As If She Had No Control: Day 23

It’s the power we grant it.

Why does he call me and just want to say Happy Birthday and then he ask me if he should buy me something?  Why do I freeze?  I mean, I had just spent all of that energy complaining that he said Happy Birthday in the morning and proceeded along sending me frustrating political articles from Reason and I was in a strange state of mind, but I felt in control of it.  I felt in control of my usual birthday sadness spiral.  I was going to mostly sidestep it.  I was going to cook pasta and eat apples because I knew I was busy, that today was my mother’s pet scan, that we’re having a special dinner on the weekend…

But those hormones, and being too busy to eat, and having my writing excitement have a wet towel thrown over by forces beyond my control, and somehow I start to spin.  It’s slow at first.  One of those tiny spout hurricanes.  I knew nobody at work would know and I sort of prided myself on not telling.  On being grown-up and not bothered.  Finally, end of day, when I left, I told the person I was helping I had to go because…it was my birthday and he could text me if he needed anything and he shook his head like I was crazy.  I’m not going to bother you on your birthday.  Of ALL DAYS, go, be, celebrate.  And I shook my head about and said, no, no, no, it’s fine.

And for a bit, it felt fine.  I mean, I have a boatload of people who said something on Facebook even if half of them only still follow me on the off-chance they can sell me on Rodan and Fields or give me financial advice, and a boatload of people who couldn’t possibly need to remember it’s my birthday at all and who I know love me and it’s fine.

It doesn’t matter, and won’t tomorrow, but when he said he wanted to buy me something. That he didn’t know what I needed, because I didn’t tell him such things. And did I want him to buy me something?  Hugs and to make me feel better and…he wanted to buy me something…just…something, I guess and I just kept saying, no, no, no, no.  It’s not important, not required.  I didn’t want anything and he shouldn’t worry about it.

And then the small talk until I said I just felt…bleh and bad and hormonal and not cool and we’ll talk tomorrow.

Suddenly, the birthday curse hangs very heavy and low and I feel, despite clearly being cared about and loved and told so by more people than I have digits on hands and toes to count, forgotten and maligned.  My sister even bought me tacos, more or less.  I have zero reason to go down into this pit of a place in myself beyond expecting to.

It’s just…why do this? Like, I know I’m not going to ever be the girl who gets surprise flowers at work or is whisked off to Thailand, but it’s my birthday…do whatever you want to do and don’t make me have to hint and cajole and ask for it to be special when I’ve just gotten started really wrapping my head around the fact that you don’t want to actually date me.  That I have no title, no position, nothing to share out and find validation from…I just get the emotional labor.  We’ll just talk and whatever else it is we do until the end of time.  So.

Okay, always the bigger can of worms than I intend to open.  I don’t want to think about anything really.  Self-analysis is overrated.

The Girl With the Plastic Cup

Nothing of significance happened today whatsoever.  But I didn’t mind it that way.

There was the late afternoon summer storm that is becoming the norm around here, and it only sort of destroyed the party I was at for our market, forcing us all inside the garage to eat chips and drink wine (and have the very not so enjoyable experience of drinking chip-flavored wine.)  I feel a bit disassociated from it and the people since there was a whole troupe of young people who are down in our area and volunteering whilst part of a church group.  They are labor and polite and everyone is charmed by them, and meanwhile I have been skipping the market.  I’ve been dealing with my own garbage and I’ve been ripping myself apart.  This is all unbeknownst to them. I am quiet because I am quiet and that is where I like to leave it.

So while I standing there in my awkward outfit, with my stringy hair and basically unmade-up face and trying to decide how tacky it would be to use my fingers to fish this tortilla chip out of my plastic wine cup,  it should be diverting dramatic irony for you to imagine that at this walks the handsome doctor volunteer, soaked by the sudden downpour.  Mr. Darcy, mutton chops and all.  Well, a sort of bony, aquiline Mr. Darcy in a t-shirt for a brewery once he finally strips off his sodden jacket.  He’s carrying a bag of tortilla chips.

