When things get a little out of control, I start to make mental lists. Lists are one of my favorite things. I like to make them and I like to read them and quite simply they are one of a handful of things that can soothe my rattled mind.
So as I prepared to go on a cigar walk with Kirstie, not for me, for her--yeah, of all the things you wouldn't expect from my fashionable, pixie of a sister, she enjoys cigars greatly, so much so that when we left our apartment she proclaimed that she forgot her lighter and ran back in to get it.
At any rate, I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish today, most of which didn't get tended to, so quite frankly I told myself I didn't even deserve the cigar walk and had Kirst been in a better mood, I would have told her I was staying in to finish what I had not started.
And being that I had not even remotely accomplished what needed accomplishing, I of course began to panic. Hence where the frantic list making came in. I started doing this while brushing my teeth, which I have noticed myself doing an inordinately large amount lately. Not just your standard morning and night business. I don't know what this weird quirk is but it happened sometime last summer while visiting my aunt in South Carolina and waiting on news on whether or not I would make the show The Biggest Loser. I became downright obsessive with my oral hygiene. I found myself going into the bathroom on multiple occasions, not just to brush, but to floss and use mouth rinse.
Now of all the things to get obsessive about when stressed, this is obviously an A-Okay one. You can never have too clean a mouth... not to sound like an Orbit commercial or anything. But as I furiously brushed my teeth, then leaned in toward the mirror critically inspecting and deciding no, floss was definitely needed too, something I used to despise constantly being lectured about at the dentist, I realized why the renewed over-attention to my teeth.
It's a control thing.
I love to be in control. When I am not, or feel semi-out-of-control, which admittedly is more often than I would like, I look for outlets in which I can regain the upper hand on this elusive beast. Weirdly enough, my mouth has become one of these fixations. If I can't control who is going to publish my book, or who is going to find me date-able--ahem Josiah Johnson, seriously marry me--or this infernal heat that is making me question whether I ever had nice hair, or if it was all a figment of my imagination, then I better be able to control something.
Hence why I am dangerously low on toothpaste right now, my toothbrush looks like its met an untimely attack, and I angrily wonder why mouthwash wasn't on my grocery list this week.
I can control how fresh my mouth is, making sure I never get another cavity and that my dentist will praise me again with how splendidly I have been attending to my gums next time I see him.
I also found that my diet was rather rigid today. Almost bordering on punishment. I haven't been bad lately either, though I have been feeling bad about my body, but I blame Kirstie's 100 pounds for that and the fact that she looks so much more New York than me. I want to hate her for it, but she is so darn adorable and she is my sister, so no can do.
I know you are not supposed to covet, but oh my gosh! We sat on a park bench in Brooklyn while she lazily smoked her cigar, looking like bloody Kate Moss, with her torn "sell your computer buy a guitar t-shirt," that I also covet and I fumed.
"You just don't know what a blessing it is to have thighs that don't touch."
She started to retaliate about what she didn't like about her body, because that's what girls do and I stopped her.
"Just trust me. You don't have to know how hard and despicable it is to get your dream body, because you already have it. I just wanted to point out how lucky you should know you are."
She didn't argue much more with me, while I tried not to pout, thinking about all the work I still had ahead of me in the way of attaining a flat stomach and some sick muscles. I don't know why all of a sudden I am obsessed with muscles. I never cared much about them before. Okay, of course I know why, it's because for the first time in my life I've spotted them on my body and turns out they were nothing to sneer at before as meaning you were an idiot gym rat--note, this was just my incredible insecurity lashing out before. Muscles do in fact mean you work really freaking hard and deserve to have them.
So things I can control:
My breath and my teeth not having sweaters as my ever-so-eloquent best friend would say if she needed to freshen hers. Ugh, that phrase still makes me shudder.
My food intake.
My not buying wine when I feel frazzled and instead opting for a run, which I suppose includes my exercise regimen, and fixating on sick muscles and not those stupid carrot cake doozies down the street.
Things I cannot control:
Josiah realizing there was a fetching pink-haired girl with mustard yellow suspenders on in the crowd of his concert singing all the words to his songs, and deciding to find me in Brooklyn.
National Geographic opting to send me on a trip to the Swiss Alps to photograph... honestly I don't care. They could send me there to photograph sewage and I would say yes, sirs! I salute you!
And apparently no matter that I spent nearly $20 of my Target gift card on lavish moisture-rich conditioners and for once diligently followed the instructions to a T and condition and re-condition for 3-5 minutes, every time I am in the shower, which if you know how little I like to dilly-dally in the shower, you would know what an incredible pain this is to do, that no matter all this work, my ever-loving hair still, STILL day in, day out, looks like I had a nasty row with an electric fence and lost.
I guess I am going to go brush my teeth again. Oy.