Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Misery Loves Company

I woke up stressed out today. Not a good sign. I have this friend who is, well, how do I put this?...a control freak. Her control issues have become a hinderance in our relationship and I have been at the point I am ready to let her go. However, she called me last week and wanted to get together. And because I am too gutless to be honest with her, I invited her over. So today I woke up stressed.

Everything about her is neat and tidy. Her house, her clothes, her hair, her children, her Suburban. Always put together. Always has the appearance of complete control.

But that isn't what bothers me.

What bothers me is the many occassions she has tried to impose her tidiness on me, even going as far as to make fun of my inability to control. I can take a joke, but she's not joking. She really sees me as not living up to my potential, whatever that means.

So I woke up feeling I had to get a shower, do my makeup, do my hair and get my house spotless. Oh, and run some very important errands and tend to my children, as well. But everything was working against me from the beginning. For starters, I woke up to find the box for the Special Addition Superman granola bars with blue and red chocolate chips in the trash. Not a big deal, except I just bought them yesterday. When I questioned Brother, he admitted to eating the eight - Count 'em. Eight. - remaining bars for breakfast this morning. And it just went downhill from there. By lunchtime Brother had a stomachache (shocker!) and I wasn't able to accomplish anything I had set out to do. While putting Baby down for a nap I found myself feeling like a miserable failure and the tears began to flow.

"Stop crying, you idiot!!" I scolded myself. "Answer the door with red eyes and a splotchy face so she can ask what's wrong. That's all you need!" I tried to suck it up. But my eyes were like two leaky faucets, unable to stop dripping. So I decided to let it out. I could always lie and tell her my allergies were really bad.

What is it about me that delights in other's struggles? Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see anyone really suffer. But I would have loved for her to show up on my doorstep completely disheveld saying, "Man, the baby didn't sleep at all last night and I didn't even have the energy to shower. I left a dirty diaper laying on the kitchen counter and my bed unmade. Do you have a Wal-Mart sack so I can clean out the trash in my car real quick? Oh, yeah. Can I borrow a maxi pad?" I might have kissed her perfectly manicured big toe if she had. I just need to see some reality now and then.

After a nice little breakdown, my head cleared a bit and I was able to put some perspective on the situation. I couldn't believe I had let myself get so worked up about something so silly. This is who I am. Flighty. Unorganized. Compulsive. Completely out of control. Every day I work toward being better. However, I will never be one of those women who keep it all together in a lovely, little designer package. Why have I let her put pressure on me to be something I'm not? Or maybe I'm the one who's putting on the pressure.

I got up, dried my eyes and didn't even dab on concealer. I moved the laundry basket from the couch to my room so she would have a place to sit and let the rest go. Not even a Clorox wipe to the toilet.

24 comments:

shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

Oh, man, THANK YOU for writing this. The world needs more moms who are willing to be honest about how hard it is. I'm fed up with women who try to make it look easy! (Can you tell this is my soapbox?) The next time you're feeling like a mess, I'll give you directions to my house and you will feel MUCH better about yourself, I promise.

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

I have no idea how these women who have perfect hair, nails, house, car and children do it either. I am a very organized person by nature and there is always something dragging. If my hair and nails looks great, my house probably doesn't. And my car is something that I've never been able to stay on top of once I had child #3. But I work hard at it all and that's all Titus 2 says, isn't it? "Work hard in your home."

Great post.

Heth said...

Want to be my friend?

I love this post. You have described me perfectly when you described yourself. "Flighty. Unorganized. Compulsive. Completely out of control." Let's all shout it from the rooftops. WE DO HAVE HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER!

jesprincess said...

Good for you! If she dosen't sit on an un-Cloroxed toilet once in a while her immune system will deteriorate you know! You are such a good friend. I love you man.

Sarah said...

Don't knock yourself for "delighting in other's struggles". No one minds someone who has it all together -- until they belittle those of us that don't. Which tells me that SOMEWHERE she doesn't have it all together, or she wouldn't have the need to point out what she perceives to be your flaws.

Say it loud, say it proud, sister, "I have dust bunnies!" Me too, Supermom!

Andreia said...

My children think Im cruel because I refuse to buy those bar things. I am sure they will compensate by buying tons for their kids. But they usually dont make it to the pantry before they are eaten. So annoying.

Its funny to me how people define what is important to them. For some it is the never-ending search for the perfect outfit or shade of wall paint.

But what you are engaged in my friend, if I may call you that, is the work of the heart. Putting words to these feelings encourages others and that is more noble than any pedicured toe!

Mama of 2 said...

I have a friend like you described in this post and honestly she drives me nuts. She's a wonderful person who would do anything for anyone but there's just something about how neat and organized her life is that drives me up the wall! LOL.

