Showing posts with label spastic blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spastic blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, November 25, 2012

midwestern people, writing, schedules, proof of heaven, with an abrupt ending.

C, Melissa, and I just returned from a Thanksgiving Day/week visit to see his father, sisters, and other relatives in St. Louis, MO. I like St. Louis, MO for a few reasons:

1a) Midwestern people, or at least those residing in the Kirkwood-ish area of St. Louis, do not seem to be in total control of their cars. At least 3 times I or Melissa were almost run down in a store parking lot; C claims he was able to escape this potential fate because he's just naturally more "specialer" than us and people not in control of their cars manage to steer clear of him in a magical way.

1b) In spite of this (or maybe because of it), Midwestern people are decent, down to earth, friendly folks. Here in the metro Atlanta area, I sometimes feel like I'm more of New Yorker than a Southerner. People cut you off in traffic, stand in front of you in the steak section of the supermarket utterly oblivious to the fact other people actually exist in the world around them and may need to gain access to your area of the steak section so freaking move OKAY??, and just generally get in the way and don't seem one bit apologetic about it. Just like pre-schoolers in Toys R Us.

However, whenever I am in the Midwest--be it Oklahoma or Illinois or Missouri (really the only 3 Midwestern places I've been that I have any real knowledge about, so I don't know...maybe this opinion just reflects those Midwestern locations and the rest of the people in the Midwest are complete nincompoops) (no! no, they are not--I am kidding: I know wonderful people from Kansas and Iowa, and they are lovely). Where was I? Oh yes, Midwestern people are lovely and polite. They say "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry," when they have to pass in front of you in a store or realize they're in the way...and they often realize they are in the way, because they are not under the impression they're the only ones on planet Earth. Midwestern people are lovely, friendly, sweet, and just NICE.

2) We stay at a Marriott-run hotel when we go, the same one each time. It is near the airport, and very nice. We found it several years ago when we needed to stay in a hotel because C's dad's house had too many people in it...he sent us to a Super 8 motel nearby, which was just fine...there is absolutely nothing wrong with hotels that are clean and useful for their purposes: sleeping and showering. ....Unless there is a night of shooting/homicide in their parking lot. That's when we decided maybe not all Midwesterners are lovely, and we needed a place that was slightly more secure. So we went down the road a little and found a hotel pilots and airline attendants like to stay at, which is this place.

They just remodeled their lobby and so now when you walk in, you feel like you're walking into a really swank hotel any D-list celebrity would stay in (we won't discuss the conditions of the rooms' tubs and the fact that rich people no longer need cord phones in bathrooms to make important business calls...do important business people often make important business phone calls while sitting on the toilet? I wonder). So you feel very swank and important until night falls and you look outside your room's window and see the Hustler Hollywood Emporium across the street, all lit up like a sleazy all-year-round Christmas tree. It really puts vanity into perspective, and I love that.

3) St. Louis just feels less ostentatious than Atlanta and, I suspect, it's easier to maneuver. The Monday before we left, Anne Lamotte came to town to give a free book reading/talk about her new book. I love Anne Lamotte, and fervently wish we at least lived in the same town and went to the same church. She is funny and honest and really real. However, I had schoolwork to do so I wouldn't have to think about it when we got back, and I had to make a decision--drive 40 miles in freaky Atlanta traffic to hear one of my writing heroes speak? Or do some lesson plans and pull some other school stuff together? My priorities won this time, but only because of freaky Atlanta traffic. I'm sure if I lived in St. Louis this would not have been an issue.

So, anyway. St. Louis is nice. And it also kept me off the internet (mostly) for several days. What a nice break--do you ever think the internet, facebook, pinterest, etc. are time suckers eating our brains? Honestly, they're starting to make just quietly watching TV (TV, the 20th century time sucker/brain eater) feel like completing a Harvard course in the History of Medieval Law.

What I discovered while not consumed with mindless, brain eating internet tom foolery: I can finish reading a 400+ page book AND still be a semi-competent mother, wrote at least once in my journal (and I NEVER write in that thing--years of dust fell off it when I opened it and it gave a delighted yet shocked squeal of delight when it realized it was getting written in), and Melissa had my fullest attention ever--she was no less hyper, but far more entertaining than usual. My patience (which is never very big) grew in gigantic proportions, in mere days.

