I received a call from a private investigator this week and it opened a wound I thought had healed. I lost a friend and her babies to suicide a little over two years ago. It was only recently I stopped cringing every time a train whistle blew. The questions he asked, I really didn’t have answers for: did she seem depressed? No. From the outside everything looked perfect. We couldn’t know she was hurting because she fought so hard to look like she had it all together.
Don’t compare yourself to that lady in the carpool lane, the one with her hair done and make up on, she has her own problems and you don’t want them. We see people in snapshots, mostly at their best, sometimes at their worst and yet we make snap judgments, “I wish I could be like her,” or “Thank God I’m not as ____ as her.”
This was a rough week.
Saturday we were to attend the wedding of some wonderful friends. They had some car trouble the day before and asked if we could pick up the cake. Sure, no problem, except due to one thing and another picking up the cake made us so late to the wedding we completely missed the ceremony.
Later that same day, I didn’t pull the kids’ toys out of the driveway, as a consequence I was looking in the rearview so hard to avoid a tricycle that I knocked the drivers’ side mirror off my car. It was just my husband and I in the car and I reverted to my line cook vocabulary. It’s an attractive feature, I’m told.
This means I’m stuck driving my car and looking like an incompetent “woman driver” or the dreaded minivan beater for a few days. Yeah, I’m self-conscious about that. I’m glad it runs and thank goodness it has AC but I hate being insta-labelled a soccer mom, I think even more than the alternative. The new mirror arrived, but the company sent us one for the passenger side.
I finished the chapter on menu planning while eating take out, fully aware of the irony.
The last one is a little harder to explain, Charleston is a wonderful city, but it has a class system. Usually this has no effect on my life and I have a great time doing my own thing. Not this week, I was invited to an event which turned into one of the most socially awkward moments I’ve had in a long time. It was a, “Who’s your family?” moment. I stayed polite on the outside, but I was humiliated and furious at myself for allowing someone else’s opinion to matter.
Many of us scramble so hard to make it look like we’ve got it all together that we make ourselves miserable. This is a place to share, anonymous if you prefer, those episodes that make us human. Sure, it’s a little early, but the Sunday confessional is now open.