Friday, December 10, 2010

I was a bossy-ass child, and now I'm a bossy-ass adult

This morning at approximately 6:25 am, in a terrifying turn of events, my vehicle ended up the wrong direction on an icy road that I shouldn't have even been taking, but I was determined to prove to myself that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, snow-be-damned.

Thankfully, I was unharmed. Even more thankfully, I didn't cause any monetary harm to my vehicle. The event didn't even really phase me at the time. I started to fishtail, I over-corrected, I didn't slam on my breaks, I merely ended up pulling a 180 before I finally stopped. I took a breath, pointed myself back in the correct, work-bound, direction and I started back out at 25 MPH.

The only thing that really bothers me about the situation is that two seconds of feeling that are never really as noticeable as when you're losing complete control of something tangible, like your car. Other kinds of control loss are gradual, even subconscious. Sure, sometimes it's hits you hard, but not in an "OMGz, this is my possible last moment on earth!!! FUCK!!! they're going to see what a mess my car is right now!" That, my friends, is the feeling I fear most in life. Yup, I'm scared to death a kind stranger will rush to my smoking vehicle and peer in the windows at my limp and lifeless body in disgust, thinking to themselves, "UGhhhhh, two McDonald's bags, a discarded sushi wrapper, two plastic containers with unidentifiable  food products in them and four empty cans of Dr. Pepper? Dr. fucking Pepper?! What a slob!"

Nearly constant, my attempts at control are often disastrous, but through some force beyond my own explanation, it only fuels my almost-primal hunger for that very thing- and it has been that way as long as I can remember. I like to think I've mellowed out some or whatever, but the truth is, I just keep scenarios that I can't control playing out in my mind how I would have had them, and ignore the real life results. Livin' in a dream worrrrrrrrld.

Let me take you back to 1997 for a moment. Eleven year old Sara had huge square glasses and a near crippling asthma wheeze.

Sooooooooooo, I was entering the phase that about 90 percent of children go through for a few years between age ten and age thirteen or so where they're just... ugly. I was not in the blessed ten percent of perpetually attractive children, I was awkward looking. I don't really know why this phase mercilessly hits so many of us, but it's kind of the little splice of life between still being an all-out kid and kind of starting to become self-aware of your own appearance and it's fucking weird. The results are often horrifying.

 I started doing my own hair before school around fourth grade and would often take twenty minutes standing in front of the mirror in my parent's bathroom, trying to wet and fine-tooth comb EVERY SINGLE BUMP out of my pony tail- sometimes I'd break into my mom's hair spray to get the desired result. I had slicked-back hair. It was bad. It was worse than bad, it was helmet hair.



On the contrary, I just squirted Neosporin directly into my nostrils, at the office, in pain view, because shit is raw up in there and if they don't heal real soon I'm seriously going to go into a black-out fit of rage and literally rip my nose off of my face and feed it to Manfriend's dog, Hally. She looks like she enjoys a good nose now and then.

ANDDDDDDD we're transitioning.

It's 1997. I'm eleven. There are two 'Most Important Things' in my life and one of them is making sure I get back to summer camp come June so I can get my friendship bracelet construction and frog catching ON. NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING, trumps summer camp. The other most important thing in my life, and something that has become an underlying theme up to present day is the need to control.

I can't exactly pinopint where this incessant desire to have everything my way started, but I am certain it was very early on. Seven year old Sara would sit in the backyard, singing songs, making them up as I went along to the animals around me- in full belief that they would become my own personal friends and pets, nuzzle me, and basically just, you know, kick it.

Opinions are actually varied on the most disturbing part of that little narrative, but I think the fact that I fully believed that the "animals" in our suburban Chicago back-yard, which included the common sparrow, squirrels, and the occasional bunny, were going to be become tame from the sheer power of persuasion in my angelic little voice is nothing short of alarming. Sadly, the elitest little bastards didn't actually become my personal playthings, giving me my first taste of control-related defeat, and thus fueling my need to have power over every situation.

Fa fa fa fa fa fastttttt forward a few years.
 Ahhhhhh. 1997. Fifth grade. Teacher's pet. Painstakingly cleaning every last spot of ink from the projection machine, organzing and testing each of the pens on my teacher's projector cart, silently sobbing to the dramatic conclusion of Where the Red Fern Grows during individual Read & Relax period after lunch. Good Times.

After school, pre-adoloscent Sara had shit to do. (The following list of actual events may leave you convinced that I would grow up to become the leader of the fascist regime, but nope, no no no, just the emotionally wrought, financially unsound, run-of-the-mill control freak I am today. Whew, what a relief!)

1. Compose congregation of neighborhood creatins... I mean children, ages 6-11 at the neighborhood field/park.

 This park was badass because it was huge and had a creek running through it on one edge with some woods and basically connected like three different little neighborhoods, and if you went all the way through it, you were at my elementary school.

2. Give moving and motivational speech on the importance of building us, the neighborhood kids, a fort in the woods by the creek. With branches. And discarded wood. And any old nails/building materials we could get our little hands on. (Where none of us actually had clearance from our parents to go....forbidden territory, risky.)

3. Delegate tasks to each child for construction, in the mean time writing a screenplay for a feel-good musical presentation for the "company" upon completion of my fortress.

 These little productions were occasionaly taped via my parent's video-camera and there is one particular show, still in my familes' VHS library, where I forced my little sister, Beth, to play the part of "White Trash Wendi with Baby on Hip." She was eight at the time.

4. Resolve common squabbles and address concerns of the rank and file.

5. Cease construction upon fortress due to an underlying theme of discontent among the crew.

6. Shift focus to assigning roles for theatrical presentation!

7. Break for dinner. Assign each member of the cast the task of finding a costume for their individual roles and to find out how many of their family members would be buying (!!!) tickets to the show.

Did I mention that not only was I a child prodigy, but also an entreprener? NO? How silly of me; I was probably just being modest! I often ended up making around four dollars for these ordeals, which I promptly pocketed despite my promises to "Buy supplies for the fort," and probably spent on something like the Waterfalls single by TLC at Walgreens, because that was the only place close enough for me to walk from my house. So apparently, I'm bossy and an embezzler, GREAT.

8. Rehearse. Insist everyone memorize their lines, as written. Throw fits and make pithy comments that will cause half of the role-holding neighborhood children to decide they'd rather go home and play in the safety of their own backyards.

9. Assemble remaining crew to build stage/set.

10. Watch the sun sink below the horizon and realize the entire thing is falling apart in my hands. Hear my father's, I kid you not, whistle- that served as a notificaton that it was time to come home.  Stomp home in a fit of rage, claiming "artistic license," without actually knowing what it means.

11. Wait approximately one week, repeat.

You know what? I can't ::actually:: believe I've been marking 'No' on job applications where they ask if I've ever had supervisory experience. What THE HELL is wrong with me? It's pretty much evident that I was born to lead.

Happy weekending, and never stop wanting more.

XO Sara

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