The best-laid plans

By Mir
April 7, 2014

Or, Things I did wrong recently.

Or, Life is hard because I am dumb.

Or, Allow me to make you feel better about your life choices.

I keep telling myself that I should just come over here and post some dog pictures and call it a day—after all, who needs content when you have furballs, right?—but it hasn’t happened and now all of that procrastination has paid off, because it turns out that while no one day has been blog-worthy, lately, taken in sum total I have a veritable epic of life-and-how-to-do-it-wrong to share.

Every day is a new opportunity to do something else stupid, as I always say. (I never say that. I should, though.) Without further ado, various illustrations of my suitability (or lack thereof) as a functional adult:

Saving money, or not. Otto and I love to play a fun little game called Let’s Do Meal Planning For This Week where nothing ever gets planned and by mid-week the kids are begging for hole-in-the-wall Mexican takeout. It’s no one’s fault; well, mostly it’s my fault, because I say “let me go see what’s on sale at the supermarket before we plan!” and then I wander out on Sunday and around our local store and come home with 50 cups of yogurt (“They were on sale!”) and no meal plan. Whoops. Last week I bought a pound of ground turkey because it was ZOMGONSALE and vowed to cook something with it “tomorrow night” until finally at the end of the week I pulled it out and decided it was not a color that it should be. Then I threw it away. Pro: No one got food poisoning. Con: Not actually saving money if I buy something on sale and then throw it into the trash, turns out.

No, really, totally saving money. SO SMART. So, remember how we bought new furniture finally? And the new stuff is, like, grown-up and whatever? There’s a cascade effect that happens whenever we finally commit to a house purchase, every single time, and yet I’m always still surprised. The new sectional meant we reorganized the room, and in doing so, we got rid of a media stand kind of thing and wanted to replace it with a cabinet where we could stash DVDs and board games and such. (Don’t ask. It makes sense because of the shape of the room, I swear.) This meant I had just about finished breathing into a paper bag over the money we’d spent on the new couches when we went looking for a cabinet and promptly fell in love with one that was about twice what we wanted to spend. Hey, I could make this work! I bought a coupon off of eBay and I cashed in some credit card bonus dollars for gift cards, and after they arrived, that made it about half price (out of pocket). BOOYAH. Otto went to fetch it this weekend and we got it into the family room after much maneuvering and cut open the carton it was in and unwrapped seventeen layers of foam and such and got it wiggled into the designated spot. Then we discovered that it had a small but very obvious chip in the wood along the bottom.

This was a not-inexpensive piece of furniture. “I can package it back up and take it back,” said Otto, looking at my face and probably fearing for his safety.

He’s a good egg, my Otto. I’m sure he would’ve taken it back without complaint if I’d wanted him to. But after some consideration, I decided a cabinet in hand was worth two at the store, or something, and I told him it was okay. Then I dug around until I found a box of crayons, and I scribbled in the chip until you couldn’t see it anymore unless you really looked for it. Because I spent all that money and then Crayola-ed myself a solution because I was just tired of dealing with it.

My body is a temple. Remember a few years ago when I committed to living a healthier lifestyle and exercising regularly? No? Me neither; I mean, it’s a distant memory at this point. But once again I’ve arrived at the point where I just feel soft and weak and tired and gross, so I’m forcing myself to do things like ride the elliptical and take walks and such. I know that it will help, eventually, but right now I am still waiting for the magical transformation part where I feel GREAT and STRONG and ENERGETIC! It’s progress, though, right? So last week I was feeling very proud of my new routine and telling myself that if nothing else, I’m improving my balance and coordination and stamina and stuff, and then… I promptly walked into the corner of our dining room table and saw stars. No biggie, I have another thigh on the other side.

