Am I Going to Let This Crappy Hairbrush Ruin My Day?

Am I Going to Let This Crappy Hairbrush Ruin My Day?

Am I going to let this crappy hairbrush ruin my day? No! But I will let it ruin a few minutes. Multiply that momentary descent into dissatisfaction by several other “problems” and I have relinquished a good chunk of time to dismay. 

I have this belief that if I eliminate everything from my to-do list, I can finally feel the way I want to feel. I have no idea what that feeling would feel like. I don’t know if it would be super great or not, because my to-do list has never emptied. This persistent belief causes me a lot of low-level anguish throughout the day. I am attempting to undermine this belief with conscious attention to what I add to the to-do list, when I add it, and how I tell myself to feel about the fact that we haven’t checked it off yet.

I was in the bathroom, doing bathroom stuff. The thought crossed my mind that I liked the new underwear I had recently bought. This is actually kind of a big deal. I ordered new underwear last May, in 2020. Even though it was listed as a product you could buy, it never came. It was always on back order and coming soon. What is more tedious than keeping on top of an underwear order? Three months later I gave up and canceled. I’d told my mom that if I liked the underwear, I would get her some too. So, the disappointment wasn’t just on my end. In fact, the disappointment was the only thing on our ends.

What I ordered next, unfortunately did arrive. Radically miscalculating the size and style combination I received something I’d describe as a billowy ass dress. If you’re wondering what style I got, it’s the one least like bikini. Maybe high cut? Is that supposed to be so high you can pull them over your bra? This did not look good with jeans. I didn’t wear them. I did contemplate leaving them anonymously in a friend’s dryer for a laugh, but we were still in the pandemic and I hadn’t seen any friend’s dryers in a while.  

I gave up and wore old underwear for a year until the urge hit again. I located something on amazon, a place I don’t necessarily love to support but I do have confidence their products will arrive. They’re great! They fit, they’re comfortable, two thirds of the underwear are NOT above my waistline, how cool!

So, what could possibly be the problem? How has successfully getting this off my to-do list after more than a freaking year started the cascade of feeling I have too much to do? Well, I may have gotten underwear for myself, but I haven’t got it for my mom! I need to get her size and place another order. Instead of enjoying that I can finally do this for her, I start unbraiding my hair and fretting.

It’s in this state that I notice the dilapidated old hairbrush, bristles popping out with each tug through the tangles. Oh great! Another thing I need to take care of. I am not even an hour into this day, and I am already behind. I feel a sense of dread. 

DREAD?! What a ridiculous over reaction. Just writing it out re-enforces how bat shit stupid, irrational and unconscious these thoughts are.

I stand at the mirror and tell myself, slow down! This moment is happening. Be in it! Don’t throw it away to feel DREAD about replacing a hairbrush

As I stand in the shower, I realize the feeling I want to feel is available now. I can actually experience it if I just stop telling myself to wait for it.

Okay! No more waiting. Feeling it now.

Yep, feels even better than I suspected!

I Lost It Over Slippers

I Lost It Over Slippers

It’s humiliating and humbling. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a house shoe. I ruined our lovely lunch (we even had special bread!) because I wanted everyone’s feet to be warm and I was thwarted. Can you feel me? I wanted something nice for everybody, I had given up several hours of time to make it happen. And like a kitten undoing the rolled-up yarn with a single playful swipe, my child inquired, are they leather? Here’s the story.

It starts with husband. A few weeks ago, he tells me he’s really cold while wearing a thin cotton shirt, a thin cotton sweater and bare feet. Oh my goodness, how can you re-grout the bathroom and still have so few survival skills? To be fair, he has bad feet and hates anything binding, like socks. So, it’s a challenge. He has never in our time together, had winter house shoes. I feel like this could be a game changer for him.

My house shoes came from payless. They cost about $12 a decade ago. Every year I tell myself, get a new pair! The faux shearling that used to invite the foot into a sleeve of luxury now looks like dryer lint if dryer lint was hard and mean rather than soft and wimpy. But the soles of the slippers are doing great. There are going to be here when the sun supernovas.

A few years ago I did order an adorable replacement. Something woolen with little decorative flourishes sewn on. Something that would make you smile every time you put them on. But they had a small lip at the back of the heel and my foot was just a fraction too long. Oh brother! Are you kidding me! Disappointment is a hard emotion. An excess of smoking badness and nowhere to set it down like holding a hot skillet with a thin towel in a crowded kitchen. I didn’t have the stamina to remedy. I was too defeated. Husband handled the Zappos return and I retreated back to my stale but monogamous house shoe marriage.

I can’t remember my child’s house shoe history, but he doesn’t have any now. He mostly wears a pair of off-white fuzzy socks and they look pretty bad on the bottoms because Los Angeles is a filthy place and unless you want to sweep and mop every day, your socks are going to suffer.

With that, I’ve laid out the need. Are you rooting for us to get house shoes?

Like most of us, I am on Instagram a lot. Their AI has figured out that I will click on ads for bras and for slippers. So many bras and slippers and I just keep “saving” them. So, I week ago I open up my Instagram saved folder, locate these slipper sellers and start researching. I get it all figured out and then promptly do nothing because you get a pat on the back for figuring it out, right? But you don’t have to pull the trigger and spend actual money.

A week later and this task is my final project for the long Thanksgiving weekend. I am not bringing this to-do item into December. So, I go to order husband’s house shoe, he is getting a very high-end Nordic wool slipper that does all the things because he has the worst feet. Nope. Wrong! All sold out! We are repossessing that pat on the back; your research was for naught. You waited too long and you have to start over. I can feel the skillet of disappointment heating up!

An hour later and he is getting the cheapest slippers, but they are WIDE! Which he said was imperative. Now for me and son. I was going to order us some really stylish, vegan shoes from Australia, but two issues are upsetting me. And honestly, now that I am looking at this under a microscope, I can see that these issues are probably why I didn’t order right away. The shoes have a lip on the heel and no free returns. I cannot deal with returns. We need to order from Zappos. I find one in the exact uninteresting style of my old payless shoe. I tell son to pick his color and then I chose the other color for me. Done! Ha! Take that stupid to-do list!

Son and I then walk to the super fancy grocery store a block away and celebrate by getting some top shelf rosemary sourdough bread for our sandwiches. This is rare and fun. We are eating our sandwiches when son, who is having avocado rather than leftover Thanksgiving turkey, says: Are those house shoes you bought leather? What do you think friends? Is suede leather? The metaphorical skillet heats through the metaphorical thin towel in un-metaphorical seconds. I lose my shit. I make some scary howling noises then proceed to place my head in my hands and sulk in a big way. Would anyone like a little rancid butter for their rosemary sourdough?

What was happening for me is that the to-do item was now uncrossed and back on the list, return non vegan suede slippers to Zappos, my least favorite thing! Not only had I not accomplished my goal, I had more work to do. The whole point was to move into the work week light as feather chore-wise. It felt intolerable.

Both son and husband were perplexed but neither of them had spent their holiday time online, researching house shoes.

Anyway, no matter how I felt, I knew I was behaving poorly and had to pull it together. We were able to cancel his order. Amazing son provided a link to an affordable vegan alternative within the half hour. Ok. The to-do item is crossed off. Everything’s fine.

I know I live with a kraken. But I am trying. I am trying to make life nice; I am trying to get things done. I am trying to be good person. Life is hard. Obviously, this isn’t even in the realm of actual hardship. But life is comprised of many small moments and our emotional equipment is the same for both the small and large, the hard and the petty. So, though I acted badly, it was just for a few minutes. I did apologize. We are getting slippers. Onto the next thing.