19 September 2006

20 "i'm not ready... but hell yes, the litter box is clean!"

in which oline- who is in no way depressed or going through life changes or having "women's trouble" so please do not be alarmed- takes to her soapbox, amidst a pile of dirty clothes and general all-around filthfulness, to wrestle with some weirdish, rambling thoughts regarding the aforementioned policy of Love Not Fear


things have been stupidly busy lately. like, stoopid.

and i don't really know why since i haven't managed to accomplish anything in recent memory. instead i've written notes of things to be accomplished, taped them to the wall and tried not to feel their condemnation every time i cast a mournful glance their way then promptly do something else. post-its can be a judgemental crowd.

today, i actually had the thought: have i cleaned the litterbox this month?

for a bit of context, this is not at all disgusting because the vieve has the hygeine habits of an angel. her littery needs are most often tended to once a week, sometimes every other. and between her supernatural tidiness and my general aura of vanilla, diet coke and yellow, our home is an aromatic delight. but still. the litterbox should be cleaned. and wondering if you've cleaned it once in the month on the 18th day of said month? that's a little too grey gardens for comfort.

not sure that i've done laundry this month either, which is a good indicator of how frightfully many clothes and linens i have. at this point though they've pretty much all been worn and used. even the sock drawer is getting skimpy. perish the thought- the sock drawer! a place ordinarily brimming with a bounty of glorious mismatchedness.

yesterday i was forced to take the tricky toesock/kneesock route. my left foot has never been so overstimulated. my right has never been more bored. how the dougO does this on a regular basis, i know not. it almost stirred me enough to do laundry. which is perplexing since i love doing laundry and ordinarily need not be stirred. the restless, slave-to-the-wage-oline apparently needs vigorous stirring to be roused from housekeeping habits most often native to college freshmen boys.

some time ago, worn out by various dramas and restlessnesses, the person we all love very dearly and i made a pledge to live in Love, Not Fear. because everyone always seems to be afraid of everything and that's not good enough for us. so Love! Not Fear! we enthused. turns out, this was a lovely thought but a damn difficult thing to do.

fear involves staying exactly where you are, safely worrying and wondering, and peering into or averting your eyes from the unknown. it's very easy to get cozy there and though it catches up with you, it doesn't seem so scary in the long-run. love involves pitching yourself into the unknown. and there's no way of getting around the scarifyingness of that.

we've been saying that we have done that. that we are now living in love and not fear. but i'll openly admit all i've been doing is striding bravely forward into a shopping addiction and brazenly embracing courageous clothing combos of polka dots and plaids. and i don't think that's quite what we had in mind. this was probably supposed to be a revolution of the heart, not the wardrobe.

the other day, as we were walking by the river on our way back from h+m, croftie said something about when we all leave chicago. my first impulse was to stop and stomp my foot and say NO. we must age here. and that would, of course, be a response made in fear. appalled by my inability to escape the dark side when i'm ostensibly an adherent of Love, i immediately forced croftie to swear on anne shirley that we would go adventuring in P.I.E. before we're thirty. because commitment to a canadian vacation within the next five years seemed like progress.

i think the problem with our Love Not Fear pledge is that we forgot to take into account that it's neverending. you can't pitch yourself forward and be content with where you land and stay there forever. you must keep pitching, keep going forward in both the smallest and biggest of steps.

if your job sucks, you have to find a new one. if you're afraid of moving, you've got to make yourself go. if you've written a book, you must get it published. if you want to dye your hair, you should. if you fear being anything but the pulled-together perfect girl, you've got to get over it. because if you don't make the pitch, you wind up too restless to do laundry and wondering when the litterbox was last cleaned. and that most certainly is not good enough for us.

there's a clem snide song called "i love the unknown." about a man who, afraid of feeling numb, ran away from love and loved only the unknown. i do not love the unknown. we're not even really on speaking terms. because i want to figure it out and know it, which is obviously in extreme conflict with its very unknownness. but i think there's a balance, a place where maybe you love the fear too. or at the very least make peace with it. and the Love Not Fear seems to be gradually getting us toward that. so while i may not be ready and i may not have makeup on, the laundry's done, the litter box is clean and things are getting better.

20 comments:

nick said...

cue MTM theme song...

oline said...

makes me want to run downtown (or at least into the street) and toss the fedora into the air while singing it. don't think i could really approximate the "do do do dooo" part though. it would just sound like the "sweet caroline" "do do do" and that is NOT allowed.

Les Savy Ferd said...

way to reference the Snide, and one of my top 20 favorite songs of all time by-the-by. I've always 'read' the song as an emphatic denial, thats why the singer/narrator is repeating himself so much, because he would like to convince himself that he isn't scared shitless of the unknown but can't quite do it.