Planning is my strong suit. Duncan has to be bathed every week or two with medicated shampoo, on account of his skin issues and his general delicate flower-ness. For some reason—I don’t know why—this weekend I gave him a bath, got drenched in the process (I always do), spent half an hour brushing and drying him, and then thought that it would be a FANTASTIC idea to give Licorice a bath, too. I got drenched a second time, then had to coerce her into being blow-dried, and finally when all was said and done, both dogs were clean and fluffy and smelled wonderful. Today we are having torrential rain and both dogs have already been out in the mud twice. Perfect.

And speaking of planning…. I am ramping up the work I’m doing over at Happier, which is all kinds of fun and “good stress” and whatnot, and as part of a new project there was supposed to be a Kind Of Big Meeting Thing today which I thought I could squeeze in before another meeting I had this afternoon for something else. Upon relaying this information about the second meeting, the decision was made to reschedule the first meeting to make sure there was ample time, and I felt terrible about it because I am still new and felt like I was inconveniencing others (also I am neurotic), but this other meeting is important and had been on my schedule first. I was still marinating in guilt about the postponing of the Happier meeting when the other person I was supposed to meet with today called to cancel, I think because… it’s raining. (Pffft, tornado warnings are a dime a dozen here.)

I may have muttered, “I canceled another meeting for this.” Ooooookay, stuff happens. (Especially to me!) All meetings have now been rescheduled. I’m now free to screw them up in a new way later this week.

Shoes. How do they work? I did a guest lecture at the university last week, and while I don’t need to get dressed to the nines for these things, my usual jeans-and-t-shirt outfit seems like not the most professional choice. Generally when I speak I try to wear something a little nicer. In fact, I often go ahead and wear heels when I do a campus thing—when else am I going to wear them?—and inevitably I end up walking somewhere with Otto afterward for lunch and wishing I’d worn more practical shoes. SO! This time I would be SMART! I wore flats, because I can learn from my mistakes. I spotted a cute pair in my closet that I haven’t worn in forever, and did that whole, “Oh these are ADORABLE, why haven’t I worn these?” thing before stuffing my feet into them and running out the door.

I feel certain that I’ve worn these shoes before. Not for a long time, sure, but I have worn them. AND YET, when I put them on last week, they ripped my feet up so completely that I drove home barefoot. I have blisters and cuts and I put those stupid shoes in the Goodwill bag as soon as I got home. GOOD THING I DIDN’T WEAR HEELS.

Hey, it’s a new week! I’m going to get back to work, and also maybe try to make dinner later without burning the house down. Hope springs eternal.


  1. RuthWells

    Yoghurt is totally acceptable for dinner. Just saying. ; )

  2. Amanda

    Sounds like a week at my house. This isn’t normal?

  3. Angela

    At least you won’t have to be mad at yourself for putting the first ding in your new cabinet :)

  4. Brigitte

    Just did the “new” organization/storage cabinet too, but ours was off Craigslist, so: cheap, and no worries about being the first ones to scratch it.

    I consider multiple daily stupidities so normal, I hardly even take note of them. And my IQ is supposedly “genius” level – ha!

  5. another sue

    Well. Lucky you on the rain thing? We are desperate for moisture here. Evidently that will-it-never-stop-snowing winter we had didn’t produce that much actual moisture for the soil. I took my truck in last week for major $$$ repairs and had a miscommunication with the mechanic. When I said that the non-functioning windshield wipers were “the least of my worries”, what I meant was – do not fix those wipers until we figure out if I can afford the major engine overhaul necessary. Because I was not going to go out and start the truck up in the rain to run the wipers and yet not be able to drive anywhere? His interpretation was that I did not want him to fix the wiper motor. Guess who drove to bigger almost city today and schlepped around doing errands in the rain? Really! Guess! Drove out of the rain coming home, so still dry here in my part of the heartland. All to say, yes! I get it! Is this not the way it is supposed to work? Because I may have been doing it wrong for quite a few more decades than you. At least I have never washed a dog – most farm dogs don’t get baths so much. Maybe a soaking with tomato juice from time to time, but that’s a whole different story. . .