Which is why I've concluded the internet is eating my brain (yet here I am, writing on a blog....I know. But I'm writing! And writing is something I have let fallen on the wayside for far too long, so any writing--even rambling, incoherent blog writing--is healthy).

I've decided I need to get myself a schedule. I am a person who needs lists--otherwise, I can't remember who or what I am. And my child, I can tell, will also be a person who needs lists and schedules...we are both easily distracted people who prefer mindless, wasted activities to productive, creative ones. So schedule and lists it is.

On a sad note, Tasha died before we got her to the vet to put her to sleep. Several important things about this, that my soul did take note of:

*I asked God to take that decision off my plate. Because God isn't on my schedule, and doesn't act as fast as I think God should, I assumed God wasn't listening to me at all (never, ever assume God isn't listening) and so I said fine, that's how You want it? I'll go ahead and make the damn decision. I went ahead with my decision.
*I began talking to Tasha about my decision, that I was reluctant to help her move on but that she was incredibly sick and old and there was little we could do to help her get better, but that it was okay for her to let go herself. I told her I didn't think whatever is waiting for us after this is scary at all, and that she would be young and happy again, but that we would miss her so much over here on this side of the veil.
*Tasha began letting go. I noticed in small ways, but assumed (because God never listens to me) that we'd still take her to the vet on Saturday as planned.
*Melissa got sick on a Wednesday, and I stayed home on a Thursday to take care of her. Tasha started going rapidly downhill that night--so much so that I woke up C to ask if we should go ahead and take her to the vet the next morning, though I really didn't think she'd even make it through the night.
*The next day, instead of just taking care of sick Melissa, I helped sick Tasha die.
*Tasha died at 10:15 am on Thursday, November 15, 2012. 

I think events like these are spiritual mile markers; events the Universe puts us through to shake us up and make us see what matters. God did take the decision making off my plate. But God also let me see why we should always be careful about what we ask for--watching Tasha go through her dying process was terrible, for her and for me. However, she has gone onto be part of God's peace, and I am left with wrenching memories of watching her die and incredible guilt that I didn't help her go over sooner so she didn't have to go through that...I won't do that again with another aging animal. Lesson learned, the hard way (as I usually like to learn all my hardest lessons, which I suppose God is already quite aware about me). But God also made sure I was there to be with her when she died, and I am thankful to him for that. And she did die at home, with someone petting her head telling her it was okay to go, just let go, until she finally did. I just wish it had been much more quietly, in her sleep (I think that's what I was thinking/hoping it would be...it was the opposite).

I miss her deeply--people who don't get attached to animals will not understand this. If I were a witch (and I am not, no matter how many times Melissa insists that I am), Tasha would have been my familiar, and my most important, best spells would all be broken now. There are signs of her everywhere still in our house--I'll find pieces of fur every now and then, and the Friday after she died I found one of her whiskers by her favorite window spot. It's always sad to come home and know she won't come downstairs to lay on the sofa next to me, or on a chair. But I think some part of her is still here; I feel her presence everywhere. I hope she understands, in whatever form she's in now. I talk to her every day, just in case she's still here.

I've started reading a book called PROOF OF HEAVEN by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who once thought the brain was solely responsible for Near Death Experiences of people claiming to have been to Heaven when they died. He claims he has evidence that dying is not necessarily a brain thing, and this also makes me want to raise my fist in a victory salute (remember in my last blog entry, how I was all: "Curses on YOU, party pooper brain scientists!"? Dr. Eben Alexander is officially off my Party Pooper Brain Scientist list). It's a comforting book...if you're a party pooper brain scientist, I'm sure you'll find a lot in it to do your party pooper arguing about. Party poopers usually do; it's why they're on my party pooper/not invited list. And if you're very fundamentally Christian, you may not like reading Dr. Alexander insisting on referring to God as "Om" and you might feel slighted because Dr. Alexander never ran into Jesus or Paul or anyone while he was over there. But I think there's still a lot of common ground people of different faiths can high five about, and when we do, we can all stare at the party poopers with looks of giant disapproval. Highly recommended, for both soul peace and world peace against all party pooping.

