting my nipples and NOBODY wants that mom at their party.

The irony of all these words is that I didn’t explain myself very well, but because I am so filled with ennui I can’t be bothered to explain any better, which might actually be the perfect example of what I meant in the first place.


Friday, July 1st, 2011

You know those people who have amazing personal style and do crazy things with makeup and ride vintage bicycles to local farmer’s markets where they make 5 new friends and eat jicama salads with hand-shaved Parmesan and triple chocolate cake but still lose 5 pounds while homeschooling their kids and writing an incredibly successful blog and then do some long division just for fun?

I am not one of those people.

Almost nothing comes naturally to me. The last time I was just plain GOOD at something without really trying was dance class when I was 11. My teacher said I had perfect feet and fantastic arches. If you knew how often I thought about that compliment even now 18 years later you would laugh at me.

Most of the time it seems like everything takes so much EFFORT. Nothing is effortless – it is in fact, effort-FUL – and it all feels sort of overwhelming. Sleepless nights, raising a toddler, feeding my family, keep the house from devolving into TOTAL chaos, buying clothes that fit, making sure I don’t have mascara running down my face (I usually do), maintaining friendships, running, providing fun and educational learning experiences for my children…They all seem hard to me, especially when I think of them all at once. Thank God there’s no long division.

So last night I added one more thing that’s going to take some effort, but hopefully in the long run it will make a lot of things easier. I went to a Weight Watchers meeting and signed up.

Despite my skepticism and my determination to find SOMETHING to roll my eyes at, I liked the meeting. I like the plan. I like the fact that I get to eat more because I’m nursing. I feel very hopeful that even though it’s going to take some work, I’ll be able to finally get back to a happy place where I don’t cringe every time I look in a mirror. Because although “eat less and move more” sounds easy enough (perhaps even effortless for some people) it is not enough for me. I’m going nowhere without trying harder and I feel like until I can be happier with MYSELF I have no chance at being happier with my life in general. And who has time to be unhappy with themselves when there are vintage bicycles to ride?

p.s. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a weight loss blog and I’m not being sponsored in any way. I’ve just heard good things and seen friends and family have a lot of success, so when my friend Cheri asked if I wanted to come with her I decided I had nothing to lose. Besides 50 pounds. So, yeah.

Don’t Sweat It

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Every couple of months, some morning show or women’s magazine or blog does a poll where they ask women if they would be willing to give up a year of their life if they could lose twenty pounds or if they’d take a 10% salary cut if it meant they could eat whatever they wanted and still be a size 6 forever. Invariably, more than 50% of women choose being thin. We are a vain society.

Personally, I would give up a year of my life, keep my 20 lbs and PAY 10% of my (imaginary) salary in exchange for dry armpits.

I am extremely sweaty person. I sweat when I’m hot. I sweat when I’m cold. I sweat when I’m sitting perfectly still. I sweat when I’m nervous. I sweat when I work out. I sweat when I eat. I sweat when I wear extra-super-duper-clinical strength antiperspirant. I sweat ALL. THE. TIME. It’s mostly my underarms but my hands have been known to literally drip. It’s disgusting and humiliating and worrying about it consumes at least 10% of my brain at any given moment.

The technical name is hyperhydrosis, but for me it’s just the suckiest, most embarrassing condition ever.

I distinctly remember the day in 7th grade that my friend Elizabeth sat down next to me at lunch, took one look at the giant wet marks on my gray baby doll tee and said “Whoa, looks like someone forgot to put on deodorant!” I had not forgotten. But I did die of shame right there in the lunchroom. I ended up wearing my winter coat the rest of the day and pretending I was just really cold. I never wore a baby doll tee again.

In high school, I cried at least once a week about my stupid armpits. I actually stopped going to church just to avoid the part where we were supposed to greet one another with handshakes because no matter how many tissues I balled up in my pockets my palms were always damp. The look on people’s faces when they feel your wet hand is about equal to the look they would have if you handed them a dead fish. I tried putting prescription antiperspirant onto my freshly shaved armpits (something that is strongly warned against on the bottle because of the HORRIBLE stinging) and it helped. A little. For a few minutes. My mom searched the internet and ordered these evil little machines that you strapped to your armpits and basically sent electric shocks into your sweat glands to dry them up. It helped. A little. For a few minutes. I’ve heard Botox shots in your armpits can help. A little. For a few months. But I can’t afford $400 an armpit just for a few weeks of dryness.

Have you ever tried shopping for clothes you can sweat in? Yeah, good luck. Here are the rules:

No tight fitting t-shirts. No cap sleeves. No sleeves at all. No small armholes. No lightweight fabrics. Nothing made of cotton. Nothing made of silk. No bright colors – black is much safer. Strapless was usually OK, until I had two babies and my boobs hit the floor. No fabrics I can’t touch in person to check for stain-ability. Sometimes when I’m not sure if something is “safe”, I actually lick the hem line to see if the fabric shows dampness. Shopping online is almost impossible. Bridesmaids dresses are a nightmare. When I was in college it actually wasn’t so bad – cheap, artificial, plasticy fabrics were popular and easy to find. But I am long past shopping at Wet Seal or Contempo Casuals and Ann Taylor doesn’t do a lot of rayon. Now that I’m nursing as well buying clothes is a NIGHTMARE. Almost all button down shirts are out of the running because they’re cotton or a cotton blend. Shirts meant for nursing are always solid colored and “breathable”, which definitely means it will show my sweaty armpits. And forget vintage ANYTHING. All the dresses have sleeves and all the sweaters are too close-fitting.  In college I almost never borrowed clothes because I didn’t want to ruin someone else’s stuff with pit stains and have them tell everyone. I haven’t bought an article of clothing bases solely on how flattering it is ever. EVER.

I realize in the scheme of things having sweaty armpits is not the worst thing in the world. It is not life threatening. It has not prevented me from getting married or having children or finding happiness. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It’s made me – someone who’s naturally a little socially awkward – SUPER socially awkward.

So if you meet me, and I’m wearing something really ugly and don’t want to shake your hand you’ll know why.