Sunday, June 24, 2007

A New Low

Yes, people, I've hit a new low. Last night (Saturday night, to be exact) I was up late (11:00, to be exact again), and I got hungry. And somehow, I found myself standing in the kitchen with a cereal box in my hand, arguing with myself over whether it was okay to have a bowl of bran flakes before bed. Excuse me? Is this what I've been reduced to? My guilty "late night" snack on a Saturday night is a bowl of bran flakes?

What happened to Ben & Jerry's at 3 am? What happened to all-night chocolate binges? This is a family-oriented blog, so I won't even mention the other things that used to get consumed in large amounts when decent people were long-since sleeping.

I have accepted, with limited grace, some of the inevitable blows to my identity that have come with growing up, raising kids, and getting older. I drive an SUV instead of my old sports car, I wear reading glasses now, I have to get up at night to pee, and the grey hairs on my head have formed a union and started agitating for health care and prescription drug coverage. But I think I may have to draw the line at being titillated by sneaking bran flakes at night in the kitchen while the kids are sleeping. Enough is enough.

All of this got me to thinking about all of those moments in life when one's self-image comes into conflict with one's real life. You know: the homecoming queen who finds herself scrubbing floors to pay for college; the up-and-coming executive who buys a minivan when she has a baby; the older new mom who gets mistaken for her baby's grandmother. These moments must happen millions of times a day to different people. I started wondering what little events have stopped other people dead in their tracks and made them reconsider their understanding of themselves. So what do you say? Anyone want to share a (harmless) little anecdote about their own "new low"?


Romi said...

Heeeee. I have ceased to count my "lows" these days!!! The first one I had to face was that city life was not good for the kid(s - at the time, one), so we moved out of San Francisco. I am living in suburbia. I never thought I would say it, but it's ok. Good even. :)

Anonymous said...

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sophanne said...

Oy! I don't have a recent new low but I had similar thoughts this weekend- Husband and I planned a "date" as he has been working late. I knew I had become someone I didn't used to be when we fought over who would have to drive to the movies and we were thrilled to get the matinee discount.

This was confirmed when we had dinner at Cheddars (near the bar) and a group of young college girls were sitting around the corner of the bar looking fabulous and laughing mindlessly. That used to be me thought I in my hippie-like cotton dress that went down to my ankles. (attractive but certainly not alluring in any way-at least it wasn't polyester)

I felt a little relief when I realized that likely all of them were frequently (consciously or subconsciously) wondering/worried about who and when they would be married. It's nice not to have to think about that anymore and to have found the guy that cracks me up daily.

The "mom" belly (even though I'm not one), the frizzing gray, and the knee-joint pain also sneak up on me. I'm certain that somewhere between 35 and 45 (I'm 41) there comes a point where a person crosses that line and says-o.k. so I'm a grown up and I'm getting older. There's such a fine line between giving in and giving up. I want to age gracefully- no one ever said grace was easy.

Thanks for the post- you were reading my mind.

Olga said...

The one that seems to strike me all the time and I'm always shocked by it is that I'M suppose to be the grown-up. In my mind someone older needs to make the decisions or be in control and then I think,
"Oh, I'm the older person, I have to make the decisions....crap."
In my mind I'm still 20, not 45!

Bea said...

This is more of a work new low, but I do 3D modeling computer work for a company that builds equipment for poultry companies. One time, I had to draw a chicken so we could model some cabinets to see how they would fit with poultry running through them. So, here I was out in the shop, using a tape measure to take measurements of a chicken hanging from a line, starting to smell a little ripe, and getting slimy. That was my work low.

Melissa said...

Good weekend TV for me consists of SpongeBob or if I'm lucky a brand new episode of Odd Parents. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I will use my husband's low- we have a street called Drury Lane in our town. At a urban planning meeting, they referred to Drury Lane and my husband bursts into "Do you know the muffin man, muffin man, muffin man? He lives on Drury Lame."

p.s. tank top black, phew. cherries can indeed be dried i've seen them at the health food store. how do you suppose i would go about that?

...Sarah said...

Well, my biggest, dirtiest job lately is wiping poop. Early on while potty training my older daughter, I thought it would give me a break from the constant wiping up I was doing between the two kids, until the first time I tried to dump the poopy potty into the toilet and realized my life was not very glamorous at all—shocking, I know.

Also, wiping food thrown to the floor by my youngest is no great shakes either.

I can't really say I expected more for my life (I have always wanted kids, except for the years I was dating my then boyfriend/current husband), nor would I say that this is what my life has amounted to, it just is the worst part of the best, most demanding job I have ever had.

And as per Kristin's cherries. Drying makes them very yummy. Barefoot Contessa has a granola recipe requiring the little nuggets.

janet said...

I rarely snack. I never really did, but even more so now that I have braces. Recently I was eating at work and I tried to take a normal bite (usually twice as much as I should) and just at that time my manager walked up to introduce me to some big hot shot agent. I tried to swallow
(gracefully gag) the bite down while covering my mouth like a lady should and thought I succeeded in my cover-up. However when I smiled he looked at me strangely and that's when I knew my greatest braces fear had been realized. Yes, you guessed it I had a piece of spinach firmly imbeded in my front wire works. I immediately tried to dislodge the particle with my tongue but quickly realized that this job called for a dental hygenist with a full tray of tools. Desparate to make a recovery I jokingly said, Spinach should only be eaten in private, in the dark and alone. He laughed and said, do you need a toothpick? I am certain that my beat red face went great with my green leafy smile.

janet said...

Dear Yarnhog-yarnhog,
Does it normally take thirty minutes to post a comment? Needless to say I had trouble posting, but I want you to know that I was so firmly committed to getting in this conversation that I perserved against the computer Gods when I could have easily picked up the phone or better yet knocked on your door.

5elementknitr said...

At work on Sat., in the break room, the TV was playing VH1's greatest hits from the 80's. All these little kids were talking about, "Hey that's a cool song, who sang it?" and one said, "I remember the first time I heard a Bon Jovi song. It was "It's My Life" [released in 2000]. I really liked it, then my mom showed me their old stuff. That's cool too." I had to leave the room.

MelissaKnits said...

For me it's the exact opposite. Mr Wonderful and I were just chatting the other night about how odd it is that we live in a house with more than one closet. I dumped my mom-mobile wagon. I traded my worn-out sweats for regular beauty shop visits and clothing made within the last decade. I no longer consider poop drawings above a crib "cute".
It's more about "Wow. Wild. High school drop-out, teen marriage gone bad, troubled young mom growns up and becomes Something More." And I love it.