Wed 07 December 2016


Homework She Lived in a Shoe

The Orange County Press Club. And BlogCrush. Tonight. I really, really want to go…but there’s homework…and excuses.

At least that’s what they feel like. I want to go to this event. I want to try once more and pretend that I don’t have an increasingly growing social phobia, or that the words haven’t been freezing in my soul once more since summers end. Gather In between the anxiety, I look at the lives that social media allows to happen in front of me now and I seem to spend just enough time watching them to be filled with the fuel of envious self-loathing before I make myself pull the plug and try and really assess what’s happening here.

Are their lives really much better than mine?  If they are, what choices are they making differently?  Should I just continue the self-flagellation of that old saw that I’m making excuses while they’re making it happen?

If that’s true, then I wouldn’t let the fact that my niece called yesterday to tell me that she’d had a relapse in her sobriety stop me. That she’d had to leave her current program and could she drop off some personal items at my house while she figured out how to regroup and walk towards a future without self-destruction.

And I wouldn’t let the fact that we both know that the son and daughter we have come to share will need to be out of the house while she does this because our daughter has been equally destructive and filled with rage she does not know how to process this week. Some weeks are a little better…and some weeks are truly terrible, terrible events, filled with little sleep and wildly uncontrolled behavior and screaming, demon-possessed, somebody fetch me a priest, day and night rages.

If I really wanted to go I wouldn’t use the fact that my 3rd graders teacher, in what might be the most sadistic gesture by a teacher yet, has assigned a report about his first “Ancestor” to arrive in the country (this happens to be my mother) which is due tomorrow. It’s not the report that I object to; it is the fact that buried in the fine print of the assignment is the fact that he must make a doll of that “Ancestor” to accompany the report.  Do we really need to balance out his education by improving his doll-making skill set? I hate the Pilgrims sometimes.

For a few tired hours my brain has tossed back and forth between two solutions to get this item off my list.  I could quickly sew together a rather misshapen muslin headed thing and let him draw a face on it with a sharpie, or I could run to Target and look for a Barbie that resembles as closely as possible a slightly more glamorous version of Laura Petrie from the Dick Van Dyke Show, which is pretty much what my mother looked like when she arrived here in her early 20’s from Australia.

In the end, an unrelated phone call investigating religious solutions for my 6-year-old daughter (she clearly wants to attend church and so I am making it my business to get that for her and support it. I can be a potential atheist on my own time) prompted a friend’s husband to jar my brain out of 3-D thinking. So simple really, but I am still getting woken up 4 and 5 times a night, so I would never have come up with it. He will now draw a “paper doll” of his GrandMarsha and cut it out. I love solutions…and I wonder they’ll take it the wrong way when I include the part about the savage Indian attacks she endured in a passive-aggressive expression of defiance for the doll making assignment.

If I really, really wanted to be out making a career and being fulfilled I would not allow myself to use the fact that children have gymnastics and water polo today, and that I feel especially compelled to make sure that they get there since we opted out of baseball practice yesterday due to the fact that my three 11 year olds seem to be dangerously close to turning in the dumbest science projects in their class, despite their readily-apparent native intelligence.

I really want to go. I want to not look as disappointing as I look compared to those other women who are not letting their equally challenging lives stop them from taking advantage of the opportunities that are coming their way and using them to make even more wonderfully wonderful opportunities.

I really do want to go, but even if I did, I’m afraid that I would do that thing where I freeze up and drift desperately to the fringes to lurk in paranoid shame, even when I don’t know why I’m doing it…just like the last time. But in a fantastic gesture of hope, me and Xanax want to try once more to put on our “normal” suit and be part of the thing that interests us.


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