What the heck are you doing?
My brain kept whispering. I could hear it behind my eyes. The anxious whisper almost made me move...turn around and leave....but I didn't. I stood there frozen but not with fear. I was deep in thought.
Let me back up to yesterday afternoon...
I was sitting in the tiny chair, in the pediatrician's office....
Nope...I'm gonna take you back to last weekend.
I tricked Max into grocery shopping with me by saying "hey! You want to drive?" And then directing his driving right into the grocery parking lot.."well, while we are here..."
Half way through my grocery list, I noticed the shoppers.
I watched the young moms, with their first baby, fiilling their baskets with organic and fresh goods. Their hair shiny, and their yoga pants and baby t-shirts saying "I got this motherhood thing, no problem, and I will not let my looks go."
I grinned at the slightly older moms, of several toddlers, quickly placing apples and wheat bread in the basket to hide the sodas, frozen pizza rolls, and sugar cereal from the judging eyes of the younger moms. Their hair pulled back with a rubberband, and their husband's old college t-shirt hiding the last thing on the priority list: fixing out-of-shape body.
Then there were the middle-aged moms. We survived the past 15 years of our last child and have nothing to prove, just lives to manage. We hide nothing and even have found a way to be comfortable with greying hair and our body shapes, in form fitting jeans and sweaters. We didn't even think twice as we yelled to our drivers, "go get milk, cereal that is on sale, and the giant package of paper towels, then meet me on the beer aisle."
My 17 years of motherhood passed in a blink-
That brings me to the tiny chair in the pediatrician's office, yesterday.
I have not taken either of my boys to a non-specialist doctor in a long time, so to Jack's chagrin he had to go to the little kid doctor.
As we waited, I noticed the old stained and scratched walls, floor and furniture. A smile spread across my face as I reminisced about my little boys and the countless visits to the doctor when they were toddlers. The smile turned to a gag when I leaned against the shelves and noticed the germ coated books were the same ones from 13 years ago...
That was the last visit to the pediatrician. Jack is right. He is too old.
So back to my whispering brain today...
I was in the vestibule of the closed post office, buying stamps. As I put my money in the machine, I heard snoring.
I know Jeff has been out of town a while but not long enough for me to miss his snoring and start dreaming of it!
I slowly turned and found the smelly snorer wrapped in a blanket and hidden in the corner.
I was alone.
A part of me felt I should leave immediately, because if he woke up and was trouble, there would be no way for me to escape and nobody to hear me scream.
I stood there staring at this man- worn out shoes, a shelter blanket, tattered pants, and decent looking dress shirt.
How did he get here....
Not the post office.
How did his life end up smelly and seeking the warmth of my neighborhood post office vestibule?
My brain anxiously started to whisper, "move. What the hell are you doing? Quit standing over him."
I ignored it. Instead, I had a mid-life perspective moment:
What am I doing?
What do I want to be?
Who do I want to be?
My children are practically adults.
My husband is working out of town til spring.
I have a job that I love but stink at...and it has nothing to do with my college degree.
I continue to homeschool...but not sure how well.
Yes. I know. A conversation about myself as I stood over a sleeping man that has no comforts that I could observe.
He never woke up.
I returned to reality and went home to make lunch for my 17 year old baby with a lung infection, do laundry creatively with my broken washer, and work on a quilt I have been stitching for 13 years.
Ponder my future
s i c k
t r a p p e d
f r o z e n
s h r e d d e d
s h r u n k e n
....adjectives for the first week of my new year
However, it was nothing out of the ordinary for MAZ.
I fought some sort of virus, lasting 10 days, with a new, surprising gift of a symptom each day. It was exhausting and frustrating but I won. I always win..
On my first site visit of the new year, I was faced with surviving one of my biggest fears.
I entered a worksite female toilet closet, which is almost always used as the male dump room because there are usually no females....until I show up.
I held my breath, hovered in mid air so as not to touch a thing, and chanted to ward off all grossness.
Once I completed my task, I unlocked the door and turned the knob.
Chooka chooka chook...
The door would not open.
For the next 5 minutes, I turned the lock back and forth as I tried to open the door.
I began to think through the simple steps of exiting a bathroom with a flimsy door that would not open...
There had to be a simple step that I was forgetting...
My hovering abilities began to disappear the longer my hand was on the doorknob.
I could feel the walls closing around me.
On this 30 degree weather day, a sweat broke out across my body as the anxiety grew.
Steam began to fog my glasses and added volume to my already wild hair.
