I am told I sometimes take things too seriously. This may be true and I am learning to let go of my issues — one clenched death-grip finger at a time.
1. Control of space. My landlords are cheap. I should have known this when I moved in, I should have smelled it on their clothes or something, but since I was dealing with “real people” instead of a faceless corporation, my expectations grew exponentially. I would be treated with care, I thought. Like a person. Loved. Because I would love my place and it would be my home. My place, my home, is an extension of me. I have:
- Broken down in a tearful puddle when the kitchen sink backed up. Clearly a personal attack!
- Freaked out when I found out that none of the three (3) smoke detectors in my home contained actual batteries, and were therefore non-functional.
- Had vengeful thoughts when the toilet leaked all over the floor for the 8th time, even after Cheap Landlord Guy replaced the wax ring (impressed by my toilet knowledge? I also know what a ball cock is).
- Vowed (silently, passive-aggressively) to take revenge when the washing machine failed to spin the water out of my laundry, forcing me to lift a heavy, dripping, sodden load of bed sheets into the dryer to spend the next 12 hours drying while I slept that night wrapped in a blanket. Landlord refuses to repair it.
This last was surprisingly important. Who knew how valuable clean laundry could be? I found a guy who refurbishes old washers and got him to deliver one this afternoon. I watched him heave the landlord’s broken one out into the rain.
2. Fixing people and situations. I sing in a community choir. Not everyone there is on the same level with choral niceties like reading music or counting or even singing the right notes. Whatever. In the past, the constant mistakes of others would have driven me crazy and I would have felt compelled to point them out to the group, thinking I was helping support the efforts of the tireless choir director whose tender ears were surely in agony over the plethora of errors.
Fortunately, there is someone already doing this job. She’s highly annoying; we all sigh whenever she opens her mouth; I find her seriousness amusing. She gets the job done and it means I don’t have to.
I love her.
3. Looking stupid in public. One of the best things I’ve done recently is signing up for improv class. I love that we are actively encouraged to take risks and fuck up and then laugh at one another about it. I’m four years old again and everything is funny.
Last week we played a game called “Emotional Nursery Rhyme,” where we were given an emotion to evince while saying a simple nursery rhyme over and over. The emotion I was assigned? “Sultry.” I am told my rendition of it brought “Little Boy Blue, Come Blow Your Horn” to a new level.