Just as suddenly as he appears do my ovaries start to awaken and jolt in some kind of libidotrophic exodus straight through my belly.  I realize and reckon how really terrible my face is.  Since my friend who had the accident last year has moved away to Texas, I had sort of assumed that the best to hope for from the evening was barbeque ribs.   And after the power went out this morning – oh, huzzah for random brownouts –  I took my makeup bag to work thinking I’d find time to stop and shellac my face.  That time never came.  I took that opportunity to berate myself for letting myself get into this weird pattern of depression, this summer monsoon of the spirit, and tried to not stare at him too much.

He drank beer and smiled genially.  Apparently, he’s a nice guy.  I got blocked in at the table and as much as I tried to make an effort, there was no speaking to him even if I pulled out my best so fucking what if I look like shit devil-may-care attitude.  Instead, he was talking to the daughter of a friend, a girl who I support and value because I see something of myself in that she’s been thrust into puberty at a very young age and it’s undermined her in some ways, and suddenly, I’m a jealous, fretful wreck.  2 minutes.  Don’t know this guy’s name or story.  I just know, because I see perhaps 1 every 10 days, that he’s alive.  He’s about my age or within a decade and seems to be unmarried.  I eat my ribs and side-eye him for talking with this teenager who flirts so naturally and sweetly and for not throwing himself at me and for turning up with me at my worst.  I try to hear what he’s saying.  I can’t.  I can’t turn my head and stare at him without it becoming blatant and discomfiting for us both.

I fucking hate that response.  Makes me feel cheap and useless all at once.

I double check he’s not wearing a wedding ring.   What the hell do I want with this guy?  Why do I think he should take my hand and we should find a closet?  Who is he?  Why is he here? Why do I find his movie references both juvenile but refreshing?  Why am I trying to laugh at his jokes from across the room? Why can I not just ask, oh say, anyone…who the hell he is?

Instead, I retreat into the story, into the girl and the boy and their shadows, I’m commandeered by their emotions and so I let myself stop trying to seduce with this sack of potatoes I call a self.  Aloof and distracted and waiting for someone off-screen, Dr. Mr. Darcy doesn’t chase after me into the rain.

But, the rain had stopped well before I left to go home, and driving out I saw three brown rabbits.  Good symbols for me.  One was settled in the middle of the road and was not fussed when I drove up to it, rolled down the windows and yelled in the night “You’d probably live a lot longer if you got out of the street.”

Miss Impatiens: Day 20

So, part of this journal is this earnest desire to deal with shit as it crops up – inasmuch as one can deal with their own personal emotional baggage in 500-ish words.  So what’s happening now is that I am doing really well with the self-control aspect of this.  I’m not eating much carbs at all because I’m being pretty careful about what I’m eating overall.   I’m drinking more fluids, and working on more water.  I’m not doing 100% genius eating – with iron will – and the First Lady’s plate (albeit lopsided for my purposes)…I didn’t eat at all at the market today just because every impulse I had seemed just not quite right.   Like this amazing brick oven pizza they cook onsite and everyone was eating it and I didn’t feel crazed or anything.  I didn’t feel like a junkie needing a fix.  But I guess it was in that area.  I guess it was vaguely like an addict trying to figure out how they can negotiate in their own heads to justify having a little bit of what they’re addicted to and I had just enough backbone to say, well, if you’re not where you want to be and you said you had these goals and you’re frustrated as hell with your non-sensical scale – let’s not.  Just let’s not.

And it’s weird.  My friend was there, who I guess I only have emotional inklings towards when he’s around (classy, very class), and he was, true to form, very gregarious and kind and pleasant.  And I felt like there was something of a revelation that it was okay for everyone (EVERYONE) to know that I’m not eating carbs right now.  That I’m doing this for myself right now and as nice as it is to get free bread and pastries, or to run head first into a chocolate-dipped banana (ahem), it’s not forward motion.  For a long time, that wouldn’t be possible.  I’d downplay it and make it obvious that it was private and secret and nobody’s business.  I’d make it awkward.  This wasn’t overly awkward, even though I feel frustrated about having to have to do it,  it just was.  Like friends talk.

So with all of that as preface, I am frustrated.  I know numbers are numbers and I feel tighter and better and less googly-eyed and helpless to food impulses.  But the scale is wonky or I am wonky and driving me batty.   I want to feel that this is progress.  That this really measured and focused attention to how I eat and getting water and moving myself is not just sloshing the same 6 pounds around.  I want it to work this time.

