Does it ever seem to you like all my stories sound exactly the same? Here is a formula for an Emily story: take one part hectic adventure, one part boring domesticity, and two parts hysterical weeping. Mix it all together and you get my Tuesday night.
Billy and I are moving on Saturday and yesterday we decided, spur of the moment, that we needed to go to Ikea and buy some things for the new place. We are not finished packing up the old place so what we should have been doing is packing, but instead we said “no, here’s a really good idea, let’s go to Ikea, let’s not pack, let’s acquire more garbage furniture and 99 cent candles.” And that we did, folks. That we did. Usually in situations like this Billy is the first one to lose it and make a beeline for the exit, but yesterday I was the big baby and I freaked out while Billy tried to decide what kind of shelf to put in the bathroom behind the toilet. I didn’t care what kind of shelf we put behind the toilet. We couldn’t decide on a duvet cover. We didn’t get curtains or a writing desk for my office. Or a futon. Or little rugs for the kitchen. But I had had enough. My hands smelled like tire rubber from holding a bathmat for two seconds. Babies were screaming everywhere. Why were the babies screaming?! Somebody was reorganizing shopping carts next to the duvet section and it was so loud I couldn’t take it. My heart started beating really fast and my stomach got really achey. This was probably due to the fact that it was close to 9pm and I hadn’t eaten since 11:30 that morning. And a writing desk is really important to me! This is WHAT. I. DO. How can you not respect that?! And if we can’t even agree on a duvet cover HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY GET MARRIED????
Then the crying started.
And it continued when we got home and I saw that the apartment was in half-packed disarray. And Oscar kept walking on my funny-feeling stomach. And I cried and cried and said “Nobody should go to Ikea on a Tuesday. Ikea is only for Saturday. And why do my fingers still smell like tire rubber?”
And then Billy did a dance and I stopped crying and ate some hummus and suddenly all was right with the world. And I realized that my problem is that I don’t go with the flow. Ever. I try to control the flow. And you know what? You can’t control the flow, Emily. That’s the nature of the flow. It won’t be controlled. You just have to go with it.
So that’s what I’m doing from now on. Because I tell too many of these stories. I get overwhelmed because I can’t control everything. I let things get to me. Even when I know the most important things in my life are going along just great! So from now on that is my new attitude. I am going with the flow. Moving, wedding planning, going to work, writing plays, letting it all flow through me. I can’t control the things I can’t control. Sometimes babies cry in Ikea. That’s the way it goes.