Monday, January 9, 2012

Just desserts...

Do you twitter? If you do, could you follow me: @12x12x12Jenny? I feel so pathetic with my two followers. Why did I join? Uhm. Uh. None of your business, that's why! Fine. It's because I'm a celebrity hound. And twitter is pretty much just celebrities spewing about every 5 minutes and not much else. It's all at once hopeful and frustrating at same time. On the one hand, you see that the celebrities are actually tweeting back to their fans and you love that there is some reciprocity going on. I mean, they take my money and attention in various ways and shapes. I read up on who's zoomin' who. Except for those Kardashians. I don't care one whit about them. Except in the ways in which God wants me to - you know, since they are humans on the planet and all. Or the cast of Jersey Shore – orange people scare me. Like Oompa Loompas. Or anything that has to do with Twilight and its subsequent films – seriously, you do NOT want me to get into that. I don't care about any of that. So it's a little nice to be noticed by a celebrity on a one/one scale like we are old pals. But then you see that they have 1.2 million other pals and not only did they probably not see your twit, but it's probably some paid lackey that's answering and twittery dittery doing back so that everyone feels like the celebrities care and there's some reciprocity. And you notice this because you check back about every five minutes like a panting dog looking for a puppy treat to see if they RT (re-tweeted – which means singled you out all popularity contest style) because they want to answer you and share you with the rest of the world. It's worse than facebook. Plus. I don't do so good with 140 characters to say stuff (who came up with that number? There are movie titles with more letters and spaces). 

Now, in all fairness, I could have 5K followers on Twitter. But I have a hard and fast rule: if your user name/website/motto/line of work/email address contains some sort of substitution for the word rooster, I won't judge but I won't follow you either. I'm all the time getting follow requests from women who want to show off their wares blindly. I have learned to discern from the picture what their end game is. So, when I eliminate the sluts, I mean harlots, I mean random scantily clad women who are soliciting themselves, I am left with 2 followers. Neither of which are celebrities. Although, one is IJM HQ which is really so ridiculously cool. I hope that they are entertained somewhat by my 8 tweets in the midst of their remarkable work. My other follower is a company that produces and distributes films out of Australia. As far as I know, it's not porn. Probably I should look into it a little deeper. Those porn distributors get mighty devious in distributing. 

The other problem that I have with twitter is that I am not a hash slinging masher master. What I mean by that, my fellow twitter newbies, is that if you want to get any bird cred, you have to put a pound sign (aka "hash") next to key words and phrases in your chirp so more people can find you based on interest buzz words. It's like the labels that I put ion my blog so that I surreptitiously end up in Google searches in things as random as chocolate. Or alcoholic. Or Jungle Jim's. You can see how I can sneak up on ya! And those hashes/pound signs? Those count as part of your 140 character boundary! It's serious pressure. Mostly I follow comedians on Twitter. If anyone can be funny in a short space, it's them. Do you know who one of my favorite Tweeters is (you know, among the great many number of 23)? Rainn Wilson who plays Dwight on The Office. That dude is dry and FUNNY! Also, I get to follow my all-time most talented comedians of ever, Brian Regan. Good gravy.  If you can, you MUST go see his show. And you know what? You can even take your kids to see him because he doesn't have to curse or talk about rooster stuff, or cat stuff for that matter, in his show. He's THAT hilarious!

Today, I have that solid 4.5 hour block that I mentioned in Resolution 5.  I intend to do some Resolution 5 things today. I did not finish the laundry yesterday. That is because my dryer is old. I have to dry clothing products two times to get them ready for the folding. For towel and sheet products, it can be as much as 2 times more that I have to turn that knob and hit start. And since my washer only takes once to get clothing products ready for the drying, things get backed up. And I'm not sitting there waiting for one machine to get on the other machine's cycle. Oh no. I have other stuff to do. I have Christmas candy to eat and blogs to write and ideas to pin (oh, to be sure, we will revisit that one) and other completely non-pressing matters to attend to. 

