March 12 at 3:18 PM
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, eh eh
What is Going On?’ – Marvin Gaye
[Disclaimer: I want to say that I am taking the situation very seriously and all my thoughts to those who are already affected but I need to process the last 24 hours in my own neurotic way.]
I usually never panic. When everything falls apart around me, my face does not move and I usually keep chopping onions. This is probably the result of a rather troubled childhood. Growing up in a home where people would get screamed at or hit at you for no apparent reasons or where you are having dinner without knowing the person who is eating next to you on any given day kind of trains you for the ‘no reaction resting bitch face’.
Ten years living in New York sealed the deal. Things like your children wanting to apply their CPR technique on a crack addict who fell on the street at 8am build up your armor. You just cannot lose your shit there.
So yeah, I always pride myself for never showing emotions and keep on. And I chop onions, cilantro too. My faves.
But here’s the step by step recount of the day I started to waver during the coronavirus pandemic.
Step 1: What is going on in Whole Foods???
I get a concerned call in the middle of a business meeting from A begging me to get medications and food as we may have a lockdown situation on our hands soon.
I am laughing; he is not. He is really getting on my nerves right now. I truly married Mr Doom and he does not even wear a freaking cape and his hipster beard is NOT a steel mask so can he just drop the act? OK, fair enough he has foreseen countless financial crises or dips which saved us some money on the housing market back in 2007. Still, I am still not over that time when he refused to tape our windows for the Irene hurricane mocking me for my over reacting – which led to angry sex and…L 9 months later as I was barely out from breast feeding the twins. Not regretting the arrival of L. but I am still mad about the Irene’s ‘I am not duct taping your fucking windows’. So we argue for 5 mins over ‘the end of the world’ shopping.
Eventually, I give in mainly out of pure viciousness. He has been on my a** about our grocery bill for months and I am having a free rein today? B**** no need to tell me twice.
So here I am casually strolling through Whole Foods getting Morbier cheese and snails in a jar just to take the piss. But then, I end up facing empty shelves after empty shelves. There is no pasta, rice, lentils, or quinoa. Granted it is freaking Whole Foods so there is always a shortage of quinoa. I do lose my smug face straight on, though.
When the same shit happens in the frozen veggies section, I start frowning. The only thing left is frozen corn – which is not a vegetable by the way. I am frowning so much that I cannot even find it in me to celebrate a personal victory as I spent 2 full decades saying to the masses that : ‘corn has no place on frozen pizzas! Get out of my lawn!’
When I see that the only sugar left is biodynamic organic sugar – whatever it freaking means – I am getting dizzy. Hmmm…
Note: Biodynamic means ‘of or relating to a system of farming that follows a sustainable, holistic approach which uses only organic, usually locally-sourced materials for fertilizing and soil conditioning, views the farm as a closed, diversified ecosystem, and often bases farming activities on lunar cycles.’ Is it bad that as I am reading this definition the first thing I am thinking is the female body and menstruations and not sugar at all?
Guess if we are in a lockdown, the ones who will be ahead of all of us are the ones who know how to make their own bread, cook frozen corn and flax seeds.
As I am pondering whether or not I am ready to take the flaxseeds leap of faith since somehow I did buy dry mung beans without knowing what it is, I am texting my girlfriends to laugh. My girlfriends and I have this 24h day SMS line in which texts go from ‘I just told my kids to shut up’ to ‘people need to check their privilege’ or ‘shots, vodka or Prosecco?’’ . These women do not play, they don’t BS and talk it real. Harlem real. I rely on them every day to keep me cool as a cucumber. Or just cool, period.
I start ranting about how people are all nuts starting with my own husband. But after 5 mins I realize that I have now set up a train wreck in motion. Speed 2 has nothing on me right now. Keanu, come back and save me!!!
Yep, my girlfriend’s husband is texting her now: ‘A knows something!!! Get food, get cash!’.
Me: ‘Chill out, ladies, A knows nothing!!! He is a hypochondriac!!! Stop, people!’
But it is too late, way too late. I am taking that last organic semolina pasta pack off the shelf.
Step 2: Corona caused first family dispute
A comes back home: ‘if the whole city shutdowns, should we drive to Vermont???’
Me: ‘The city is not SHUTTING DOWN! This is New York. Stop it!’
Then he starts questioning my ‘it is the end of the world’ supplies: ‘that’s it?’
Me: ‘oh yeah???? You are complaining? Are you kidding me? Look at me losing my shit now! This is me dealing with 5 hours at the ER eye center with L and looking at him licking the reception desk. Yes! LICKING!
This is me taking G for 3 cavities filling. This is me being blamed for being late for ballet by P because I was bloody looking for pasta…yes there is a shutdown: MINE !!!! And yes, you are going down Sir but because I am going to smother you in your sleep! I am and I am going to take my fucking time doing it.’
Things got silent quickly at the dining table. I am so not cool as a cucumber right now. Try a jalapeño.
Step 3: Overnight, these things happen.
Tom Hanks is sick with Covid19. If Mr Nice dies, it is the end. The world does not need this right now. Tom, I am ready to go all ‘Saving Private Ryan’ on you. We need you to make it.
Travel from Europe is banned. Okay…
The Met is shutting down. What?
Broadway is closing until further notice for the first ever, 100 million dollars in revenue loss expected.. I am beyond Jalapeño now. I am not fucking chopping onions or cilantro. I am crumbling like fucking guacamole.
I wake up and want to apologize to A but instead texts: ‘why is there still no wine on your ‘must haves bunker list’ ???
Guacamole, I am. But a bitchy guacamole.
I pondered about whether or not to share this post. I initially wrote this as an email to DH but before hitting the ‘send’ button I thought ‘every single mom probably goes through this. It is all fucked up sometimes and I wish I had the courage to lay bare these moments and surges with other women as they happen and not 1 day after I (somewhat) processed the feelings and tried to make sense of them’. That is when instead of the email being sent to DH it went straight to redlipstickmama.com
Hope your day is going well and that the jet lag is not too bad.
I need to share with you that I am having a burnout as an entrepreneur, a mom and a wife.
I am getting paranoid/paralyzed about failing, not doing enough or at least not well enough. I feel like everything, everyone around me is putting pressure on me. Which probably is inaccurate and I (and maybe also our parents) am the only one who put these pressures on me. On my fucking own.
What annoys me is that I am numb today. Like I don’t care anymore of what people think, like I don’t care anymore about raising to my own expectations. It is so not me. But I am tired.
I know I have to take it easy and take positive and constructive time for me without guilt but to be honest I don’t know how to do this.
Today I just want to crawl into bed and sleep (although I haven’t been able to for weeks now). I have a meeting but I cancelled it ; I don’t want to the garage* because I think it will make me cry and I just want to hide. I just want to be a slob, a lazy person without being terrified that I might be depressed. Can anyone do this?
There is nothing you can do about it; I just need to say it.
This makes me look like a cry baby but today I just don’t give a shit.
*my co-working space
NB for my readers: as I am sending this, I saw on the Instagram feed a 20 year-old friend this: ‘We are born to be real, not to be perfect’. How fitting. So wise.
No lipstick mama
Today, I am adding a new page to my blog ‘Activist mama’ where I will publish my thinking and my actions. This page will remind me that sleepless nights, back to back tantrums, getting hit by flying toys, my kids’ diarrhea etc. will never be in the end too much. But a child who will never be 8 because they were killed by a gun, a woman who has to resort to illegal street abortion or a couple in love who cannot get married because society thinks they are abnormal, is too much, way too much.