Love (Myself) Thursday

I got Spam this morning that said "Don't Be Inadequate Anymore." It wasn't quite talking about my self esteem, um, but I extrapolated since the subject matter was, in fact, ludicrous. (For a woman, I mean.)

I was thinking about how wonderful it would be if I could just say, "Poof! Now I won't feel inadequate anymore. Cool! I could rule the world!"

But, um, it doesn't work like that. At least for me.

In my barely adequate way.

It's funny. I've been reading a lot of blogs by women lately just to see what all is out there and because, let's face it, I am struggling with the rewrite of chapter seven on my book "Making Roux" and this is a sort of work avoidance that I can actually point to as WORK. I'm not working on my BOOK --which might at some point actually lead to some income for me--but I AM working by doing research on the blogs of other women, which will help me exactly, um, not at all. Except to make me more aware of what's selling in the Blog-o-sphere, "selling" being a euphemism for, um, well, nothing. These are free blogs.

Anyway, there are a lot of funny women out there --a lot of funny, strident, caustic women. I came across this whole series of blogs yesterday of women who were explaining their "rules" in a meme-thing. Like, their Rules of life, you know what I mean? "Expect sarcasm and learn to love it" or "if you're stupid in my presence, expect me to smack you down like the cur you are." I don't know. Some of them made me laugh but most of them just sort of made me tired. They seemed to demand a sort of mental acuity and energetic effort to be friends with these people --you could see the writers standing there with one hip cocked and fingers doing the "Z" snap. It was less about the writers' rules than it was about the rules that other people should follow when coming in contact with the writers.I couldn't even think of anything I thought would be good enough for their comments pages.

I guess I'm not really a "Z" snappin' kinda gal. I can't even get anyone around here to pick up their clothes off the floor. I'm a more a shoelaces untied, head in the clouds, did-I-brush-my-teeth-before-I-left-the-house, barely adequate kinda gal.

So, I started thinking about my own "rules." Here they are, in no order:

1. I've had my coffee and I still can't remember your name. I know the ages and grades of your kids, the kind of car you drive, what you were buying when we passed each other in the Grocery Store and if you have pets but the Name Center in my brain doesn't boot up until about three days after I've seen you. I'm really sorry.

2. I will give you every benefit of the doubt. I feel certain that you are a non-judgmental, helpful person who really wants the best for this community and this world. Until you are mean to my dog, in which case, I'm done with you. Because I don't care if he is a barking, submissively urinating Bullet-Head, he's still my dog. Get over it because he's here to stay. But you? Well, there's the door. Oh, and by the way? When YOUR dog poops in my yard, I don't blame your dog's bad manners. Know what I'm sayin'?What's not to love?

3. I had that paperwork. I had it and I'd filled it out and I was on my way to put in in my car so I would have it to turn into you when...well, a hurricane, plague of locusts, or a wild pack of orange tabbies distracted me and now I can't find it. I need another set and um, I'm sorry it's late.

4. I really, really like to knit. I can't explain it, really. I never pictured myself a knitter. It's just really really addictive, especially sock knitting. It's just more fun than it looks and it gives me something to do with my hands when I am feeling all nervous because I can't remember your name. If you ask me about my current project, I'll follow you home and cook your dinner, especially if you're my husband. (Look! This is my new sweater! No, really. It doesn't look like much but trust me, when I look at it, I see a beautiful sweater. I'd be glad to show it to you if you ask...)

5. The sign by my door that says, "No Soliciting" is because I don't buy anything from people going door-to-door. It's a house rule and it doesn't matter if you're selling religion, clean water legislation, frozen meat, magazines or your yard work services, which, by-the-way, sort of insults me since I'm responsible for the yard work around here. (Yes, I know I'm terrible at using the weed eater. Thanks for pointing that out.) The only exception to this rule is if you are enrolled in grades one through twelve in my own local school district and you are a member of the band or choir or field hockey team or any other school-sanctioned group. Or a Girl Scout. Other than that, don't bother to ring the bell A) because the answer will be "no" and no amount of pressure will change my mind and B) it makes my dog pee inside. PS: Don't take my "No Soliciting" sign and then plead ignorance. It doesn't make me more likely to give you money.

5. When you ask me if I'm working outside the home and I tell you that really, I'm sort of, kind of, well, um, blogging these days, the best response of all is if you ask me if it's a public blog and if you can read it and how you can get the address. The response that most hurts my feelings is where you stare at me like I've lost my mind and then start coming up with volunteer jobs that I might be qualified for because you've decided in a split second to save me from myself. THAT response makes me feel both inadequate AND enraged, which I'm pretty sure is what happened to the Unabomber.