However if you scratch the surface I have found that nothing is as it appears to be. And on several different occassions I have found cracks in her perfect armour leading me to believe that not everything is as in control as she'd like the world to think it is. And honestly that's helped me a great deal. I guess that's my "delight in other's struggles" moment as you put it.

Hey Supermom you are a great mom and person and I love reading your take on this world we call motherhood so don't change a thing.

janjanmom said...

The people who appear the most put togehter superficially are falling apart on the inside where it counts. They are full of pressure to always get it right.

Always getting it wrong is a little freeing don't ya think?? Good things are so much more precious when they don't happen very often!!

Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I needed to hear this today! I am not good at voicing my struggles or any of my sadness and it's not because I'm afraid it's because....well I don't know why...but anyways I was feeling spassy and very collapsable today and so hearing someone else that has those days and does the same thing to themselves just helps me breathe a little better. You're great!

Kristen said...

Good for you. Moms of the world who refuse to hyper organize, UNITE! The only time I'm willing to go all out and scrub and organize from top to bottom is if we're having overnight guests (which is rare in a 2 bedroom apartment, lol) or when a stranger is coming. Even then, I don't hide ALL of the mess. It's just who I am!

Valarie said...

That is so me. We may not be perfect, but I'm willing to bet that no one is having panic attacks over getting together with us.

caedmonsmommy said...

I didn't notice if I sat down on a clean toilet or not the other night. Oops! I guess I better notice next time because our friendship may be over. Ha, ha! Seriously, you are a wonderful hostess and a caring friend. We enjoyed ourselves the other night tremendously. Baking the cake for us was so thoughtful. Thanks again.

~Jennifer said...

Oh, there's always something that isn't "together". I don't care how perfect a woman looks. I'd rather have my messiness hangin' out all over the place instead of lurking somewhere deep waiting to pounce.

For example, I have inside information about a very famous person in my state who looks completely perfect, dream job, dream figure, dream smile, but guess what. She's a kleptomaniac. I don't delight in knowing it, exactly, but I do hang onto it as a reminder that no one is perfect.

Shayne said...

Wait until your kids are older. My daughter is 13 and I bless the day she became tall enough to wash dishes. We don't have a dishwasher, and she and my son help a lot with laundry and dishes.

Free labor is GREAT!!!!

But until then, don't sweat it. I have a friend who is a much better housekeeper than myself and everytime she comes over I just cringe. But she tells me, "I'm not coming to visit your house, I'm coming to visit you." Maybe your girlfriend needs to keep that in mind.

Grafted Branch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
heartsjoy said...

I have definitely had days like that! Breakdown and then wondering why I am letting it all get to me! I'm glad you were able to take a moment and deep breath and relax! Good for you!

holly said...

I have one rule for my friends. I'm and mess and so is my house. If you come to my house it will likely be messy, if you don't like it don't come over. Everyone has something in their life that's a mess, some just hide it better than others. Time with you kids, time with your friends, you obviously know what's important.

thebarefootpoet said...

It's people like you that bring hope to others, that touch a day with laughter, honesty, and encouragement. Authenticity advances the Kingdom, comforts the hurting, and challenges the arrogant. You rock, girl!

LiteratureLover said...

I'm so proud of you!

Diana said...

Something irks me about these "perfect" people...it might be the way it seems they have everything under control but there is something there...something ugly...
anyway. My house is a mess, there probably IS a diaper on my counter and I haven't cloroxed my toilet in more than a week. Wanna come over? LOL...we could buy some superman granola bars!

But Momma said...

I say we outnumber her. If she were a true friend she'd make up some stuff about how the dog got in the trash can and pulled it all over the house and the kids drew with permanent markers on her wall in the front hall where everyone can see it when they walk in the door. Or something like that.

I have a friend who has a perfect home and when she comes over, I always apologize for the state of my house and she always pats me on the shoulder and says "It's just because you have toddlers, in just another year or two I promise it will be better." And I believe her.

And you should too. :)

Melzie said...

I love you :) You make me feel so not alone in this "perfection driven" world :) My Aunt and Uncle from CA are coming in this weekend, which usually has me repairing and trimming and scrubbing for weeks ahead. BUT this year due to other "issues" what she sees is what she gets! LOL Truthfully I'd rather believe she comes to visit ME not inspect my house...and if your friend is doing otherwise then pull an Abraham (Hagar & Ishmael) when it was better for him and his family..he cut them loose. xoxo melzie

Michelle said...

I don't know how mothers who have a blogging addiction SLEEP! Much less keep up "perfection". That it, she doesn't blog does she?

humpty said...

I have had relatives from out of town since July 2nd. Do the relatives that have the huge, spotless houses in town invite them to sleep or even eat at their house, heavens, no. They might get out of sinc or worn to a frazzle wiping up after the guests all the time.

I let them come and they feel at home, just push the basket of clothes out of the way and feel free to raid the fridge. I'm no hostess, but I am hospitable and so are you.