I'm going to abruptly end this blog post there and go make up a schedule for myself. Winter is knocking and I am at my laziest, least focused during Winter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

2nd grader, at last.

Soooo....Remember way back in September when I was all: But I don't know if I can do this! Third graders seem weird and psychologically puzzling. And then I was all: No, wait. I got this. Third graders are really weird and psychologically puzzling. But all I have to do is give them my nastiest teacher stink eye and make them skittish about what I'll do next.

Yes, well, I'm done with that. I'm headed back into the classroom next year (which is exactly what I was trying to avoid when I gave up my ESOL position in the first place months ago, because I thought ESOL was headed for the big, giant Toilet in the Sky) (note: I no longer think ESOL is headed for the big, giant Toilet in the Sky; I now believe ESOL is simply headed toward a really sketchy Title & Pawn shop on that one corner by the police station all the ladies of the night traipse down at all hours in clothing of questionable taste).

Anyhoo. Due to budget cuts (shaking my fists and casting ginormous stink eyes on YOU, you scurvy, greedy Wall Street tycoons responsible for the world financial mess), we have lost 8 teacher points. Eight whole teachers! That's like one whole grade level, peeps. Which means no more Science/Social Studies model (unless 3rd-5th grade classroom teachers want 30 kids in their homerooms next year...which might put the Science/Social Studies classes up to some crazy number like 35, 40 kids in some groups depending on how they split up their classes when they do ability level) (I know that only makes sense to me and the people who taught the model, so just know: what matters most right now to you are the mind boggling phrases "30 kids in a class"!!!  and "crazy number.")

Long story short: I will be a 2nd grade classroom teacher next year. Frickin' Universe--always playing me like that. Just when I think I've outsmarted It, It throws me a wide, speedy curve ball.

I'm excited and nervous. Excited because I've missed having that ownership of a class of kids--being their mom-away-from-mom. Also, it'll be nice because I'll only have to plan for 24, not 90...there were so many cool things I chose not to do this year simply because the number of students I had made these cool things logistically (and often financially) impossible.

But nervous because I simply do not do well with aggressive, confrontational parents. And, man, I witnessed some aggressive, confrontational parent behavior this year in 3rd grade. Professionally, I can't go into fine details here on a public blog. Just know: for some individuals in the world, I'm wondering if there is just not enough Xanax or mental health professionals. (I actually don't think they're crazy. I think they're just looking out for their child...in a really scream-y, being-part-of-the-problem-not-the-solution kind of a way. And I think they're acting from a place of love. Dysfunctional, confining, knee jerk-reactive love. But we all need to start somewhere, I suppose.)

True confession: difficult parents are why I left the classroom ten years ago. I got some doozies, three years right in a row. And it was really bumming and burning me out...I just needed a parent-on-a-warpath break for awhile. Hello, ESOL teaching for 9.2 years. Which I loved, because I love language. And hello Science/Social Studies teaching for 8 months.Which I loved, because I've decided Neil Degrasse Tyson is really hot, in a nerdy, very professional and astute kind of way.

But I was very different person back then, when I was a classroom teacher. For one thing, I had bad hair. No, seriously. I had this biscuit bang flip thing going on that was a total holdover from the late 80's and I wore tacky holiday sweaters starting the day after Thanksgiving all the way to New Year's Eve. And I thought I was swank, people. Really, really swank. I'm still really upset with people in my life who let me leave the house looking like that from 1992-2002.

Secondly, I wasn't married to C, and C hadn't worked his C magic on me yet. Honestly. If you need help setting yourself straight in some area(s), C knows how to do it. Right now, for example, I'm on something called the "30 Day C Plan," which is supposed to whip my sorry self back into shape professionally, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I think I'm at Day 15. I've done two out of ten directives. It is not going well, not going well at all. (fyi: I did the same thing with the Atkins Diet.)

