My brain is a busy place – not because I’m so smart but because I’m so high-strung. At any moment, I have the equivalent of Facebook’s “Trending Now” sidebar running in my brain, nagging me about bills I haven’t paid or whether I remembered to lock the door or turn off the stove or turn down the thermostat. I’m not talking about the big stuff in my life – my family, my friends, my job; I’m talking about stuff in my everyday life that is as petty as what’s “Trending Now” nationwide, which is apparently a Twitter feud involving Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj.
Here is the background noise occupying my brain right now:
- I hate driving. I hate it. I mean, I always hate it, but I hate it even more right now because I encounter an estimated four unexpected construction detours on the way to work and then another two (at least) in new and different places on the way home. I also hate pretty much everyone else who drives, ever. I hate people who lay on their horns if you hesitate for a fraction of a second after a red light turns green. I hate people who run red lights. I hate people who don’t use turn signals. I hate people who don’t know the basic rules of four-way stop signs. I hate people who have stupid bumper stickers. I hate people who tailgate. During much of my day-to-day life, I like people. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I seek out connections even with people who are vastly different from me. But when I get behind the wheel and have to deal with other drivers, I hate everyone. (Not in a road ragey way – I don’t have the energy for that kind of anger. This is just a low-grade hatred.)
- Flies. How can we get rid of all the freaking flies in our kitchen? We’re not dirty people! We wash our breakfast dishes before we leave for the day, and we wash our dinner dishes before bed, and we put our garbage out once a day, and we don’t let fruit fester in the fruit bowl or anything. We’ve tried sprays and fly paper and bleach down the drains and homemade traps involving wine and dish soap, but they’re still there, swarming around the kitchen and drowning in my wine, and no matter what Alanis Morissette says, a black fly in your chardonnay is not ironic; it is disgusting and annoying as hell. I dig them out with a rubber-tipped baby spoon and finish my wine anyway, but I still wish we could get rid of them once and for all.
- Baby gifts. As much as I hate driving, that’s how much I love buying baby gifts. I am not particularly good at other kinds of gifts – my husband typically gets something off of his Amazon Wish List full of kitchen gadgets, my parents and in-laws get pictures of the kids or homemade crafts the kids and I make, and my friends get bottles of wine and homemade cookies – but if it’s a present for children or babies, I am all over it. I devote huge chunks of time to browsing Etsy for the absolute perfect gift for any given baby – something New Orleans-themed for people who have moved out of state, monogrammed seersucker shorts for the baby of a New Orleans attorney, a onesie with a tutu on it for my goddaughter.
“I am buying this for Nicole’s baby,” I texted my friend earlier this week, along with a link to a gingham blanket with a streetcar embroidered on it. “I mean, I have to pay my car note, but this is more important. I hate real life. I really just want to buy monogrammed baby gifts for a living.”
“You would immediately become CEO of that venture,” she wrote back.
And I would. An embarrassingly large portion of my brain is devoted to wondering which one of my friends and/or family members is going to have the next baby and what I can buy said baby.
- Recipes for soft foods. My stepson just got braces, and I, having had braces for seven years, know exactly how he feels. Braces are incredible, and I am so thankful I had them because my teeth were a disaster (see above w/re: seven years of needed orthodontic correction), but damn, did they hurt! My husband is typically the cook in the family, but I am trying to recall some of the soft, braces-friendly foods of my adolescence for my stepson. He loves smoothies, so at least there’s that. But I want to find recipes that go beyond soup and mashed potatoes for those few days each month when I know his mouth will be sore.
- Binky-weaning. Ruby would not take a binky. Georgia will not give hers up. She doesn’t use it at preschool, except for nap, but she still needs it to get to sleep at night, and she often wants it in the car, too. I don’t know how to handle this – cut holes in it? Go cold turkey? Send them to the binky fairy? Just let it go because she’ll give it up on her own when she’s ready?
These are the trending stories in my head today. What’s trending in yours?