Thursday, December 15, 2011


Ha, I almost typed "Whirlwine", which sounds like a lot more fun than a whirlwind. Which is what I've been caught up in the last week and a half. End of classes, start of holiday parties, grading grading grading, all-day meetings before our grades are handed in (seriously, what?), oh, and right! the holidays. Excuse me while I go curl up under a blanket somewhere.

While I've been stretched to the limit, and seemingly losing brain cells by the minute, I've also been hit - again - by our childless state. It's getting easier - I think - every year. But still - every time I open cards from family and friends, there is a picture of the kid or kids. Or the grown-up kids. Or the grandkids. There is some reminder that (nearly) everyone we know, who wants to have kids, has kids. Which leads to our current discussion (ahem) regarding cards. N wants to do a photo card or letter. I would rather do a postcard or simple card. His take is that we have a lot to talk about- vacations! jobs! dog! - and my take is that nothing's changed (for once), other than the fact that we took a vacation! [Side note: we have been together almost 8 years - and this is the FIRST year that neither of us has moved or changed jobs. Sometimes all 3 in one year. I think this is a worthy accomplishment on our parts, but I think it can be summed up with one sentence on the cards: For the first time in 8 years, we are living in the same house, with the same jobs, as when we wrote you last year. We will attempt to re-create this feat for next year's card, as well. Happy Holidays.]

Anyway. I don't think anyone really wants to read about the double-income-no-kids weirdos who live in the Midwest with their dog that they talk entirely too much about and their big house that is way too big for two people and ... yeah. Huh. Maybe I worry too much about what people think. Although I think I've known that for a long time.

I've also had the fun - um, well, maybe not 'fun', exactly - of being called out as style-less TWICE in the last week. At holiday parties. With my colleagues. Um, yay? At the first get-together, I complimented a colleague on her knee-high boots, then commented that I don't think I could pull them off because they would require wearing either skinny pants (I don't -do- skinny pants) or skirts (I don't do skirts in -winter-, particularly 'round these parts). Her reply: "Oh, yes, you could! You know, you would be the perfect candidate for What Not to Wear!" Me: jaw drops. Other people: nervous laughter, not sure how to respond.

Second instance - with the same person at yesterday's event: She apologizes, I accept (even though, admittedly, it did sting). We're standing in line, and one of our bosses is ahead of us, with two other people from our department. We're not paying attention to her conversation, until she turns partway around and says "I'm surrounded by the three most stylish people I know!" Then she looks at me and says "Not you, no offense." Me: tries not to let jaw drop and/ or tears come.

Here's the thing: I have NEVER been a stylish person. I know this. I can't decorate houses, and I certainly can't decorate myself. I count myself lucky if my clothes kinda sorta fit, and if I'm wearing earrings. Oh, and if I have pants on when I leave the house. That's a good day. I am just not good at putting "looks" together, whether for me or for a living room. And here I thought that my brain - and the fact that I work in academia - would speak louder than my clothing choices. I guess not.

So, yay for the holidays. Right now I admit I'm feeling rather grinchy - not at all able to keep the holiday spirit from a few weeks ago going. I feel beaten down by work, sleep-deprived, and grouchy. I keep saying to myself, if I can only get through x, I'll be better off. All week my goal has been getting through tomorrow...a day-long meeting, oh joy. But I still have grading to do - and grades are DUE by Tuesday. Which means my weekend won't be as cookie-filled as I had hoped.

I guess the only thing is to move onward and upward, though. There's really no other choice - and the nuttiness has to end sometime, doesn't it?

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