Quite the Week

Without going into details, I have been having what can only be described as Quite the Week.

It’s weeks like this that make me lay in bed awake at night, thinking of weeks past that I thought had gone poorly, and just laugh and laugh and laugh at my former self that thought her worst week was the week that she felt left out at a putt-putt golf outing, or the week she accidentally befriended a homeless person and then accidentally helped him commit a crime. (That actually happened. That week was also very intense.)

But the problem now is that, as I believe I have mentioned before but am too lazy to go back into my archives and link to, I have completely and totally lost the ability to relax. Never exactly a laid-back person to begin with, having children and a stressful job has pretty much rid me of all vestiges of the ability to just chill the fuck out.

I mean, I know what I am supposed to do, in theory– lay down! Read a book! Take a bath! Drink too much beer and stalk old friends on Facebook! But when I try to do those things, a very loud and persistent alarm immediately begins sounding in my head: WARNING! WARNING! LAUNDRY IS GOING UNFOLDED AND I GUESS YOU FORGOT YOUR EMPLOYEE REVIEWS WERE DUE TODAY WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM WHY ARE YOU LYING DOWN ARE YOU DYING BECAUSE YOU CAN NEVER LAY DOWN AGAIN UNTIL YOU DIE!

(I just now remembered when writing that review that my employee reviews really are due today. That’s distressing.)

I’m assuming I can’t be the only person who lost the ability to chillax upon entering adulthood. Otherwise, there would be no bitter, Type-A women to unthaw with ukulele music in romantic comedies. Is there anyone among you who found your way back to relaxation? Can you tell me the path? Do they sell wine on the path? Is wine the path?

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Driven insane

Anyone who has known me more than a few days knows that I have two irrational but very strong fears:

  1. Sandwiches
  2. Driving in strange places

I don’t even know what to tell you about the sandwiches situation– they just freak me the fuck out. I just feel like with bread and meat and cheese and vegetables and some sort of slimy mayonnaise situation, there is WAY too much going on, and my fight or flight reflex kicks in and suddenly I’m karate-chopping sandwiches out of people’s hands and then running to the bathroom so I can lock myself in a stall and eat the small baggie full of nuts that I brought to sustain me if sandwiches were the only lunch option. (I have literally done this last part when on a business trip. I brought nuts from home, to a meeting a thousand miles from my house, just in case there were sandwiches. And you know what? I still count that as one of my most savvy business moves to date.)

The driving issue at least makes a little more sense– but only a little. I used to be terrified that I would get lost, and would somehow never find my way back to my destination, and would just have to start a new life in whatever place I found myself, but the invention of the GPS put a stop to that, for the most part. There are still those ominous moments when my British butler-voiced GPS stammers “RECALCULATING… RECALCULATING…” for far longer than one would expect him to need to figure out how to get back to the road I just turned off. Or, even worse, when he just gives up and shouts “MAKE A U-TURN!”, as if the route I have chosen is so bad that I just need to turn around and go straight back where I came from, because I am a menace and must be kept off the road at all costs.

I am also deeply afraid of encountering construction, as I inevitably always do the exact wrong thing. I once drove THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF AN ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION SITE on the freeway for several miles, just because it was dark out and kind of rainy and I was zoned out and probably really into my mix CD and was just following the guy in front of me, which was bad, because he turned out to be a dump truck. Needless to say, this was very harrowing, and now even the hint of an orange barrel gives me agita.

So I was pretty proud of myself this morning, when, faced with massive traffic jams on both of the major freeways I could have taken to work, I threw caution to the wind and became that asshole that zooms up the right berm to take the first available exit (I am also extremely freaked out by traffic jams, because once I was trapped for several hours behind an overturned cement truck and I came about three minutes from having to sacrifice my purse as an ad-hoc diaper).

I took back roads the rest of the way, and miraculously, I didn’t die. I was probably freaking out the people in the other cars when they saw the look of grim intensity on my face, like I was racing a tanker containing a bomb to the center of the city, but I made it. And I only picked out a couple of houses that I might want to squat in when I inevitably failed to find my way to my office, that’s how confident I was.

Thank God I didn’t encounter a sandwich truck on the drive. I don’t think I could have survived it.

Everybody’s working on the weekend

Perhaps to punish me for the puppy-induced stupor in which I spent the late afternoon yesterday, I had to go to work this morning, even though it’s Saturday and I’m pretty sure Jesus died so that I wouldn’t have to work on Saturdays (or something like that, I didn’t go to Sunday school because I also assume Jesus would want me to sleep in). In fact, I actually had to be there about an hour earlier than usual, just to make it extra cruel.

I’d like to point out, for the record, that everyone told me that it would become easier to get up in the morning once I had small children. I want to let you all know right now that this is a lie, and people who perpetuate this travesty of the truth should be severely punished. It is never easier to wake up in the morning. Unless your version of “the morning” doesn’t start until 10:00 AM.

But I did manage to drag myself up and out of bed by the appointed time, at least taking solace in the fact that I didn’t also have to get the children ready. In fact, my plan was to sneak out of the house without them even knowing I was gone– everyone would sleep in a little, there would probably be a cute father-daughter montage of snuggles, pillow fights and French-toast preparation, and they’d hardly even notice my absence. Considering the lengths to which I had to go to wake them up on weekdays– I’ve considered getting one of those one-man-band get-ups just to help expedite matters, although it still probably wouldn’t work on Addie– I considered this plan pretty foolproof.

This was immediately ruined the second I opened my eyes after rinsing the conditioner out of my hair to find Rosie plastered against the glass of the shower door like a zombie seeking brains. My shrieking then woke up Addie, so then, for no reason, both children were awake before 7:00. On a Saturday. When I had to leave.

I tried to sneak out, I really did. But as soon as I started putting on my boots, Rosie had to go put on her boots. And Addie was announcing very loudly ever 15 seconds or so that she REALLY NEEDED A RICE KRISPIE TREAT PLEASE, THANK YOU, like some sort of terrible breakfast Amber Alert, and my poor husband had barely woken up, and Rosie wanted to know why I was wearing boots and not Crocs and demanded that I change them and HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING YOU CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT ME MOMMY THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE I WILL CUT YOU!

Finally, fifteen minutes late and scared for my life, I managed to escape to the garage, Rosie’s manic wailing still ringing in my ears. It apparently continued until she passed out some time later, my husband informed me through a series of increasingly desperate text messages.

I read these texts while eating a chocolate chip muffin, unencumbered by little hands, surrounded by adults who were fully clothed and didn’t want me to play Jungle Baby Animals with them. It occurred to me then that even though I was the one who had had to get up early and physically drive to another location, it was my husband who really had to work on a Saturday.