Saturday, November 03, 2007

Average and dehydrated

I am having a very bad day. I've actually had a whole fracking caboodle of bad days.

A mere one day past deadline, at 2am, I wearily turned in my barely six-page paper on "Gothicism in American Literature" which analyzed "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Poe. The instructor gives all assignments a one-week grace period at the price of a drop in one letter grade, but waived the grade penalty for this paper. I think I love her. The paper wasn't my best work, but at this point in the semester I have abandoned the Pollyanna -ish thoughts of maintaining the 3.75 GPA from last semester and I'm just shooting for passing all of the classes. At this point, Cs are SO acceptable. And I never, ever, EVER thought that thought would ever be in my head. Ever. I have become average and frankly, I'm pretty okay with it. In fact, below average is looking better and better.

I got behind in everything because of Halloween. I know, I know, blame it on an innocent pagan holiday and use it as a scapegoat, but seriously, it really was Halloween that made me behind. See, we were sent an email at work that "encouraged" us to dress up for Halloween and in my mind "encouraged" meant "show up in costume or else." I was going to go with my original plan of a loose interpretation of Tracey Turnblad from the movie Hairspray because well, fat chicks are pretty limited on costumes at Halloween time - I mean, dressing up like Paris Hilton is out, as well as dressing as a French maid or Catwoman. We're pretty much destined to be the Cookie Monsters, Grimaces and fat old ladies with walkers come October 31st. But the Friday before Halloween, the day I am off EVERY WEEK, the day that everyone in my department KNOWS I am not going to be in, it was decided that Child Welfare was going to all dress as scarecrows. 'Scuse me? Scarecrows? My initial response when the other aide told me on Monday - a mere TWO DAYS before Halloween - was, "I don't think so, sister. I just won't dress up. That's BS." (That was a much milder version than what I actually said, mind you.) Then my wise younger sister told me I wasn't being a team player and that working with a group of people at a real big-girl job required bending like a willow, not standing firm and unmoving like a 400 year old giant sequoyah and after I told her to stick her willow where the sun don't shine, I realized she was right and set to work making my costume.

I hot glued raffia to the inside cuffs of a shirt I picked up at the Friendship House for $1.75, sewed patches all over my shirt and jeans, hot glued my finger to my jeans and tried my best to get into the spirit of things. Tater came over and hot glued the raffia to my hat and helped me figure out my makeup and such. I didn't do any homework, but I had a killer scarecrow costume. In fact, it was so killer that I won best costume at work. Yeah, I'm such an overachiever at stupid stuff that it's mind-boggling.

So now I'm about 150 problems behind in Algebra. I was behind before and am even behinder now. And I have literally - not exaggerating here - cried all day. If I am not yelling, I'm crying. Those are my two capabilities right now - screaming and sobbing. My kids are quite bewildered and my husband just sits in his recliner and tries not to breathe too loudly for fear I will murder him in his sleep. An hour and a half ago I was crying so hard I thought I was going to hyperventilate. I was talking on the phone with Tater while I was blubbering to beat the band and it hit me that I sounded like my five year old when she's throwing a tantrum. I am not only average, but I'm also a big baby. These are the things college has taught me, people - that I'm not as good as I thought I was and that I am not able to juggle my life as it is right now. I am going to get an F in multi-tasking this semester.

I have cried so much that my head feels like it's going to split wide open, my eyes are blurry and dry and there' s a chunk of my hair that is all stiff because after I hung up the phone with Tater, I laid my head down on the edge of the kitchen sink and sobbed some more. That is, until I realized that my hair was in the pan that was soaking in the sink. So I stood up and while I sniffed back four gallons of snot and blinked through my tear-speckled glasses, I dried the parts of my hair that had just marinated in chicken casserole and soap bubbles the best I could with a dish towel of questionable cleanliness.

Someday when I'm famous and happy and stable, will y'all remind me about this blog post? Just in case I ever get too big for my britches and think I'm all hot stuff or something? Because this is a pretty humbling moment.

Tater reminded me that at this point, a mere five weeks from the end of the semester, I just have to pass. I don't have to have a good grade, I just have to have a grade. She added that an F is also a grade. She also said that I'd be surprised at how many people have to take Algebra more than once - I told her I wouldn't be surprised at all. Then she told me that I truly do have a gift - a gift for writing, a gift with words, a gift that is the ability to put words into stories that entertain and make people laugh and someday that gift is going to take me somewhere... but that I did not, however, have a gift for doing math because I am a mathtard and there's nothing anyone can do about it. And then I laughed. And I realized that I have one awesome family.

My oldest daughter did a load of laundry on Thursday night. All by herself. My son hasn't had to be reminded twelve times to take out the trash all week. My youngest emptied the bathroom trashcan and only left half a dozen pieces of trash on the floor this time rather than the usual dozen and a half. My husband attempted to snake out the washing machine line that backs up when the washer drains; and even though he didn't succeed, he at least attempted it because it was adding to my frustration. At TotTwo's football game this afternoon my mom patted me on the leg - she didn't have to say anything, she just reminded me she was there. All of these people love me and know that I will someday be sane and back to my normal self.

Or else they're just trying to keep me calm until the guys with the white jackets arrive.


Anonymous said...

You CAN do it! At the risk of sounding like one of those annoying 70's be-kitten-ed posters, "just hang in there"! But you know, if it's any consolation, your post was so very funny, girl! :)

Queen Of Cheese said...

I had the same week, I've cried, screamed, cussed and thought more than once that moving to Mexico and drinking margarita's for living wasn't such a bad idea! Add to the school, work, kids and sports a husband with a torn achilles tendon on crutches and you can tell I'm to the point of telling them all to just screw it, I'm a failure and they can adjust!

mombo said...

oh, honey. I have so been there. there were times in finishing my degree after I had kids, that I though the sheer stress of it all was going to cause all my hair follicles to slam shut at once, cutting off all my hair, leaving me to return to class as bald as the day I was born. as well as still at the age of 3. I wish I could come over and walk you through the algebra problems - not that I'm that good at math, but I am good at walking people through hard times. I hope you have somebody who will babystep it with you. sometimes that's what it takes. hang on girl. I not only finished my undergrad, but like some kind of lunatic, I went on to grad school and finished that, too. "You can do it all night long" sister!

Shannon said...

OMYGosh Kristin, you don't know how many times I have felt that way! I was so sick of school, I still have papers that need to be filed, my house is still a pit from all the negligence to it. I remember the summer I took Art Ed. and a computer class and an online computer class at the same time. I was so sick of looking at my computer it made me physically sick!!! If you know of someone who went to Pitt and took Art Ed. ask them about it!! AHH! unless they were smart and took that class somewhere else. I hate Math, so I cannot help you any there. There is a tutoring place at NEO though that I went every morning during that summer of College Algebra. I believe it was in Cunningham on the second floor. Oh how I believe Algebra has no place as a required course UNLESS you are going to be an engineer or something that requires knowing the a2 + b2 = who cares!!!crap.

I feel for you! hang in there! If I can do it at 41 anyone can!!:)

Oh, and ya your post was hilarious! You should be writing for a major magazine with all of this that you do!

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