Monday, October 14, 2013
Why I Washed Dishes on February 4th, 2013
Depending on how well you know me, you may know that I have a slight necessity to control things. I'm not a control freak. I do not require that things always be done my way or anything horrible like that, but I do often feel a compulsory need to control something. This usually rears its ugly head in stressful situations or times of emotional stress. Stress tends to push me to grasp onto some sort of control. I've recently come to the conclusion that I may not be that "weird" in my controlling. This epiphany led to this blog. Just in case (1) you are planning to be around me
a lot and wonder why I do things, or (2) you also find yourself doing the same thing and wonder if you're weird or crazy. You still may be, but at least you know you're not completely alone.
True Story 1: Just recently, my dog had a mass removed from his side. I have limited experience with this kind of thing and the outcome of my past experiences was putting Patches down. So, when I brought him to the Vet who suggested we take it out immediately, I started down a steep slope of stress and sadness. I got into my own head very quickly and couldn't stop imagining the worst possible scenario. I left him at the Vet overnight so they could do his surgery the next morning. When I got home, the controlling began. Between the five phone calls (ranging from complete histrionics to borderline calm but down and sad) I made to my parents, I did what I could to make myself feel more normal and in control of an uncontrollable situation: I cleaned my whole house, I made dinner and lunches for the week and I went for a run. No quotes. This didn't end the stress controlling, but it did bring my anxiety levels down a lot and help put things into perspective. As a follow up, he made it through surgery fine and we are still waiting for pathology results. My Vet let me see the mass he took out (much smaller than I expected) because I'm a science nerd like that and he also mentioned that he has good feelings about Gizmo's health in spite of it all, so that's nice.
True Story 2: Super Bowl Monday - which really should be a holiday, if you ask me - this year, I had a strange morning. I woke up at 7am and took a shower. By 7:40 I was dressed and doing my hair when a heard a knock at my door. I'm an over-trusting human being, so I just opened the door regardless of not knowing the man standing on the other side. The nice, tall, overweight man informed me that I had a guy peeping in my windows right before he came over. Nice, tall, overweight man lives across the pond from me and was outside having his coffee when he saw a guy scaling my wall and looking in my windows. He shouted at him and then came over to inform me. For informational purposes, you should know that I do not have a balcony and there is no actual way to reach my windows except for the two sets of 2" molding along the outside of my building. I did what anyone does when this happens (in order): thanked the man, called my parents 5 times until they answered, called the police, called into work and then CRIED and freaked out. In the 15 minutes it took for 4 county sheriffs to get to my house I made my bed and did all of my dishes. Possibly twice. I then spent about 4 hours with the police where they dusted for prints, picked up every cigarette butt and footprint they could get from behind my building, knocked out my window screens to get any DNA off of the molding below, etc. Turns out, the peeper guy had up-turned the heavy picnic bench, propped it against the wall to climb up to the molding and then shimmied across all the way to my bedroom window. And yes, the muddy finger prints are still there today. As a follow up, I'm unsure if they caught the guy, but the person I think it may have been seems to have disappeared from the world, so maybe they did catch him and maybe I was right about the perpetrator? I have taken a lot of precautions to protect myself and my apartment and no, I'm not moving - which is what everyone suggests when they hear this story. There are 3 reasons for this: (1) There is no way this was a one-time incident. Someone was probably watching me for a while before randomly attempting to look in my windows. That said, it could happen anywhere I live. The effort put in to someone seeing ME was too great for it to be a crime of opportunity. (2) Whoever it was did not cross the line from voyeur to violent, which is nice. (3) That's not how you win strength and independence. I am prepared for the possible incidence of a voyeur becoming violent. Now I am also prepared to end the voyeurism. I feel safe and comfortable in my house again. Moving is a bitch and I refuse to let one creepy inappropriate human change my life.
What those stories have in common is actually two-fold (one of which I only noticed in typing the stories.) First, I apparently call my parents first no matter what. Turns out, I do that with car accidents, doctors appointments, everything. So much for being an independent adult. Second, I clean. I clean, organize, do dishes, cook, run...I do things that I, and I alone, have control over. Emotional stress (especially if it's over something I cannot control, like the possibility of cancer or having someone stalk me/look in my windows) is the best thing for my dirty dishes and overflowing laundry hamper.
And now you've learned something about me.