Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Everything of the Hellidays

Last night I cleaned, made 3 trips to various grocery stores, cleaned some more, nagged Little A to clean up her stuff, cleaned some more, ate crackers, and cleaned some more. When N walked in I fell on the bed with not one ounce of energy left even in my little pinkie finger and said, "I still need to vacuum."
He said, "Honey, you can't do everything." (And yes, followed it with offers to finish anything left that I thought I had to do, but this isn't the point of the story, so we're going to have to ignore that part for a bit.)
I was dumbstruck by this comment. I really didn't even know what he meant. Of COURSE I can do everything. What do you think my life is??? It's doing everything. If you don't believe me, I give you a few examples:
When I was a junior in college I had some car troubles. I also had a job which was a 2 hour train ride that cost me too much or a 20 minute car ride into town. I had to get to my make fix the get to the get the idea (we all know of the vicious cycles). So I developed a plan. A plan that many of my friends thought was ridiculous and would have the lifespan of their latest fruit flies in biology. I would walk to a T station about three miles away (much cheaper that the commuter rail just a few blocks away), board the T and ride for about 40-50 minutes to my stop, walk about 6 blocks to my workplace and arrive by 8:30 AM. If you did the math in your head, you just realized that I was a college student planning to be ready to LEAVE my apartment at 6:30AM. Did I mention it was January? Right, I was planning to leave my apartment at 6:30 and walk in the darkness/dusky arctic wasteland of New England in January for an HOUR, ride the T for close to an hour, walk a little more just when the T has thawed me out and arrive ready to be a good little worker bee all before 8:30.
The biggest surprise?
I did it. For about a month. This is the first piece of evidence that I *CAN* in fact do everything.
After that month of frigid air and long walks (did I mention that I took the same route home at 4:30? Yes, it's dark at that time in January.) I thought maybe I could buy a car battery and fix my car. I'm not sure what or who convinced me that the battery was the problem. It may have been my own glorious logic..."Something doesn't work? Hmmm...must need a new battery." Or it may have been some know-it-all man I encountered on the T or elsewhere. In any case, I bought a battery and one chilly, but beautifully sunny afternoon I planned to put it in. I asked L if she wanted to hang out with me while I did it (after all, there always seem to be useless men about while other men are fixing things....I figured it might be tradition, or at least some good juju). She asked if I had tools, and I responded quite confidently, "Yeah, I have a screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers. What else could I need?" She hid her skeptical grin and came outside with me anyway. After staring at and poking the old battery (in the car) for a good twenty minutes, I said, "I think I might need some other tools." Yuh think??
L called her dad. He came equipped with tools and that weird car know-how that actually gets things done even when it looks like all he's doing is staring at it and poking it also.
There, done. And the car started for the first time in a month. Sure, there were reinforcements, and I felt a little defeated, but the fact that it was done, STILL somehow reinforced my idea that I could do everything. Not to mention that when L recounts this story she likes to say something like, "Of course I went out. Seemed reasonable to me that she had enough tools. Besides, if V told me that she was going to re-side a house this afternoon with a hot glue gun and some recycled milk bottles, I'd believe that it would be done by 5pm." See, L thinks I can do everything too. She very sweetly reinforces my delusions.
N does not. Maybe because he has to feel the brunt of my delusions or maybe he just thinks the realism is healthier, but still, I would prefer the asinine reinforcement to reality. For instance, when we went to get the couch, I was sure N and I could handle it. Turns out, even though I'm strong enough to lift a pull-out couch, I'm not really strong enough to do anything with it once it's dangling from my strained fingers 2 feet off the ground. I had to call in reinforcements. And I was very perturbed by this. When the damn piece of shit heavier than 10 fat ladies at the opera very comfortable and attractive couch was in the apartment, it had taken the combined effort of 5 men, most on the large/strong side, and me (about to cry at the thought of not getting a non-returnable couch wedged through the door....but trust me....the welling tears in my eyes HAD their impact!).
So last night, once again, N tries to remind me that I cannot do everything. Though it makes sense logically (duh N, no one can do EVERYTHING), it just still does not register at all to me. The Hellidays are here, and we all know that there is EVERYTHING to do, and there will be no rest until all the cleaning, cooking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, knitting, partying, cleaning more, traveling, visiting, relative/in-law appeasing and EVERYTHING is done. This is not the time of year to start to be realistic about not being able to do everything. It's just not the time. Maybe January.
Happy Hellidays Thanksgiving!


Anonymous roo said...


Have you come up for air yet?

Miss you...

12:04 AM  

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