I have been very tired lately. Not, like, the most tired person who was ever tired ever, but some schedule changes and whatnot have just… made me tired. I moved into a different job, sort of, at work, which would be tedious (to you) to explain, but I’m working more and I like it. I like my job. I don’t hate going there. I had a job, a long while back, that was a very tedious job and very demanding at certain times of the year (THIS TIME OF THE YEAR, if you recall my job at the accounting firm), but you know, I never hated going to work. Even when we were working 10+ hours a day every single day of the week, I just didn’t hate it. I was tired, and it was stressful, but it didn’t make me hate my life. I didn’t realize that, though, until I had a job, the one after that, that did make me hate my life, made me a truly miserable, unhappy person, a person who was completely consumed by the disgusting terribleness that job pushed into all areas of my existence. After that, I had the realization, eventually, that most people probably do at some point, that it’s TOTALLY FINE not to love your job. If you don’t flat out hate going there every day, you’re probably doing all right. And right now, I wouldn’t say I LOVE LOVE my job, but I don’t hate it and I don’t mind going there at all, so I’m doing just fine.
When I’m tired, though, when I’m really, really tired like I am now – okay, I’ll tell you part of it, because it’s my blog and I can be tedious, and it’s not like it’s a secret or anything, it’s just boring life details – I had been intermittent part time (anywhere from 0 – 29 hours a week) in one location and was trained to work in another as well. The girl who worked in the other (it’s a coffee shop) had to leave for child care reasons, so my boss asked me to apply for the regular part time (35 hours) position there. So I did, and I got it, and it’s nice, though I miss going back and forth between the two locations because I liked the variety and I like the work better at the coffee shop, but the fast pace better at the other shop. This is a military base and this is also food service, so people are in and out a lot, as you expect, and situations worked out that I was essentially the only person left able to work in the coffee shop at all. Someone else has been hired and can start in a week or two, and another girl was/is being trained to do like I did and work between a couple different places, so that’s good, but for a while here it’s been just me, so I’ve worked quite a bit. I have felt weird complaining, especially to my husband who has always just, you know, worked, about working 5 or 6 eight hour days in a row like it’s some kind of super taxing schedule, which it’s not, it’s not even close to how I used to work, but I haven’t worked outside the home in years and I spent a couple of those years sleeping and I stand all day, and I don’t know. You’re not going to make me defend the fact that working all day makes me tired, are you? If I promise that I understand that there are certainly people with harder jobs who work more hours and have more kids and extra jobs and all of that who are probably more tired than me? I promise I do know that, and I promise I feel the adequate dash of shame when I think about how tired I am.
Anyway, so I work most days from 6:30am until 2:45-ish, depending on how fast I can close things up, and that’s a pretty good schedule, I think. I like the hours. I mean, I don’t like getting up that early, but I like being done for the day that early, so it’s a fair trade. The issue is, though, that Phil has switched to swing shift for a bit, so when I am coming home and pulling into the driveway at 2:45, he is pulling in right behind me with Penelope, collected from school/daycare, handing her off, and going to work until 11pm or so. We’re really pretty much on waving terms these days. And you know, that’s fine, too, because this schedule isn’t permanent, and he’s been actually gone-gone for longer than this schedule will probably last. But it started around the time that my new schedule started, and also Penny’s “spring break,” which wasn’t really so much a spring break as it was just a week off from pre-k – she still went to daycare. Which is convenient. Except they take naps in daycare. So for that whole week, she was coming home WELL RESTED, which is a nice change from the exhausted and whiny child who normally comes home, but not so great when you worked on your feet all day and your feet HURT and your husband is at work and she has no intention of going to sleep any earlier than 11pm. Maybe.
Anyway, that’s all to say, or to justify, maybe, the fact that I am just tired. And when I’m tired, I want to complain. Just in general. All the things I want to talk about are complaints. I don’t spend my entire day complaining or whining, but when I look at the Internet, I just want to complain about shit at length, so I mostly just haven’t been on the Internet too much, because I used to be comfortable complaining about whatever was bothering me that day and moving on, but over time I became aware of the fact that as far as a lot of people know or care, what you blog is who you are, entirely, and if I was to complain here and on Twitter, then for all intents and purposes for a lot of people, I am someone who does nothing but complain all the time, and while I know that’s not true, and even if it was partially true, it has become less true as years have gone on, having people think that about me just makes me want to complain about the injustice of it all, so you see the loop I become trapped in there. But you know, it’s been a while, and I’m tired, and Penelope is going to be awake for like 80 more hours, so I’m going to just go ahead and tell you some of my recent complaints, but to make myself feel better about my perfectly justified complaining, I will insert one good thing after every complaint.
