Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fanfare for the Common Woman

It's often inspirational to read about women that have triumphed over challenges both big and small. We cheer on their adventures. We weep at their losses. We applaud their efforts. And so I was thinking that as incredible as those women are, they are not the norm. They are special, which is why they get page space and airtime. So what of the common woman? The one that slugs through days as if plodding through a vat of syrup, often stumbling - just trying to get to the edge of that vat. Might it not be inspirational in its own small way to read about her foibles and follies? OK, maybe not inspirational but perhaps a kindred spirit kind of thing? It is in that spirit that I offer this:

I don't exercise every day. Once a week is a victory for me. I continue to search for studies that show that women that rarely exercise are actually preserving their bodies more effectively than those that work out regularly. My motto is "No exercise, no pain."

I don't eat very well. One fruit a day is usually the most I can muster. Apparently my kitchen is stocked with mostly carbohydrates. Since grains occupy the largest space on the food pyramid, I've interpreted this to mean I can eat a lot of them. Here's what I figure: if this Atkins thing is so great, why is Atkins no longer alive? (OK, don't cloud this with the facts. I do know that he slipped and fell, but did you ever wonder why he slipped? Maybe too FEW carbs? Hmmmm?)

I eat a lot. I can shovel more food in my body in one sitting than my thin friends eat in a day. However, I have pride and I usually reserve the shovel fests for my alone time. Why do you think I'm enjoying being a stay-at-home mom? When other people say they're stuffed, I think: "How bad would it be if I finished her food?"

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about food. Some people eat to live. I live to eat and dream about food. Take away my food and I'll cry. Really.

I yell at my children - often loudly and at the worst possible times. My yelling is neither creative nor effective. I'm often ignored and sometimes I even get yelled at in response.

I'm not very smart. My kids have surpassed my intelligence level, but I'll never let them know this. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that I have a college degree. I haven't read many classic books and I know virtually nothing about history. I have no math skills. I've learned to hide this fact. I'm not street smart either. I just know when and how to nod my head.

Although my house might appear to be tidy, I have closets packed with so much crap, I don't even know what's in them. My greatest fear is that both my husband and I will die together and someone will come into our house and go through our things. The only good thing is that I can't die from embarassment since that will be a foregone conclusion. And don't even ask about the basement....My motto is, "If it's messy, close the door."

I like junk TV. I watch reality shows and prefer cheesy dramas. I've seen the Discovery Channel. It helps me fall asleep at night.

I have one hobby that I do badly - I knit. I can't cleverly arrange anything. If you come to my house and something looks good, it's because I bought it that way or somebody else did it. I haven't a crafty bone in my body.

I love gossip, until it gets mean. Who doesn't want to know a small secret or two about the woman that is attractive, thin and popular? Oh, c'mon. Be honest.

Despite what I tell my children, I usually leave the important things until the last minute. I work better under pressure and it's a safe bet that the night before a big event, I'll be burning the midnight oil to make it look like I've been working all month.

I'm a horrible cook. Actually, I don't cook. What I do would be better described as re-heating. I haven't any type of feel for what should go into food. If it's not in the recipe, I'd never think of adding it, mostly because I don't trust myself. You shouldn't trust me either. If I've made something, ask me where I got the recipe. If I say I made it up, politely decline.

I'm often crabby. Sometimes a frown will occupy my face for hours at a time. I pick on the people that I love the most, primarily because I think that I can predict everything that they will do to annoy me. And so I annoy them first.

I don't understand politics or government. If you ever see me get into a political conversation, tackle me. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I couldn't explain the branches of government to save my life. This is why I can't watch "The West Wing." I have no idea what they're saying.

I can't make small talk unless I'm in a ridiculously good mood. Apparently the crabbiness crashes into the moderate intelligence and I usually stand there like a deer in the headlights. The art of conversation is lost on me. I truly have nothing to say. A cocktail party is like a form of torture to me.

When someone I know is going through a tough time, I am the person most likely to say something either irrelevant, insensitive or at the very least, not helpful. When in these situations, my brain tends to lock up and the first thing that pops into my head will usually be something like: "I'm sorry. Do you think you'll still be driving carpool next week?"

So there you have it. Common things about a common woman. Perhaps sharing too much? Eh, who cares? It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.....


At 10:08 AM , Blogger Feithline said...

I like you already. :)


At 9:13 AM , Anonymous miriam said...

Me too. I've been feeling kind of similarly lately. Like somehow there's some kind of Mom Olympics going on there all the time (she makes her own bread, AND she ran two marathons last year, she works full time and ALL of her children are gifted) and I just don't rate. Glad to hear from you.

At 8:23 PM , Blogger Mother Hypocrite said...

I was thinking about this some more, and I've concluded that those moms who excel are usualy those with really awesome support systems. Like I remember reading about some woman who was an actual Olympic something or other, and she had kids, and what killed me about the whole article was that every day for SIX YEARS her mother had come over and watched her kids so she could run and go to the gym. In other words, her mother's full-time job was supporting her daughter's aspirations!

And her husband watched the kids full-time like every weekend so she could go to track meets and things. I mean, heck, my husband watches the kids one weekend a year when I go to the ladies retreat at church and it's like a big deal.

My point being, that usually those ladies that are just so darned perfect -- it's because they have really awesome support. A supportive husband, family nearby, a great boss, etc. etc. etc.

Most of us are just doing the best we can.


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