…rabid miscues

While we’re on the subject of imperception, I’d like to state that I’m not really what you think I am, but I’d like to be what I think you think I am. (See, everyone is better off when I don’t think.)

To me,
Socializing is a contest of who can create the greatest misconception of their life. My house is clean, the children spotless and the food magnificent. I now invite total strangers to observe the fairy tale me. If one of them becomes a friend, will they be disappointed to discover the real me? Or will they be relieved?
I guess it depends on how much stock they put in their own delusions. Seeking a true friend, T.

I hate standing tippy-toed at the top of somebody else’s pedestal, because I am the dunce of the dance, and putting me anywhere near the top of anything will guarantee a terrific tumble.

I look around and it seems as if everyone else is dancing effortlessly, on beat and with practiced precision. But later when I collapse in the wings gasping a frantic breather in between scenes, I hear the murmurings of the other performers, and I realize that they too are trying to dance up to another’s expectation.

During any of my life productions, the sidelines are the safest spot to be. Just sit back and enjoy the show because any intervention would just compound the chaos behind the scenes. The husband can’t help and the family can’t mitigate the damage because most of my life is an inadvertent calamity that is certainly not intended to impress anyone.

If I worry less often about what people think, I might realize how often they don’t[1] … or is it how seldom they do?

The degree of difficulty chosen for life’s performance is directly related to the risk of injury and the amount of medication that will be needed to assure an auspicious outcome.

[1] Am I dangling again? Or is it just the participle?


…computer controlled chaos


What excitement a new calendar brings! It’s like eating a pickle. Just thinking about it starts a twinkle at my toes that trickles up my spine, and flutters past the fingertips, escaping through my scalp. At the office products store, I stand here tempted. The shrink-wrapped computer package held reverently in my hands winks to me its infinite potential and a glimmer of hope shines through.

This new calendar is a CCC (a computerized calendar creator) and I feel like my tech buds just may burst! The new year approaches and this newest technology promises that I can “index the insanity,” “direct the deeds” and “catalog the chaos.” An on-line calendar may be just the answer to my organizational conundrum.

The program loads itself without incident, which is in and of itself propitious. My part in the process is minimal and eagerly I click to check the overall calendar for today. I take note of the three activities that pop to the screen, all three have the potential to be conflicts—but they are all carefully confined within their own half-hour time-lines. There are no overlaps or encroachments. Handled carefully with precision, the afternoon’s planned events appear to be achievable.

Then the piano teacher calls. I sense a possible souring of the recipe, but when I access the file and input the changes, the overview assures me that this is a mere touch of soda sprinkled into the vast vat of vinegar.

Next, the carpool leader telephones with a change. Could I please drive? Each of the two half-hour time spaces that this commitment fills are blank, but I sense the increased fizz as I begin my day. I begin by packing everyone a lunch, roust the youngest from bed early, drop him at a neighbor’s to catch the bus, pick up the other six kids, drive them to school, and then zip to my next obligation. Success! This computer calendar is a most effective stabilizer.

Over the years as a professional family activity planner, I’ve had many opportunities to evaluate my failures and I think I’ve identified the bomb that blasts my day to bits.

The volatile variable is the rebellion of inanimate objects around me. Usually it is the keys, but today it is the unruly purse that opted to stay home. I drive home to retrieve the persnickety pocketbook and enroute I notice that the eldest son has surrounded himself with belongings that seem to possess this same trait. Some of his seditious school stuff has escaped onto the depths of the car floor and I debate lassoing it and dragging it back his way, but I resist.

It's a mommy moment: One must always be prepared to enforce consequences! Whatever would he do if this trait should follow him into adulthood?

Reality Bite: When one takes a bubbling mixture and compresses it into a small space, the potential explosion could prove disastrous.



computerized chaos... continued

I make it back to class for the final twenty minutes, and then scarf lunch while I drive to the shelter and hold babies for three joyful hours, drive back and pick up the six car-poolers from school, drop everyone at home, and check the CCC (computerized chaos compartmentalizer) which is beeping an alarm. The screen screamed that I'd forgotten the piano lessons.

With no time to spare, I drop off the eldest son five minutes late, pick up the youngest from school ten minutes late, drop off the youngest at piano fifteen minutes late, rip to the school to pick up the daughter from drivers ed. twenty minutes late, drop her off at piano and pick up the youngest twenty-five minutes late, dash to the library to pick up reference material, get stuck in traffic and pick up the daughter thirty minutes late.

I make it home only long enough to dash in and glare vicious darts at the craven crisis creator. Lacking the time to access it completely, I dredge up an image of the calendar screen in my mind, and mentally scratch through appointments, canceling the sports practices, and then I drive and drop the daughter off twenty minutes early to her vocal music class so I can be on time to the training class for the eldest son’s newest endeavor, (doing a good turn daily).

I return home hours later, but I’m barred from checking the calendar, because the computer is engaged by frantic homework essayists. I don my split personality and race between two different subjects on two different floors of the house, one typing on the cutting edge computer and the other downstairs on the antique—a year-old version. I dash back and forth, up and down and edit the daughter’s persuasive essay on attitude while I examine the son’s view on the historical implications of the oil industry.

Reality Bite: Chem 101: What happens one shakes a compressed volatile mixture?