The other Resolution 5 (R5?) thing I must, must do today is clean my kitchen. I used to hate cleaning bathrooms. Okay, I still hate cleaning bathrooms. But I might have come to hate cleaning the kitchen about 10x more. It is never-ending. Like laundry but worse. Because while I have approximately 34 pairs of underwear which equates to not having to do laundry quite as often as the next person, I don't have 34 pots and pans and somehow, what with cooking, I have to use my pots and pans quite frequently. Which means they get dirty. Like every time I use them. And I have to clean them. Over and over and over. I like our planet. I would like to see our civilization last for centuries to come. Not personally. I really have no desire, truly, to live into my 500s. But every now and again I really yearn for disposable pots and pans. Casserole dishes and crock-pots too. Have you cleaned a crock-pot? Do they all have an eternal chalky white ring in them? Or do I suck that bad at cleaning? Probably it's that. Anywho.  

The other goal I have to do in the now 3.5 hour block of time is some yoga. I did a yoga DVD yesterday and felt that it really did some good for my back. So, I went scouting around the internet (you know, spell check keeps trying to capitalize that word.  Humble yourself, internet) looking for some New Year's deal of the day deals that would let me go do some classes pretty much for free. I didn't see any that were free so I lowered the bar a little and there weren't any for next to free. What I came to discover is that yoga is for rich people to do in a group with other rich people. It costs on average $10 a class to do yoga. And that's only if you sign up in advance. If you surprise them by just showing up, they add $3-$5 shock penalty. There are some upsides to the fact that I am unable to afford joining other people for a yoga experience. One is that I have no idea what I'm doing and, as you may recall, I can't willingly make myself look like an idiot. That's not so calming and soothing. Now, one might argue that yoga is about stretching yourself and that doesn't have to be mutually exclusive of your mind. Also, if you free your mind, the rest will follow. If I learned anything from En Vogue, it's that. But I haven't exercised my uptight muscle enough to relax and unclench so we aren't there yet. The other upside to doing yoga in my very own home is that I'm not using it as an excuse to leave my home. Inevitably when I leave my house, I end up going to more places than just where I set out to go which eats into my doing stuff time. Significantly. As in, I keep wandering around until I have to go pick up the kids because my 4.5 hours has dwindled away like sands in the hourglass. These are the days of my life. Also, the more places I go, the more tempted I am to buy things I can't eat or clean with. Also, to buy stuff that I can eat or clean with. Oh! That leads to a third upside! Doing yoga in my house is free. I can check out DVDs from my library or they even have some on Netflix! So, I'll stretch and extend in all the wrong ways looking kind of ridiculous in the comfort of my own home at a risk-free price. Stupid exercise.

The thing I hate about exercise is that there is no instant gratification. It takes soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long to see results. Like, longer than that word so long. On Pinterest (Wait! I told you, we will revisit that. Sheesh), there are all these inspirational posters to inspire you to reach your inspired goal of self-imposed (or more unattainable and unhealthy society-dictated) acceptable body image. Mostly they are photos of a chick's washboard abs with some sort of saying like “Chocolate doesn't taste as good as skinny feels”. You know what I say? Skinny doesn't feel as good right now the way chocolate tastes good right now. That's what I say. Also, skinny is gross. I'm not talking about being 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing like 100 pounds at best like Fiona on my recent obsession, Burn Notice. She has small bones and is a dancer and I don't think she looks like a morning co-host who used to work with a man named Regis. That woman scares me with her scrawniness and I just want to grab her in a head-lock and shove twinkies down her face. But in a loving way and with twinkies that aren't processed and are organic and cruelty-free. Skinny is not healthy. I miss Marilyn Monroe and the 50s. I miss them as much as I can having not shared a generation with them. I miss the 1600s when a man named Peter Paul Rubens saw beauty in curves. Not so much the burning for heresy (suspected or substantiated) that happened in the1600s. Not that I'm a heretic and would have much to worry about. It's just not a nice thing to do to someone. My point is that, at some point, it would be nice if there could be a balance between the obesity that is so rampant today and the obsession with being skin and bones that is also so rampant today. What happened to shades of gray? Why can't I celebrate the changes that my body has gone through because I have been blessed to have grown life inside of it? Because it still looks a little bit like I am blessed to have life presently growing within it, that's why. But I'm done growing babies and it's not so great to just schlump around not trying to feel your best. It's pretty hard not to look your best when you feel your best. Also, it's incredibly not so great for people to ask you when you are due when you are totally not due.  That's what I'm trying to get at here.