'What if the guys are right outside the door and laughing because I am pulling instead of pushing...or locking instead of unlocking...or they are holding the knob to tease me...'
My thoughts spun into chaotic unhelpful problem solving skills....
'What if the guys are not in this trailer and I am stuck in here...which one do I call to come help me out of here....oh crap- I don't have my phone!'
I knew I needed to take a deep breath and think, but I feared a deep breath would draw the skin of disgust closer to my body. With my humidity induced frizz, I was positive the skin would connect with my hair, forming a glue, securing my stay in the dirty public restroom....my biggest phobia!
After what seemed hours, but hopefully was a few minutes, I noticed the lock catch in the door frame was not in place.
I used my foot and hand to move the frame away from the door (very flimsy) and escaped my crapper prison.
Wiping sweat from my brow and using both hands to reign my hair back to my skull, I looked to my left.
4 grinning males stood with coffee in hands and grins on their lips-
"You stuck, Ms. Margaret?"
I'm guessing there was not a smile on my lips when my passionate feeling of panic-turned-anger hung on my face.
They each had a varying expression of slight fear until I replied,
"YOU HAVE BEEN STANDING HERE LISTENING TO ME TRYING TO GET OUT?"
no matter how scared my victims are, they are always amused at my bugged eyes and raised eyebrows-
They laughed, "well, we didn't know it was you. We thought it was a guy finishing up his business."
"What? How would that sound like....bah! nevermind!"
I ran an errand and when I returned to my workspace, there was a cup of coffee and a candybar. Thank goodness the guys are aware that feeding me is always the best answer!
The next day, on a different job, I arrived before sunrise and my car read 5 degrees. I reluctantly wore my coat because when I don't wear my coat and I slightly shiver, the guys make a big deal about me being cold. I was not in the mood for attention.
I gathered my materials and headed across the parking lot toward the building.
A third of the way I was shaking uncontrollably, my fingers and toes were completely numb and the biting wind had frozen my eyes open.
I seriously thought my blood and plasma had frozen, rendering me motionless.
I am not sure how I made it into the building. My brain froze and I lost some time, but I found myself standing in the middle of 7 to 10 guys. My legs and arms were shaking like a bumble ball. The guys were forming a wall around me and the industrial size space heater. I guess since my teeth were clanking like the roller coaster car moving up the incline, the guys felt the need to move me closer to the bright orange heat coils. My eyes were beginning to blink again and I looked down at my corduroy pants.
"You okay now ms margaret?"
I could still feel that the skin on my body was frozen but I was experiencing an intense heat.
"I think my pants are on fire.."
The words shook out of my mouth.
I heard laughing as the guys backed away and the heat enclosure ventilated.
This time I think the attention might have saved my life, or at least my pants.
SHREDDED AND SHRUNKEN
I ended the eventful first week with a day of cleaning. I swept, dusted, vacuumed, mopped and rearranged my house. It felt so good and I even decided to unzip my sofa cushions and wash/dry the covers. I was excited that my couch would be so clean and smell so fresh!
When I removed the covers from the dryer, to my horror, some of the stitching had pulled apart.
I was frustrated but knew it wasn't anything that I couldn't stitch back.
I put the fresh clean covers back on the cushions and placed them on the couch...
They FREAKIN shrunk
41 year old MAZ stood by the stack of camis in the women's clothes at Target, 3 steps from the bustling shoppers on the main aisle.
I found the color I wanted but could not remember the size I needed.
Realizing that I was wearing one under my cardigan sweater, I positioned the sweater up higher in the front, letting the neck of the sweater droop down my back.
"Mom, could you look at the size on my cami? Is it a medium or a large?"
I turned to face the main aisle, making sure my sweater was covering my bare shoulders and bra straps, and placing my back to my mom.......
I was completely unaware that she still saw me as her 4 year old daughter, that would stand grumpily in the middle of KMart, while she ripped Margaret Alice's shirt off to try on the new clothes....
I didn't know dressing rooms existed until I was 10.
The next seconds happened in such slow motion, I am not sure my writing can recreate it appropriately, for the reader.
My hands were holding the sides of the sweater....
and then suddenly my loosely wrapped cardigan was jerked off my shoulders, falling to drape around my knees and my cami was tightly pulled behind me allowing her frigid fingers to touch my back and my front was exposing enough of my bra to make me look like a Lane Bryant underwear model.
I AM NOT 4 years old!"
I quietly but firmly exclaimed in staccato, as an older man looked at me in horror and I responded with this...
My mom, hidden behind me, defended
"well....you asked me to look at the size..."