Tuesday, May 6, 2008


So, basically, I can't stand meeting new people anymore. "Hi, how are you?"... easy enough. Exchange a few pleasantries...Fine. But then, invariably, tensions begin to rise. Oh, nothing discernible to the naked eye. However, inside, I start to feel sick. And annoyed. And unsure. All of my insecurities come rushing forth, until I am having to will myself not to just bolt. As the innocuous words are spoken by my new "friend", my mind races to formulate an answer to the question that has plagued (and mocked, and ridiculed and tortured) me for the last 15 years.

"What do you do?" 

What do I DO? What kind of asinine question is THAT? You mean, what is my job? Do I have one? How do I spend my waking hours? What is my chosen destiny? How many lives have I saved? 

The "real" answer, I guess, is quite simple. I'm a mom. Some days, not a very good one. A wife. One who can hold a grudge for years. A caretaker to the pets that seem to be running my life with increasing demand. But how do I say all of that with a straight face? It's just so... unglamorous. So ordinary. So not good to say someone you are meeting for the first time.

But it's not that I feel undervalued or that I would rather be doing something else. Or maybe I do and I would. I guess the reality of being a cutting-edge fashion designer or the lead singer in a girl band is slim. Did I set those dreams aside to have a family, or was I too scared to pursue them in the first place? And what on EARTH am I to do about it NOW? So much to think about, yet so few people that actually care. 

Lesson here? If you meet me on the street, stick to the weather.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hi, My Name is Debbie and...

I'm addicted to segues. I can't express myself without them. God forbid I have a thought in my head that wants to escape without having a good enough reason to spit it out. One reason I don't initiate conversations is I don't want to inconvenience/bore people with a topic that doesn't have direct relevance to what they want to discuss themselves. I guess that is the doormat in me, inherited from my mother.

Another reason is I don't want to seem self-absorbed or pre-occupied with things that aren't either excellent gossip or beneficial to the majority of listeners. If I bring something up simply out of the blue, that I need to get off my chest, doesn't that make me selfish? Maybe I feel this way because so many people I associate with ONLY talk about themselves. I could be standing there with a bleeding head wound, and they would still be going on and on and on about how they hope their kid makes the yearbook staff this year.

The final reason I don't talk about things that aren't already on the table is fear. The reason certain topics never arise is because I go to great lengths to make sure they don't. I avoid talking about them because, although I am pretty much consumed by them, they scare me too much. I am afraid that uttering what eats at me will only give it life and push me down a never-ending staircase. I'll be left alone to confront what I hate, what makes me sad, what chases me in my nightmares. It'll take over and I won't be able to function.

So unless somebody happens to say, "Hey Deb, let's discuss your deepest fears and biggest problems," they will stay neatly tucked away inside my soul. And, if perchance, someone does happen to go there, I'll probably just lie and tell them everything's peachy.

"Not a care in the world. And, hey, how 'bout those Redskins?"