And it is working.  And I am okay.  And it will take time.  And exercise.  Hard work.  And I don’t want to hear it, but that doesn’t change that those facts are true.

Today (at 6:44am, about an hour earlier than I usually weigh-in) 160.4
Yesterday: 158.6 – it’s either the scale or not enough water/salt.  Again.
Goal: 155 – June 15

The Red Wench

Fascinating.  It would not be a birthday in my family – at least for me – if there wasn’t drama.  I’ve come to realize though, and this will be rather TMI for some, that where my birthday falls is pretty much around the time where my period falls and sometimes what I mistake for a real, epistemological, soul-searching response to the way others handle my birthday and treat me is actually just the deep plunge of hormonal imbalance that proceeds the grand red tide.

Last night was wonderful.  It is not how most 27 year-old women have birthdays, but I’ll easily concede that I am not like most 27 year-old women.  We had cheesecake and some potstickers and veggies and small finger food and watched MST3K’s Werewolf and Annie and then I opened my presents and played Fable 3 which my sister got me.  My little sister and I got along.  It was silly and stress-free and I felt enveloped in love and kindness.  And this morning was much the same, lazy and interesting and talking with my aunt and cousin about books and having coffee and biscotti felt like it was reinvigorating my humanity.   Then I mentioned to my mom that we would go out to lunch afterwards and without reliving the whole stupid situation, she implied that she didn’t have time and had to go home and do laundry and I took her at her word and sort of curled up, disappointed.  Then when we left, there was confusion and apparently, she meant she was going to drop off this fake tree at our house and I thought she was bringing it to her house since she had to hurry home and apparently she wanted to go to lunch and my phone was muted because it was chirping and buzzing all morning and I turned it down and she was leaving voicemails and when my sister and I went to the Mexican restaurant and I happened to check my phone and call her…she was really upset with us since she was waiting at our house with a fake tree and couldn’t get a hold of us and all of a sudden, I completely absorbed her upsettedness.

I was so angry with myself for not having the phone on and missing my window to have a meal with her since we’re like ships in the night and tomorrow, I go back to being just awkward old me and it felt at the time, like the end of the world.  I started crying in the restaurant and had to pull myself together on the way home.  I had all these crazy birthday thoughts of expectation and loneliness and feeling like I was standing in the middle of the road on fire with need for affection and nobody’d bother to put me out or even knock me out of the way.  I felt her frustration with me, my frustration, my older sister’s kindness, my vague understanding that this was a very over the top reaction, and the feeling like I was ruining my own birthday with this bullshit that I couldn’t stop.

Then, of course, you get home and realize that, chemically, there was a reason.  I obviously played right into it, but, at least it’s not all my crazy head.

So, now I’m very glad to sit here with my thoughts and take a good breath and realize that I am right now, working hard on myself and I have to be proud of that.  That I am imperfect and I screwed up, but it wasn’t out of malice or to hurt my mother’s feelings.  And I’m pretty sure cramps are Jesus’ or the Great Whatever’s way of reminding us that we’re all touchable creatures.  We all can hurt and ache and make our way through it.  You can’t love without getting hurt and even without much understanding of what that means we will choose to pay that price.

I’m not without longings at the moment for affection and attention and contrary emotions of wanting isolation and actual invisibility, but I’m okay.   Not bad.

White Candle

This was my first day back at work after three days off (really only two and a skimpy half) and it felt a little bit like I’d suffered a weekend of amnesia.  I didn’t think about the drama or my inefficiencies or my failings or the weird people that are scampering on the periphery of my life right now.  And then, I pulled into the parking lot, scooped up my gear and wow, here is that drama in all its splendor.  If I care at all and sometimes I wonder, how can I ever leave when really one day is enough to get everyone’s panties in bunches.  I may be soothing to them to have around, but if I’m the only barrier between work-asplosion, that’s a lot of pressure to put on one carbon-based life form. Might just end up with a bucket of shitty swamp diamonds.

