There are times when I feel like I mostly have it together, not in the way that people who really have it together have it together — I mean, I’ve been living in the same ratty Boba Fett shirt all month and eating an inadvisable number of processed cheese slices — but, you know, I’m over here functioning as a semi responsible adult who pays her taxes and has, like, a skincare routine.

This shaky sense of capability is so easily destroyed, though. Take yesterday, when I placed an order on a pizza joint’s website, then waited in vain for a confirmation. I had to call the restaurant (BAD), at which point I was told that online orders go through a third party and I would have to call them, and so I did (BAD AGAIN) but no one answered so I had to leave a message (WORSE), so I had no idea if I was going to be charged for this nonexistent pizza or what and now I had that antsy waiting-for-a-callback feeling (WOOOOORST) plus I’d already had to make two phone calls PLUS the kids were starving and OMG what do I dooooooo?


In this pictorial representation, I am the hapless donkey, while a mild pizza-related inconvenience is the overwhelming load that has hoisted me, limbs slack with indecision, into the air.

I would really like to be the sort of person who can deal with everyday stresses without going straight to CRUSHING DOOM TIME TO REPPLY DEODORANT AND CONSIDER SEPPUKU territory, but, well, I would also like perky boobs and the ability to masterfully parallel park.

You just have to play with the cards you’ve been dealt. I’ve spent too many years wishing I was somebody other than who I am, and at 44 I guess I feel like I’ve tried all the ways of life-hacking my way out of anxiety and awkwardness and most don’t work and some landed me in rehab so it is what is is, dammit. I am often a straight-up flailing mess of a human who has a nearly magical ability to make intimidatingly huge things out of very small things but I’ve managed to keep a modest collection of succulents and two human beings alive so far, plus sometimes I floss. So I’m easily sidelined by things like botched pizza orders — I have other strengths! I am very good at air hockey, for instance.

Anyway, I ended up taking the kids to a Mexican place, where I was able to apply medicinal tortilla chips to the entire exhausting afternoon. Whew.

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Em
Em
4 years ago

I was just thinking something similar myself. (As in, I have spent my entire adult life wishing I had a different body.) But you know what? I don’t. Bring on the tortilla chips!

Amanda Brown
4 years ago

Love this post. :)

Sarah
Sarah
4 years ago

This picture & caption truly made me lol, and I now want to regularly use the phrase “medicinal tortilla chips”. Thank you for this post – just what I needed today!

Colleen
Colleen
4 years ago

Brilliant piece of writing!

Eve
Eve
4 years ago

Hahahaha! Can’t stop laughing over here. Thanks for the pick-me-up!

Christine
Christine
4 years ago

I too have spent most of my 45 years trying to life-hack my way out of my anxiety and awkwardness to very little avail. Nice to know I’m not alone (misery loves company and all of that).
As an aside, it always makes my day when I click over to your site and see you have a new post up :)

Elizabeth_K
Elizabeth_K
4 years ago

Agree with Christine and deeply appreciate the ‘we are good enough’ message here. And the donkey photo.

Carol
Carol
4 years ago

You so perfectly captured that feeling when waiting for a callback! This happened to me just this morning and I feel like I’m already done for the day now, thank you very much.

Kari Kettner
Kari Kettner
4 years ago

This is the best thing I have read in awhile. I seriously am the crying laughing emoji face right now. Thank you.

Mary Clare
Mary Clare
4 years ago

That picture! Ha, ha. I feel like that all the damn time.

Chrissy
Chrissy
4 years ago

I’m right behind you in age and can TOTALLY relate to this post. And I echo what Christine and Elizabeth said – I’m glad you’re back here writing again. “The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.” (Deep, isn’t it?)

Michelle
Michelle
4 years ago

When my husband and I were still dating, I once was racked with indecision on how to cook EGGO WAFFLES! Toaster or oven, toaster or oven, TOASTER OR OVEN????!!!!! When he saw me spiraling out of control, my husband said to me, “Baby, it’s just waffles…” It has now become our catchphrase for when I am overthinking things!

Robin
4 years ago

Was just in actual tears about whether and how to get my daughter to gymnastics, as her ride cancelled and we don’t have a car and it’s a hour bus ride each way… then I came to the internet for distraction, and lo! Your post came out of the clouds delivered by angels and I feel so much better. There will be medicinal pizza instead.

Helen
Helen
4 years ago

..most don’t work and some landed me in rehab…

Yup and yup.

Just do your best to place your donkey slowly back to the ground. And keep writing, this was fun.

sooboo
sooboo
4 years ago

I have tried twice to order food through a third party and both times did not end up with the food.I call b.s. on that whole system.

misguidedmommy
4 years ago

Linda,
What happened to the pizza?

kendra
4 years ago

I have not laughed out loud and uproariously with tears pooling in my eyes in the longest time but that horsedrawn caravan picture caption? Mercy.