I go through phases where I want to be a completely different person. I want to be one of those women who shops at the weekly farmer’s market and knows how to pick the best produce. Or how to be bold enough to even talk to the vendors about their products. More than anything, I want to love vegetables and have the skill to prepare them for my family. Today was the fourth day in a row I had cheese and crackers for dinner.
I want to have fashion sense. Even if I maintain my granola girl style, I’d like to be a put-together granola girl. Since I had V, I’m a little too big for my pre-pregnancy clothes and way too small for my maternity clothes. I have work clothes that fit okay, but they aren’t “me.” At least, they’re not the “me” I imagine when I consider my self-image.
I want to have a clean, organized home. I’ve always been sloppy. I do not have a place for everything, nor anything in its place. I envy my late Grandma Marge this way. She had an immaculate condo. Immaculate to a fault. She kept a toy closet for us grandkids, and whenever we came over, we made beelines for it, prompting her usual response: “Oh, don’t haul all that crap out.” In my house, the crap is hauled out and left out. My living room has toy carnage everywhere. The biggest obstacle to cleanliness is pet hair. Our dog and one of our cats shed like they’re on chemotherapy.
Right now, I’m sitting in my “throne,” which is a chair and a half I bought from Z Gallery back in 1996. It’s dark, moss-green, and it was once beautiful, but time and cats took care of that. Now it’s an eyesore, like every other piece of our furniture. We don’t have the money to buy new furniture, and I’m not crafty enough (or at all) to make covers or refurbish it in any way. I used a sewing machine in my home economics class in middle school back in the eighties. I made an ill-fitting pair of khaki shorts with a too short in-seam. I don’t even trust myself to make curtains. But I can see how my life would be improved if I could sew. First of all, I could make curtains.
It isn’t my mom’s fault. She did try to teach me how to do these womanly arts. She sewed and cooked and even cleaned. But only because she had to. When she married a wealthy man as her second husband, she got a maid, started taking us to restaurants, and got rid of her sewing machine. I know how to bake and steam and boil because of her. With some practice, I’d probably be okay at it. Maybe even great.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to the cleaning and organizing. Odie and I would just have to bite the bullet and get it done. Some couples “complement” each other by having opposite qualities. For example, one person is messy, but the other is neat. One is a couch potato and the other is go-getter. Odie and I are both messy and lazy. Inertia rules our love nest.
That’s where The Bloom Project idea was born for me. I wanted to be different. I am continually amazed at how hard it is to change. People have always complimented me on my “willpower” to be a vegetarian, but it actually takes none. Meat is repulsive to me. Not eating it isn’t even the tiniest sacrifice. Ten years ago, I gave up sugar and “white” foods. That was terribly hard. After a while, it became easier, but it was never easy. After about a year, I started slipping a little here and there, until I got to the point I am now, where I’m eating cheese and crackers for dinner. The “clean” eating I used to do is a distant memory and thing of the past. Every time I think about going back, I feel all of this dread about how hard it will be and how Odie and I already eat so differently and have such a hard time having meals together, that this would just make it so much harder. At the same time, now that I’m pregnant, I have aversions to almost everything edible, so it would be a good time to get weird and demanding and picky about my food.
The Bloom Project was also about being more of a girly-girl, caring about make-up and moisturizer and clothes. Being a girly-girl is expensive, though, when you’re starting from nothing. And the really frustrating thing about all of this is that I’m in that phase of pregnancy where I’m not showing, but my pants are too tight from the bloating. I’m eleven weeks along, so I’m told my uterus is now the size of a grapefruit and it’s pushing my intestines and stuff out of its way. My face is covered in little red pimples. I mean covered. I look like I have the measles. Luckily, they’re not gross, ugly, swollen pimples, just little red dots. I could probably improve my overall visage with some nice quality make-up, but I’m as clueless at Sephora as I am at the farmer’s market.
But I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow is always a great day for a new beginning. I can start with something small, like laundry and unloading the dishwasher. We have inertia, but I know the cure, or at least the treatment: momentum.
Does this mean you’re not going to be making any homemade salt scrub? 😉
Oh Hi! I just stumbled on your blog. Hooray. I can so relate. I have so many things I want to do, to be, but I guess they just aren’t me…
I wonder if we can effectively become the people we want to be without losing who we are now?
Inertia is such a bitch, it’s true! But the best part is its just a state of mind and all it takes to change is a small tweak here and there.
But I can totally relate. Doesnt the diet ALWAYS start Monday? hahaha
I can teach you the ways of Sephora, grasshopper. Be one with the nail polish.
I got over my snit over not having made the cut on the last comment to send some reassurances your way. Most of my friends who have kids are sending the last ones off to high school, college etc. Now, and only now, are they able to get their homes in order: throw out the old baby/doggy sofa, take back their front yards and get grass to grow there, find stuff where they had last put it, etc. I know this sounds like the beginning of a Hallmark card, but trust me, once the kids (let’s call them MSC or Littles) get to that age parents seem quite happy to send them off into the world. Their kids grew up in households that were choatic, where sometimes hygiene was compromised and one tripped on toys that either a child or dog had left behind. There was lots of crying and shrieks of laughter (you moms know the subtle decibel variances between the two). You could also spill a beer and just laugh at it. Now I’d be mortified if I spilled anything on the new sofa!
The kids are perfectly happy and nice young adults, and the time went by so incredibly fast for me, that I don’t wonder that it’s the same for parents! The houses now are approaching what each family envisoned as their dream home, with great window treatments and a separate mudroom where the “gun dogs” (you say this with a derisive, yet affectionate, snort) have their water dishes. There used to be a water dish in the original kitchen, where the kids would use it as an indoor wading pool for as long as they fit into it.
It just all happened in the blink of an eye! So what you see as something sorely below magazine layout standards, someone else sees as a fantastic place to be comfortable and have lots of fun, and they’re going to remember you for it.
Oh, PS – don’t underestimate the power of the dump box. Get a Rubbermaid container and just use it to throw in errant items around the house in one run- through before company comes over. Hide it somewhere and then put items away after company goes away.
I totally thought I published your comments! I even replied to the one about the “Dandelion Children,” because I DID read it and I laughed my ass off. God, I love that sort of humor! I love the way the article totally blasts the “Indigo Children” without ever even mentioning them. The thing about the auras is making me snicker just looking back.
Forgive me, Rosie. Your readership is so appreciated!
I published them now. This way, anyone who is curious about what we mean by the Dandelion Children can find the link to the article. I feel so edumacated, reading the New Yawker.
Don’t worry – I’m used to having my comments removed from blogs! I perceived a “raised bar” of comment-ship on your blog and admired it, vowing to do better next time I commented so I could get published!