Thirdly, I hadn't met/worked with some of the most awesomest teachers on Planet Teacherdom. All decent teachers will tell you they didn't become proficient because of Dr. So and So's class at Teacher University. No, no. They'll tell you they lucked out and got put on a team with Ms. Amazing Teacher, Ms. Creative Teacher, Ms. Gutsy Teacher, and Mr. Reality-Based Teacher...who all taught them everything they know today. (Guess how many college textbooks and lesson plans I still use/own today? Zero. Big, fat zero. But I have exactly 3.5 billion files, lessons, and other artifacts I do still pull from that were given to me by coworkers along the way over the last 15+ years.)***

And last, I wasn't a mother. You don't have to be a mom to be a proficient teacher. But because I've become a mother, I can see my child in other people's children. (I mean, honestly...my 3rd graders this year responded to the exact same Pavlovian techniques that work brilliantly on 3 1/2 year old Melissa.) And I'm hoping that makes me far more compassionate than I was ten years ago...as a parent, I will go to my death fighting for what's right for my child and my hope is that, should I get some boxing champ-wannabes in students' parents next year, that will translate over in parent-teacher conferences and we'll reach magnanimous understandings of great and helpful proportions.


Oh, and! I did NOT have the droll, smarmy humor about life I possess today. A sense of humor about the pure awesomeness of bizarre, dysfunctionality that exists all around us possibly could have extended my classroom teacher shelf life at least another 5 years.

So yes. I'll be a classroom teacher again next year. I'm pinning away furiously on pinterest right now, stealing ideas from teaching blogs left and right, blatantly and without regard. My 2nd grade colleagues will be bandit-ized as well, come August.

But my favorite, FAVORITE part of this whole, crazy school year was this past Wednesday.

Remember my Promethean board, the one I lovingly nicknamed %%$#@&$#@!%&$? I was lucky enough not to have to pack up my million boxes of stuff and move elsewhere, and the trailer I'm currently in (despite the fact I must continue to share it with %%$#@&$#@!%&$) is really a very nice trailer as far as classroom trailers go--a tad bit longer or wider, I can't decide which, than other classroom trailers--and it's in a prime location (practically on top of school, and some restrooms). So that is all good, and I am glad. But %%$#@&$#@!%&$ continues to take up way too much space on my white board, rendering it practically useless for classroom teaching.

And then, then! I discovered THIS while watching DIY network late one insomniac night: dry erase wall paint! You prime your wall! You paint it with 3 coats of dry erase paint! You now have a new dry erase wall, any shape, size you want! This, friendly friends, is when the craziness of 21st century living finally pays off.

So, Wednesday, last day of school for children, I primed each end wall on either side of my real dry erase board. I did not ask if I could do this because (a) I knew a teacher who'd taught in this trailer before me had painted the whole thing a few years ago...sadly, just regular paint not dry erase--which would have been so ridiculously awesome had Lowe's carried dry erase paint back then and she'd turned the whole place into one big dry erase room--I'm practically salivating right now just thinking of it, and (b) one of my life affirming, important mottoes is: Asking forgiveness is always better than asking permission. Another nugget of wisdom from a good teacher/coworker along my path years ago.

So 3rd graders were playing board games, and I was priming while insisting to several overly helpful girls that, seriously, I only had ONE paint brush roller. There would be NO fun wall painting the last day--I let them know I also knew they would probably get into some type of primer paint fight and that was NOT going to sit well with me that day. Go play Uno for the love of god.

And also I had to keep fending off K, who kept watching me prime my end walls suspiciously while asking in an accusing tone, "But did you ask first? I bet you're supposed to ask first." I taught her my important motto about forgiveness vs. permission, but I could tell: she's a total third grader version of 2002 Amy--if I'd had a couple more weeks with her, I bet I'd have had to put her on the 30 Day C Plan.

Anyway. Who should show up? My old principal. (Did you know? The principal we started this school year with, who's been our principal for the last 4 years and is quite frankly one of the kindest, best, most wonderful principals I've ever worked for, was tapped to be one of our district's new, big shot area superintendents.) (Of course you didn't know, if you don't work with me--I've neglected this blog for months.)

So she stopped by our school for a visit, saw me in the doorway, and stepped inside my room to say hello to me and all the kids. And when she saw my walls, she said, "Amy, are you painting?" And I said, all guilty refusing to look at K who I was positive was certainly gloating, "Uhh, yes? Kind of?" And she just shrugged and said, "Oh. Okay."

