When the head is too heavy for the neck

By Mir
May 31, 2006

It came to me in a giant epiphany today that my (recurrent) neck injury is really just a metaphor for my (afflicted) mental state. The neck, you see, is necessary to tote the head around with the rest of the body. And the head, sometimes it just seems a bit much for the fragile neck. And my neck hurts.

It seems to me that this only happens when my head is overfull of all of the sorts of things that make me wonder if THIS time, perhaps, FINALLY I’ve reached the point of no return where people whisper quietly behind my back because you know, quirky is one thing, but at a certain point it probably does become genuine mental illness. Well, that and being in a car accident. Ha. Haha. Why aren’t you laughing?

Don’t worry, I’m laughing enough for all of us.

In fact, allow me to offer some fine examples of things that made me laugh today!

Example the first:
(While talking to my father.)
Me: So, I want to see if they can give me a muscle relaxer that won’t make me so mental.
Him: *chuckles for rather too long*
Me: What?
Him: EVERYTHING makes you mental.
Me: True. Hey!!

Isn’t it a beautiful thing, the touching love between a father and daughter?

Example the second:
(While talking to a friend about her dog.)
Her: So it turns out she’s in HEAT.
Me: Really? Isn’t she still a puppy?
Her: Well, the vet says she’s right on schedule.
Me: Oh. So can you get her fixed?
Her: In a couple of weeks.
Me: So has she been acting all weird?
Her: Yes! It’s the strangest thing, she runs around like crazy and then she just collapses for like, an entire day. Then she starts all over again.
Me: Poor thing… she has PMS!
Her: I think she does!
Her husband, who is eavesdropping: She’s being really bitchy.
Me: Bitchy! The dog! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Probably not all that funny. But supremely hilarious to me, for some reason.

Example the third:
(While reading bedtime stories.)
Chickadee: Your feet are FILTHY, Mama!
Me: Yep, the bottoms are dirty.
Monkey: Did you go down in the basement with no shoes?
Me: No, I wear shoes down there. The rest of our floors are pretty dirty from all the people going in and out, and I didn’t want to clean them before they were done in the basement. But I’ll mop them now that that’s done.
Chickadee: I bet you wouldn’t let us scrub the floors on our hands and knees.
Me: Uhhh… what? I wouldn’t LET you?
Chickadee: Yeah, probably you want to mop. But I wish you’d let us scrub the floor.
Me: You want to scrub the floor?
Chickadee: Would you let us?
Me: *trying very, very hard to keep a straight face* Sure, if you want to.
Chickadee: On our hands and knees?
Me: Sure.
Chickadee: Yay!

Thank you, remake of Annie on DVD. My daughter wants to be a slave orphan.

See! Look! So many things that make me laugh! HAHA! I’m just FINE!

And now some things that did not make me laugh today, just for balance, you understand.

Example the first:
The basement-spraying guys never showed up this morning. When I called at 1:00 I got a weak apology and a promise to send a team over “right away.” Then my phone rang at 2:15.

Him: Hello, Mir?
Me: Yes…?
Him: This is Head Doofus from Doofus Cleaning. Is my crew over there?
Me: No…?
Him: Huh. I can’t seem to figure out where they are.
Me: I’m sorry… you LOST your CREW?
Him: Oh, heh, no, of course not. I just can’t seem to get them on the phone and I thought they were there and they don’t seem to be.
Me: Yeah. Um. I need to get my kids from school in a little bit. Maybe they should come tomorrow, instead?
Him: Well they should be there NOW.
Me: Actually, they should’ve been here THIS MORNING.

They showed up half an hour later, two VERY young men who may well have been teenagers. They spent 10 minutes spraying the basement (cautioning me to stay upstairs because the fumes are bad, but when I asked “Why aren’t you wearing masks?” one said, “Oh, yeah, we should, but I forgot them”) and then asked me for a check for the previously-agreed-upon amount. Which I gave them. Even though they neglected to do 2 of the 3 things Head Doofus told me they would do. Now I have to call Head Doofus back to argue for a refund.

Example the second:
Hey, have you talked to that second insurance adjustor, the one who was supposed to call YESTERDAY? No? Neither have I.

Example the third:
The dumpster is here! With all its hulking orange trashy goodness! I wasn’t home when it was delivered, because I foolishly stayed home all day until school pick-up and THEN did my errands with kids in tow, but now I have a dumpster AND several ripped-up chunks of driveway! Good times!

Example the fourth:
I went into the basement to empty the dehumidifiers and while I was doing that water dripped on me. Water. Dripped. ON. ME. Slowly I turned and gazed upward, knowing with absolute certainty that if I had a leaky pipe after all of this I would flat-out lose my mind, and the kids would find me curled up in a corner of the basement, rocking back and forth and ripping out my hair by the handsful.

I located the source and parked a bucket underneath it. I felt around on the matrix of pipes. I couldn’t find a wet joint. Yet the water dripped. I said a brief prayer to the gods in charge of condensation and went back upstairs. Later, the bucket contained only the original few drops. Condensation wins, and I get to stay sane for the time being. But it took several years off of my life.

Anyway. I will be attempting to empty out my head so as to relieve the pressure on my neck (it’s a nice big dumpster, so maybe I can empty it into there) over the next couple of days. If that doesn’t work, there’s ladder rungs on the side of the dumpster, you know. I could probably just climb in there before they take it back. At least that way I wouldn’t have to fix the driveway.


  1. Izzy

    “Bitchy! The dog! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”

    No, it IS really funny…lol

    “I bet you wouldn’t let us scrub the floors on our hands and knees.”

