Step, step, jump, step

I went to some frightfully silly gathering the other night — there were various beautiful people all in a room together, trying to help the rest of us be more like them, mostly by way of a ten-minute chair massage and a little extra hair product and eye gel, I believe. It mostly gave me hives, so I left after a few minutes, having ascertained that the only non-alcoholic beverages they were peddling there were measly little thimblefuls of Pellegrino. Thimblefuls!

Of course there is nothing wrong with Pellegrino, but the fact that I had to flex all my bullying skills in order to convince the faux bartender to serve me anything other than wine made me so irritable and fussy that I downed my little one-ounce shot of water all at once and was unsurprisingly still parched as all hell. I would have bellied up for another half-jigger, but my bartender-bullying muscles were feeling all sore from the first go-round, and the bartender looked a little sore, too, so I desisted and removed myself from the situation.

I am getting entirely off-topic now, but the thing is that I had had a very bad sandwich (was it the olives? the feta? no one knows) for lunch that day, with the result that I was zipping in and out of the ladies’ room all afternoon at work and my face was remarked upon as being a delicate shade of green for a couple of hours there. The details of my gastro-intestinal travails aside, suffice it to say that by 5:30 pm I was more than a little dehydrated. I really, really needed that water, ma brutha.

Well, so anyway it was brutal. It appeared to be a benefit for an organization of which I am already a member, so I felt a bit like the choir being preached to, if you know what I mean. People would come up to me and try to sell me something and I kind of smiled wanly and fished around uneasily for my membership card, which I now saw as a Get-Out-of-Spa-Free pass.

And that whole magical make-over malarkey just makes me very twitchy and possibly I will start chanting slogans about rampant consumerism and arbitrary standards of beauty and conspiring in one’s own oppression and that is just balls of fun for no one, and would only make people secretly muse that what I really need is a good, hard, swedish massage, and that maybe I just hadn’t met the right pedicurist yet.

And whoa, to be honest, the idea of someone filing away at my toenails really does makes me turn slightly green. I dearly love painting my toenails garish shades of red and purple, sometimes with sparkles, and especially as a semi-ritualistic harbinger of spring, but nail files in combination with finger- and toenails have the same effect on me as nails on a chalkboard do for everybody else. In fact, now I think of it, I used to even hate it when I had an itch on my leg and I had to scratch through my jeans to get at it. I would always rub my jeans with the palm of my hand, to soothe and calm the denim, after scratching it up like that.

So yeah. Slightly more OCD than even I had originally thought. I haven’t even mentioned the crushing importance of symmetry to me, and how I used to thrum my fingers (you, know, you’re impatient, you thrum your fingers on the desk, from pinky to pointer finger over and over to indicate your impatience? Thrum. Everyone say it with me, “thrum”) but I would have to do it symmetrically: first the pinky, then the pointer finger, then ring finger, then thumb, then middle, then all together, twice, to equalize it out. Symmetrically.

What.

Oh, right, like you have no odd habits. Ha, I say unto you. Ha ha.

The single most empowering thing I have discovered in my advanced years of thirty-several is that we are all of us exceedingly messed up. In so many ways. Those who seem not to be are just really good actors. So relax, everyone else is just as messed up as you, probably more so, and if your major worry is making sure all the fine point pens in your desk drawer are all facing the same direction (nothing wrong with that!) you are doing OK.

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