Man! That was a beautiful moment. I shot suspicious, accusing K a triumphant look so fast! A glorious finish to a long year: the fricking area superintendent says it's cool, K! No need to even ask for forgiveness at this point, playa! Watch and learn, grasshopper, watch and learn.

The other glorious, beautiful finish to a long, long school year? Every year as the buses pull out for the last time to take all the kids home, all the teachers line the sidewalks and wave good-bye and the buses honk and honk and pull away. So soul-satisfying. This year, the bus at the head of the line, the one that was supposed to honk and honk start the Grande Finale pull away broke down immediately when it tried to leave. All the other buses had to back up and pull out...starting with Bus 20 waaaay in the back. Took forever. So all the buses, except for Bus 1, have long gone and all these kids on Bus 1 are stuck and don't get the teacher wave...I mean, we DO wave. But only as we're leaving to head to our cars. Gotta go, Flo. Have a great summer, kids. Stay cool!

And then? Then, I saw my two worst offenders of the whole year were on that stuck bus. And that's when I knew: the Universe really loves to throw me curve balls, but occasionally it throws me a big bone, too, just to let me know it still has my back. Awesome.

*** Side note: if Michelle Rhee and her Waiting for Superman friends are really serious about fixing public education, they should lose their lame, unhelpful anti-teacher attitudes and start with our teacher education programs...but that's another rant, for another day.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

blogging about blogging (just a re-post from my old new old blog.)


This is my 10th? 15th? blog. I'm a wanderer when it comes to blogging. And lazy. Really, really lazy. What happens is I start a blog, it goes well for about 3-4 weeks, maybe 6-8 if it's summertime, and then I either run out of things to say for a week or two, or get distracted by other internet areas, or just decide sleep is more productive. And then I start feeling pressure to write. And then I don't have anything to say. And then I get disillusioned with myself. And then I feel pressure not to be disillusioned. And so I've decided I will just write blogs as they come to me, and not place crazy pressure on myself to come up with something witty and clever every few days or even every week. I'll just update when I update.

I have also promised me that I will not place crazy pressure on myself about keeping up with other people's blogs since I'm being brutally honest with myself and admitting I can barely keep up with my own. I know that's really poor blog etiquette, and highly narcissistic. But please know: if you visit and do leave me a comment, I promise I care about you, and will make it to your blog and read and comment and show proper blog etiquette. But I may not respond here. I'm very sporadic. And spastic.

Really, I opened up this blog as just a cathartic, thought processing, emotional garbage expellage place for me to get it all out, type it all down, and put it all forth to whoever may be interested. If you are, that's cool! Take a seat, grab a fizzy and/or hot drink, read away. If you aren't, that's cool! Have a great day/week/month/year/life--many blessings to you as you continue your journey.

I also don't actually have an official category for this blog. I'm a mommy, but not a mommy blogger; 2 year olds really only do so many bloggable things in a 24 hour period. I'm a teacher, but not a teacher blogger; teachers can get sued and written up and fired for saying the wrong thing where I live. I'm beginning to love to cook, but I'm so bad at it (and so lax and often lazy and really uncreative) that I can't call this a food blog. And one of my 2011 Big Goals of All Time is to get in shape again and complete a 5K, but I go into so many downswings where I eat way too many cookies in one day and hang out on my sofa watching House Hunters, Ghost Hunters, Dora the Explorer, and Curious George (not in that order), that I can't even call this a fitness blog. And I love to write (in theory), but I'm not a writing blogger; I bet if I actually sat down and consistently WROTE, I could probably fix that.

Really, you know what I am? I'm a spewage blogger, is what I am. I spew. For all the world to see, if it wants. I don't know why. Those around with more private sensibilities (example #1: my husband) wonder out loud why I possess this odd need to share my inner world and offline experiences with strangers and friends on the internet, off and on. And my answer always is: I don't know why? I do know I'm very repressed, I'm sure this has something to do with it. But other than that, I think I just like the act of typing. And then seeing my words on an organized, cute piece of world wide web I get to direct. (I secretly like to be in charge.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

public dysfunction, cat gut, and surviving the apocalypse.










