Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The Year I Relearned How to be Boring

So, here we are. The end of the first decade of this millennium. Seems momentous, right?

Time has moved differently for me in this decade. It's compressed, squozen, flipped, and turned in on itself. There are frozen blocks of time inside my head--two massive, icy sheets that float to the top and obscure everything else.

It is perpetually December 2005 and August 2007.

But, somehow, time still manages to flow beneath.

I organized my desk last week and spent a few minutes marveling at my level of production during 2010. It felt like I did nothing but fret about C and my widowed mother and wonder how I could have saved R but the pile of paper on my desk indicates that I'm actually a highly productive and organized worker bee. Go figure!

Who is this person who manages to accomplish so much? She's so orderly. Her emails are so informative and polite.

I saw Sybil and Sally Field made this all look very dramatic. I thought that my other personalities would be more...flamboyant. I guess I'm just a bureaucrat,even at the very core of my being.

On paper 2010 was actually a banner year for the mommicked family. A new house, a new job for T, C has been declared perfectly normal by her preschool teachers.

But, you know, happiness just doesn't sing like it used to.

We can't move forward with my Dad and R in tow. Each step down the path leaves them a little further behind.

At the same time, letting go doesn't hurt like it used to.

I guess that's the story on 2010--we've evened out, righted the ship, slipped on our normal suits and zipped them all the way up to our chins.

Time heals, if you're willing to do some work.

I have to thank all of you for your assistance with helping me rediscover my inner workaday drudge. I think of this place and all of your blogs as a sort of virtual teacher's lounge. After a long day of setting a good example for the kids, I can stumble in, utter a few cusses, and tug off the pantyhose. I can tell a crass joke. I can tell you exactly what I think of little Jimmy's dreadful mother. And then I can pull myself back together and head back out feeling placid and capable.

Thank you and best to all of you for the coming year.

I hope 2011 only brings good (or boring) things your way.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I arrived at my new job in June 2008 and promptly filled my cube with a cloud of tragedy and despair. Everyone in the office shivered and felt as though they may never be cheerful again. Because, though I felt like this on the inside...

...I looked more like this on the outside.

Just to bolster my Gen X cred, here's another example:

Felt like this -

Looked like this -

And so, despite the fact that I was a party planner and holiday skit auteur at my previous job, I've been mostly friendless for the past 65-odd pay periods.

Work friendlessness is sort of freeing. My boss seems to like my lack of interest in small talk and office hijinks. I'm left out of most work drama and I never spend more on coffee or lunch than I intended. As a natural introvert I find the opportunities for silence and solitude comforting.

But, alas, the world is changing and me along with it.

I don't exude despair anymore. We've had some turnover in the office and the new people don't remember the bad, old days. My mystique is gone. The shard has been reunited with the crystal. Now I'm like a less-glamorous J.C. Wiatt. I can almost hear the cheesy '80s soundtrack music following me when I schlep up my front walk after a long day at the office.

I'm considering one of those shirts with the floppy bowtie...

If it's solitude vs. 'alrightness,' I guess I'd have to vote for the latter but it does sting a bit. I've read this sentiment a lot lately on the blogs that I follow--as horrible as those early days felt, fresh grief was so much simpler.

I've been befriended by a pregnant woman. She was 32 weeks last Thursday. She likes to talk to me about pregnancy because I'm so positive and supportive (that high-pitched sound you hear is me whimpering like a puppy).

This woman has a name picked out! And, dare I say it? A birth plan!

Saints preserve us, a birth plan!

I can't figure out how she got this 'positive and supportive' notion. As far as I can tell I just nod along while she talks and do my best not to furrow my brow. There's not much else I can do. My entire personal pregnancy experience is built upon a foundation of weirdness and she seems to be having a completely normal pregnancy. The vast majority of women I know who incubated one fetus and made it to 32-weeks brought home a living baby amidst a cloud of balloons and flowers 8-weeks later. The odds are in her favor.

Yet...I feel like such a liar.