Cutting a Wide Swathe Through Sentimentality
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I am a mother. In honor of such an illustrious day, I’ve decided to throw a mother of a hissy fit. It’s an unburdening for myself and I fear, a bit on the negative side. Generally, I strive for balance, for equity, for fairness. But it’s hard work to maintain some semblance of maturity and circumspection in the face of fatigue. So I’m loosening the controls and letting some of this out. Welcome to some things that have been bugging me lately.
I don’t like hugs as a form of greeting. There. I said it. I hug and snuggle with my daughter. I hug my husband daily. I am physically affectionate with my immediate family. I have relatives and friends who laugh and say “I know you don’t like hugs, but hahaha” before engulfing me in corporeal suffocation. Okay. Now, not only do I not like hugs, but I also don’t like you, jackass. I’m a direct person. If I say I don’t like something, trust me – I’m being sincere.
I’ve been asked why I have such an aversion to this form of affection. They suspect I have been abused. I have not – at least not in any way that makes me jump at human touch. My sense of smell is intense. Perfumes, deodorants, hairspray, facial makeup, fabric softener – these things bother me. Walking around the rest of the day with Eau de Alcohol on me serves as a constant irritant. I also don’t need to know your cup size. I do not need your breasts smashed up against me. I’m not a mammographer – I’m sure you can see your own doctor.
I don’t like the cult of motherhood. Save your holiday, I expect to get treated kindly and with respect year round. And I am, so let’s not mess up my day with false sentimentality. I could have spent yesterday gardening and lounging around in yoga pants, but instead I had to get dressed up to go to an overpriced restaurant to dine while surrounded by complete strangers. It’s not like I would have cooked anything at home anyway. My family knows their way around peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and they’ve yet to pass out without me feeding them regularly. I’ve tested this repeatedly.
My family would have preferred low-key as well, but they caved into the pressure to make the day special. My dear family, if you want to make my day special, pick up your dirty dishes, don’t ask me 50 times where things are and hey, when I ask you for a pressure washer, I mean it. That fence isn’t cleaning itself and I have some deck staining to do.
I’m sick of extremists. Of any ilk. If you cannot see the world in gray scale or rainbows or differences, if everything has to be black and white, then you are a simpleton. Continue commenting on CNN articles and calling into talk radio shows, Facebooking your tired, trite opinions. If you have to tag your opposition with cutesy labels, it is likely you are just repeating shit you’ve heard elsewhere. No one is mistaking your parroting for critical thinking.
And finally, would somebody stop those e card creators with the Victorian silhouettes and that poorly drawn yelling character? Holy shit, I’ve already seen them in one form or another – you are not discovering anything new. If you have nothing to say, then feel free to stop forwarding me crap and just sit there quietly.
In case you think I’m a cold, heartless harpy, it’s quite possible. Normally, I believe I’m generous, respectful, hardworking and thoughtful. Some days, though, I’d just like to tap out. I’ve had a month that has smashed me flat. I’m tired. I’m scattered in my thinking. I feel like I could nap endlessly and eat my body weight in Cherry Garcia.
I haven’t been writing. I’m barely blogging – both things that give me genuine pleasure. I’ve been dealing with sick cats, funerals, volunteer work, paid work, some personal low points and a sense that I’m barely keeping my head above water. Things that I shrug off are now getting shrieked off. Hugs make me want to back fist faces and holidays make me want to pretend I’m really, really sick and can somebody just get me more ice cream?
I am no longer burning the candle at both ends. I’m just stuck in a puddle of cooled wax, wickless and dull. A friend mentioned that a recurring theme of my blog was balance and she’s right. I’m either regaining, losing, searching for or maintaining some degree of balance – like most people, I imagine. Now that I’ve gotten this irritable post out of my system, I’m going to gather my senses, take a hot shower and get on with life.