To Thine Own Self Be Mean
They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, which is great because I am my own worst enemy, and guilt is my weapon of choice.
My guilt trips come with their own pilot, flight crew, and bad catering. “Welcome aboard. We’ll be flying at the lowest esteem possible, with occasional inner-turbulence, peppered by mild anxiety attacks. SSRIs will be available for purchase during the flight, along with headphones for the feature film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Lots of people set goals and seem to have the energy of a splitting atom. I call them overachievers, while feeling like a total loser in comparison. I am inert by nature, finding innumerable ways to avoid doing anything that requires effort. While other moms were cutting up fresh fruit and frying up bacon, I threw packages of Hostess mini-muffins up the stairs yelling, “Breakfast!”
When my husband was dismissed from his job of twenty years, he took over meal preparations to save money and because he actually likes to cook. That was great in the beginning, but one day my younger son tells me, “I don’t like having Daddy home.” I gasped. “Why not?” “I miss going to McDonalds.” And the best parent award goes to…
Call me Blanche DuBois, except that I’ve always depended on the cooking of others. The very thought of having to put together a meal, or worse, entertain makes me anxious. Besides, cooking is messy and messes have to be dealt with. The inside of my oven looks like a combination of toxic waste and seagull droppings. “Self-cleaning” my ass. If ovens were truly self-cleaning, they would clean themselves after each use. My vagina has better self-cleaning power than a KitchenAid Superba.
Speaking of overachievers, one of my neighbors does lunges up our steeply-inclined street and looks like a million-bucks. Meanwhile my bones are getting so porous I may have the ability to fly soon. The very word “exercise” makes me phantom sweat, but it’s easier feeling shitty about myself rather than actually sweating. If beating myself up counted as a workout, I’d be a candidate for an Olympic boxing team.
By law it is okay to kill someone in self-defense, and if anyone deserved killing, it is this insidious enemy. I have been working on it. Watching Hoarders helps me feel like a superior housekeeper, and Toddlers and Tiaras makes me feel like an incredible mom. Who knew reality TV could be so therapeutic? As I grow wiser and increasingly more comfortable in my own flabby skin, I just need to get over feeling guilty about being happy.
“Oh miss! I’ll take some of those SSRIs now, please. Oh, and I’m sorry my baggage doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment. I’ve learned it’s much smarter to check it all and just enjoy the ride.”