You know what else I'm doing with my 3.25 hours of free time? Blogging just for little ol' you. I made a commitment to you and by good golly, I'm going to keep it. Really, I think it trumps all the other stuff that I mentioned I should do. I'm a giver.

Okay. I'm down to about 2.75 hours of free time so we better get this show on the road. Also, I don't know how much longer I'll be able to hold your attention because I've already eaten up about 3 pages of stuff I've said. However, I would like to point out that I AM using more paragraphs today.  Hopefully breaking up 4 ginormous paragraphs into about 57 smaller ones will make this easier and more engaging to read.  You know, more than my holding your attention on sheer wit and interestingness alone.  

Probably, you thought that this resolution might have something to do with exercise or some other healthful thing, but you would be wrong.

7. Grow up. I hesitated in announcing this one just now. Really, my intention was this would be Resolution number 12 because truly, all the other resolutions stem from and ultimately are tied up into this one. But the ideas just started piling up in my head about what to write and I saw no way out other than to get the them out before they ran away.

I am, for all intents and purposes, an petulant child stuck in the body of a weary 40 year old woman. If I look at my childhood, I can see the writing on the wall from various experiences and life-long belief forming moments.

For one thing, I am an only child. I did not have to share one thing with anyone for any reason ever. What's mine was mine. And you know what? Today, what's mine is mine. If I'm done with it, you can have it. But for now, it's mine. Both my parents worked and I was blessed with a great deal of “have”. I got indulged pretty good. So, I have carried on that tradition. It's as good as any. Like cake for your birthday. That's a tradition. That's a good tradition. Like indulging yourself. Maybe that's not so much a tradition. You're giving me a lot to think about here.

Part and parcel with "mine" is that if I want it, I get it.  Not in a kleptomaniac sort of way.  More in a spend money on stuff I don't need to spend money on kind of way.  Or in a "oh, money is not a limitless resource?  kind of way.  Like that.

I eat like a child – whatever I want to, whenever I want to, because I want to. Like birthday cake for birthdays. Or birthday cakes just because they have been marked down. I love fruits and vegetables and I will eat them when the mood strikes. But as a woman starting to reach into my “the change” years (keeping it old skool), my mood often strikes with a rampant overwhelming need for chocolate. And salt. And salty chocolate. So I eat that. Because there is a demon inside of me and if I don't eat that, I'm convinced that the menopausal monster will get out and wreak all myriad of havoc. So, really, eating chocolate all the time is a safety measure to protect those in my home. Or those I share the road with because there are some straight up idiots driving around in cars anymore. Or those that I have to wait for. Pretty much just a general “those” that I'm trying to protect.

I don't do anything that I don't want to. And, I think that you have probably correctly surmised, there are a few things that I don't want to do. And by a few, I mean a great deal.  If there weren't, what would be the point of resolutions? Or a blog about resolutions? So, maybe we could agree that not doing things that I don't want to, is in fact, productive. It means that I will all the time have something to write about. Also, if I have unattainable goals, I'll spend lots of time pursuing them and always keep busy with the trying! Except for the part where I give up and don't do anything because I don't do anything that I don't want to do and I don't want to do that.  

I'm scared of disappointing my parents. I know. Whoa. I said that out loud (well, I typed it out loud) and was all vulnerable and exposed. I think there is a healthiness in a respectful stance when it comes to your parents. I think we all carry around a hope that our parents will be proud of us always and forever. These are the people who sacrificed and raised you. And, even if they didn't or if they did a sucky job of it, I'm so sorry that you got hurt, but even then, God still calls us to honor our parents.  But this fear, it goes beyond that. 

