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Friday, March 30, 2007

Scatterbrains Anonymous

March 29

My name is JaneFay and I am a something-aholic.

I am not sure if there is a name for what I am, but there must be a 12-step program to cover it because Step One is really a statement about MY LIFE:

I am admitting I am powerless over (in my case) EVERYTHING and my life has become unmanageable.

I love that word: Unmanageable. If one of those survey people called me on the phone right this very moment and asked me to describe my life in one word I would say without hesitation 'unmanageable'. It is much more dignified than 'disaster'. Fancier than 'a mess'. Less wordy than 'out of control'. And much more proper than 'cluster f#ck'. So unmanageable it is.

Since 12-step programs are all about numbers and I'm kind of partial to them myself, I'm going to give you a list. A numbered list of how I know my life has become unmanageable (that word is SO hard to type).

1) The last entry in my check register is February 1st. Yes, 2007 but I have debit receipts over an inch thick in my wallet that need to be recorded and balanced and all those things that a person of my occupation should have no problem taking care of once a week during a coffee break. The only reason I have not been sent to debtor's prison is because I can periodically peek at my balances online. Thank you internet.

2) Although it is almost April, I have not even started filing our taxes. I have a vague idea where my W-2 is and I have amassed quite a pile of things that came in the mail stamped 'important tax documents'. Just thinking about the organizational planets that will need to align to get all that information together at one time boggles my mind. But I do have Turbo*tax. If I can find it.

3) I have not called my mother in over a month. This only gets incrementally worse with each passing week. True, she could call ME, which she said she was going to do over FOUR weeks ago and hasn't but she will have forgotten that. She will only remember that I haven't called HER. I have to plan this for a time when I can throw back a few stiff belts to numb the ear chewing I will get.

4) I have, right there on the counter by the back door, TWO library books that were due back March 10th. I could have gone online at the time and renewed them but I was naive enough to think I would get them returned soon. Now I am over the fine limit and have been locked out of the system. Libraries may be a free service to some but not to me, I believe in paying for what I get. One fine at a time.

5) This week there has not been a single meal with any nutritional value cooked in our kitchen. That says something. The fact that it still looks like a frat-boy bachelor pad and we are always one dishwasher load short of catching up says even more.

6) There is a pile of baby gifts sitting on my china cabinet. The baby is almost 3 months old. My brothers had birthdays last Sunday, their cards are sitting next to the baby gifts.

7) I vaguely recall signing off on my daughters' school schedules for next year but I have no idea what they are taking. Hopefully, the high school doesn't let them take calligraphy, break-dancing, conversational Swahili and floral arranging all at the same time. The special fees would kill me.

8) The pile of unwashed laundry is equaled only by the washed stuff that is not yet put away. Technically I am only responsible for doing the laundry, 'they' are responsible for putting it away. The one exception is Homer's underwear. When his boxer drawer runs dry he has a special way of signaling it. Yesterday was whitey tightie day. TWENTY-year-old whitey tighties that are not as thick as one would hope. I wish I knew where he kept them stashed. Needless to say, there are no winners in this battle.

9) Last Sunday afternoon, in the middle of the day, the big, huge, multi-sectioned Sunday newspaper - even the coupons - DISAPPEARED! Right out of our house. Evaporated. Poof! Has not been seen since. I am a little worried because every night I sleep in the very spot it was last seen. I mean, makes you wonder.

10) In the 'way' back of my car, I have two milk crates full of newspapers that need to be dropped off at the recycling bin. Since the time those crates were put in my car, we have amassed the equivalent of two more milk crates full, which cannot be put in the back of my car since they are not in milk crates. I have some standards - one being no loose newspapers in the back of my car. I will take the high road here and hardly mention the fact that we have been paying the county since JANUARY for a recycling bin that has yet to be delivered. And in case you think you are so smart - NO, last Sunday's paper is not there anywhere.

11) Also car related: The oil change light has come on, signaling the need for $30 and 30 minutes of my time. It has not been cleaned and vacuumed inside since...hmm... maybe October. There is reject Halloween candy under the front seat and some kind of detritus on the back floor mats that, when wet, gives off the most heinous funk you ever smelled - kind of a cross between wet dog and sour milk. Also along for the ride: a pair of size 6 dance shoes that need to be mailed back, a pair of jeans that need to be exchanged, and a 6-pack of various blankets that get dragged into the car on cold mornings but never taken out on warm afternoons. I may have mentioned that I have a fairly small car, which, thankfully, has limited crap capacity or it could be worse. Much worse. To prove it, I'm going to take you on a tour of Lola's SUV sometime.

12) Every time I brush my teeth, I have to look at the nastiest, most stained, cancer-ridden sink you have ever seen. I actually bought a new sink TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO but since this is the master bath and no one but Homer and me use it....well, you know how that goes. It is on my list, though. For after I gain control. After step 12. Really, I just need to find a meeting of um...... what do you think? Scatter-brains Anonymous? Geez, I hope I don't have to start my own chapter 'cuz you know that means, well, it means that it probably won't happen any time soon.

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