10 Things I Think I’m Supposed to Care About (But I Don’t)

Maybe I’m weird. Redact maybe.

People seem to care—like passionately —about things that don’t really matter to me. Like at all.

I’ll feign enthusiasm with a wimpy “like,” or a pointless comment like, “That’s crazy! Let’s get together soon! Xo.”

Why can’t I hop aboard the Excitement Express?

Maybe I’m just an introvert.

Maybe I’m more socially awkward than I thought.

Or maybe I’m just an asshole.

Below is a list of things that I think I’m supposed to care about, but I don’t.

  1. Anything dealing with moon phenomenon.

Yeah, no. How many times in my life have I heard, “Tonight’s moon is going to be [blah]. The next time will be in 200 years!”? I understand how this can build up hype and make it feel like a must-see event, but I never even remember to go outside and look. And when I’m reminded that I forgot, I never even really care. Zero FOMO. But people really do care about this moon stuff! And I’m baffled. They throw parties (I mean, I guess I’d go to that), upload moon countdown widgets on their phones and they all post those endless photos on their social media with the little yellow moon dot at the top that proves that they remembered, they witnessed, they documented, they shared. They care.

  1. Vacation Pictures

People vacation for the memories of special time with loved ones and being immersed in beautiful/exotic places. Through their photographs they can relive their travels. But guess what? I wasn’t there. So, I’m pretty much just looking at terrible photography. That sunset/building/flower/hilarious bartender/crab/sculpture/painting/sign doesn’t mean anything to me. And, let me guess? Will there be a (somewhat) lengthy story to accompany each shot? Great!  Grab a bottle. Let’s get started, this will be a while.

  1. State of the Union Addresses

I’ve voted in every election since my 18th birthday, but I’m not very into politics. I remember watching the results of the 2008 election on my honeymoon (want to see pictures?) when Obama won his first term and I felt excited. Change We Can Believe In! I don’t know what I was so eager to change. My life has been pretty status quo since birth, but what the hell? He seemed very friendly. But, with presidents comes those pesty State of the Union Addresses. Oh for God’s sake! The ups. The downs. The handshakes. The effing applause. Shoot me. But they make these damn addresses hard to ignore since they are one every single channel. Then I’m left with moon phenomenon-like guilt. Like, I should care and watch this because I’ve entered adulthood and what he’s saying should matter. But nah. I’ll just flip on Netflix instead and read the highlights tomorrow. Once a Cliff’s Notes girl, always a Cliff’s Notes girl.

 4. Stories about Babies

Babies. Babies. Babies. They are everywhere. I even had two myself. Everyone loves talking about babies—and they do make for some interesting stories. But, maybe I’m an asshole, but I don’t really enjoy stories about other people’s babies. I think only spouses, grandparents and the occasional overly invested aunt/uncle really gives a shit. First steps? All babies take them. Teething? All babies get them. Diaper blowout? We’ve all been stained. I don’t care what your baby’s first word was, but I do want to know how you really feel about motherhood. Do you like being a stay at home mom? Or do you work? What’s that like? When was the last time you yelled so loud your throat hurt? Do you ever dream of getting a hotel room all by yourself for a night or two and do absolutely nothing? I’m sorry I’m not interested in your baby’s milestones, but if you want to compare motherhood battle wound stories. . . let me pull up a chair.

  1. Road Rage Stories

Bad drivers. We’ve all been victims of their stupidity. When you’re driving and someone almost kills you, or makes you late (equally as frustrating), it makes your blood boil. You drive past slowly, twisting your neck in their direction, delivering your best death stare. With just your eyes you say, “You moron, learn to drive!” (They never look as you envisioned, but that’s beside the point). Your heart is still racing. You are eager to vent your story to the first person you see. Yeah see, the thing is that these stories do not make good storytelling. First of all, when I’m told a road rage story, I can never accurately envision the road/intersection/parking lot where it occurred, but I usually go along with it anyway. The intensity of these stories alone gives me anxiety, so I pretty much stop listening altogether. Good stories get retold. Road rage stories are never retold because nobody cares. Accident stories? Tell me more. . .