FIRST COMPLAINT. Is not about working moms vs stay at home moms, but is somewhat related, in the ways of attitudes and all. You know some people are never going to be okay with working moms, and some people are never going to be okay with stay at home moms. There are those not okay people. But let’s assume that the majority of normal people are fine with whatever you want to do and whatever works for your family and honestly don’t give a fat fuck either way. This is something that is bothering me, though. There’s this whole other attitude about working, sort of, that if you’re going to work, your job should be at least good. And my job, to some people, would not be considered good. I do work for an hourly wage in food service. And you know what, like I detailed above, I like it. I tried stay at home mom-ing. I tried working from home and have done that on and off for the last seven or so years to pretty decent success. I just didn’t want to do those things anymore. And I’ve worked in an office and “used” my college degree and all of that, but after my last experience with that, I didn’t want to do that anymore, either. I wanted to work, but I didn’t want any real responsibility. I don’t want to take work home with me or get my work email on my phone or talk to anyone from my job when I am not actually, physically at my job. I didn’t want to get involved in long projects or make important decisions or be in charge of anyone or anything, really. And I found something that works for that. When I first started working again, at the end of last year, I was making pretty much exactly enough money to pay for Penny’s daycare and nothing more. I make a bit more now, with the more hours, but in reality, if we’re speaking in terms of financial sense only, it makes the MOST financial sense for me to not work and to keep Penelope home with me, childcare costs and all that being what they are. I’m not going to do that, though, because I get more out of my job than money. No real deep satisfaction and personal fulfillment or anything like that, but I LIKE working for a paycheck and I’ve found a spot that meets all my requirements for that.
Penelope was on Facetime with my parents a couple of weeks ago and I offhandedly explained, just lightly, that I really like my job and could easily see doing something like this forever, because… I don’t know, I think I’ve adequately explained myself through the rest of this post, and my mom said, “Oh, well, that’s not a very good idea,” in a way that implied that it wasn’t okay to just be an hourly food service worker forever, that it was fine for now, but of course at some point I’d have to do something else, and just… why? Why would I have to do something else? What would the something else be? If it works for my personal family that I get to work at a job I don’t hate for not really great money, then why isn’t it a good idea? It’s not a good idea, probably, because the sort of job I am working is not really one that college graduates are supposed to be working, maybe? Or maybe because I used to have office jobs that seemed higher status? (They weren’t – I didn’t wear a uniform and a visor to work at them, but it was just grunt work in a different environment, and I actually have more responsibility/autonomy at this job than I did at a couple of my others.) I guess it comes down to some kind of perceptions about this kind of job vs that kind of job, but I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about it, because did you see up there? Where I wrote about not hating my life? I realize it’s totally a luxury to work at a low paying job that doesn’t make me hate my life, and I get that, I really do, but why shouldn’t I get to do that if I can? I’m working, I’m getting paid real money for real work. Why can’t I do it forever if I want to, MOM? If you’re reading this, MOM, that was a shitty thing to say and you should apologize. Also apologize to my sister because I told her you said that and that made it double rude, considering she has happily worked at a restaurant for the last thousand years. RUDE.
Okay, here’s a good thing. I am enjoying the HELL out of my scooter. I ride it to and from work because we only have one car and it is just a goddamned delight. I encourage everyone to get one.