6. I battle depression. It's not that fun. But when I'm going through a really rough time, instead of telling me to pull myself up by my bootstraps, the kindest thing you could do for me is to give me something to plant. For some reason, putting my hands in dirt makes me feel better. It would also be very kind of you not to ask about it again just in case I inadvertently decapitated it with the weed eater. If it is growing and thriving, I'll show it to you, though. Okay, I was trying to augment my geranium plants. Guess which plant got inadvertently separated from its root ball? Sigh.

7. I'm a Christian and a liberal. Please don't try to engage me in debate on these subjects, hoping to change my mind. I have my reasons for what I believe and I respect that you have yours. If you insult my faith or my politics, we probably won't get to be friends.

8. I tend to obsess about stuff. Big stuff, small stuff, stuff other people have long forgotten. Please don't tell me to "get over myself" because I tell myself that all the time and I don't think it works. My friend Ei has a post tag on her blog that says, "An Unexamined Life? Not bloody Likely." I know JUST what she means.

9. Speaking of Ei, she gave me the "Nice Matters" award, and I adore her for doing that. I've gotten a few other awards like the "Rocking Grrl Blogger" Award but I freely confess to y'all that I can never figure out where to put those awards nor really how to copy the code into my template so please forgive me if you've given me an award and it doesn't appear on my blog. It doesn't mean I didn't totally appreciate it and go all beaming and red-faced in my joy.

10. Y'all might not have noticed but I love my kids and husband with a passion so fierce that it takes my breath away. So I make fun of them. Gently, I hope, and not in such a way that they will require even more money for therapy than I've already saved for the times when I inadvertently damaged their psyches. The fact that my life is so incredibly funny on a daily, laugh-out-loud basis is the only way that I am able to take on this awesome responsibility for everyone's well-being and still function (albeit somewhat inadequately.) Without a sense of humor, well, see the reference to the Unabomber in number 5.

There, POOF! I feel much less inadequate. Now you try.


Suna Kendall said…
I think I will bask in my inadequacy one more day, then try for those rule thingies tomorrow. Rule 1: Procrastination can be a useful and helpful tool, when not overused.
ckh said…
You make me really want to knit socks. Unfortunately, I feel too inadequate to do it.
DK said…
Ahh, awesome.

Darn those wild packs of orange tabbies! They cause so much trouble, really....
MadMad said…
OK. I know that I start all my comments with OMG, but OMG, is it possible you're me?! I was in the middle of writing a freakin' post about my inadequacy and decided I couldn't face my boring neurotic self any more, so came over here, and look: you are just as crazy! Love it. (Also, shhh... don't tell anyone. I read some of those same lists and got a little bit scared...) OK. I'm off to read your list now.
MadMad said…
HA! Good list, good list! Not scary at all!
Ei said…
Aw, you talked about me. Now I have to blush and go contemplate life.
Unknown said…
You've made a friend for life just by posting rule #1. It is so, so me. And just this morning, one of the "experts on everything" at work was bemoaning the fact that they were having to put her grandmother in the nursing home following a stroke. And do you know what one of her big reasons was? Grandmother could remember all about people and their relationships and what they had done, but couldn't remember their names! I was trying to figure out how to get out of the room unnoticed without spilling my coffee or something! You have just made me feel much more normal.
Anonymous said…
I love your rules. Especially the one about remembering (or not) names. I never refer to anyone by their name til I've known them a long time. Too scared I'll call them the wrong name. And the one about My Beautiful Dog. Oh, yes and the one about unsolictied callers Grrr. Sewing, not knitting but yes that too. Obsessing? Yes, yes! It seems your rules would suit many of us!
Anonymous said…
names - I know people have them but unless I have known them for years or they are wearing a name tag.... well, lets just say I never introduce people. I am sure others think I am without manners, no that is not it at all - I am just without names!
Hey - you just gave yourself a meme. Is that allowed? I know what you mean, about everyone being so sharp and clever and edgy, you better not touch 'em, you'll get hurt.

One of the saints (Therese? Little Flower?) talked about glorying in her imperfection. So why not us, huh?

And tell CK Holder to read Knitting Rules. Never mind - I'll go over there and do it.
Barb Matijevich said…
The thing I remember St. Theresa saying was, "Oh how I love my suffering because it brings me so much closer to God."

I struggle with the whole concept.

I learned knitting socks from Silver's Sock Tutorial because I'm such a visual learner. I wish I could find one for sweaters!
Anonymous said…
I can relate to this on so many levels.

Check this out. Dirt=Antidepressant?
Mrs.Q said…
Amen to all of the above! (And I LOVE that sweater, I can totally see that it's going to be fabulous!)
Lynn said…
*Love* the color of your new sweater. What kind of yarn? Malabrigo? [which I've never used]

I love Central Market, too. I haven't shopped there in months because (A) I spend twice as much as I'd planned, every time I go and (B) a certain ex-boyfriend shops there *all the time* and it would be just my luck to run into him and be overcome with the urge to beat him about the head and shoulders with those cool little Peruvian potatoes. The purple ones. And (C) those potatoes are just too good to abuse like that!