Thursday, September 25, 2003

And then... and then...

Would it surprise you to know that after I went home on Monday, bent on cleaning out my drag room, I actually ended up falling asleep as soon as I got home and then suffering from heat-prostration because I didn't open my window or turn on my fan when the sun was beating down on my Venetian blinds and so I slept in a hundred-plus-degree airless room for two hours, and so spent the rest of the evening drinking icewater and lying very very still? That's what happened. Would you further be surprised to learn that on Tuesday I went down to the drag-room, figuring the least I could do was cull the actual garbage out of the area, but after picking a ripped shopping bag and a couple of candy-wrappers out of the pile I just gave up? That happened, too. So after all my good intentions, my drag-room and basement are exactly as they were.

I'm having a hard time giving a shit.

Today I choose to embrace my slovenliness. I'm a big ol' mess, my life is a big ol' mess, and I live in a big ol' mess. I go with my surroundings. It's part and parcel of who I am. Tomorrow, of course, or more precisely next time I'm looking for an important paper or a matched pair of shoes and can't find anything in my rats' nests of bedroom, basement, trunk, or desk, I will despair of my slovenliness and wish to change everything about myself, from my poor filing habits to my dental hygiene to my favorite ice-cream to the color of my hair.

I vacillate between a desire to accept myself as I am and an equally strong desire to be better than I am. When I am unhappy or dissatisfied, I spend a good deal of time trying to figure out if I should change my behavior or my expectations. I suppose vacillation is a form of balance, but I'd really rather just do one or the other, or at least know which one to do in a given circumstance.

Perhaps the problem is that I want everything to be easy. T.H.E.Y. say that things that come easily aren't worth having, but it has always seemed to me that you can fill your life right up with the things that come easily, thereby saving yourself a lot of effort. And I'm all about saving effort... never stand when you can sit, and never sit when you can lie down (and gentlemen, can I tell you that sitting down to pee is a lot less effort than mopping around the bowl or remembering to put down the seat).

So of course, I will be more likely to try to change the thing that is easiest... but is it easier to change expectations rather than behavior? It certainly takes less physical effort, but isn't mental effort just as tiring?

Today I am feeling so lazy that I don't want to change anything at all. Not my expectations, not my behavior, not even my underwear. Of course, I will have to change my clothes later on, and have a shower and comb-out and all that. Caroline and I are having dinner at Chez Panisse tonight, and I can't very well show up at one of the finest restaurants in the Bay Area wearing my schlubbies with my unwashed hair sticking out in all directions. I'm pretty excited about this dinner. I've heard so much in praise of Chez Panisse, it should be something extraordinary.

We're dining out in celebration of Caroline's birthday, which was yesterday (I won't tell you how old she is, only that the number rhymes with "firty-thive"). Since I neglected to get her a present, I figured I ought to spring for a rather fancy meal. Actually, I got her a present, I pre-bought some months in advance, but then I gave her the present in honor of our joining the gym together, and forgot about having done so until I went looking for the present earlier this week. That's one of the problems of buying gifts 'pre-need,' one is often tempted to present them earlier than one intended.

So anyway, that's what's going on in my life today. That and my quest for black boots and black fur and black evening gowns... I'm working up a new alter-ego for a certain Halloween festivity in which I intend to participate. My new alter-ego will be the Baroness Griselda von Beitte-Meihasse (pronounced "bite-my-ass," for my non-Allemanophonic readers), whom I envision as an Edward Gorey version of a Weimar-era dominatrix. So far I've got a pair of riding boots, a black fox muff, and some jet beads, and I've got my eye on a monkey-fur stole and a rather sinister-looking damask corset. I'll keep you posted on how that works out.

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