  1. The Super Bowl

I know that I’m in the minority on this silly event, but really? Sunday nights are for putting the kids to bed early and watching Homeland. Not getting drunk with a bunch of rowdy people, consuming 3,000 extra calories, betting money on random numbers in tiny boxes that confuse you, watching commercials that you can’t really even hear and rooting for a team you’ve never even heard of. My husband tells me it’s part of American culture and not to be such a loser. Whatever. Football in general has always looked silly to me. It’s a bunch of gigantic men lining up, moving around a little bit, someone throws the ball and everyone gets in a big pile. Rinse and repeat. Football is dumb to me all year, but the Super Bowl is super dumb. I’ll be in the kitchen polishing off the wings. With champagne, because I’m classy like that. Call me when the halftime show comes on.

  1. Award Ceremonies (Big and Small)

My mom had to beg me to go to my high school graduation. And my college one too. I didn’t understand why so many relatives come out just to hear a bunch of speeches and my name called. They already know my name. Isn’t the achievement equally as impressive without the hoopla? Fast forward to actually being a mother. So far, I’ve had to attend three graduations: pre-school twice and kindergarten once. Yes, it was adorable. Yes, I might have gotten choked up at how big they’ve gotten. Yes, I might have thought about getting pregnant again immediately after in an ass-backward way to slow down time. But some families went to fancy restaurants after the preschool graduation. Fancy! Why? Some kids were dressed in new three-piece suits. Mine were lucky to be bathed, wearing the best of what was clean.  Don’t get me started on Hollywood award ceremonies. I used to feel obligated to watch each one, to be up on my pop culture. Now I’m 39 and I can’t even stay awake during a movie. I don’t recognize anyone in Hollywood anymore besides like Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt and, of course, Morgan Freeman’s voice.

  1. Concerts

I enjoy going to concerts. But, I hate thinking about the process, the crowds and the effing exiting. Once I’m in my seat and the beers are flowing and that first chord hits and you know exactly what song it is. . .you know the feeling. I hate other people’s concert stories/Instagram stories/Facebook posts. Here’s why: I know why people post these videos. They are IN IT. They are inspired. They are entertained. They genuinely want everyone to experience what they are seeing and hearing. It comes from a good place. (They do receive many likes and comments, so I’m thinking this is an instance where I’m just an asshole.)  But, I once had a friend tell me the entire set list of a band that I had never heard of. There’s no nice way to say, “I don’t care about what you are telling me,” so I endured it.  Moral of the story: like vacation pictures, concerts are for you. Enjoy them privately.

  1. Social Media

I am a Xennial (that newly named generation born between 1978-1983). I had a word processor in my college dorm room and knew the Dewey Decimal System all too well. I got my first cell phone at age 24 and was a little late on the Facebook craze. People seem to really care, like really, really care, about their social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, Google+, etc. I can’t keep up. I can’t be bothered. I just can’t. It’s way too many apps to install and passwords to remember. As a freelance writer, I really should care about this more. Maybe then people might actually stumble upon my work. I don’t know if my social media defiance stems from laziness, assholiness, apathy or fear. But whatever. If you’re reading this and you like it, post it on your shit and maybe one day I’ll catch up with the times.

  1. Trendy Restaurants (and food in general)

Wow. This one people seem to take very seriously; and I’m honestly a little jealous of these people. But alas, I still can’t get myself care enough. Trendy restaurants are popping up everywhere with weird menus, weirder ingredients and a whole lot of hashtags on their Instagram posts. Before taking a bite, everyone snaps a quick picture of their plate #whaleburger #liverslaw #candiedanchovies #glutenfree #duh #yum #foodporn. But like, is that really what you want for dinner? Waiter, can we please have a bread basket? I’m envious of these adventurous palates, but I am perfectly content in a reliable chain restaurant. Who doesn’t love fried appetizers, giant blue cocktails with hilarious names and a jovial rendition of “Happy Birthday” being sung in the background. Oh, wait. My husband, that’s who. He doesn’t want any part of my chain restaurant obsession. If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be at happy hour at Chili’s, or sword battling with breadsticks (they’re endless!) at Olive Garden with my kids. Husband, go enjoy your snake pâté with rhubarb ganoush in a citrus reduction. I’ll meet you at home.

I’m not a bad person, I swear. I love my family and friends. I just don’t care about much. I recently took a 120 question personality test and my #1 personality trait is forgiveness. See? That’s how little I care about things. Screw me over, I don’t care. We good, yo. (I don’t really speak like that, but it’s Friday night and I’m drinking tequila and that brings out my hood). I’m pretty sure I could have made this a Top 100 list, but then I’d be a bonafide a-hole. I know I’m not alone. What are things that you are supposed to care about but really don’t? Maybe this article? You can admit it. I’ll forgive you.