THIS IS ANOTHER COMPLAINT. I know I have complained about this before but every once in a while my fury is brought up anew, and it’s about lady grooming standards. Really, it’s about the fact that there are lady grooming standards. You know, I’m going to allow for the fact that there are some raised eyebrows when a woman doesn’t shave her legs or her armpits. I get that that can seem weird. I’m not saying I PERSONALLY think it’s weird – you go on with your razor-free lifestyle. It’s fine. It’s a thing, but it doesn’t strictly need to be a thing. What ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT EVER BE A THING is the idea that there is some kind of widely accepted standard for ANYTHING covered by a bathing suit. “Well, it’s a hygiene issue.” No, it’s not. “It’s fine to not go bare, but you need to at least trim.” I DON’T NEED TO DO SHIT. “Personally, I just won’t date women who don’t clean up down there.” One, it’s not dirty, and two, those women don’t want to date you, either. “It’s fine to not shave but you should know the labor nurses WILL make fun of you.” No they will not, because what kind of hellish seawitch makes fun of a giant pregnant lady who doesn’t want to wave a razor near her parts when she hasn’t even seen those parts in months, and even if they DID, fuck them, they’re terrible people and no one cares what terrible people think because they’re terrible.
I’m not even upset about this because it strikes too close to home or anything. At various times in my life I have engaged in various styles of personal grooming and I expect my preferences and level of give a fuck will continue to fluctuate as time goes on. The aggravation is with the idea that there is some assumed basic level of pube-keeping. Like if you look at some stranger on the street, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, you might feel safe to assume she shaves her legs, shaves under her arms, and forms a nice lady hedge once a week or so. Like there are people who assume that that is just what’s done, and anyone not doing that is an aberration of some kind, when there should be ABSOLUTELY NO ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT A PERSON’S GENITAL UPKEEP, OTHER THAN MAYBE, YOU KNOW, CLEAN. If you get right down to it, there shouldn’t really be an assumption about whether or not a lady is going to shave her legs or shave under her arms and which of those decisions is right and which is wrong, and maybe I’m just being held down by the societal man, but I am way more accepting of those assumed standards (not that I personally keep them or don’t keep them with any strict regularity, I do what I want, just like everyone should) than I am of the idea that anyone feels that EVERY WOMAN EVER should be sticking to a certain pubical guidebook, and not only that they should, but that most DO. It’s the ASSUMPTION. THE ASSUMPTION IS UPSETTING TO ME, UNENDINGLY. I have said before, every lady is free to do whatever the hell she wants, and every dude or other lady or variety of whichever type and combination of sex, gender, and body type that is themselves interested in sexually interacting with a vagina can certainly express a PREFERENCE, like I have a preference for big fat dudes, but I am married to a not big, not fat guy and that’s fine because YOU GET WHAT YOU GET AND YOU DON’T GET UPSET, ESPECIALLY when the possessor of said vagina is going to let you GET ALL UP IN IT. If I let you stay in my guest room (I don’t have a guest room), are you going to take a look around and be like, “Well, I’ll stay here, but from here on out you need to paint it green.” NO. YOU WOULDN’T BE LIKE THAT. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW INSANE PEOPLE ACT. And that example is about PAINT. In a ROOM. NOT A VAGINA. You can prefer green til your tits fall off, but to get mad when I’m like yeah, no, I’m not painting my cooch green for you, tough luck is just EGREGIOUS AND OVER THE LINE.
Here’s a good thing. Four is a good age. Penelope is super enjoyable right now. She’s also really, really, really trying our patience on a regular basis. I mean, to insane levels, having to leave the room and tap out for the other parent, taking deep breaths to calm the rage, more yelling than feels should be necessary, but EVEN WITH THAT, four is really good. She’s quick and funny and really, really kind and thoughtful. She’s almost five now, so I expect it will all be over soon. Maybe four seems so great because Timehop is regularly reminding me of the flat out INSANITY of two year old Penelope, which, even looking back on the evidence, does not seem like it could have been real, when I was regularly coaching myself through the day by reminding myself that it was just a phase, not her actual personality, just a phase, not her actual personality. Holy shit. Two year old Penelope. Maybe she’s still that challenging but two year old Penelope broke us and all we ask for four year old Penelope is that she not burn down the house, but whatever. Having a four year old is, overall, pretty fun.
I put off this post so long for not wanting to write a whole pile of complaints that I can’t actually remember any of my other complaints. There’s a complaint. I want to just be able to complain without worrying that people will think I do nothing but complain. Yes that is what I did in this post. No that is not what I did all day today. Actually, I got a massage today because I finally got a day off. No complaints there. It made me think about pubes a lot, though, so probably just fanned the fires.