To wake up and immediately go for the salt and vinegar kettle cooked chips on the corian countertop in the kitchen was naturally a bad idea. The message I received from that small gesture of self-destruction was clear however. I was overwhelmed. It would become that kind of day. A day full of fat-fueled bad ideas. A self-pitying, guilt-induced angry “bite me.”- “what are you looking at?!” kind of day. But it wasn’t supposed to be that kind of day. I was supposed to be efficient and focused and organized. I realize you’ve heard this from me before. But I wasn’t prepping for anything like this before! I was supposed to keep my eye on the prize….in less than a week I would be in Rome. The Rome in Italy. Rome-fricken-Italy people! Not only does that sound farfetched for a gal from the trailer park like myself, but it is surreal and I’ve been in total denial.
What if the Pope (THE fricken POPE!) thinks I am a blundering idiot? What if this beautiful, holy man sends word directly to God that I am not worthy for some reason? What if saying “fricken” in between “THE” and “POPE” is a sin?!!! Oh dear Lord, you know I love that man, don’t let me blow it now. And why didn’t I study for this?! I’m picturing myself being escorted out of St. Peter’s Square by Armed Pope Guards just based on my thoughts lately.
It goes down like this. Suddenly, just as I pick up my phone to take a selfie while in St. Peter’s Square, I would see fellows in snappy black uniforms marching up toward my rear end (granted, not my best side) with grand head gear like maybe the 4th degreed Knights of Columbus wear at funerals – fancy, like a pirates hat sort of – that displays their Pope Police emblem (I’m picturing a cross with some kind of sword. Oh, and an icon for handcuffs too).
“Hey! You in the red tank top and skinny jeans!” One large, muscular Italian man in Pope Police uniform would bellow in Italian while pointing at me, “Clean up your thoughts or get out of this area!”
I would then smile and give a teeny wave before turning more red than my “Totally-Really-Red” fingernail polish. First off, I know not what he’s said and therefore would probably imagine it was something quite complimentary, as I am narcissistic like that. Second, how would I clean my thoughts anyway, even if I were able to speak any Italian? His critique of my mind-matter would really just serve to make me obsess about such thoughts further, wondering, for example, how on earth the Pope Policeman knew who or what impure thoughts I may or may not have been thinking. Surely I wasn’t naming names or positions or such nastiness. NOT AT THE VATICAN for God’s sake!
“This area is for pure thoughts only! And by the way, you have no business wearing skinny jeans!” Another burly Italian man with Ray Bans befitting a secret service agent, spouts off, also in his beautiful Italian language; which, of course, is incongruent from the actual message. Which I would not at all find beautiful. In fact, had I known (still in my fantasy) that he was being insulting I would have…why, I would have…probably cried. Out of embarrassment as well as the money spent on said skinny jeans.
Then, just as he was leaving he would point rather decisively at my bare shoulders. Naturally I could only continue to assume that this was playful flirtation. This man couldn’t quite get enough of me. So I would bat my eyelashes in response, maybe swish back my hair for kicks. Thank goodness I was protected by my ignorance of the Italian language, as I was spared the entire insulting mess.
What I didn’t know that I needed to know, however, was that wearing a tank top to St. Peters Square sans the shoulder-covering tres chic black blazer (Italians like black, it’s classier, I hear) was a distinctly huge no-no. A tourist would then look at me and point to a sign that read, “COVER YOUR SHOULDERS prior to entering the Vatican!” I would, of course, nod in response and mumble something about her “probably being a hall monitor in middle school” and hope to hell the spiteful words didn’t get past my lips and out to Pope Police ears.
And yet, here I am in my office in the USA. My busy fantasy life is not going to get my bags packed, now will it?
There was only one other time when I was in denial this deep. It was when I was pregnant with #4. I may still be (in denial, not pregnant with #4 child) and that would explain a lot, but that’s for another day. Right here and now I am going to explore with you how and why a person can actually rationalize away almost anything. I will attempt to do this using a male voice (could be tricky) and a female voice (got this one nailed!). “Manage Your Now” creator, Michael Linenberger, organizer, motivator extraordinaire will be disgusted but I’m sure he’ll manage.
Hurry up! It’s time to go!
I’ll be down in a minute or make that five. While your goal is to get there, mine is to eventually be there smelling amazing and looking fabulous.
It’s so simple, just prioritize and follow your list.
MY THOUGHT: (you’ll notice I switched over from “WOMEN” to “MY” to take full responsibility for my poor attitude around keeping irresponsibility alive and well. All women aren’t this, um, “disorganized with purpose”, I guess I’d say).
You. Are. Simple…. if you think I will just write a list and actually follow it! What if I lose my list? I already have seven going so far! No, my way is better. I will get to it when I’m done figuring out how to untangle this necklace. It’ll look stunning with my black tank and that maxi skirt, you know the one. I got it the day I suggested you relax and let me take over the finances and you made some snarky control-freak face and….remember??….where’d you go? Hello?????….
I asked you to do one thing. Pick up my dry cleaning so I can pack.
I asked you to do one thing last week. Make dinner for six people, keeping in mind that you helped make four of them, one of which will only eat bagels with cream cheese. Did that happen? I ended up working all day, coming home to the aroma of what? Dog pee. You forgot to let the dog out too. Did you ever hear me complain? No. There I was scrambling around looking for what to make while mopping up urine from a 160 pound dog who drinks two gallons of water per day…wait…are you there?…hello? Are you even listening?
(I put a bowl of chips out! he yells from the nether regions of the house.)
You don’t need to pack that much stuff.
How often does one go to Italy? How am I supposed to know what the weather will do?
(look it up, he says)
That was hypothetical, I know what it says, what I don’t know is what it MIGHT do if it doesn’t do what it says it will do. A girl needs backup clothes. You know, clothes for the clothes that are inappropriate somehow or get a spaghetti stain on them or God forbid we get our periods! After all, weather, though fairly predictable at various times of the year as a whole, is not an exact science on a day to day basis. Sure, Doppler weather predicting is much more accurate than it used to be, but….hey, where are you going? I’m still talking here! RUDE.
Yes. Just wear that. (he says while working on his computer)
Ah….so you like my new skinny jeans with this red tank top? You’re sure it looks ok to wear to Rome? I figure I’ll pair it with my tres chic black blazer. I hear that Italian’s adore black. It’s classy. Don’t you think?
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
- Do NOT wear sleeveless shirts to the Vatican.
- Learn the language of the country you decide to venture to.
- Skinny jeans apparently aren’t for everyone…sigh…
- Spanx can hide a myriad of unpleasant sights.
- Men and women tend to speak different languages even though they come from the same country, state, city, street, house.
- High fat, greasy snack foods are not a good way to begin one’s day unless one is in college and hungover.
- A pure mind is a…well, I don’t know, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one…
- When in Rome…(I’ll let you know upon my return!)