Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's Time To Get Ill

Teresa recently posted a thought provoking treatise on a couple of subjects that run near and dear to my heart: .
I really hope she doesn't mind my linking to her; she is always more than welcome to do the same should I ever have anything to say that would be worthy or of any importance. Anyway, the reason for this post is that I wanted to comment on her thoughts, but my comments started running a bit long and I ultimately decided I would find a forum that would enable me to blather on and on. What better forum than one's own blog to blather on and on? That being said.....

Teresa is smarter than I. Teresa is more practical than I. Teresa can handle things better than I. She said, in a recent e-mail, that I either handle things better than the rest of the family, or I hide things better than the rest of the family. I think I am walking a fine line in between the two, handling and hiding issues as they arise or require confrontation for some reason or another. I know that counseling would probably help me. I mean, a short list of the things that have gone on in my life: mom died, while I was pregnant; had a baby; stayed home with said baby; then got a job, leaving said baby with others; got pregnant again and then had a miscarraige; shortly after that I started working full time, leaving my baby with others for longer periods of time; my husband moved to another city; I and said baby moved in with in-laws. That's the short list. Yes, I'm fairly certain some form of counseling would be beneficial. However, there are two problems, the first of which is really nothing more than an excuse, however truthful: 1.) My insurance would not cover it. They don't cover anything, really, not check-ups, or even Jacelyn's shots, so I'm certain my mental health is way far down on their priority list. Oh, and 2.) I'm terrified of what I might find out. That I might be told I need to take pills for some reason or the other. That I might be told that I am bi-polar.

I live in fear of beind diagnosed as bi-polar, for a myriad of reasons. Mostly my daughter, and then myself and the other people who are affected by me and my behaviour. I question my mental health, all the time. If I have a mood swing, I wonder if it means I am bi-polar. If I have a particularly good day and am in a particularly good mood, I can ruin it in a heartbeat by wondering if my behaviour and/or mood would qualify as manic. Our childhood, while sometimes difficult and most definitely different, was not horrible; but it definitely wasn't easy. We endured things most people don't have to deal with until later in life: parenting your parent, and so on. There were idyllic, Norman Rockwell type moments mixed in as well. Singing Christmas carols in the car, for example, while we drove around looking at lights. Eating cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning. Biscuits on Sundays, where the three of us would rather shrivel up and dehydrate than get up and get more milk, knowing whomever got up was bound to have to provide refills for the rest of the family. Arguing, in a good natured way, about who got the piece of bologna with the Oscar Meyer imprint from the front of the package. Eating dinner on the good china, even if it was just meatloaf and macaroni. Making our hot wheels date each other. Teresa's eavesdropping hole-in-the-closet-wall. Well, that's not exactly Norman Rockwell, but it's funny as hell. Splitting a bag of Doritos, three ways, Jen always getting the bag. Eating at Po Folks on Navy Boulevard on Sundays, before it became a pawn shop. Girl scout mettings. Slush Puppies. Puppet shows at church. That one Easter play where we were cast as Russian children and the only direction we received was to "look drab. Maybe wear gray, or something". Pretending to huff Lysol in the ladies bathroom at church on Sundays, merely to horrify Teresa. Swimming at Mr. Harry's house. You know, the longer this list gets, the more I realize maybe things weren't always as bad as they seem. There were bad moments, and maybe those stick out more, but there were good moments, too. Wow, I've learned something here today. Maybe I just need to reflect and focus on the good, when the bad seems to be looming.

I think I might experience the lows of occasional depression, but my circumstances and surroundings aren't exactly stress-free at the moment. I, too, know that I am not normal; as I said in a previous post, I'm not crazy, but I know I ain't right. But I'm doing the best I can to get by. Therapy I would consider, once I can afford it, or once it becomes a neccessity, or court ordered, or something. I don't think I am interested in medication. Residual effects from our mother's pill fetish linger in my mind. Maybe I'm doing ok. Considering all that's going on in my life, I'm getting by alright. Could I be happier? Certainly. Could things be worse? Most definitely. So for now, I will continue as I have been. I will keep my options open - there may come a time that I find myself unable to cope with whatever is going on, and when that time comes I will be open to counseling, or to medication. I'm not going to say never, I'm just going to say not now.

That being said, everyone has to find what works for them, and I am very, very glad that Teresa has found hers. I wish my dear little sister nothing but the best, in every part of life, and if she can and/or has found happiness, then my heart sings for her. Here's to you, Teresa, with your below-the-belt stinging kidney punches, your booger-encrusted purple coats, and your infinite wisdom. Thanks, for always listening, and talking, and just being an enjoyable person to know and love. The very best of health, both mental and physical, I wish for you. Life, love, and laughter in all its' forms. I raise my glass to you, little sister, (I will try to refrain from shouting, "EDWARD!" as I do it) and your bravery, your wit and your wisdom. Don't ever stop being the marvelous you that you are. Unless I tell you to chill out, which means you're being cranky, because you do get like that sometimes and you know I'm not lying. I love you.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Vicarious Guilt

I'll make this short, due to the magnum size of yesterday's post.

