Monday, January 05, 2009

Diary of a Bad Housewife

Sometimes I get tired of my idiocy. For a while it can be blissful, but eventually the stupidity coagulates in a pool that's an aerobic workout to trudge through.

I just got off the phone with a local business owner. I was calling in my capacity as publisher of our town's quarterly newsletter, beseeching this woman to renew her advertisement. The fact that I volunteer [note: apparently I don't have enough non-paying jobs] to publish a 24-page color document every four months is just one example of my stupidity. Another is that I realized, after speaking with this woman, that she requested a change to her ad a good six months ago that never materialized. You can imagine her reluctance to pay up front for another year of wrong information. She came around when I promised her a proof of the corrected ad before she sent any payment.

It's no biggie in the grand scheme, but it's me being wrong again, and the last thing I want is another person thinking I'm incompetent. I try to embrace my flaws and be honest about them, but it's getting to the point where mocking myself before someone else gets the chance is taking up as much of my time and energy as raising two children--which, you can be sure, I am fucking up as well.

I've never felt such a constant need to apologize for being me. Maybe it's because, lately, everyone I know is calling me on my mistakes. I turn around and there's someone more organized than I am, more thoughtful, more wronged, who is politely or not-so-politely trying to fix whatever I've torn asunder, or who is content just to point at the wreckage. I can try to be on top of things, but the truth of the matter is that I'm never going to be the type of person who can walk a straight line of structure. That's my weakness, but it's also my claim to creativity.

I don't like to disappoint people. But I'm also sick of apologizing. I'm sure The Partner thinks that if I just did things right in the first place, I wouldn't need to apologize. It's not that easy, though. I am going to make mistakes. A lot of them. Maybe the big difference between me and the rest of the world is that I don't try to hide that fact.

I would like to step back from my volunteer commitments. I would like to pick just a couple things--for example, family and writing--and try to get them right. I don't get off on inflicting my incompetence on others. But, d'ya know what? Nobody else wants these commitments, either--at least nobody who could do them any better. The competent people are off elsewhere, being productive and paid.

I'm not sure what to do. I don't even know what to think. I just want to be good at something. Through it all is this question floating around as I try, in vain, to get any of it accomplished: is it that I've reached new heights of ineptitude, or that I am just now beginning to notice the view?

10 comments:

Whirlwind said...

You just need to say "no". It took me awhile to. And in fact, I need to start doing it again, I have myself involved in too many things again!

Heather said...

Oh I've been messing up a lot lately. Totally forgot my good friend's daughter's birthday party yesterday and she reminded me no less than 5 times when I saw her and was with her ALL DAY on Friday.

Ugh.

Christy said...

Time for a reality check here. Practice in front of the mirror. "No". Then do it again. If you step down, someone will step forward. Give all of the powers that be a 6 week warning. You have heard it before, but your kids are growing up right in front of you. Stop the madness. Do a few things really well, not a half-assed job at too many things. Consider this a kick in the pants from a complete stranger. It's time!

Binky said...

Christy--you have a point there. And I think I should probably take it a step further by making those few things I do well ones that I can actually get paid for instead of doing it all on a volunteer basis.

Victoriasurf said...

I think your fab and you do a wonderful job volunteering. However, you won't be very productive if you don't enjoy what you do. So go with your gut - if people feel strongly enough about the jobs that you currently do, someone will step forward. If they don't, you know you definately made the right decision in letting it go. . .

Kellie said...

Boy do I ever know that feeling. It's like there aren't enough hours in the day "not to" make mistakes. I have mommy brain. So that's why I forget things. At least... that's what I tell myself.

LOL

Great blog post! I can definitely relate.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I could have written this -- I even screwed up the hub's xmas gift. AND HE GAVE ME THE SPECS.

I know how you feel, Binky, I really do. Someday we'll meet for coffee and commiserate.

Chabelamarie said...

Learning to say no it's very hard, but it is a mental adjustment you can work on slowly. I think I'm not aggressive enough and let people walk over me and I have been working on it, but it is hard to change who you are.

Don't be too hard on yourself. You are an amazing writer for once. No matter what you write about, it is delightful to read. I wish I had that talent and you are an amazing mom too!

It is hard managing two young kids, a house and anything else you add to the mix. Take a deep breath, drop a few things of your to do list and give yourself a pat in the back! You deserve it!

Sarah said...

Don't worry we all love you just the way you are - you make the rest of us feel better about our own screwed up lives!

ame i. said...

Heh, I'm stupid all over the place, for hours every day. I'm stupid at my 8 year old daughter's school, at my 10 year old daughter's school (which is embarrassing because it's a university prep school), at the humane society, the assisted living community 2 blocks away, and at church. OO, I think I get to be stupid at home tomorrow. Yahoo!!