the smell of my desperation has become a stench

And off again

I am writing this somewhere high above Wyoming. Is that you down there? Or is that Colorado? All you western states look the same. What? I’m allowed to say that because I live in one of you. If I was from the Northeast then you could slap me. Then it would be racist.

I’m en route to New York to attend the first board meeting for Every Mother Counts tomorrow. This marks the fourth trip I’ve taken since the beginning of April: Columbus, New York, Santa Barbara, and now back to New York. My suitcase has been on the floor next to my bed in between these trips in various stages of unpacking, never fully empty, and it’s become one of those “but why make my bed when I’m going to have to make it again tomorrow” instances of denial.

No. I don’t make my bed. There, I said it. And reading that admission may hurt my mother more than anything I’ve ever said here. Sorry, mom. I’m a slovenly Democrat whose website is sponsored by a butt. You really fucked it up.

Without fail the day before I travel is a chaotic spiral of Things Going Horribly Wrong, and yesterday was no different. Like, having to fit in a very important phone call concerning critical financial decisions before hopping into a meeting downtown and having my cell phone drop coverage. And when I couldn’t get a signal, I started driving around in circles in that parking lot waving my phone around the front seat and over my head and out the window. I really hope that whoever saw me was like, wow. That must be a really good song.

And then I was at the gym for the only workout I have time for this week, a workout that I prioritize because it’s one of the ways I manage my depression. Why yes, I did just use my depression to justify the time I spend at the gym. I’ll also use it to justify my strange prehistoric diet, my google search history for “cats stuck in strange places,” and most certainly for those nights when the girls ask me why I’m putting them to bed early and I say, “Because Mama needs her Game of Thrones.”

I was halfway through the second round of six different exercises, jumping from the ground and landing with both feet on a box two and a half feet tall, over and over again, when I lost my concentration, slipped and scraped an entire layer of skin off of my right shin. The pain, yeah, it was bad, but the worst part was PANTYHOSE. If that is not the first word that runs through your mind when you suffer a mild injury then I would like the name of your therapist, please.

I bought a couple of different dresses for the meetings I have to attend over the next two days, two very cute dresses that stop right at the knee, dresses I had planned to wear with cute little black pumps. I may not make my bed, no, but sometimes I try to look professional when participating in professional activities. And now I have a giant red gash spanning my entire shin. I really didn’t want to have to wear hose or tights, and not just because I haven’t found the box I packed them in when I moved. Okay. It’s exactly because I haven’t found the box I packed them in when I moved.

So, an emergency errand to find hose in between meetings. Just when you thought first world problems couldn’t get any more ridiculous.

Last night after the day had finally wound down and I had a chance to pack, I checked the zipper pouch that I use to pack all my beauty products in small containers. I wanted to see how much of everything I had left, and good thing I did because I needed to refill my conditioner and moisturizer.

packing

Someone over on Instagram jokingly pointed out that the label on the container gave away my OCD, and she’s right, but I suddenly realized, wow. My OCD is really selective. Like, yeah, I prefer the dishes in my cupboard to face a certain way and it makes me angry when I reach for a coffee cup and the handle is not facing to the right, like WHO DOES THAT? TYRANT, YOU’RE FIRED.

But then, I don’t make my bed and my five-second rule can vary by hours depending on just how delicious that piece of food is or who it was that dropped it.

But really, OCD or not, those labels are super important, people. I once thought I could get away with throwing everything into different containers—my white conditioner, my white moisturizer, my white body cream, and my white makeup remover—and all I’d need to do was open the top and smell it to know what was what. But once you add in the tiniest bit of jet lag or a long cab ride or a very long day in meetings, your olfactory glands are telling you that your makeup remover is your conditioner and there you are in the shower massaging Pond’s Cold Cream through your hair.

This is not something I recommend you try at home. Wait. Let me rephrase that. If you’re going to condition your hair with Pond’s Cold Cream, better to do it at home than in the tiny shower of a hotel room in NY the morning of your flight out when you have not allotted the time it would take to make it so that you don’t look like you stuck your head in a vat of melted butter.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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