a peek into my crazy

Riding the city bus brings out every bit of my neuroticism.

Normally I’m a pretty confident, capable woman, but require me to take a city bus route – particularly downtown – and I become a nervous wreck. Something will go wrong, I’m sure of it – I’ll miss the bus, I’ll be at the wrong stop, the bus route will magically have changed and no longer go where I need it to (despite the fact that I’m looking at the route on my smartphone as I go), I’ll miss my stop, I won’t have the right change, someone will steal my purse, I’ll forget to grab my transfer, I’ll be held up at the dark stop in the early morning, someone awful will sit next to me and flirt with me, I’ll be late, I’ll be too early, I’ll run into someone I’d rather not, I’ll get lost when I get off, I’ll fall in the aisle, I’ll have forgotten to brush my teeth and the person next to me will die from the stench, my travel coffee mug will spill all over. It sounds ridiculous but in my brain? All distinct possibilities. And Metro Transit is not helping me out, either… for instance, stops are listed as cross streets. Friends, there are four actual corners at each cross street and sometimes there are bus stops on all four. How do I know which one? They don’t all have signs. I’m certain to be at the wrong one and watch my bus roar by. And God forbid I have to change buses! My heart rate shoots up just thinking about it.

Never mind that highschoolers and people who barely speak English and folks who are obviously on something all seem to be able to work it out. This gal here, with a college degree and a good head on her shoulders? Destined to be lost and wandering in the city.

It did not help, this morning, that the change machine on the bus wasn’t able to add. “Did you put in enough money?” the driver asked, and I smiled nervously and giggled and said “I’m pretty sure I put in $2.25” because OF COURSE I did – it was pre-counted at least four times and put in a labeled Ziploc baggie so I could put my frantic heart to rest before bed last night. Not that that helped me sleep. And now I’m holding up the line and everyone is glaring at me (why must they do that?) and all my worst expectations are being fulfilled.

But I made it.

And then I got off early. And since I only studied one route home at one specific time and stop (typed up in Evernote with precise walking directions and change counted out and sealed into another labeled Ziploc) I’m seriously considering sitting around until then. Never mind that it’s two hours from now. I can wait.

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option overload

Stress can kill you. We’ve all read how stress is a risk factor for every malady under the sun and while I’m sure we’re all enjoying our yoga, red wine and long hot soaks in the tub (at least I know I am) there is still so much more to deal with. Wouldn’t it be easier to staunch it at the starting point – before the stress emerges?

Which is why I shake my fist at food companies and supermarkets. Truly, do we need an entire aisle of cold breakfast cereal? It takes forever to wade through even if you know what you’re looking for – and Lord help you if you don’t. Organic or not? Healthy or sugar laden? With tiny freeze dried excuses for marshmallows or not? Reduced sugar, gluten free, with fiber twigs? Flakes, O’s, puffed? Blueberry, cranberry, banana, honey & nut, yogurt covered, apple cinnamon or plain? And then once you’ve finally decided there comes another last hurdle – generic or name brand? This is a vital question. Generic honey nut Cheerios suck; store brand Chex are A-okay. And if you make it home after making all those decisions and you don’t like it? Dare I say… stress?

Don’t get me started on salad dressing, soda, sandwich bread, or – worst of all – Starbucks. Never mind, I’m started. Half caf, decaf or full? Skim, whole, nonfat or soy? Tall, grande, or venti (and why can’t we just say small, medium or large)? With foam or without? Vanilla, hazelnut, carmel, white chocolate or some other? Sugar free or regular? With room or no? Coffee, cappuccino, espresso, latte, macchiato, or americano? And all this is AFTER you’ve already decided you want coffee, as opposed to tea or tea lattes or smoothies or hot chocolate or whatever other thing they’re currently pushing.

I can feel my shoulders tensing as I type.

It’s exhausting. One teensy tiny trip to SuperTarget (which, of course, has a Starbucks inside) can take absolutely forever, never mind that the operator on the red help phone line won’t even know what capers ARE, much less where to find them. Not that I’m bitter.

So, in trying to dam the river of my rapidly diminishing sanity… I’m going to the co-op where options are more limited (though who knows if they’ll have capers, either). Follow me or no but PLEASE for the love of God, people, quit buying fruity Cheerios and just get Fruit Loops – IT’S THE SAME THING.

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did I mention the bedbugs?

…probably not, since that was the same time that the rest of life fell apart, including my computer. Well. Whoever said “don’t let the bedbugs bite” was a complete moron because, honey, if those buggers want to bite you there ain’t one thing you can do about it. Not one thing.

Being the nerd that I am I had to reread Harry Potter before I could go see the new movie and I was sitting up reading beside a restlessly sleeping Olive. Her cheeks and arms were covered with red splotches the pediatrician had identified as hives, though we couldn’t find anything around she could possibly be allergic to (save the brand new dining table – which I cleaned & oiled in case it was the varnish!). Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little something moving and realized it was a small bug on the sheet beside me. I flicked it off. A few minutes later another little something was crawling up the page of Half Blood Prince and when recognition dawned and I leapt from the bed another couple teeny brown insects scurried behind the pillow I had been leaning on. Without a moment’s hesitation I started sobbing.

Little things had been eating my little girl as she slept, nibbling her little round cheeks and below those pretty hazel eyes! How could this happen? How did I let it happen – for nearly two weeks – before we figured out what it was? They had eaten me, too – while I traversed Hogwart’s they’d been munching on my shoulders and upper arms. It was 2 am and I ran in to Jeffery, still sniffling, and announced that we had bedbugs.

Thus began our saga of vacuuming, buying new beds and linens and pillows, spraying, washing everything Olive owns in super hot water and on dryer setting “high.” And it paid off.

…for a month. Then the sneaky little things showed up in our bedroom, and then in the couch. So, to illustrate our quality of life right now – all three of us sleep on the bunkbeds in the 2 year old’s room. Twin sized bunk beds. Mmmmhmmm.

And now, in these tiny lifeboat-sized beds, we wait for the magic that is the exterminator to come and rescue us.

Hurry, please!

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it’s one of two things

Either

  1. there is a repellent forcefield around my home or
  2. the universe would like me to keep a cleaner house.

This is all I can figure. What else would cause the last 5 people scheduled to come over to cancel? All for very good, healthy reasons – sick kids, car troubles, exhaustion, etc – but still, it’s starting to give me a complex. As J says, it gets the house very clean (all those things I always mean to do but don’t quite get to happen right before company comes – like, say, making the beds) and it provides baked goods for us which only our waistlines object to (although Heather, you dodged a bullet – I used a mix for a coffee cake yesterday and it did not come out well).

So, I’m going to test the theory and attempt to keep the house cleaner as a rule, and see if it keeps happening. In which case I can only say… if I invite you over, beware. Chaos may ensue.

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