I like to think naughty, but act nice, most of the time. There is the rare moment where I act on impulse and misbehave with a fervor few have seen, but most of the time I try to act right. This is not to say that my mind is on the straight and narrow; indeed, it is as far from the straight and narrow as one can get. But I have modified my evil thoughts to match the tendencies and compulsions of those around me. And it's such a nerdy naughty. A dorkish dastardly. Example: when cleaning the bathroom I sometimes, with great glee and gusto, giggle while thinking about cleaning the toilet and then the sink, instead of the other way around. Some will get the utter heinousness of this immediately; others will not: I mean clean the toilet and then use the same ick-ridden rag to clean the sink afterwards, smearing toilet-germs all over the sink. I never do it, but I think about it, and then I feel guilty for thinking about it. So, in summation, I feel guilty for thoughts; for things never done but considered, however briefly, and with great relish. Then I ponder my motives: would I, in fact, commit this housekeeping atrocity if I were not also patronizing the bathroom in question? This adds a whole new dimension to the self-doubt. I am a boundless fountain of guilt; there is no end to they torment I impose upon myself for slights, whether real or imagined. The lesson here? I am hard pressed for one, short of "Don't be like me". That's some good advice right there. Or at least, "Don't be like me in this aspect of my personality and its' myriad of disorders". I don't think I'm crazy, but I know I ain't right. :-) That's enough soul-baring for one day, I think, and I'm certain anyone reading this would agree with me. Good day to all (by that I mean, both of the people that read this rubbish), and good weekend, and here's to a day (or better yet, a lifetime!) free of housekeeping-inspired anxiety.

A Tribute

I know a poet. A fine example of a human being in every aspect; a gem of an individual whose every facet is unique and beautiful. A beautiful and loving person that never, ever gives themself enough credit for any act, deed or triumph that may occur. To this person (you know who you are!) I say, with nothing but respect, awe and admiration for your abilities, your manner(s), just who you are: you freaking rock. Songs are written about people like you. Poetry is composed. Art is born. Interpretive dance is choreographed. Bluntly: you freaking rock, and you need to realize it. You are talented, in many, many ways, and are, in all reality, way too cool to hang out with me. So thanks, for descending from the clouds from time to time to spend some time with me. I am a better, smarter, and happier person for knowing you. Go. Write. Laugh. Play. Dance. Draw. Be the special person that you are. And don't ever change, except for that whole not-loving-yourself thing. Here's to you, dear friend. May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be at your back. May your favorite beer always be on sale. May someone invent fat free, sodium free, carb free, calorie free potato chips. May your cookies never burn. Be happy, follow your bliss, and I hope one day you realize what an absolutely fabulous and amazing person you are. Thank you, for all that you do.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I feel as though I need an excuse for blogging. I'm not in a foreign country, I'm not saving the world before bedtime. There's nothing extraordinary going on; my life isn't fabulous and frolicking. But I do have thoughts, and things to say, and enjoy sharing said thoughts and things to say with those that I love. So I will share the contents of my warped and jaded mind for all. I will try not to be bitter, or angry, although sometimes I will fail miserably. I will rail, and moan, and rally, feel woefully inadequate and greatly superior. I will apologize profusely in an entirely unapologetic manner. I will wax poetic, use bad grammer, and flagrantly misuse punctuation. I will portray myself in an unflattering light. I will be selflessly selfish. I will go on and on, as I am right now, until people roll their eyes. I will stop now. Welcome to my blog, I hope it doesn't suck too badly.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Trying Too Hard to Not Try

I hate fashion. I like clothes, enjoy dressing to the best of my rather limited ability and budget, but hate having what people think I should wear shoved in my face. I always feel that I am not well put together. I am a dress girl. One piece, no thought involved, just put on a pair of shoes that match (or are close enough) and you're set to go for the day. Dresses are onesies for grown-ups, sans the crotch snaps. Seperates kill me. I cannot match two pieces together. I have a few skirts and maybe two or possibly three blouses that are fit for work, and putting them together in a way that matches and is attractive is like algebra-I just can't do it.

I was never good at clothes, and for the longest time didn't really care. I wore jeans and t-shirts and treated clothes as a practical necessity, not ornamentation. Even when clothes were supposed to matter (school, middle and high), to me they really didn't. Then I got my first job and went on a limited brand-name shopping spree. I bought the first pair of Nike's I ever owned at the age of 17. That was it; I was working part time and making minimum wage, so the Nike's broke me, but dammit, I owned a pair of Nike's. Then I graduated to expensive underthings; my next paycheck I blew, completely and utterly, at Victoria's Secret. $97: three sets of bras and panties. Next check I once again purchased shoes. I couldn't buy gas; I had to go home for lunch, but I had nice shoes and some really nice underpants. My lack of fashion sense (or care, even) followed me through my later teen years and into my early twenties. I worked jobs that provided uniforms, I stayed home a lot. I continued my obsession with shoes and underclothes, but never really became interested in real clothes.