I myself have to continuously battle with the whole comfort factor, what you call living in fear. I find it really hard to 'pitch' as you put it. So much so that I literally had to have the most important relationship of my life come undone before it really even started to show me that I can't stand stationary and still have 'everything work out,' that really putting yourself out there means just that, because 'out there' isn't like anything you've previously known and there aren't any landmarks to orient yourself alongside and the only thing you can really count on is the potential for really great things...

oline said...

was indeed oversimplifying the Snide for dramatic purposes. think a dougO's top twenty songs list is now called for since i never would have guessed that particular Snide to be on it.

the biggest problem i have with the pitching is going all the way (an irony if ever there was one!). tend to make the partial pitch. throwing myself forward into one big huge thing while still holding onto half of whatever was left behind. but maybe that's just because i'm historical and lazy.

of all the things to put hope in, "the potential for really great things" seems by far the best.

nick said...

i don't think i've ever loved the word potential more than i do right now.

Bombsy said...

OH, MY CUPCAKE! I understand, baby, you know I do. I was JUST having this debate with myself in my head this morning en route to the train (about a boy, of course. why is everything in my life about a boy?).
I can't wait to see you tonight, and we will chat our heads off.
Put in the Pillbox, honey, put it in the Pillbox.

oline said...

the song of today would apparently be "i love the unknown." so, everyone, pull out your favourite music and take to #6. bombsy, i will burn you and we will chat off our heads over my most beloved pumpkin muffin (and they'd better have the actual muffins today and not just the "muffies" because that is a detestably gross word and i just can't bring myself to say it aloud to the deadeyed, disaffected muffie-makers).

nick said...

i don't know what a muffie is but it sounds sofa king stupid.

oline said...

the sofa king was june clever. "muffie" is just grotesque. it would be the name given to panera's pumpkin muffin tops. since the pumpkin muffin is such a thing of beauty, is always a tragedy to venture to panera only to discover the absence of the pumpkin muffin and a tray of pumpkin "muffies" amid a bunch of muffin crumbs. given the deadeyed disaffectedness of their staff, i have strong suspicions that the "muffie" is simply a half-eaten pumpkin muffin masquerading as a "muffie."

nick said...

by the bought muffin by, add another thing to our list of similarities: an intense liking for pumpking flavoured pastries (muffies excluded).

oline said...

think i might be willing to live in a pumpkin. i mean if there was some genetic fanagaling (that does not look a'tall right but oh well) and the strings and things were pulled out and my pumpkin was a converted condo with built-in bookshelves. but that's, obviously, only if they were all out of cupcakes.

nick said...

am now also apparently the pumpking & the sofa king

Bombsy said...

Oh I love all things Pumpkin. I will blog about it.

Meggie said...

Caro, you've turned me into a ho. I'm blaming it on you. Doing laundry last night, I met a boy. Spent 5 hours talking to said boy. Left a note on his car (not a stalker note but a funny note). Said boy called and asked me out on a date for tonight. Going out with said boy tonight. Have date with another boy tomorrow--the boy that I made out with two weeks ago. *sighs* I'm a ho.

oline said...

in the immortal words of nancy kerrigan, why me? surely two nights on the red couch doesn't send people flying into hodom (which sounds like a teeny tiny town in oregon). and where are you living?! i've not met my neighbor while there seems to be a singles bar in your laundry room. but i do applaud you. way to ho it, honey!

Meggie said...

There is a singles bar in our laundry room. It's 'cause we have a 44 inch plasma tv in there with leather couches. *laughs* I meet the guys there and at the pool.

Really good date. *Really* good date. Thinking of cancelling tomorrow's date but hate to do it for fear of being "mean". But Jake is more a friend than anything... Ok, so all of your friends now know my personal business. *laughs* Oh well! I need to try to date someone my own age. It might be interesting.

oline said...

soulmatism (not to be misread as satanism) is a very public thing and this works well since i'm so not rocking much of any other form of communication right now. would say let's phone date this weekend but this weekend is looking to be a MADHOUSE of busyness so i would hereby like to officially solicit your ho-ish company for the afternoon hours of saturday, sept. 30th. we on?

Meggie said...

Umm... My ho-ish company might be able to be sought for that weekend. I think I can tentatively pencil you in right now. BTW, my job refuses to let me go! They call me every 2 days asking me if I've changed my mind! NO!! *sighs* Driving me nuts.

oline said...

honey, i should be tentatively written in pen!

Meggie said...

You are actually written in pen but that's cause I don't know if I own a pencil... Oh wait, I do own one and I use it for Sudoku. It's one of those things that I bought after I moved. Kinda like scissors and tape. Realized after I moved that I needed scissors and tape.