The Expose

Until you’ve experienced a stranger approach you in the middle of a store and adjust your clothing, you really have been lacking in a significantly humbling social interaction. And, not in a  you’re-so-cute-let-me-adjust-your-flipped-collar kind of way.

It started with a health detox, actually. Intrigued by a process that claimed to break bad habits, give me a 5-8 pound jumpstart weight-loss and invigorate me after 3 short (ah hem) days, I found myself trading in caffeine and a litany of other dietary vices for the glimpse of a better me. What I actually received was 3 days of annoyance, bloating, gas, hunger, mental fogginess and a couple of uncharacteristic behaviors.

After work Wednesday, I took myself to Hobby Lobby for the 5th time in 2 weeks (as if I needed anymore fall decorations) to wander. I do this sometimes when I’m trying to decompress. Some gals go to the gym, for a run, grab a drink, yell at their husband…whatever. Me? I blindly pull from an empty coffee mug a piece of paper containing the winning store of which I will wander aimlessly for an hour or so while my mind contemplates a variety less-than-noteworthy (at least for today) topics on life and the like.

About thirty minutes into my wandering, I notice this lady following me. Certainly, there could be only one explanation: she wants my gourds.  So, I shuffle them into my cart quickly, along with a few other scarecrows, and scurry one aisle over. I am feeling awkward, and mildly stalked, if I’m honest. But, at least now I’m out of her way.  Perplexed by the variety of autumn welcome mats and decorations, and how in America we have an overwhelming selection of ridiculous and unnecessary things, my thoughts are interrupted by a whisper.

“Excuse me.”

It’s the gourd girl. She is now in every ounce of my personal space. Turning around abruptly, I whisper,

” Yeeeessss?”

“Um. Your skirt.”

“What about it?”, I reply looking down, without notice of anything off kilter.

“In the back. It’s…um…tucked up a bit.”

I glance to my left and see nothing. Assuming it’s just a slight fold, and to humor her apparent OCD, I just give it a little tug and start to walk away.

“No, wait…let me help you”, she cries.

Suddenly, I realize that the entire back of my skirt is tucked up into my T and, while I am decompressing, everyone else in the establishment has been undeservingly exposed to the most scantily clad bare buttox to grace the Hobby Lobby in some time. Perhaps the management wondered if they were the next unassuming victim : PEOPLE OF WALMART- THE HOBBY LOBBY EDITION.

“OH!” I muttered. Thank you so much! Oh My goodness.”

 Wow. That is really embarrassing. I’ve only been walking around here like this for at least 30 minutes with no knowledge. I mean, I didn’t even feel a draft.”

“Yes, I know.”

With that she walked off, embarrassed but feeling accomplished, clearly.

Wait. She knew?  My thought? She knew that I had been, unknowingly, conducting a toosh expose for all of the people in the room? She knew I was humiliated but didn’t quite know to to express that in words?” She knew that I’d not had caffeine in 48 hours, thus showing mind-altering effects?  She knew that I agonized over how many others also knew about this game of skirt-and-peek? She knew about my struggle with how much is to too much when it comes to fall decorations? She knew that I was dreading the afternoon commute home…the dinner and homework drill? The laundry? That I’d be drinking a protein shake while my family ate? What did she know? HOW COULD SHE KNOW?

I often think about how much people know. I suppose that is, in part, why I share this.  I wonder how historically automated responses toward certain relational situations  and people would differ if everyone had the benefit of full disclosure? Although, I certainly didn’t mean to take my hypothesis to such literal levels. So, on days when you think that everyone has it all together and you’re playing catch up or measure up or whatever, just remember me. The girl who had her skirt butt-tucked in  a T-strap holding a pair of gourds. And be thankful, very thankful, that even for a disaster like her, someone was kind. People, in general, are still very good-natured.

That day ended as it should: with me returning to my car, that won’t start….because I never put it in park.

 

 

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Is This Just Coffee Talk?

Coffee is a ritual. Yes, it has a function relative to the success of personal productivity, but the ceremonial nature of morning coffee is bliss. That is why no matter the day, the health program, the location, the distractions, coffee is always my morning mainstay. The ceremony is key. Something about hearing the beep of a full pot, and inhaling the aroma of that first pour as it consumes a hollow cup makes me feel like all is right in the world…at least my little corner of it. Clearly, it is unwise for one to interrupt the first sip of java, perhaps even life-threatening. I creep over to the table in a dimly lit nook, firmly clutching mug, and lift open the laptop. News feeds, Facebook, Email. In a moment, life thrusts itself upon the sacred moment of the ceremonial first cup.  How easily I am distracted.

Wait. Did I just equate social media and real life?”

People argue that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, are an illusion;  a highlight reel, a skewed version of reality…fake even. Thought- worthy notion for sure. Yet, I find myself working it all into what has become, for me, another ritual. I find myself utilizing it to express very true and real parts of myself. Why?

“Why would I utilize a perceived vehicle of the unauthentic to express the real?”

Don’t wait for the answer. I have no idea what it is. Although, I believe others share very real aspects of their lives too.  It is for this hope that I want to respect life, as we know it, on the web. I want to assume that any thought, photo, or feeling is potentially meaningful and significant. I don’t want  to be the person who eagerly dismisses another. Conversely, there is risk in believing everything you see. It can be the catalyst of disillusion, feelings of inadequacy, confusion, erroneous assessments, and false hope.  It can prevent me from engaging the very people I need to connect with, because somewhere along the way, I’ve decided based on 3 photos and 5 posts that we have nothing in common. That is what scares me.

So, let me say this: When functionality begins to drown out ceremony, experience, and connectivity: recalibrate. Instead of updating, make a date. With people. For real (insert coffee sip). 

I Remember Now

Buzz. 5:34 am. No, it’s not the alarm. It’s actually the CO2 monitor glowing red. Funny thing is, I was actually fully asleep at 5:34 am. It is time to get up although I am wondering if my sound sleep was a precursor to impending doom. Nah, it was a faulty battery. We’s good.

Alas, it is a Tuesday that feels like Monday. Because Monday was fun day instead of Sunday this week. We tried to summit Mt. Evans yesterday (via car, but who cares about details) and failed miserably. 40 mph gusts of wind blew me right off the top and into this week where I am twirling. Full on twirl.

The list:

1.  caffeinate

2.  pack lunches

3.  ask kids to get dressed

4.  begin the personal closet excavation and outfitting process

5.  defog bathroom after Steve’s 45 min shower

6.  ask kids to get dressed again with voice inflection

7.  Make breakfast

8.  tooth inspection.

9.  “I don’t know where your folder is !”(Take 15)

10.  Toothbrushing revision

11.  SHOVE FAMILY OUT OF DOOR

12. collapse on couch whilst chugging cup 1 (reheat version 3) of coffee

13.  Oh, Wait…I have to go to work. LIKE NOW.

Ah Hah!  Now, I remember. THIS is why I find it difficult to write.  I swear, I will bust out my camera again. I will be thoughtful again.  And, because I am committed (or at least hope to be) to the discipline of writing again, today we will just glimpse upon the fire drill that is my life. And, I suspect, yours too. Good luck and Godspeed, mamas!