    And so is this!

  2. Susan

    My kids also watched Annie this weekend, but now they want to go live in the orphanage, which proves that they’re not very smart. But still, if they REALLY want to go, I’m not (necessarily) stopping them.

  3. Mary

    It’s all of those extraneous chores (calling places, re-calling places, unusual cleaning, getting dumpsters, filling dumpsters, etc., etc.) that make me lose my mind, too. I tried screaming about this to my husband today, but it didn’t come out sounding nearly as good as it did in my head. It felt good to get it out, though.

    Is it weird to say I’m envious of your dumpster? I need one of those…

  4. Nic

    So are you renting out Chickadee’s services? ‘Cause I’ve got some floors that could use an orphan or two. Can she watch Tom Sawyer before she comes over? I’ve got some painting that if she really wanted she could do…

  5. Auntie

    Mah deah: Forget the Flexeril – try the Soma 350. It may not fix the problem, but you’ll care a lot less about WHY your neck is overburdened.

    On a bright note, when you hit menopause, all those nasty memories will disappear into the vapor, leaving you wondering how soon you’ll be committed. They have lovely drugs for THAT, too. Rock on!

  6. chris

    I am jealous of the dumpster, too. I fantasize about getting one when my husband is at work and throwing all the extraneous crap in this house away. Perhaps climbing on top right before they cart it away. I could use a “vacation”

  7. Em

    This is Dr. Sockswithsandals. It is my decree that you shall find 3 teenage neighborhood boys to haul your sheet from your yard to the dumpster. It will take them 20 minutes and you shall pay them $20. Your neck shall avoid further injury and my feet further scorn. You know its summer now – the socks are gone but I don’t believe in man pedicures so by the end of an adjustment, you will be begging to see socks covering my hairy toes. Consider it, Mir. You’ll be glad you did!

  8. tori

    I think your Chickadee and mine (yes, that is really what her nickname has been since she was little) would get along great. After mine saw Cinderella, she absolutely begged to have a mop. We had a period of time where all she wanted to do was clean and insisted that we call her Cinderella. Good times! Now if I could only get my other three to join in the cleaning, I would be set! I hope things look up for you soon! Now that I am off my Vicodin, reality is coming back to me too, and it is not nearly as much fun!

  9. Randi

    Why is it service men never do as they’re told? And it’s especially hard when high school/college is out for summer because you get those summer kids who just want a paycheck and don’t want to work for it. As for your neck, I have a similar shoulder problem that acts up mainly when I’m stressed out, my chiro (whom does not wear sandals but instead a very hippy hairdo, and whom I only see when this acts up) introduced me to BIOFREEZE….look it up online. It’s made with menthol and is really helpful to pulled and strained muscles. Now if you can just convince orphan Chickadee that it’s her new job to put it on…

  10. Nothing But Bonfires

    There are so many pain-in-the-neck jokes one could make right now. But someone else will have to make them because I’m off to find a DVD of Annie to show to my cats.

  11. DebR

    OMG, can I please, PLEASE have Chickadee come over for a visit before the “Annie” spell wears off??

    I hope your neck feels better soon.

  12. LB

    I had the condensation on my basement ceiling pipes a few days ago too. It freaked me out a bit until someone smarter than me let me know it was normal. I hope your neck feels better soon.

  13. Aimee

    Does it help if I tell you you’re pretty?

  14. ishouldbeworking

    The bitchy dog in heat comment made me lmao! Yes it was funny! Hope your neck feels better and your basement returns to normal soon.

  15. CharlestonGirl

    Sweetie, you are the poster girl for “When it rains, it pours”!
    Hang in there with both hands.
    And I have to say….
    Bitchy, the dog! IS FUNNY!

  16. Contrary

    Man, I love it when a kid reaches that magic age when they’re old enough to be a help and still young enough to want to.

    Sadly, most of my children have outgrown that stage and have to be reminded (read: screamed at incessantly) to do anything.

  17. Cele

    I want to know how long after the cinematic scrubbing of floor starts that chickedee stops singing and starts whining? Or just disappears all together leaving a mass of soap water and suds? :)
    You do have a video cam don’t you?

  18. Jenn2

    “Bitchy, the dog?” TOTALLY funny!

    Bonus points if you can teach all the words to “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”

    You need to go buy some rockin’ FMPs, Mir. Consider it a prescription.

  19. Jenn2

    Teach the words to Chickadee, I mean. Not me. ‘Cause I know them already.

    Shut up. I’m 8 1/2 months pregnant.

  20. Amy-GO

    *Petpetpetpetpetpet* ummmm, you’re very pretty? And also need a vacation? Like, immediately?

    How about this – if the head doofus regularly loses his crew, then he probably won’t notice if you kill them and bury them under your shed. Which might make you feel better?

    So, so sorry.

  21. bigbadex

    Don’t you remember that I told you about the time I put Annie on for the kids to watch, fell asleep, and woke up a while later to find them scrubbing my kitchen floor while merrily singing “It’s the hard knock life… for us….” I think they were probably 3 and 5 then. I think I reminded them of it a few weeks ago.

    Just as big and bad as ever, in spite of the recent glut of positive press on here.

  22. Kris

    Mir, it’s all those brains you’ve got that’re making your head too heavy!

    And chocolate. Chocolate makes your head lighter. Lots of it. And vodka. Vodka helps.

  23. Kris

    Oh, and I meant to add, when that Annie/Hard Knock Life spell wears off, start showing them Cinderella and singing “Sweet Nightengale.” It’s a big hit at my house, too.

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