Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Martyr Speaks. Again.
Can I just tell you that I would hate to be married to me today? Seriously, I'm a pill. And MathMan just hangs in there and hangs in there. He is the Timex watch of husbands.
I am miserable and for no damn good reason except things just aren't as hunky dory as I think they should be. Nope. I'm stewing and fretting and getting all afroth about life and when I'm like this, the best thing would be to just leave me the hell alone. But MathMan doesn't do that because he's afraid I'll carry a hose out to the garage, attach it to the tailpipe of the car and sit with the door shut revving that poor Corolla's engine one last time before becoming part of the great Gothic tale of life gone wrong in Euharlee, Georgia.
Silly guy, that's too much work. Experience demonstrates that I'd mess it up somehow. I'd have the wrong size hose or try to do the deed too soon after driving the car and burn my fingers on the still-hot tailpipe. Or I'd waste a bunch of time looking up exactly how to do it on the internet, then realize I have to pee, then find that funny Edward Gorey book next to the toilet and lose my taste for quick death, then hear the dryer buzzer and go down to fold laundry, get distracted by something on the television, sit on the sofa and fall asleep and then forget what I was up to until MathMan wakes me with a funny look on his face while he holds my neatly penned suicide note out in front of him like a talisman.
I'd surely break a fingernail or the car battery would turn out to be dead and I have to call J's daddy for a jump start. Imagine that conversation. "Mr. M, can you come over and jump my car again? The battery is dead and I need to hurry up and make it run so I can kill myself before my husband gets home....."
It's a given that something would foul things up and just like that time I went all drama queen and sped away in my car, stopping at a Jiffy Treat to drown my sorrows in an extra-thick chocolate milkshake, and then discovered that I was stuck because the stupid, ugly Ford Fairmont wouldn't start and the only person I could think of to call was the same person I was so angry at, but I called MathMan anyway to come rescue me and then, and only then did that damn car start......well, you get the picture. When I go for the drama mask, I usually end up with that somewhat sinister looking laughing mask instead. Were I try to kill myself via the running car in the closed garage trick, it would end with me calling MathMan on his cell so I could swear at him in blame because something went horribly wrong on the way to my suicide.
Besides, I don't want to hurt anyone else and suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning could cause trouble for those still living in the upstairs of the house. MathMan should know me better. I'm a no muss, no fuss kind of chick. Pills. In the bathtub with my clothes on because I'm not too keen on my own nudidity at the moment. And the tub wouldn't be filled with water or anything, but at least if I hurl or something, the mess will be much easier to clean. I suppose I could just stand in the shower, too, but what if I bump my head as I take my final slither down, leaving a nasty bruise on my noggin? Now wouldn't that be a pain in the ass for some funeral home makeup artist to have to cover up while adhering to the strict instructions I'd leave in a nicely typed in triplicate note to ensure that if there is some goony open casket thing, my make up better look as natural as it does when I apply it. (see enclosed picture)
Not that I've given it any thought. Funny thing is, as long as I can talk about it and laugh about it, it's not going to happen. It's when I'm quiet that I'm a danger to myself and others.
So what the hell is up my ass, I keep wondering. MathMan is certain that my depression is chemical. Just this morning, he correctly pointed out that if I had a headache, I'd take an Advil. True enough. But this stupid depression just hangs on and on and no matter how much talking I could do with a therapist, the fundamental issues that plague me don't go away. That's just the reality. I will still have to help support this family and be a mother and a wife and do all the grown up stuff that wears you down to a nub.
So pardon me if I'd like to step off once in a while. Take a break. Go a'travelin' for a spell. Who doesn't want that from time to time?
Recently I read a novel that just fueled my feeling of ennui mixed with the acid of worry and regret. In her story The Ten Year Nap, Meg Wolizter writes about some stereotypical Manhattanites who have chosen not to work so they can stay home with their children. Please note that I'm so over the whole work-mommy versus stay-at-home-mommy thing I could scream, but what really made me fidget while reading this book was the idea that I was reading about the angst of women who actually possessed the freedom to stay home with their children. Listen, I realize that I'm not artsy-craftsy lovey-dovey mama material, but when no one is looking, I cover my kids up in gooey mom-love. Were someone to have offered me the chance to stay home with them when they were little, I would have been all "Hell yeah, I'm staying home with them" and I would have never looked back with regret. I suppose that might be the difference between having a "promising career" as described in the novel and my job which is white collar enough (pink collar ghetto more like it), but not something for which my passion burns. It pays the bills, end of story.