  6. Jeanie

    Gee, this all sounds familiar. Are you sure it isn’t my life you’re talking about?

  7. Lucinda

    Walking into furniture? Done that. A lot.

  8. suburbancorrespondent

    I’m finding that, at 50, exercise no longer transforms me into feeling great and energetic and strong. It just transforms me into feeling less crappy. Sort of a bummer…

  9. Sarah

    Bruises? Check.
    Ask me about the time I measured a table in a friend’s classroom and decided that I didn’t want it because it was too short. I measured it against the permanent bruises on each thigh from walking into desks in my own classroom.

    Also, if you decide to buy ground turkey again, you must make this:
    (My mom always used rolled oats in meatloaf – maybe thats an ok gluten free substitute?)

    • Mir

      Ooooh that looks yummy, thank you! (Also: Yes, I can have oats, so that’ll work, and yes, I bought more ground turkey. But I put it in the freezer this time.)

  10. Corey

    Change is haaaard! So is meal planning. And lots of other parts of life.

    Ouchie on the shoe debacle. I didn’t do that, but I proved my own “I’m an idiot” status by wearing 2 different black boots last Wednesday. I couldn’t figure out why I was hearing clomp-tap-clomp-tap-clomp-tap on the tile floor. Around 1:00 p.m., I looked down. Oh.

  11. Meri

    I wasted most of a huge pot of stew because I didn’t get it into the freezer soon enough. Oh well.

  12. Mary K. in Rockport

    Stuff happens – especially to me. That is SO my story, too. Sad.
    Re: fixing nicks – shoe polish also does a good job.

  13. jennifer

    we bought a sofa from IKEA when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant that had to get rewrapped and go back in my pickup… twice. Long story, but the pregnancy detail was not irrelevant. The friend who helped us move it is still our friend, and now will be for life– whenever he comes over we make him SIT DOWN AND ENJOY THIS AMAZING SOFA.

    PS the Happier thing looks neat-o. Are you going to talk more about it soon-ish?

  14. Aimee

    I just read this whole thing twice and didn’t find a single thing that I haven’t or wouldn’t do. I am pretty sure that means you are normal. Try not to panic ;)

  15. Frank

    I struggle sometimes with the idea that so many of the things you do seem so normal to me… because if we ARENT the weirdos; then there are a WHOLE LOT of ‘Normal people’ out there who dont know that THEY are weird. Deep stuff.

  16. aem2

    I was visiting New York, and because I am glamourous, bought a pair of black flats. I did everything you’re supposed to do when buying shoes, including buying them at the end of a day spent walking around being a tourist. They fit perfectly in the store — I had to get a size 7 because I walked right out of the 7 1/2, my usual size. I danced in them that night. Swing dancing, yet. No problems. They were lovely. The next day, I wore them on my planned tourist jaunt walking many more kilometers, and they had me limping before I got to the end of the first museum. I had to cut the museum trip short to go find bandaids. They never fit right after the first day. I hope they fit whoever bought them from the thrift store. Now, of course, I keep buying my flats too big because I don’t want a repeat performance.

  17. Karen

    Ummm… this sounds -normal-. Atleast in my house it does.

  18. Kristin

    I thought this was my week. Or month. Or six months. I am one step behind each day. I hate it. And I don’t know where to begin to make it right. Because, no sooner do I get in sync with one thing, others fall out of whack. Let’s see if you can commiserate here – I cleaned up the laundry room and the living room so that it’s pleasant. Figured I’d move on to the piano room and kitchen the next day. But the next day, both laundry and living rooms look like they did before and I’m left wondering what the point is. I saw on the internet one of those ecard thingys that said “if cleanliness is next to godliness, then my car is the portal to hell.”

    Yep. Or house. Your pick.

    But life, man. Can it just stop for a few minutes so we can all breathe? Or at least devise a plan of action? Like the meal plan…

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