Thursday, June 24, 2004

Pull me in the shallow water before I get too deep.

Today I am going to write purely for my own therapy. I'm not interested in being particularly funny because I don't feel particularly funny.

Oh, I'm not bummed out or anything. Just feeling somewhat like Jack Handy, filled with the deep thoughts and all.

I realized something about myself today. Something pretty important. Something I need to work out and work through... without paying a trained professional one go-zillion dollars to do it.

Ready? Here it goes...

I am guilty, therefore I am.

I love to feel guilty. Seriously. I feel guilty all the time and if I am not feeling guilty about something, I feel guilty because I am not feeling guilty.

I feel guilty because there are hungry children in Africa and yet I spent $18.00 on Science diet pet food for my cat and dog because I worry the stuff that doesn't come from the vet is not nutritious enough.

I feel guilty that I don't spend enough time with my son, even though I work at home so that I can be with him whenever he needs me. When I'm in the middle of something at my desk and he comes in and wants to play Frustration, I sometimes say no and that makes me feel like a rotten mom.

I feel guilty because the man I love got up at four in the morning today to go play cop and try to bust some mean old drug dealers. I certainly don't make him do that, but I feel bad for him that he gives up his much needed sleep to try to put the bad guys behind bars.

And I feel guilty that putting bad guys in jail isn't as important to me as maybe it should be.

I feel guilty that my daughter asked me to go see RENT this weekend in the city and even though I wanted to see it so badly I could taste it, I said no. The $100.00 the tickets would have cost has been allotted toward a promised pool for the back yard for my son. I'd much rather have spent the money to hear "Light My Candle" than a gigantic plastic pool, but it's not about what I want.

I feel guilty that I haven't been to church in nearly six weeks. I'm almost positive God has no plans to smite me for it, but I'm sleeping with one eye open just in case.

I feel guilty that Mr. Man yelled and stomped at the stray cat that I've been secretly feeding and watering. He thinks we need to get rid of him and I think we need to treat him like we would want someone to treat our cat if he ever escaped.

I feel guilty that I am feeding the stray cat because my house cat wants to be outside so badly. He must have some real issues with me because I hold him hostage in here while I feed some undesirable pan handling cat outdoors.

I also feel guilty about the money I will undoubtedly have to spend on kitty therapy to help my cat work through his pain.

I feel guilty that I am going to the city this weekend, even though I am not seeing RENT, but just because I need a break. I need a break from these four walls, from being Mom, from t-shirts and fat shorts. I need a break from grocery lists and dirty socks and dusty television screens and what's for supper and did you remember to pay the phone bill.

I feel guilty that sometimes I don't want to be a Mrs. or a mom. I want to be a woman. A woman in a nice outfit with 4" heels, manicured nails and the expensive perfume I used to wear before I spent my money on plastic pools and heart worm medicine.

I feel guilty because I want to be whistled at again. Fawned over. Drooled over even. I want beautiful men to fling themselves at my feet and beg me to run away with them to some exotic island where my hands will never again touch dirty dishes or Tide. Where no one is allowed to call me Dear or Ma'am in any situation and where women that have long since left their twenties behind them are worshipped as goddesses.

I just feel guilty. It's what I do.

And up until a few minutes ago, I was beginning to believe that it was something unique to me. That my constant and completely obsessive need to feel guilty was all about me.

And then the phone rang. It was a friend that I had asked to come along with me to the city on Sunday when I make my big break. Guess what? She was feeling guilty, too.

"I just feel so guilty," she said. She has to leave her son at the sitters and what if her Mr. Man didn't think it was a good idea and what if, what if, what if.

"I think women are trained to feel guilty," she said.

And maybe she's right. I guess it's a fact that while little boys are busy pretending to shoot things with their fingers and burning up ants with magnifying glasses, little girls are worrying about how the ant mommy is going to feel when she realizes her little ant son has been killed in some unexplainable, freak spontaneous combustion accident.

So what should we do then, we guilt-ridden women?

I'm sure I have no idea But believe me when I tell you, I feel guilty that I am unable to solve this problem for all womankind before I close.

I think I'll just do what I always do when I'm feeling guilty. I'm going to put on my fat pants, turn something shameful on television and eat a pie.

Now I feel guilty about all those pie-less children somewhere who are at this very moment, without pie.

Oh gosh. Better make that two pies.

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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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