Guy from upstairs didn’t say jack today which I guess is okay since it allowed him to mutter loudly to himself in the hallway while I ate french fries and planned out how I’d give my two weeks if and when I ever (never) did it.

All that and I had to get our books done. Least favorite thing in the month and I did it.  I got it done.  Hashed it out.  I ate terribly as a result.  I feel pretty shitty about it, which is something. I could have been roadkill today and thus far, I’m alright.  I’m not crying or even on the verge of tears and there was the distinct possiblity that I could be in the first car of the Maudlin Weepiekins Super-Coaster Express.  It’s always my worst expectations versus realityand reality’s alright, you know.  I’ve been living in reality for a few years and it’s not done me any irreparable harm.

In that mood, I decided to get food at a far off restaurant.  Far off meaning a few blocks out of my usual course.  It’s not surprising that I take this opportunity to get ridiculously lost.  I swear.  So I turn a little early.  Like a block early and apparently, I drove off into the Hinterlands of suburbia.  Nothing looks familiar for miles and miles until all of a sudden, hot damn, I’m at an intersection not but a block east of my house.   What was nice was the absence of fear.  I mostly just looked at the Christmas lights like a tourist, secure in the assumption that I would come right eventually.  That there wasn’t a way to fly off the map and end up in Nebraska, and as long as I had gas, I probably wasn’t going to be murdered and stuffed into a packing crate.  And like a writer, I started imagining stories like that and about the people in the houses, in the warehouses, in this shadow world that perhaps you could only get to on December 7th at 6:00pm.

They don’t know they’re invisible to the rest of us, though, and celebrate with equally garish Christmas decorations on their homes and blast equally miserable rap music as they unpack crates of materials that build a world we would have never missed otherwise.

A Mensch, A Virgin and A God

I had genuine plans to write a heartfelt post today.  A state of the union address, if you will, about dieting plans, about the sudden and truly terrifying emergence of all these boys in my life and another one who wants to ask me to coffee and and how conflicted and actually angry I am about the whole situation and my inability to stop terrorizing myself over it and treat it like a grown-up or…something, and also about the soft, goodness of the day – my little vacation – a day where I actually did my hair and makeup and got out of the house and made something of myself before tomorrow crashes feverishly down on my head.

But I’m not sure if that’s going to happen.  As part of my day off, I finally got myself in the right mood to watch my show and it’s fabu-tacular.  I couldn’t get the internet to work at chez parents so here’s my copypasta whilst watching.  I was intending to write while watching the show in order to distract myself…but that wasn’t possible so:

There’s cat food in there, cat!  Oh gosh.
Watching Supernatural, finally, and typing away on my little laptop
Okay, kind of awesome, that. Kind of hot damn awesome.
I don’t know why I was so avoidant.  I guess I just needed this to happen at a certain time, with a certain light and .  MEG.
Yeah.  Okay, marvelous..I’m amazed by this episode right now and I’m not really talking about any of what I originally intended to talk about about and who knows .
I have had a very nice day off.  Sort of balanced in a way I haven’t been balanced in a while – writing, cleaning, playing, thinking about others instead of just me, me, me, baking, enjoying the season (I think a winter void of snow is fairly unexpected and entirely enjoyable.)
Oh, Castiel!  Oh, show!  OH SHOW! OH SHOW! Why did I wait so long, oh show!
——

Um, my needing to write this is being complicated by my ability to put together sentences.
Um.  UM.  GUYS.  GUYS.
UM..  GUYS.
UM.  GUYS.
Okay, what’s the deal with this shit.
UM.  GUYS?I feel like I’ve died all out on my own out here with this.  Definitely miss watching it with friends all of a sudden.

….

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post.   I can be pretty dang ridiculous when confronted with excellent television.

I still want that state of the union, but I don’t know what internal resources I can call upon to describe my absence of self-determination and the weird good impulses that are filling that gap despite my worst intentions.  Like I made all these cookies and just left most of them over there, because I don’t actually need a giant tub of cookies.  Or how I did pots and pans this morning despite no one telling me I had to.  Or how I didn’t go get miserable bad food to eat for dinner.

I just have to let the breezes from the wings of the better angels push me instead of thinking.  Thinking seems to be where the trouble all starts.