I certainly knew (and still know) what I don't like. One Easter my Aunt thoughtfully provided Jen, Teresa and myself with color coordinated outfits; sweater vests that were horrid, in Easter colored pastels that were verging on neon: pink, blue and yellow, with skirts that matched. We were all horrified; there was much belligerent discussion. "I'm not wearing that, I don't care who bought it", and so on. In the end, not wanting to hurt any feelings, I snipped a hole in the sweater vest with a pair of scissors and waited for Easter. On that fateful Sunday morning, freshly showered and under orders to get dressed, I plastered a woeful look on my face and took the offending outfit to my mother. "I can't wear this, mom," I said with a sigh. "The vest has a hole in it, see?" I heaved another sigh and let my shoulders sag; I was the very picture of clothing-oriented grief. "I'm so disappointed, I really wanted to wear it. Will you tell Aunt Rachel for me?" I got away with it that day, but the guilt, both from my Aunt and my own conscience, was too much to handle.

My current fashion don'ts (and these are my personal dislikes, remember, not advice; I would never presume to offer advice, on this or really any other subject): Ug boots. Hate 'em. No good reason, but I just can't stand them. Straight-legged jeans - I'm a bit full through the thigh-hip area, and if I wear anything other than boot cut pants I resemble an apple on a stick, or something. I try to walk a fine line between boot cut pants and flare legs. Flare legs say "teenager" to me; boot cut can be for anyone. I am at an age now where I am terrified of dressing too young. I don't like to wear flats, unless the shoes in questions are flip-flops or sneakers. I hate, hate, hate pantyhose. I would rather wear stockings any day, but I hate the thigh-highs with the elastic-they roll down in a most unattractive manner. I'm sure people have seen that granny with her knee highs rolled down to her ankles (who did that - some actress, on some show, you know what I'm talking about). Anyway, it's like that, only rolled up at my knee, puddling and pinching fat and generally looking rather icky.

I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. Or boxer shorts. Sweatpants are great, too. If I'm not at work I put no effort whatsoever into my appearance. I have a checklist: is it clean? If it is clean, I move on: does it match? at least a little? do the colors involved start with the same letter of the alphabet? Because sometimes, that's good enough. This is probably not entirely true, I'm certain there are occasions where I pay more attention to what I wear than most other times, but it's a bummy-kind of dress up. A higher class of grunge, you could call it. Example: if I get invited to join someone on a trip to Wal-Mart, after I have already changed into my nightclothes, I will say something like, "Ooo, hold on, let me go put on my good pajamas". To further complicate matters, I don't actually own any pajamas in the most literal sense of the word. I possess a moderate-to-large sized wardrobe of casual separates (maybe I'm better with separates than I thought, as long as I don't have to wear them in a professional setting) that serve as my pajamas. They are not labeled, but I have designated them in my mind as good pajamas and bad pajamas. The bad pajamas are for sleeping or traipsing around the house, only. They are usually stained from something or another; myself and my inability to not spill things all over, not paying attention to where I'm sitting and getting all dirty, paying attention to where I'm sitting and not caring even though I know I'll get all dirty, etc.. The good pajamas are really only marginally better than the bad ones, but usually more comfortable and/or attractive. I don't segregate the pajamas - I don't believe in that. The good and bad mingle, sort of folded, in a basket on top of my drawers. The bad ones probably skulk around in there, threatening to rub some of their dirt off on the good ones, who live in fear. There's so much drama in my life I've even extended it to my pajama basket. Sad.

I miss having a job with a uniform. Uniforms make life so much easier. Again, you have the question system to determine wear-worthiness. Is it clean? If so, does it need ironing? Does it actually need ironing, or a quick turn in the dryer? And then there's the dirty line of questioning. Is is dirty? How dirty? Spray with perfume and put in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet dirty, or by all rights should be thrown away dirty? And you always have back-up, so you never have to worry about it. Unless your back-up is dirty, and that's when you call in sick. Because calling in dirty would make people talk. :-)
That's enough ranting for now, although I'm fairly certain I could go on and on. I would call my style, or lack thereof, eccentric thrifty(?). I try to be creative. I don't mind looking a little retro. I'm not scared. So think of me, Sundays at noon, when I'll be at the Goodwill Thrift store for 99-cent Sunday. Trying, but not too hard. The clothes don't make the woman, right? I will leave it to my sparkling personality to overcome any fashion crimes that I may inadvertently commit. I'm shooting for, "Wow, she looks horrible, but she sure is nice". Awww. Thanks.