I like conversations. I like the conversations I have with other people, and I love eavesdropping on dysfunctional conversations around me that are absolutely none of my beeswax.


I think I just like wondering about how these people got to where they are right now, and I enjoy filling in the gaps of the story I don't have, and then deciding which side I'd be on if I were a referee in those people's Dysfunctional Life contest. And I feel perfectly okay doing this, because these people are having their dysfunctional conversations in public locations, and they are having them in REALLY LOUD VOICES EVERYONE AROUND THEM CAN HEAR.


(I would like note: I am perfectly okay with other people judging my dysfunctional public conversations as well. {I have exactly 5 of these per year.})


CONVERSATION #1: Filling in the Gaps of Family Feud Dilemmas.


As I type this, I am drinking an iced tea at a McDonald's, and I'm listening to the man in the booth behind me talk on his cellphone. He's very upset, and this is the one-sided conversation I'm currently unable to ignore because it's being conducted IN A REALLY LOUD VOICE EVERYONE WITHIN 40 FEET OF IT CAN HEAR:


**********************************************

MAN: I think that boy is losing his mind. He's mistaking me for someone who actually gives a damn about him.


Well, he needs to check himself into a mental hospital.


Wait! Who was that girl? The one that spit in your mom's face? Yeah, she needs to (long string of expletives).


(here, I want to cover the ears of the 2 small children standing by their mom right now at the drink machine across from this man's booth)(no! wait! i think they only speak Spanish, so they might be okay. phew!)


Oh yeah. He definitely needs his ass beat more than her.


No. I like my mom a lot better when she's drunk, she kind of gets back into her old self.


No way! I'd be right there at the alter with a...a...MATCH. Woosh! Yeah I know. Because the other day she told me she wants to make her status: "I'm so glad my husband doesn't play video games all damn day." Yeah, you should go check out her crazy statuses.


No. He deleted his facebook because he got tired of her putting the family drama online for everyone to see.


(here, I feel really guilty because of course I'm putting his family drama on my blog.) But then he says THIS little nugget:


That's why I'm filling out an application to work here.


*****************************************************


Filling in the gaps:


From what I can tell, there are many mentally unbalanced people this man knows but two of them are extremely pissing him off right now.He's an artist in the use of the expletives, and doesn't look around to make sure youngsters aren't in the area before unleashing his art. He prefers his mom drunk and there appears to be someone in his family who enjoys having dysfunctional family feuds on facebook. And also, (possibly) he'd like to work at McDonald's because of all of this.


I'm not sure who's side to take, because I think there are may be about 30 people involved in this Dysfunction Family Feud and that's making my brain hurt. And also, I think I'd need to see the drunk mom in action first and also hear from the girl who spit in the mom's face before taking sides.


Also, I hope he gets a job here and tells that girl to stop spitting in moms' faces.


CONVERSATION #2: Cat Gut Talk.


I need to make a vet appointment for my cat. She's quite old (15 or 16), she's lost a lot of weight, and she's been throwing up--no place in my house is safe, or sacred, from the contents of Tasha's cat gut. I suspect feline renal failure, and so I've kind of been putting a vet visit off for awhile. First because of our money situation while C was still job hunting, and now...I just don't want to know? I guess? But I should know. I should know so I can feel better if that's not what's going on...or so I can make some hard decisions.


C once told me he thinks there should be a limit on how much an animal's life is worth. For a cat, he figures about $500. (I've since come to believe he falls just as much in love with animals as me, and just says these things to freak me out so I'll have public dysfunctional conversations with him.) (for the record, C grew up with dogs, reptiles, birds, fish, and--confirmed by his mother--a pony.)


Recently, while riding around town discussing Tasha's situation, we had this conversation:


ME: I really need to get Tasha to a vet. But I don't want to.


C: Why not?

ME: Because I think I'm afraid to know. I know I need to know, but I don't think I want to know.


C: You should find out.


ME: I should find out.



C: But if they say anything crazy, like she needs major surgery to have a kidney removed or something, I don't think you should do that.


ME: No, no. If it's that bad, I guess I just want an idea of how much longer she has to live a comfortable life, and then we'll have to start saying good-byes.


