So, I’ve been quite brilliantly not writing near as often as I used to here for some time now. I’m perfecting this art I like to call “Ignore Your Blog Until It Dies.” I think I’m doing a *really* good job. Only, I keep popping back into frame and, you know, it’s because I love you. And because I like to run my proverbial mouth write. Also, a little bit because of how good you look in those jeans, and that you’re kind of slutty. But mostly the thing about how I like to write. Yeah.
I used to post something every day – and while I’m not interested in pushing myself to a “per day” schedule anymore, I do want to get back to writing more often. And because she’s awesome like that, Leslie (aka Mrs. Flinger) has been thinking of this whole “let’s get back to writing” thing, only she actually wants it to be GOOD WRITING (oh, shit) and after several email brainstorming sessions with a group of amazing women (I think someone added my name to the email list by accident, but I wasn’t going to rat myself out) there’s a little movement, or community, going.
So I’m jumping in. I’m going to take the challenges and post my shitty drafts in answer to them here for you to look at and laugh while you point and say, “this shit is supposed to be good writing? BAHAHAHAHA.”
Of course, instead of just being a turd, you could join the network and get your ass in gear, too.
Today’s Challenge? Embarrassing story.
And you know, I am having a little bit of difficulty coming up with a topic because I never have embarrassing things happen to me, and I never do embarrassing things. I have a hard time even understanding what this whole “being embarrassed” thing is like. I am poised, confident, and graceful. Whether by luck, chance, or higher power, I am immune to awkward situations. All of the stories of my life are calm, without incident, and there is truly a spirit of class and dignity that surrounds all that is moi.
Also, pigs fly out of my butt and there’s a unicorn eating rainbow striped cotton candy on my back lawn, right next to the leprechaun who is counting out all the gold he’s going to leave on my front step later today. Now, excuse me, because it’s time for me to go climb on the back of my friendly, neighborhood dragon and go for our regularly scheduled flying playdate with Peter Pan and Mary Poppins.
I am having trouble because I’ve already written here about all the most embarrassing topics that come to mind immediately. Like when my mother announced that I’d started my period in front of our male, European house guests.
Who do you tell? If you’re like me, you tell your mother. And you don’t enjoy it. But you get it over with, and then you expect it to go away.
You don’t expect to be washing the dishes after dinner, minding your own business, and have your mother practically float into the room on her Mommy Pride and gush about it to the two MALE, European house guests sitting at the kitchen table.
They speak very little English, but you quickly see that they have perfected that Creepy Guy Look Of Knowing And Thinking Ew Things, because they are aiming it right at you. Picture it, right now. If your skin didn’t crawl, you don’t know what I’m talking about.
She CLEARLY hated me. I was SURE of it.
I just wanted to DIE.
Or the story of my first pit hairs. Yeah.
I remember when I first started getting armpit hair.
I was mortified.
My mom? Was excited.
I was sitting on her bed, with my hands behind my head, all chilled out, leaning back. I can remember her noticing the armpit hair and pointing it out, smiling and gesturing. The expression on my face had to have been one of complete and total terror. She, on the other hand, was dangerously close to suggesting we should have a parade for my pit hair.
I could see myself on the lead Pit Hair Parade! float, my arms strapped up and to the sides. Large spotlights would aim at my pits and flower adorned arrows would be positioned to point right at the tiny hairs there, in case people were not aware that LOTUS.HAS.PIT.HAIR.NOW!!!
I slapped my arms down, and tried to change the subject, while mentally willing with all my might that time would just stop. Maybe God really did exist and I could pray to him right now to erase this?
Because it was embarrassing.
Or maybe you’ll remember when I talked about how I made sure that John would truly fall madly in love with me, one day becoming my husband. I had a foolproof plan, really. All you dating ladies should try this out on your man.
John told me that when we were first dating, he had an interesting experience. He was visiting me at my apartment in Winston-Salem, NC. We had been hanging out, laughing, having fun, etc. He had to pee. He got up… walked down the hallway, and went into the bathroom. Closing the door, he turned around, and lifted the toilet seat.
