I mentioned something earlier this week about hating it when women leave toilet seats wet. Its gross and unnecessary. But today my problem is the actual toilet. MY actual toilet.
We came back from a relaxing weekend away in the Berkshires (la-di-da, not so fancy – we stayed in a dorm at a yoga retreat for 500 people, but the hiking was wonderful,) to find our toilet busted. Not literally – just unable to fill water up in the tank. We tried jangling the chain, closing the seal shut, etc. Plumber comes, fixes it, same thing happens that night but instead of an ongoing run like a waterfall, this one comes and goes at 2am, 4am, 6am…
This morning, he came with a new seal and fingers crossed, I’ll sleep through the night. It got me thinking, though, about how important trade and technical schools are. I’m good at MacGyver’ing things, and I would have eventually fixed the issue, but still – would have been nice to even get some basic plumbing info growing up. Or electrical. Or understanding how the gas system in the house works. Or how to clean out to a/c vent. The basics – things that we use in our day to day life. My dad did teach me how to change a tire, and he never shied away from showing me how to do other things just because I was a girl. He worried early on that because I was such a tomboy, I might end up ‘having’ to do these things for myself anyway.
Not everyone needs a college education, least of all a liberal arts one. Yes, it makes me a well-rounded person, able to carry on a wonderful conversation at a cocktail party, but can I fix a toilet when its running in the middle of the night? No.
I took a yoga class at my gym a few weeks ago – at the NY Sports Club. Now, having practiced yoga for 25 years and taken some amazing classes with truly inspiring teachers, I don’t have high expectations of yoga classes at the gym in general. That being said, I used to have this amazing teacher at 24 Hour Fitness in San Francisco about ten years ago. He was an older man, wore socks during class, and tie-dye shirts. He had this incredibly calm demeanor. And somehow, he always knew when I needed to hear “You are stronger than you know.” But generally, the yoga teachers aren’t as great as you’d get at a yoga studio. And yet… I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, which may be my downfall. I took a class with this woman a few weeks ago, she was awful – monotone, but military style, letting people practice while in terrible positions and likely to injure themselves, giving zero time to breathe between postures, and super clunky transitions. The idea that a gym class will be HARD so they can SWEAT makes them 1. give up on any actual yoga teachings and 2. submit people to possibly hurting themselves by developing bad postural habits.
I swore after that class, I wouldn’t take another one at the gym and then tonight, because I’m a moron, I did. Same teacher! I kept telling myself to stop having judgement, stop comparing, stop stop stop, but hey, I actually HAVE a shit ton of experience and while I’m not a better human being, I am likely better equipped to notice these issues. I’m guessing teaching a class at the gym doesn’t pay well, so they take what they can get but ugh. Almost the worst.
I’ve been keeping a running list of things people do that annoy me to no end. I want to write a larger piece about this, but in the meantime, here’s the fodder…
People who believe the rules don’t apply to them. See: Asshole on the plane who refuses to put his phone into Airplane mode because “it doesn’t really matter.” Actually, d-bag, there are multiple reasons for asking people to turn their phones to airplane mode, if you’d bothered to find out. But no, those rules don’t apply to you. Let’s hope everyone doesn’t feel the same way one day and bring a plane down, just by being a jackass. I mean, would it kill you – to disconnect from your phone for like 20 minutes, and then you can get wifi and catch up on all the funny videos you missed that your friends posted on Facebook or you can, oh, I don’t know, be disconnected!
Women who don’t check the toilet seat after you pee. Listen ladies, I get it – maybe there was something on the seat when you got in, so then you had to squat, which only made matters worse. But clean it up! You’re going to wash your hands after anyway (aren’t you?) so what’s the harm in paying it forward? Also, why are y’all squatting in the first place? You know the likelihood of you catching something from a toilet seat is crazy low – and if you’re that paranoid, just put some TP down first. That’s what I do – only because I don’t want to sit on a wet seat! Again, clean the damned seat. Please.
