Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Family Profiles: Myself

It’s 9:37 AM, and I just bit into a Dove dark chocolate bar. Julia’s fussed with Mark over discipline; Burgundy’s weepy and devastated over the not-boyfriend’s latest asshattery; Mark persists in his belief that his perception of reality is the only one that counts; my hormones have just polished off the last morsel of my sanity, and I just bit into part 1 of 5 of a Dove dark chocolate bar. For breakfast.

I think a “conventional” American story really no longer exists. Most everyone I know has been abused in some way or another. My friends are a conglomeration of extremists from religious to homesteaders to financial whiz-kids. I can’t call mine an unusual story except in context of those defining moments in my life, the ones I say make me who I am. Oh, cliché much?

I just polished off part 2 of the chocolate. It’s one of those effeminate, slender wisps. You know, chocolate for waifs. Made to look like A Candy Bar for a Lady. It’s divided into five bite-sized morsels, and because I believe it my duty to take lady-hood to the next level, I am taking each morsel in at least two, preferably three bites. Pop and snap; it melts everywhere.

All things must be equal in my world. I worry that I give too much attention to Burgundy and not enough to Julia. I worry that Julia has too much freedom and Burgundy is being hen-pecked. I worry that I will cut the slices of toast without uniform thickness, and Mark will have less toast than I even though he’s underweight, and I’m, uh, not.

Precision and efficiency drive me and make my family crazy. I watch Burgundy get ready in the morning and point out that if she fixes her hair and makeup before getting dressed, she won’t have to use the lint roller later, and her makeup won’t get smeared. Better yet, just put your hair in a ponytail and don’t wear makeup. See, wasn’t that faster?

I haven’t worn makeup regularly since high school. Nasty stuff. I held Burgundy off makeup for years by telling her she could wear it any time I wore it.

I argued against Halloween decorations this year because we’d have to put them all away afterward. I time different routes to common destinations at different times of day to find out which route is most efficient at which time. I argue with Mark when he challenges me.

I have polished off part 3. When I started, I did not intend to eat the whole thing, but [TMI REDACTED], and I want chocolate. Challenge me on this; I dare you.

A candy bar of so little substance hardly stood a chance with me, by the way. I will decimate it. I've never really been much of a lady.

At this very moment, I have a desk in the office of my full-time job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. I work as a jill-of-all-trades here; my primary currency is that I know everyone, and they do as I say. Thus, I get stuff done, a rare commodity in a Government institution. Happily, I’ve been able to negotiate a part-time position, so I’ll be moving to a new project and a new employer (still with JSC, though) within the next three weeks; I'll let you know when it's official. I enjoy working outside the home; I enjoy bringing home bread. I also enjoy parenting my teens, reading, knitting, taking care of my home, cooking, and generally being a mom. I’m well aware of the privilege I have in being able to do both.

I’m nibbling my way through part 4.

I’m a short, blonde Viking. I have blue eyes, a razor tongue, and I’m a chicken, twisting myself into agonies of self-contradiction over every perceived slight within, against, and from my family.

It does all come back to my family, though. More than any event, they are my formative experience, every day, every minute. I am blessed.

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