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Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this, check out FIVE REASONS I’M NAILING ADULTING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Realizations of a 30-Something

This piece was featured here on Sammiches and Psych Meds on 2/8/18.

I just turned 39. Hold on, I need a minute. . . Deep breath. Compose yourself.

Okay, I’m back. I don’t remember turning 29 with any feelings of dread for my next birthday. Twenty-nine was a non-issue, just another candle to blow out and reason to drink too much.

At twenty-nine, the decade I had been dreaming about my whole life was right at my fingertips. The decade of the husband. The decade of the white picket fence. The decade of finally meeting the little people who would one day call me “Mommy.”

I busted into my 30’s a new last name and a fervor in my spirit, eagerly awaiting the decade ahead. Bring it on.

But instead, I was punched in the face by a fist of life’s wake-up calls.

Here are ten examples of the realities faced in the life of 30-somethings.

1.You realize that you have fancy new titles, but no clue how to do your job. You’ve lived your whole life as a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend and cousin. Those roles came naturally, with little navigation required, just part of the fabric of your being. Now BAM you’re a wife. Now BAM you’re an in-law. Now BAM you’re a mother. No matter how great your new family is, it is still more personalities to learn, birthdays to remember and holidays to split. And some days you miss life in your 20’s, living alone watching Sex in the City in your underwear with a bottle of wine and a cat. Meow.

2. You realize that there’s nothing “big” to look forward to for a while. Nothing in life quite rivals the anticipation for a wedding or the birth of a baby.  You are not just excited for yourself, but everyone around you seems to genuinely share the same sentiments, even strangers. It’s the love, I suppose. It’s the hope that love really can last forever. I’m still not sure why people are so excited about the baby part. If they only knew. . .

3. You realize that you’re losing touch with old friends, and your new ones are weird. Sure, social media and texting makes staying up to date on your old friends’ lives so much easier, it also makes picking up the phone that much easier to put off. Texting a quick meme is the new way of saying, “I’m thinking of you.” You get more face to face time with your new friends—and they are terrific—but there is no better high than reminiscing with an old friend about how idiotic you were in your youth; and confessing about your recent occasional bouts of extreme stupidity, 30’s style.

4. You realize that your wardrobe does not reflect your age, and you’re not sure if you give a damn. My closet is still filled with American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch. I haven’t been on a job interview (or anything remotely professional) in over a decade, but if I did, I’d be totally screwed. I wore my senior prom dress to a wedding recently because it still fit and I just don’t give a crap about buying clothes. I managed to live through my 30’s still feeling more like a girl than a woman. But, there is nothing about turning forty that sounds girl, and that is depressing to me. Forty sounds all woman. And this woman will be rolling into her forties with a graphic tee, ripped jeans and high-top Converse. Maybe I’ll grow up when I’m fifty.

5. You realize that motherhood is NOT what you fucking thought it would be. It is not clean. It is not easy. It is not even really that fun. You look like hell. You feel like shit. You want to cry. You want a break. You lose your temper. You lose your hobbies. You never sleep. You eat too much. Your boobs hurt. Your head pounds. . . But your heart is full. It is easy to lose sight of it, but there are pockets. There are pockets of pure love that exist if you wipe away the muck.

6. You realize that youth is fleeting as the fingers of aging are starting to poke.I will never get any work done. I want to age naturally. Said every perky, perfect 20-something, including myself. While I haven’t yet taken the plunge into the world of “work,” I can’t say that I haven’t considered it. I color my greys and diligently apply my eye cream daily. However, I have a giant, deep wrinkle on only one side of my forehead that appeared after my second kid, which leads me to believe that I’ve spent much of the past six years with an eyebrow raised and a WTF expression on my face.

7. You realize that life as a stay-at-home-mom can lead to issues with self-identity and self-worth. What am I going to do when the kids are both in school? What have I missed? Will I need to go back to school? Do I remember how to use a computer? Do I even remember how to speak to adults? Can I just write Top Ten lists the rest of my life in my yoga pants? What if my kids need me? How do the working moms do it? If they can do it, so can I! Wait, what? Can I? I’m scared.

8. You realize that you’ll never have that all-consuming, loin-aching, right here, right now, horniness again. Ever. Ahhh, the beginning of a relationship. Everything is so new and exciting. He’s like a drug, an addiction. I was lucky. This phase with my husband lasted over ten years. While married sex has its amazing moments, let’s be real. . . it’s mainly half-asleep, leg stubble, bad breath, who just farted, just hurry up before the show comes back on, sorry you just swallowed breastmilk kind of passion.