And witnessed a large, brown floater.
Sexy or what?
And you’re probably thinking that I *forgot* to flush. Ah, foolish one. Everyone knows that Surprise Shit is the way to a man’s heart. It’s either that or food. Or blowjobs. Or something. Clearly I’m an expert.
When it comes right down to it, a great many of my embarrassing situations don’t really stand out because they are the majority of the strands that weave the I’m A Dumbass Idiot tapestry of my life. It all just blends together to create the badass that is Loter.
So what if I’ve puked on the side of the highway in my underpants? Big deal if I drove a car up past the parking space and actually right into the wall of a building once? No problem if I leave my wallet at home when I go shopping, hold bows up to my crotch in department stores, lose my car in parking lots, say horribly stupid things to people in practically any social situation, walk into doors and fences, or melt my food processor in my oven because I was too lazy to clean it and instead shoved it in there so I wouldn’t have to look at it anymore and then forgot and preheated the oven for dinner while it was still inside, like a completely idiotic assface? So what if I write long, run-on sentences just because I like the way they sound in my head and think you should, too?
So what? I am still awesome.
And I’d love to delude myself talk about that in detail, but I really have to go now. I need to put on my magical, vanilla-scented Invisibility Suit and take my pet dinosaur for a walk down our gold-paved street.
I’ve always felt a little bit crazy.
When I was a kid, I thought I was “crazy” because I liked things that it seemed the majority of other kids around me didn’t like. I enjoyed reading, while they seemed to think it was a chore. I barely gave a thought to what my hair looked like. If it was clean? I was okay. I was more interested in climbing trees and building forts than making sure my hair smelled like Pantene. I didn’t always know what was “cool.” I didn’t always really care. I had a shirt that said, “Dare to be different.” I embraced that message. There was a tree branch on that shirt, and 4 owls perched from it. One was hanging upside down, and smiling. That was me.
In grade school, my friends told me I was “crazy” because I liked to act silly and question standards openly. If something funny occurred to me, I wanted to share it. I suppose it was already obvious back then that my “filter” had bigger holes than people thought it should. And my penchant for crass humor was already making itself known. Can’t imagine where I got that from. *shifts eyes to father* I cannot deny being called “the loud one.” Or even, “the annoying one.” Or maybe, “the OMG AVOID HER AT ALL COSTS one.”
In high school, I was always searching for something to make me feel right. All of a sudden, the “crazy” was more than just an oddity or a quirk. Something was missing. I asked myself often what it could possibly be. “Is it fun? Maybe I should not read so much anymore. Maybe I should do some smoking, some drinking, some partying. Maybe I should skip classes and flirt. Maybe it’s a boy that’s missing. I should get one of those, or two, or maybe three.” It all made me happy. Momentarily. But then none of it made me happy.
I pushed on into college and grad school. A young adult now, I was “crazy” silly to my friends, “crazy” ridiculous when I was drunk, and “crazy” bitchy and controlling to my boyfriend. Add in “crazy” anti-social during those times when I just wanted to be alone in my apartment. Which was often. I have always really enjoyed being alone. I think, maybe, because there is no pressure to hide exactly how one feels when alone.
No one is there to see how crazy you really are.
Over and over I’d have these periods when I felt that the “something” that would make me happy was always just a few steps ahead of me. And I kept chasing it, doing the things I thought I was supposed to do, following the plans that I was supposed to make and follow through with.
Every day, going through the motions. Hiding the anger I had at people as much as I could, pushing it down most of the time. Hiding the tears, hiding the sadness. Pushing on. Past the crazy.
My outward “crazy” was manageable. When the anger seeped, it was mostly rants that had a humorous edge. If they stung a little more sometimes than others, I could usually cover with follow-up humor. I never started fights, never hurt anyone physically. But the anger was always there. The sadness was always lingering just below the surface, too. Humor is often a cover for so many things, did you know?
