Inside My Head

23 May

There is a foul-mouthed, judgmental witch in my life. I’m ashamed to admit that I even know her, but there is nothing I can do to eradicate her presence. You see, she lives inside my head.

I am, by nature, a curious person. At the same time, I like to do things “the right way,” which means that I do lots and lots of research on what is the right way to do particular things, especially household tasks. The voice inside my head, therefore, has an opinion about everything, from how people should brush their teeth (two minutes, reaching all tooth surfaces) to how they should fold their sheets (the way I do).

Naturally, I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart. Martha understands me. She knows that there must be a best way to do everything and she will find it, by God. Take the dishwashing liquid bottle on the counter, for example.  Probably eighty percent of the households in America have a big plastic bottle of green or blue liquid dishwashing soap sitting to one or the other side of the kitchen sink. I had one. I thought it was ugly. Martha had one. She thought it was ugly. In a stroke of genius worthy of a NASA engineer, Martha decanted the brightly colored liquid into a beautiful glass bottle and topped it all off with an attractive liquor pouring spout. I immediately bought a beautiful glass bottle, filled it with Dawn and set it beside my sink. It made me smile. But that wasn’t good enough for the voice inside my head. No, every time I spy a plastic dishwashing bottle while visiting someone’s home the voice inside my head says, “Ewwww!”

“Ewww” is one of the tamer things that rattles around my brain. “Hooker” pops up more often than I like to admit. I have no idea why, but the “inside my head” voice sees hookers just about everywhere I go. I was in Target this past winter. I was doing the economy a favor, pushing my cart up and down the aisles. I turned a corner to find a young woman wearing a heavily ruffled blouse under a pea coat, which was heavily ruffled in the back. My eyes traveled south of the ruffled pea-coat-butt to the thigh-high, black suede high-heeled boots and “Hooker!” popped into my head. I saw similar boots on a five-year-old girl at the mall not long after that. Right after “Hooker boots!” popped into my head, I wondered, “Who buys hooker boots for a five-year-old?”, immediately followed by “Who makes hooker boots for a five-year-old?”

While playing Fashion Police is a favorite activity inside my head, I really get cranking when someone ticks me off. This seems to be happening more and more during my regular runs. I mostly do trail running, usually through a prairie preserve near my home. Recently, my daughter begged to join me. Inside my head I was whining about not getting my mileage for the week but my mommy instinct won and my daughter and I headed to the prairie despite 20 mph winds and a constant drizzle.  We ran one and one-half miles with the wind yanking my daughter’s hat off her head every chance it got. Back at the trailhead, I spied a couple dressed, to my mind, completely inappropriately. Being the considerate person I am, I attempted to warn them that the wind was fierce that day. “I’m sure it is,” said the woman runner, giving me her best “maybe you can’t hack it, but I can” smile. I do not like condescension and, inside my head at least, I’m not particularly mature either. “I hope your hat blows away,” I thought.

While condescending runners get my goat, it’s the cyclists on the trail that really set my inner witch to wagging her tongue. When I was a cyclist, I was ever so considerate. I never cut anyone off; I never rode on the wrong side of the path. Readying to pass another cyclist or a runner, I announced myself. “On your left,” I said, and then thanked the passee.  Not so those who share the trail with me. Many are the cyclists who whiz past me unannounced, scaring the whiz out of me. To each and every one, I think, “Get a bell, asshole!” as they speed out of sight.

Inside my head, the trail I run is “my trail” and I am not particularly kind to those on my trail that I consider, shall we say, stupid. Witness the happy runner who trotted toward me on the wrong side of my trail. In America, we drive to the right, we walk to the right, we run to the right. I looked right at the wrong-sided runner. She did not yield. Instead, she smiled. “WTF,” I thought, so I gave her the universal WTF sign: palms raised to the sky, eyebrows up, quizzical look on my face. She did not yield. No, she smiled wider, waving, and trotted happily down the trail. “Idiot!” I thought, as I stepped out of her way.

Immediately after thinking the idiot an idiot, I felt bad. “Maybe she’s from England,” I thought. “Maybe she has some leg length discrepancy that requires she run on the left side of the trail. Maybe I’m just mean and intolerant.” By the time I reached the end of my run, I had convinced myself that I am a nasty-minded, judgmental witch. See, as nasty-minded as I am toward others, I am hardest on myself. My children have called me fat, mean, stupid and ugly, though never all at once. It doesn’t get to me. I realize I am not fat, mean, stupid or ugly. But inside my head there is a constant barrage of insults. Can’t find my keys? “You are so stupid,” I tell myself. Gained a pound after having my annual turtle sundae? “Ack. You’re fat!” Reading a book instead of de-cluttering my office pig mess? “You’re so lazy!” You name it, my inner witch has a nasty comment for it.

This morning, my daughter wanted me to hear a Selena Gomez song. In it, Selena sings, “Who say’s you’re not perfect?” My daughter sang merrily along while I held her in my lap and cried. Inside my head I thought, “I hope you never have a nasty, judgmental witch inside your beautiful, perfect head.”

© 2011 by Janice Lindegard. All rights reserved. Photo: Martha Stewart.com

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3 Responses to “Inside My Head”

  1. anjobanjo22 May 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    The hooker boot section made me laugh so hard. The hubby gets made at me because I may be thinking something in my head but it shows clearly on my face. He’ll say, “So what’s wrong with what that girl is wearing?” 😛

    • jmlindy422 May 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

      Pleased to make your day a little brighter! My husband is so used to what pops up in my head that he doesn’t even comment anymore.

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