Working Through My Fear

I’m going crazy trying to figure out what to write about. I start a million things and abandon them. My passion, enthusiasm and motivation are at a standstill. My therapist says I’m a perfectionist pussy…without the pussy part, but I know he’s thinking it. Apparently, I put such high demands on myself that I’m too scared to produce anything. Because, “Oh My God it could suck.”

Or scariest of all, what if it doesn’t? What if it’s good?

Shiver.

What makes that scary? I can’t answer that because it would have to be the perfect answer and there isn’t one. The short answer I don’t know, but I’ve been trying to figure it out.

The thing is the best writing, the stuff that really speaks to you whether it touches your deepest soul or makes you pee your pants with laughter is done by an author who is honest and shows vulnerability. It’s when you can relate that makes it good…makes it real. The trouble is society shakes its finger at realism. Vulnerability is weakness, not human.  We put on a front to save our dignity while watching scripted reality television folks.

Yay us!

I’m scared to actually be real and that’s holding me back. Once something is out there, it’s out there, which means friends, employers, kids can read it and it doesn’t go away. If you choose a public forum to lay out your opinions, idiosyncrasies or God forbid your skeletons you open yourself up to criticism which isn’t exactly something a perfectionist can overcome easily.

Plus, my Mom would have a shit fit. On a side note, it’s amazing how your Mother’s opinion still influences all your decisions…even in your 40’s.

I keep thinking the time will come when I’ll stop caring what people think and just write what goes on in my wacky head…but what if you hate it? What if you like it? Is the glass half empty or full? It’s a vicious circle. Sometimes I want to just give it up and go on with being an employee, wife and Mother. It would be easier, but would it be right?

Then I think of all the great things that could happen if I score a best seller…like going on a book tour and getting asked to write the screen play.  I’ll go to lunch with John Cusack and we’ll have witty intelligent banter before he agrees to play the leading man.  And let’s not forget having martini’s with Kelly Ripa the night before I guest host Live. We’ll giggle and give each other knowing looks the next morning throughout the broadcast. Oh, that Kelly, you couldn’t possibly know the time we had…

So. Much. Fun.

These are things I actually think about. Don’t even get me started on charades with Ellen and Portia.

The unfortunate part to this fantasy is when I get a free moment and sit in front of a blank screen; my funny, witty thoughts and creativity take a detour. It’s so frustrating. I wish I could make a career out of snappy Facebook retorts. One, two lines and I’d have it made, but putting the time in to write another novel or even this blog seems impossible sometimes. I’m tired.  I work a full time job. I have two kids with multiple extracurricular activities, my dog needs walked, I manage to exercise, despite and because of the 20lbs I’ve gained this year. I’m slightly depressed. Plus, I’m only on season 2 of Breaking Bad for shit sake and you expect me to find time to write?

Related: I hate reality.

It’s all fear.

Fear is an asshole. A mother fucking asshole.

I almost erased the cursing for fear of you judging me, but there it is anyway; my first step out of fear.

Sorry, Mom.

Lie To Me

Last night I failed at dinner. Totally and utterly failed. This upsets me because I take my cooking personally. I like to try new recipes when I have the time which is usually Sunday. Except this Sunday seemed to get away from me as I attempted a magnificent Lemon Chicken with Croutons. You can find the recipe at the link below, (which pisses me off because I spent $50 on the cookbook). http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-chicken-with-croutons-recipe/index.html

What followed is too hurtful to post in detail. Let’s just say I underestimated the cook time, maybe burned my hand more than once, glued my hot, expensive pan to a plastic cutting board and had an adult sized pre-menstrual tantrum while Homer tried to avoid eye contact while slapping sandwiches together.

I announced I was too pissed to eat, grabbed a chocolate cupcake and walked past my family to go watch the Oscars. After a breather (two hours) and a glimpse at George Clooney, I went back and finished the dish and put it in the fridge for later.

Tonight I warmed everything up and served the dish as planned. The kids ate in between smart ass comments and Homer raced in the door, panicked to get the boy to hockey practice and ate fast before trying to make a getaway. It was then I noticed the crouton part of his supper still on his plate. I also noted he had left his plate on the table but this isn’t about that. This time.

So I asked, “Are you done?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Are you not going to eat the croutons?” Thinking he must be trying to cut out Carbs and silently wondering how long it would last.

“I didn’t like them.”

All the sound was sucked from the room. He didn’t like them? Really? This man witnessed my mental breakdown yesterday after trying to piece this meal together and he dared to say he didn’t like every last morsel?

He said it all nonchalantly too, like it was no big deal. Of course it was no big whoop, he didn’t have to make it. Yes, I like to cook but we aren’t siding with Homer right now and it adds nothing to the story. Besides like I said I was in no womanly condition to take criticism; I’ve been dieting, and haven’t had a class of wine in two months.

TWO MONTHS!

But, I’m fine.

The kids ran for cover.

“What? Do you want me to lie to you?”

Fair question. Here’s the answer. Yes. I do. I wanted him to eat everything and say it was the best thing ever…even if it wasn’t. And I mean that with every fiber of my being.

This reminded me of a couple of years ago when I was over at a friends house for lunch. She’d made us burgers and served chips and veggies on the side. I ate all of it. Then as we were talking, she brought up the subject of friendship and honesty. I started to get uncomfortable because she always had a reason for bringing up such topics.

“I think friends should always be honest and give their opinions.”

I nodded (I didn’t agree, but at least I didn’t lie out loud). I didn’t know where this was going so I was being cautious.

“For example,” she said.

Oh shit. Here it comes.

“I’ve noticed you have put on a few pounds.”

What? WHAT? Did she actually just say that to me? How did she expect me to respond? Was I supposed to thank her?

She was clearly confused between telling the truth when asked a question and just sucker punching someone in the face! What really threw me was she just volunteered the information. Did she think I didn’t know?

Oh my God, you’re right. I never noticed the waist of my jearns was trying to severe me at the torso. It’s a good thing you brought this to my attention before it got out of hand.

“I would want you to tell me.” She smiled sweetly.

I cocked an eyebrow and looked around for hidden camera’s before I told her how I felt about lying to friends, which is the same thing I said to Homer tonight and I will repeat here just so everyone is clear.

If I ever ask your opinion on how I look, how my cooking was or if I looked ridiculous in the short shorts and cowboy boots I wore to your cousin’s wedding, I want you to look me in the face and lie. Don’t ever, EVER tell me the truth. I want you to tell me I look fantastic. Always. Lie to me. I do not care. I give you permission to blow smoke all the way up my ass. You will not fry for your sin. Didn’t God want us to do unto others? I would never tell a friend she put on weight, not in a hundred million years. I will lie to your tripled chinned face and I expect you to do the same.

AND if you cook me dinner, I’m going to eat it, or spit it in my napkin, but make no mistake, if you ask me how it was I’m going to tell you it was fanfuckingtastic!

Ms. Honesty and I aren’t friends anymore. Not because of her obvious craziness, but because of her not so obvious craziness. One day I emailed her to tell her we couldn’t make it to a Christmas party (our daughter was sick..total TRUTH), she never returned my email and I didn’t pursue an explanation. I haven’t seen her since. Which is totally better than being around her and all her honesty.

So what do you say? Do you want the truth? Be honest now.