9. You realize that you are sending condolence cards and attending wakes for your friends’ parents. The grandparents are almost all gone. Growing up, it was sad, but normal, to hear that a friend lost a grandparent. You didn’t expect—or even think it was possible—that our parents would ever get older. Wouldn’t they always be playing bridge around the kitchen table drinking Schlitz beer and smoking Merits? As the years pass, more and more friends have lost a parent. Two of my friends have lost both. My own husband has lost his mother. Death so close to home just makes you more aware of your own mortality. If I were God, I’d say Schlitz and Merits for all eternity. Cheers.

10. You realize that you are fortunate to have had 30+ years. You accept its challenges, be grateful and keep living. There was a mom named Bridget in my kids’ preschool who died of cancer. She was only 37. I didn’t know her; I had never spoken to her. Yet her death shook me to the core. A sweeping sadness permeated the school. Every mother and teacher carried a heaviness in their heart and it was hard not to get choked up when you saw Bridget’s children and husband. She died three years ago, yet the tears are falling as I type this. I’m going to stop bitching about turning 40 in honor of her.

I suppose I am pretty lucky. Not everyone gets 39 years here. Not everyone gets to laugh with old and new friends, wear age-inappropriate clothing, deal with the muck of motherhood, decide whether or not to get Botox, have lazy sex with their husband and watch their parents get old. I am one of the lucky ones.

So, c’mon 40. . .bring it on. Oh, and bring some Schlitz. 😉

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If you liked this, perhaps you’d like FIVE REASONS I’M NAILING ADULTING

Thank you for reading.

9 Reasons Pre-School Mom Friends are Game Changers

It wasn’t an immediate thing. It evolved gradually, at its cautious pace. A polite smile here. Eye-contact there. Each morning, seeing you in the lobby, made me more curious about you: about your life, your family, just really who you are outside of this building.  I noticed that you got a hair-cut. Maybe highlights too? It looks pretty.  I noticed you don’t wear your wedding ring. Why? I kind of want to get a drink with you. I could never. You’d think I’m a stalker.

Wait a second. . . I know what I’ll say. . .gulp. . . I’m going to ask her. . .  for a playdate.

I have my childhood friends, my college friends, my old work friends and now, . . . my Pre-School mom friends, my PSMFs.

I’ll call it the Little Years. Those long, long days when 8:00 am feels like 10:00pm and the minutes drag and the days repeat and repeat and . . .BAM! A year goes by. How the hell did that happen? How’d my baby get so big? Oh, how I miss the days he was so teeny-tiny. Insert single tear emoji.

My memory of the Little Years feels like this: Labor & Delivery -> a lot of crying (like everyone)-> Preschool Years. Of course, there were a lot of pictures taken, naps in weird locations (stopped at red lights, pedicure chairs, during sex with the husband, etc.)  and birthing other children too. . . but it’s all just such a damn blur.

The vetting process for finding a PSMF during the Little Years is not extensive. Do our kids get along? (This helps, but is not required). Are our kids the same sex? (Actually, nope, not important.) Do you seem relatively normal, yet also appear to be a bit of a disaster? Okay cool. This could work.

The desperation during the Little Years stems from a yearning for adult conversation and commiseration of the female plight. That desperation is so pathetic that any woman who doesn’t throw tantrums, shit her pants, or bite your nipples off is pretty much fair game for friendship recruitment.

A stay-at-home-mom sending her first to pre-school is like letting a caged animal into the wild. She steps slowly and carefully, overwhelmed by the possibilities and freedoms ahead.

I registered for preschool anxious for a few hours of peace a week. Although not even looking, I found friendships that I had no idea how badly I needed.

Below are nine facts about PSMFs.

1.They get it. Like truly get it. Not all moms are created equal in their perception of motherhood stages. A mom with an infant might predict that the pre-school years will be much easier with clean little people, weaned from the breast, dressed hip in GapKids, and able to communicate their needs. However, a mom with older kids might reminisce longingly upon those years, thinking of a time when her kids were adorable, didn’t talk back and made her the center of their world. PSMFs? Oh, they get it. They know EXACTLY what your life is like right now. And it ain’t pretty.