I watch actors and who they portray on film (read the very first paragraph way up there again, silly! Me=celebrity hound). I listen to the words and phrases they use. I see the skin they show (not intentionally! They just spring it on me when I'm caught all unawares! I'm not a perv!). I think about the situations they act out. And I think – that person likely has parents. There are people (mostly women) whose ongoing 15 minutes of fame are not based in talent, but in a widely watched sex tape (not by me. I don't watch sex tapes. I told you, I'm not a perv.  And, I kind of don't recommend that you watch them. There are all kinds of reasons. Just trust me on this one). And I'm a little horrified. I'm not a prude. I'm not even trying to pretend that I play one in a blog. Sure, this could all be my uptightness busting through. But I think about a movie like American Pie and as hilarious as it was – and it was- I wonder what goes through an actor's parent's mind when they watch it - “I'm so proud of all the money my kid made by doing that to a pie for everyone to see!!!” I don't know. Maybe a parent is so dang happy to be driving around an Escalade that they don't really care how they got in one. I've watched Kevin Smith talk to crowds about some really intimate information about drugs and toilets while his mom was sitting right there in the audience and I'm stunned. I couldn't be an actor for just that reason. I couldn't stomach my parents watch me as anything less than civilized and behaved. I can't imagine specifically embarrassing them. I don't know how anyone can be all adult and naked in front of them.  Or simulate all sorts of stuff in front of them.  Or say certain words in front of them.  Also, I couldn't be an actor because I can't act. Also, pretending makes me feel foolish and I can't knowingly make an idiot of myself. I know, I said that before, but it's so true, I'll likely say it often. I understand that at some point I have to allow my kids to do their own thing and maybe it's because they are still so young and innocent but I have a tough time imagining that if one of them ended up producing a “Burlesque” show (which is fancy talk for stripping), that I would applaud their success. Love them, always, but support that – not as easy to promise.

Now, there is a flip side to all this parental reverence I hold dear. The reality is that I have totally done things that my parents are not proud of. They have forgiven me, thank God. And, in the grand scheme of things, they came out pretty lucky on the having a hellion as a kid front. But the way I go about this is a protective bubble that I'm not supposed to put them in. It's not my job to shield them from my realness.  And it really isn't healthy for me, as a forty year old human to be afraid of my father getting angry with me. It's also not healthy for me not to regularly check-in with and build into my recently widowed mother (to avoid confusion – divorced and remarried parents). These are not mature behaviors. They are the behavior of someone that is choosing to stay in a relationship that doesn't exist anymore – with one, I am a child and with the other I am an apathetic teen.  And by choosing to remain in those expired relationships, it traps my parents there as well. It doesn't afford either of us the joy of becoming friends rather than the boss of me/no you're not! Phase of childhood. It keeps me from revealing who I have become and ultimately, I don't give them the chance to accept me as that person.  I'm pretending to be something that I'm not. I'm not being honest. I'm also denying them the ability to be accepted as the people they have grown into being. Parents change too. It's true. I'm a parent. I've changed. And in some good ways, too! They deserve better than that after all I put them through. I deserve better than that after all they put me through.  See - I'm almost tempted to delete that last sentence. I'm all afraid of hurting their feelings.  Or making them upset.  Or angry.  Screw 'em if they can't take a joke!  Too much?  Yeah.  You're right.  Sorry folks!

All this amounts to one fundamental truth. I am not doing all that I can to grow into anything else. If I stay in the past, there is not much to look forward to in the future. If I can't delay gratification, I'm not stoking a passionate fire. I'm pouring gasoline on it causing it to flare into a spectacle of now and then dwindle down to even less than it was because so much got burned out in the showmanship. If I can't cut out my selfishness and my stinginess, it's gonna cause gangrene and stinky rot. The kind of rot that stinks up your heart and your potential. That's what kind of rot that is. I know. I started out so eloquently and then brought it down a couple of notches. So, we shall sum up thusly (that's mature talk, right?). Get out of the past. Enjoy and celebrate the present. Don't worry about the future but build into by enjoying a little less in the present. Open the present, not when you get it but in the future it was intended for. Celebrate with cake. Don't cuss around your parents because it's not ladylike but cuss like a sailor around your kids because they don't care if you are ladylike. 

For the love. I'm down to like .5 hours and it's all your fault!! It's not fair!

Do I HAVE to go do the laundry right now? I don't wanna. Oops.


BonCoffey said...

As one of your parents, I find you eloquent, funny, witty and unflinchingly honest...and I love you still, always & forever. Always have, always will. You're stuck with me for a Mom, Jenny, and I'm not going anywhere. You can't make me - so there. Hugs & butterfly kisses.

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