C: I agree. Because you know. I'm not big on kidney removal.


CONVERSATION #3: Don't Pick Me for Your Apocalypse Team.



A couple of weeks ago, we had a crazy night. Melissa had a nasty case of diaper rash and kept pooping diahrrea everywhere but then wouldn't let us change her because she knew it would hurt which was just making her skin even more raw, a nasty tropical depression decided to move through our area knocking out power for 8 hours, and, due to bizarre circumstances involving one family dinner out followed by a lack of house keys, we were locked out of our house for 3 hours until C was able to break in.


Then, the following day, I drove him to the airport for his annual fishing trip and we were besieged with roads closed due to flooding and big traffic jams but not offered any alternate routes to the airport and just had to follow drivers in front of us hoping they, too, needed to catch a plane, and I had exactly 30 minutes to drop him off and then get to work which was 60 minutes away.


I do not do well under these types of stressful situations. My innards twist into knots and my brain feels like it will explode. This makes me snappy and when I get snappy, I alienate everyone around me.


In other words, I am the last (the very last) person you want on your team during an Apocalypse (but I'm the first person you want on the other team during an episode of SURVIVOR: CANNIBAL ISLAND).


This was our airport ride conversation:


C: Would you calm down? There’s nothing anyone can do about this right now, so just stop.


ME: Look, it’s just…it’s just I can’t help it. I would be terrible in an Apocalypse. I’m so sorry you got me as your Apocalypse side kick, honey.


C: Huh??


ME: You know how I am. Look at how I'm acting right now. I just don’t do well in these kinds of situations. I get tense, and when I’m tense you know I get really snappy, and when I get snappy I just lose my mind and alienate everyone around me. I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my mind in the Apocalypse and get ejected from the group of surviving humans.


C: Look, can you be weird AFTER I get on the plane?


ME: Remember last night? When the storms came through and our electricity went out and I forgot to bring a house key with us and we couldn’t get in the house and Melissa had the poop in her diaper with the diaper rash and she wouldn’t let me change her diaper and I was tense because I knew the poop was eating into her already rashy skin? And remember how I was so snappy with everyone?


I swear to God, last night I was THISCLOSE to losing my mind last night. I bet I’d be a trillion times worse during an Apocalypse. Nobody wants that.


C: Stop that. You wouldn’t lose your mind.


ME: Yes I would. Because when we were all in bed and the power was still out, I was just lying there, and my mind was racing, thinking and thinking. Like I could hear every! single! sound! and that was so weird and kind of making me nuts, and what if they never got the power back on? How would I get ready for work tomorrow? What if the power NEVER CAME BACK ON?? And also, all our food in the refrigerator was going bad, and who would I call if nobody ever got the power back on? And you were gone on your fishing trip? Who would I call to fix that? It was going to be 95 degrees today, and what if we burned up in that? Because nobody got on our power back on and we had no a/c? And I simply do NOT have time to deal with that kind of crazy anyway, why do people think I even have that kind of time for that kind of crazy?


I didn’t even go to sleep until the power came back on and my whole world was back to normal. If there was an Apocalypse, I would totally not even know what to do without power. Being without electricity would be the first thing to send me over the edge. Don't you think that's a bad personality trait to have in an Apocalypse?


C: Amy, what do you think people in the 1800’s did? They were fine without electricity. You’d just go back to living with 1800’s technology and you’d be fine.


ME: No. No, I don’t think I would. I would miss the internet too much. And HBO. And microwaves. And cell phones for road emergencies. I would have made a terrible 1800’s person.


C: Come on! You wouldn’t have even known any better. You’d just be like, “Wow, I’m so glad we got the 6 hour candles. The Smiths down the street only have the 2 hour candles.”


ME: Do you promise we’ll get the 6 hour Apocalypse candles? Do you PROMISE? Like, where do you even get 6 hour candles for an Apocalypse?


C: I’m sure Home Depot or Lowe’s has some. And you know me. Do you think *I* would buy just 2 hour candles?


ME: Okay, thanks. I feel better. But I'm still pretty sure I’d lose my mind in an Apocalypse.


C: *sigh*
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