2. Nothing from your past matters. I don’t collect resumes when meeting new friends, so I don’t give a damn if you were Ivy League or GED, just be real. Just say one real thing about how hard motherhood is, and you’ll have my attention. The unspoken side-effects of motherhood do not discriminate against class, race or education. We are all delirious with exhaustion. We all lost our tempers recently at a little person who didn’t deserve it. We all don’t have enough sex with our husbands. We all miss a little piece of the women we once were.

3. You expose what you want. Since nothing in your past matters, these new friends only need to know what information you choose to divulge. Pyromaniac? They don’t need to know. Criminal record? They don’t need to know. Tenth marriage? They don’t need to know. If there’s anything blazingly wrong with you, they’ll figure it out on their own and run the hell away.

4. They inspire you without realizing it. Motherhood is fraught with uncertainty and the constant fear that you’re fucking up. You always feel like if you made little changes that life will improve, but you don’t know what to change. Then you get in their car and it’s neat, it’s vacuumed, it doesn’t smell gross and you think I can do that. You’re at their house and their kid grabs an apple BY CHOICE and then heads to the fridge to a healthy food chart and he makes a big checkmark and you think I can do that. Her kid just freaking lost his shit and even you want to scream at him, but she squats down to his level and in the most soothing voice you’ve ever heard says, “I know, I know. Honey it’s okay. Let’s just calm down. Shhh. Shhh. I love you. . . “ and blah, blah, but also I can do that. The husband calls and she is totally un-sarcastic and polite and you think I can do that.

5. They keep your pebbles in place. You’re finding your tribe, and while you’re not as close and weird as sister wives, you trust them. But what’s more important, you can count on them. Motherhood is like filling a jar with pebbles and vigorously shaking it; that’s the responsibilities in your head bouncing around with no sense of place or priority, and no prediction when the pebbles will settle. Dropping off your kids with a PSMF allows you to bang out some errands, attend a doctor appointment, or just take a goddamn nap to procrastinate real-life a little longer. No matter what your reason for needing help, they get it and will happily watch the kids. And you’re happy to watch theirs too.

6. Cherry pick personal details. I loved all the moms I met during our family’s four years at the preschool, but there are five that inspired this piece. We came from different towns, questionable backgrounds (see #3) and even different races and religions. Although I was able to be myself with all of them, I was deliberate in choosing with whom I’d share certain personal information. This one is atheist, so I can confess to her that our kids are interfaith, but we haven’t really chosen a religion and probably won’t. This one is frigging nuts, so I can share my experience with various sex toys. This one wants a nose-piercing? Count me in. I’ll get new ink too. This one is health obsessed, so I won’t scarf down and entire bag of chips when she’s around, maybe like half. This one is oddly innocent and says things like, “Oh gosh,” so I’ll find vulgar pictures and text her them at random hours to put some bad in her bones.

7. Every before-children story will sound exotic. There is a certain look in a mother’s eye when she’s telling a story of her life before kids. It’s a look like trying to recall a part in a movie with a character whose life she envies. It’s a look like she’s telling a story about a stranger, or fictitious character. She’s using words that she never really uses because it’s been so long since her past life was cared about that she wants to dress it up special. Even as the words are leaving her mouth, she cannot believe she is talking about yourself. She sounds so interesting. One moms’ night out, a PSMF said she had worked for the New York Post. I spit out my drink and fainted. I can’t handle so much exotic.

8. Preserving these friendships will take effort. PSMF friendships can be fleeting. The Little Years is just a pocket of time, it goes by fast and before you know it, you’re all going in different directions, being separated by life’s demands. The kids aren’t invited to each other’s birthday parties anymore because they have new friends, and quite frankly might not even remember the pre-school days. Maintaining a PSMF requires more effort than addressing a Christmas card once a year. Plans need to be made—and kept. Maintenance requires more than a flaky, “We should get together soon.”

9. They will always remind you of such a precious time in your life. Oh, the kids seemed so big at the time with their oversized backpacks that went from their necks to their knees, eager to share their new knowledge (usually in song). But they were just babies who smelled like glue and Goldfish crackers. I look back and struggle to remember exactly what my kids were like during those years, but I’ll never forget my PSMFs. They are my unsung heroes of that pocket of motherhood. I don’t know how we’ll fare with maintaining our friendships, but I will always look back at those years so grateful to have found my (temporary) tribe.

My Pre-School Mom Friends. . . They were there to kill time on days it felt like bedtime would never come. They were always there to cheers to birthdays, during a decade when adult birthdays are often passed over. You meet some interesting characters on your journey through motherhood; but so far, my PSMFs are my favorite characters in the book.

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