People who think that their bodies smell best when bathed, fully, in cologne or perfume. You are wrong. Whomever told you that you smelled nice was lying. They actually couldn’t stand close to you any longer than to tell you that you smelled nice and walked away. You have a cloud of scent around you – imagine Pig-Pen from the Peanuts. This is you. Just because its cologne doesn’t make people any more likely to want to stand next to you. Opposite effect. Not to mention people who actually have bananas allergies to all the crazy chemicals that go into those body sprays (although, help me, I do miss finding a spray bottle of Jean Nate in my stocking at Christmas.)
That’s all for now but there are more brewing, I can feel it!
A while back, in a fit of feeling sorry for myself, I decided that if I couldn’t spend one last big chunk of time with my son, I might leave my new husband and two bonus daughters.
So in January of 2016 I spent four glorious weeks in the Bay Area picking my son up from school, hanging out with him after school, being obnoxiously present on the weekends.
Fast forward a year+ and my son is at college in California – a decision that made me both heartsick and elated. I’d wished he would have chosen Wesleyan or Swarthmore, but he’s a California boy, born and raised – even though he has loved his bi-coastal experience. I recently came back from a visit and while its my son I go to spend time with, it is my friends who I equally need to connect with. I love my son. Deeply and unreasonably. However, there is a natural evolution to parenting… we raise them to become independent human beings that can connect in the world. To have humility and self-awareness. And eventually, to leave the nest. Whereas friendships, which we nurture and hone and develop, are setting us up for a different kind of security as we age. At least that is what I’m hoping from the friendships I have been lucky enough to have. There are periods of time when we are all busy in our tornados of life but even the brief respite of hearing from a friend can sustain me for weeks.
And then I come home, to New Jersey, where I know about one person, despite living here for almost four years. Sure, I ‘know’ my neighbors, but they’re not friends. I work in Manhattan. I spend most of my free time with my husband, traveling, or alone. Making friends when you’re old is hella different than when we’re kids, or have something in common like kids or husbands or work. I need to keep looking for new groups to spend time with, like minded people who can dork out with me.
I wanted to take Jason away somewhere for a surprise weekend away, and decided that since he’s never been to Kripalu and is on this crazy path of self-discovery that he might enjoy it. Or if he didn’t enjoy it he would at least get something out of it. That is, even if he didn’t want to do the personal transformation sessions, he might still be able to do yoga, or in the least go for a run in the woods.
Turns out he’s enjoying the personal transformation sessions and getting a lot out of being here. It doesn’t hurt that this building used to be some type of convent… he says he’s felt the presence of Jesus and then his eyes get watery. That’s his way of saying he cries, except for that he never says he cries. He gets very emotional about Jesus, and I’ve never seen him get emotional about anything else honestly. Oh sure anger or excitement yes but not raw emotion. Only Jesus gets to feel that. I sound jealous. I probably am.
The weather is gorgeous so we went for a nice walk to the beach and walk the labyrinth. I keep wondering if we’re going to walk away from this weekend feeling any closer. I feel like we’re friends, we’re still raw though. We have a mutual appreciation for that right now, and maybe we’re not going to feel much closer until we deal with our own shit. I have to remind myself this is all new for him. These emotions, this way of looking at life and himself, the type of relationship that is not skimming on the surface but getting deep. I also have to remind myself to be patient and kind because even though he gets excited and determined and wants to try something new, I have a lifetime of experience telling me that real, significant changes take time. Sometimes a long, long time.
While talking about relationships once with a lover I had from a restaurant gig, he said, “If the vase breaks, you can fix it. But if you keep dropping the vase, and gluing it back together, eventually, all you’ll see are the cracks. It will never be as strong as it once was.” He was a bit of a downer.
I’m trying not to break the vase but I like to examine the rawness and vulnerability of being human. Depending on who you’re with – that could amount to vase breakage.
Most of the time, I really can’t tell. Quiet. Is it brooding? Or just tired? Is everything ok? Yes, he says. But still…