Tough as it was to swallow, I slogged my way through the book. MathMan asked me a few times why I didn't just toss it aside? "Why are you still dating that book?" he asked, giving me the stink eye, "You dumped boyfriends with greater alacrity than you've been able to decide whether to stick with this book or not."
If I acknowledged him at all, it was mostly with a rude gesture and then I'd make some meager statement about time invested, blah, blah, blah. The fact is, I promised myself I'd finish reading the book because I wanted to see how it ended and when I sneaked to see if I could just wrap it up in the last couple of pages, was thwarted by the way Wolitzer dragged out the conclusion. I swear, it was like removing a jagged splinter from a wailing child's foot. At some point, I just hung on to the book and yanked the words from it. I finished it sitting in the library, forcing myself so that I could return it on time and having met my goal. So I sat and chewed the inside of my cheek and flicked the edges of the book's pages and read and stewed some more until I could walk across the library and drop the finished, if not enjoyed, book into the return slot with a satisfying plunk.
Have I mentioned I'm all about goals now? I hope not because I don't want you to hold me to that. Yet.
Anyway, completing the book gave me no satisfaction because what it really did was add to my desire to navel gaze and wonder and wish and regret about all the stupid choices I've made over my lifetime. Regret is particularly poisonous when I'm in this mood.
Then, Friday night, we had a hypnotist at the dinner event that I was responsible for planning. He was very good. I had my reservations about booking him, but I was impressed by his message and I'm convinced that some of the subjects he chose from the audience were, in fact, hypnotized. Not to mention the fact that it's pretty dang funny to see your boss "go under" and then claim later that he "never actually was hypnotized." Yeah, right. And, natch, he wants me to destroy the video that I took. Ha, I say. Ha ha ha. And no way.
The hypnotist talked about how successful people visualize what they want and remain focused as they pursue their dream. I sat, sipping my wine and savoring the Chateaubriand (I know, life isn't that rough, I know) and thought about that. I considered a conversation I'd had with our guest speaker, another motivational guy, the evening before. He asked me why I hadn't done something to make this blog a money-making venture or done more in an entrepreneurial effort to free myself from the shackles of workaday blues. (He must have been able to read the boredom and weariness on my face.)
"Why hold yourself back? You have to make your own way, no one is going to rescue you from an unhappy life......" he stated pointedly. I could have smacked him for being so spot on.
I looked around the large room at the members of the association I work for. They are all there because someone in their family decided at some point that they were going to run their own business rather than sit around and hope that some employer was going to reward them for hard work and brains. We all know that hard work and brains aren't rewarded as much as we're told they are, right?
And so here I am, alternating between droning silence and bursts of venom as I drive along I75 this morning, MathMan riding shotgun. He shifted in his seat. The whole car moved under him, his motions were that deliberate and meant, I believe, to get my attention.
"What are we going to do about the depression?" he finally asked using his firm, I've had it, Lisa, voice.
I smirked and held back from asking him which depression did he mean? Big D Depression or the little, more insidious one? I mean, I know I'm amazing and all, but I do believe that solving the big D Depression is President Obama's job and too many cooks, etc.....
See? I don't want to be serious. I don't want to go and sit and talk and tell some non-judgmental therapist about all the muck inside my head because then I might cry and blow snot bubbles and still walk out feeling utterly ridiculous for being bunged up because I have to work too many jobs and I'm tired and I want a vacation, a looooooooong vacation, and mostly I want my past back so I can fix things.
I brought the budding conversation to a screeching halt by biting MathMan's head off when he said that I needed to "find the time" to write my damn book. The book has now graduated to being "that damn book." I think of it in much the same way. So instead of talking about how I'm about to embark on a new thing that might eventually free me from having a long commute and a job that thrills me not at all, I chose to zero on what really irritated me about that statement - the idea that the reason why I don't have time is because I don't make time. Or rather - I don't have time because I waste time.
I believe that among the huffs and forced hoots, and the "oh no you didn't just go there" hair toss/eye roll, I spat out a few stinging words including magic wand and doing the impossible. So long constructive conversation between adults, hello growly silence, punctuated by heavy sighs and angry staring out the window.
But MathMan is right. I have to make the time. Right this second, we cannot afford for me to chuck my association management "career," but I can tell you this - I am going to make this new venture work so that I can be free to write and make my own way. I am sick to death of having over half of my waking hours dictated to me so that when I get home, I am so tired and distracted by all the unfinished projects that I don't feel like focusing on what matters.