Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Imagery That Will Haunt You

I enjoy a good sense of humor on anyone, even my OB/GYN, however there are some things that you just. don't. joke. about. I'm going to put pap smears and pelvic ultrasounds at the top of that list. Here is a truly tasteless postcard I received announcing a new doctor at the practice I go to. All I did was remove the names of the doctors. The rest of the disaster posted below is for reals.

At first glance, it was the "Captain Jelly Fingers" that grossed me out. But now that I've had a chance to really inspect it, I think the worst parts are the speculum in the hand of the yellow crusader and "the wand" (as I affectionately call it) ultrasound attachment on the hip of Ultrasonic Man. 

Now, I've been known to throw down some crass humor, but I just can't get behind three masked men cavorting around with gynecological equipment. My mother thinks I should call the office and register an official complaint. How exactly, would that conversation go?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

E for Effort

I managed to maintain a verrrry calm demeanor all day long. Even as the kids were doping around before school, I was cool and collected. Soft voices. Even when I found a huge dry-erase board broken in two in the basement, merely a quiet "come. on." escaped. Even when I found the bathroom soap dispenser (new as of yesterday) de-topped and dumped out, the mirror apparently wiped down with a soapy hand towel, I held a very meaningful but even-tempered discussion with the offender about how this special soap keeps us from getting sick so please don't dump it out any more. Through dinner, lounging, homework and bedtime stories, everything went as planned. Yet in the last three minutes, I succumbed to grumpy lady while granting access to yet another bathroom trip and a bedtime banana snack. In that moment, I felt like I undid the whole day. WHYYYY?? Why is it so hard to hang on for those very last few moments?! And what's more important, constant cool-the-day mom or someone who can end the party on a high note? I think I'll try a 20-minute decompression period just before bedtime. Is that why guys take 20-minute post dinner dumps? Are they in there just so they can reset to normal? I think I'm on to something...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cleanliness is Writingness

I've been awake for a while. I'm now showered, blow-dryed, mascara'd (but still in my robe). I'm in a holding pattern until everyone is awake, fed, dressed, and combed. After I drop them off at grandma's, I'll go to work and begin my second life.

While waiting for the little ones to wake up, it occurred to me that it would be the perfect time to do something. In effect, I'm alone and I have free time. I can't leave the house in my robe, and I can't work out because I've already showered (convenient excuse), so what do I do? My exciting choice is...

Clean up.

It seems that piles of papers, six coloring books, 4 plastic play-kitchen plates, 8 pieces of broken chalk pieces, 3 dollhouse figures, 5 ponies, 6 hairbands, 18 crayons, and folded laundry piles bar me from concentrating on real life until they are organized and out of my way. Please don't get me wrong. I am not OCD. Even after having cleaned up, a normal person would walk in here and still think that it could use a bit more help. Nothing is perfectly organized and hidden away.

Why is cleaning up the number one activity during free time? I bet if Marvin were in the same spot, he'd practice his golf swing in the family room, or watch Sports Center, or strategize about ways to improve his real estate business. I bet you that a different mom/wife/worker would paint her toenails or brush through her hair 100 times like we were told to do in Sweet Valley High books. Why am I cleaning?

In grad school, I wrote several poems with the theme of marraige. And in one of them, the lady cleans in the midst of feeling bewildered by marriage. During the workshop in which the poem was critiqued, a gentleman said, "That is so sad. She cleans? These people just need to talk to each other." I wasn't allowed to say anything while the poem was being workshopped, but I couldn't help but snort at that.

A dear friend of mine would claim that my Taurus nature influences my desire to clean up. I need my home to be aesthetically pleasing. We're all agreed that leaving rotten meat on the kitchen floor is a health risk and that it should be picked up. But, I'm pretty certain I'm the only one in my house that thinks emotional and intellectual well being is tied to, well, tidyness. 

Frankly, the process of cleaning is a mental massage. If I'm feeling frazzled, and I take 10 minutes to clean up a room, the thought processes required in thinking, "A goes in that drawer, B goes on that shelf, C is dropped in the trash, D belongs in my bedroom, E needs to be donated" allows my mind to reorganize itself. While one part of my mind processes clean-think, the other parts are allowed to wallow in creative juices. I think of new ideas. I solve problems. I resolve issues that have been cycling through my brain while I was too busy doing something else.

And, the space is usable again. The space is not distracting. The space has space.

With my physical and mental space clear, I now find myself at my dear Funk Ponies. Hmmm...perhaps this is the problem that I was trying to solve while putting away puzzle pieces: When can I write again? Now.