“Just be funny. Just be ‘crazy.’ Then they won’t know you’re… well, crazy.”
Taking just a few more steps. To try to catch The Happy. And a few more, and a few more.
I put all my hopes into the things I thought would make me happy… my jobs, my studies, my boyfriend.
That was unfair of me.
No one can carry such a burdon for someone else.
That was unfair to me.
Because when you put all of your hopes for happiness into something else, or someone else, and then they fail you…
[And they WILL fail you because nothing can make you happy, and no-one is your perfect answer.]
… all you have left is the crazy. And you might try to get away from that, too, in the only way you know how.
Funny thing is, if you survive that, you might somehow still push it down and keep on taking a few more steps. Thinking that you can still chase down that happiness all by yourself.
I’ve denied to myself that I need help. I’ve told myself that I don’t really feel crazy. Not really.
I’ve kept telling myself that “The Happiness” is just. around. the. next. corner.
“I just need to take a few more steps!”
But for the first time in my life, now that I’ve been a mother for almost two years, I do feel like I’m actually crazy sometimes.
People: there’s this little person who’s running around in my house and he needs me all the time.
Even when I need to be alone with my crazy, he needs me. When I’m feeling distant, when I’m feeling weak… He’s there. And he needs me.
And he needs me to not be crazy. But he’s not giving me time to take a few. more. steps!
Somehow, that is making the crazy that wasn’t Really Crazy, you know, the one that I could just push down and ignore? It’s making that crazy grow. The angry crazy is leaking out when he needs me, and when he doesn’t, the quiet, sad crazy is taking over.
For myself, I’m afraid of the latter.
For him, I’m afraid of the former.
Why? Because every moment I need to myself, he is there. Every toy has to be slammed into my face. Abruptly, he will run up and scream right in my ear. For No Reason. He dances around because he has to pee, but when I put him on the toilet, he looks down at his penis, grins, and then shakes his head, “No-No-No-No.”
30 seconds later, he is peeing on my coffee table.
Some days, I am amused. This is what being a mother is about, right? This is what kids are supposed to do!
I know this. And some days, I cope with it all brilliantly. Some days.
But other days, I honest to goodness have to fight the urge to slam my fist through a window, fling dishes into the wall, or God Forbid, throw my son out the door or scream in his face.
And I’m not speaking in silly exaggerations. I am not trying to color my words so they will be interesting. I am not trying to spice up the page. I literally fight the Real Life Urge to ACTUALLY do those things.
So far, I’m winning, but it would only take one weak moment for me to lose something I may never get back. That frightens me in a way I don’t know how to express.
I cannot stress to you how much I would never, never, never want to hurt my son. I love him abundantly. I give all of myself to keep him safe and happy, every day. And still, I feel that I fail him repeatedly, because I have raged at him in my mind so many times. In my mind, I am a monster.
And sure, sometimes I raise my voice, even yell, and I’ve thrown a toy down or walked out of the room when I couldn’t take it anymore. Will those things hurt my son? It doesn’t seem like it, if you take any one of those instances by itself. But a lifetime of memories filled with those instances, for my son? I don’t want that.
I want him to remember me as the owl who hung upside down. Not the one who came screeching at his face with its claws out, or hid behind its tree and cried all the time.
It’s time for me to admit that I need more than prayers, extra sleep, or a place to write about my feelings. It’s time for me to admit that I need help, and seek it out.
I can’t keep chasing after a happiness that eludes me, always a few steps ahead of where I am. I cannot keep trying to hold inside an anger that makes my chest tight and often seeps and leaks out, hurting others. I cannot keep denying that I am exactly who I am, and that’s okay. It’s okay if I’m crazy. It’s okay if I need help.
I don’t know exactly what kind of help I need, but I’m hoping the doctor I make an appointment with will have some idea. I’m hoping I don’t just get dismissed again, like I have in the past. I’m hoping that with all my heart.
Do you think it just might work out?
I’m almost afraid to believe that.
It makes me feel a little bit crazy.