Monday, February 27, 2012


This is the thing about control: When I don't have it, I want it. When I have it, I desperately want to give it away.

The older I get, the less I want. The less I want to be the boss, to be in charge, to make the rules. I despise confrontation and hate conflict. Aggression makes me terribly uncomfortable. And so, when I find myself in a room teaming with all these things, I want to crawl into a cozy little hole with a six pack, some chocolate, and season two of Downton Abbey.

I walked into my house this evening and looked at my husband and said, "I am very tired. I just want to write little stories and play with my kids." And that is about the truest thing I have ever said. All I want to do is simplify, simplify, simplify. I don't want to volunteer or raise my hand or give an opinion. I don't want to coordinate or dictate or negotiate or aggrevate.

I want to write little stories, and play with my kids.

I don't want to be on the committee or chair the committee or form the committee or contact the committee about joining the committee. I don't want to email or voicemail or snail mail or carrier pigeon anyone. I don't want to pick up or drop off or carpool or potluck. I don't, I absofuckinglutely DON'T want to host, anything.

I want to write little stories, and play with my kids.

I want to go to the party instead of throwing it.
I want to buy it instead of making it.
I want to say, No. No, not because I have other plans, but because I just don't want to.

But I will do none of this. I will say yes. I will host. I will make the covered dish and volunteer for pick up and join your committee. I will smile and nod and thank you, despite the heat in my face and the lump in my throat. I will do it because it needs to be done, and because that's what I do. Because that's what everyone does - no one is special and we're all in this stupid boat. One day, we an sit back and give responsibility the big, fat middle finger, and knowing that is enough to get us through today.

And I will write little stories, and play with my kids, because that is what I want to do. That, I can control.


  1. kelly, do what the first half of this post says. do what YOU want. I totally feel for you, girlfriend.


  2. "No." is a complete sentence and while we can't always use it, I think we can more often than we do.

  3. I'm now old enough to say "no" everytime I don't want to. It does get easier, and it does get to the point where you feel no guilt over it.

    Sending you virtual hugs, and hoping that it becomes easier soon...

  4. It's ok to say no. While responsibility is important, and while everyone does have to say yes every once in a don't have to say yes to everything. Sorry you're feeling so stressed. :(

    1. Thanks, Stephanie. I am feeling a little bit like a big fucking crybaby today. It is easier to suck it up in the morning, instead of 10 pm, after several beers.

  5. Play with your kids. They're little. They want you near. Volunteer when they're older, have supicious friends, and wish that you'd stay outside of an invisible 20 foot parameter. The number of volunteers who battle over every fundraiser, dance, etc. when the kids are cute & little is astronomical. They all drop like flies once the acne sets in. That's when I'll be there.

    Taking notes and embarassing them.

    xoxo The Meanest Mom to Have Ever Lived

    1. This may be the most practical, awesome piece of advice I've ever received. Thank you.

  6. I want to write a big story and play with various things.
    [This is a BitchingComment brought to you by Motaki]

    (Warning: long)
    So I'm up late. Think 12:43. Don't ask.
    I'm laying on the floor, minding my own business.
    And then.
    Now, pardon my French, but I said "What the fuck?" Exactly that. "What the fuck?"
    I may have said it twice.
    I'm not sure what I was asking.
    I get up. Run away. Try to wake up mom- shit, hopeless.
    Bring in the cavalry.
    [The dog raises her head, under the bed.]
    "Fang, come on!" I start walking away.
    [The dog is seriously interested.]
    "Fang!" I turn back. "Mouse! Mouse!"
    She stands.
    "Mouse! Come on!"
    She darts into the bathroom.
    "No! Over here! Come on!" (It's in the living room.)
    She runs around, turns in circles, checks the corner where they usually come in.
    My mouse is in the other corner, her little germy hands on MY FRIGGING WALL.
    "Fang! Here!" I point. "Here!"
    CLOMP. Her jowls smack as she snarfs the thing. Clomp, clomp, there goes the mouse.

    She spits it out, carries it a bit. I pick it up with a bag (the side, two sheets of plastic- can't be too safe) and put it in the laundry room garbage.

    And then after a while...

    'Wheh-whennnn!' (That's Fang. It's impossible to transcribe her sounds in writing.)

    She's whining at a spot in front of the laundry room door.

    Wait five minutes.

    'Wheh whennnnnn,' she repeats, more insistently after a low-level whehfest.

    Since she boldly came to my rescue, I come over. I figure she's just whining at the spot she dropped the mouse- probably smells like it, you know?

    "What do you smell?"

    She jabs her nose around. Makes her sounds.

    And another mouse comes out of the laundry room.

    I may have said "Oh my god.". I definitely thought it.

    There she is! Clomp! This one wiggles, tries to get away.

    Chomp, chomp.

    Not so wiggly anymore.

    She runs around with this one, and delicate treat-bargaining is involved. (I throw the cookies, wait for her to drop the mouse.)

    She puts it in my (bag-protected, thank God) hand after some praise.

    They were different sizes.

    So I can't go in the laundry room. Can't go in the bathroom. Waiting for more mice to sneak out under the doors.

    I have a serious want for my leatherworking knives, and a scrap of leather and paper in the laundry room.

    My self-denial is heroic.

    3:00 A.M. Mom drags me into bed.

    11:30 TODAY-


    And the dog was whining in the laundry room, of course.

    It's promptly drowned/scalded to death.

    They're having evil mouse sex in dark corners, and that makes it so much worse.

    In dark corners.

    That makes it so much worse.



    (It may be madness, but sadly, it is not Sparta.)

    1. That was entirely disturbing. I haven't put my feet on the floor since mouse #1 made it's appearance. God I hate the little bastards.

  7. I totally hijacked your post.

    Sorry about that.

    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer and Mouse Murderer

    1. That's okay. That was the most horrifying non sequitur I've ever read, and, strangely, really put things into perspective for me. How did you do that?

    2. I'm not entirely sure. I even sent you a tweet.


      Fang and I killed two other mice yesterday. Violently.

      It is still war.


      Little bastards.

      -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer and Mouse Murderer

  8. Amen! And ditto to everything you said above!

  9. Oh, Kelly but you do such a great job! You have something that I've lost control over - a filter. For all your wit and snarkiness (which are my bombdiggity fave qualities when they're on my side), you are diplomatic and a top pro at handling these situations. I am SO honored and delighted that we were put on the same path and that we live in the same town and I hope upon hope that this is just the beginning of a long friendship. I am so looking forward to breaking bread over a cold beer and have the discussion be rambling about many other topics!

  10. I joined the PTA last year, on the board no less, because I felt it was my 'duty'. This year, I swallowed my fear of rejection and the down-the-nose looks I'd get, and said, "No." I haven't regretted it once. And, when I pass the PTA table at school functions, I just smile to myself.

  11. I've actually been told -- by my doctor -- that I must start saying no; that I am no good to my children or anyone else if waking up in the morning is getting harder and harder to contemplate, because I have promised many people that I would do many things for them. Saying "no." is healthy. My doctor said so, so it must be true.

  12. Can I make this post into sort of an anthem? Something epic, like "We are the Champions" only in essence refusing to do anything.

    I developed fibromyalgia and now I have to say no to all these things. I am feel sad, guilty, and secretly pleased that I can skip the ones I really hate. But I still have to organize carpooling to soccer and that makes me grouchy.