Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Once a Delicate Flower, Always a Delicate Flower (aka: Hi, I've Got Issues)

I'm a 36 year old woman. I have a good job (shut up, you know what I mean), am a proud teacher, pay a mortgage for a house, and am smart, considerate (at least I try) and independent.
So why, when people snap or yell at me, do I regress into a stammering, terrified, ultra-sensitive, wounded 8 year old?

I just interrupted a manager from a meeting and he bit my head off and hung up on me, telling me I really used poor judgment in interrupting him. My reason was a good one even if he didn't see it the same way. I was polite and very quick with my questions. I obviously did not mean any harm. He obviously was having a bad day (he's usually a really great guy).

So why do I feel like shit and why did I have to immediately close my door to quickly burst into tears? Where's my anger or indignation at his behavior? Why can't I just blow stuff like this off? I'm so quick to accept blame, it's amazing. Especially if someone is angry over something I've done or haven't done. I take things like this so strongly to heart.

In the summer before kindergarten, mom enrolled me in a cooking class. Mrs. Tanaka was the teacher. That's right, it's 30+ years later and I still remember the name of the teacher from a 1-week summer cooking class. We were all busy doing our newly-learned jobs in the kitchen. Mine was peeling potatoes. I wanted to make sure I did it correctly and got all the peel off. I was very carefully, proudly peeling away when Mrs. Tanaka came to look at my progress. When she saw I was still on my first potato, she yanked it out of my hand, grabbed the peeler and told me I was going far too slow and to just go sit down. I felt cut to the quick and burst into ignored tears.

In first grade, my teacher told my parents I was extremely over-sensitive. I will never forget the time we voted on our school mascot. There's little 6-year old me, thinking the catepillar mascot design was the cutest thing ever. So that's what I voted. But then I found out that everyone else really wanted the jaguar to win. I flipped out. What if my vote was the deciding vote and we got the catepillar because of me? I would ruin it for everyone! I immediately went to my teacher, crying and pleading for her to let me change my vote so that everyone would be happy. (The jaguar won in a landslide victory, by the by.)

And here I sit, a 36 year old woman, crying in her office because she's been cut to the quick by someone else's quick words of frustration, and feeling like she's let the world down.

What a dorkass.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday Light Peer Pressure

I'm feeling like I'm letting the team down. If by team I mean "neighborhood." Our street is a sparkly holiday wonderland complete with bushy wreaths, candy canes, giant blow-up Santas and snowmen, glittery trees and reindeer and spotlights on houses looking like giant wrapped gifts.

And then there's us.

We live in a side-by-side duplex and the other side takes this decorating very seriously, hence my nearly being blinded when leaving the house other night as the result of the glorious spotlight aimed directly at our house (or my irises, take your pick). So, I feel like I should try.

First, I put up a festive wind sock with a happy snowman on it.


I plugged in the multi-colored "grid" lights which have been on the same bush, year-round, for about 3 years. It worked! Huzzah!

Yeah, still pathetic.

So I went to 4 different stores today to see what I could find. Alas, there are definitely no giant blow-up menorahs or dreidels to be had. After searching high and low, I bought some lights to surround the door,fake candles to put in the windows so that we match the other side of our dwelling (hi, OCD, I hate when things are unbalanced. I mean, other than me), and a 3-pack of tiny white light trees.

No clue how to put them up, but I'll try.

After I get back from yet another store. Who knew you needed extension cords for all this festivity? Maybe I'll stop and get some brandy and egg nog to fight off the case of bah humbugs I fear are festering just below the surface.