Comparison is the thief of sanity

I swear I’m the only one.

Everyone else seems to be able to get ready in the morning, or at least not wear the same sweats for the fifth day in a row. Everyone else seems to be able to brush their teeth in the morning.

Everyone else seems to be able to keep their house clean, or at least get themselves to do chores, or get other shit done that needs to be done.

Everyone else seems to be able to get themselves to work out. Go for a six mile run while pushing the stroller. Go for a bike ride. Leave the house at all.

Everyone else seems to get time to themselves. Has scheduled time to themselves. Does productive shit when they have time to themselves.

Everyone else seems to sleep through the night. They’ve been sleeping like there’s not a baby in their house since said baby was a month old. They don’t need to nap during the day because they get plenty of sleep while baby sleeps a 12 hour stretch.

Everyone else seems to be able to just set their baby down in their crib, wide awake, walk away, say goodnight, shut the door behind them, and then enjoy hours of alone time or partner time before their own bedtime. It doesn’t take them an hour to rock and nurse their baby to sleep, and then have at least one failed attempt at putting baby down in the crib, starting the process all over. Then in the morning, THEY wake up their baby.

Everyone else seems to have healthy and meal-planned meals three times a day with two perfect snacks for their baby/toddler. The baby/toddler eats it all and hasn’t been on the boob all day and doesn’t throw anything on the floor.

Everyone else seems to have taught their one-year-old not just words, but ASL. They only allow them 30 seconds of screen time a week.

Everyone else seems to have help. Or a village. Parents in town. In-laws in town. In the state.

Everyone else seems to not give a shit about the pandemic or social distancing or masks.

Everyone else. Everyone else.


I’m silently crying, rocking my baby to sleep for the second time tonight because he woke up 30 minutes after I put him down after he only took one one-hour nap today, after he barely seemed to eat any of his meals yet nursed every other ten minutes for the 477th day in a row, after he woke up at 530am again even though he went to bed at 830 or 9pm last night, after he slept in bed with us for the fourth month in a row.

Not that I’m complaining.

I’m just thinking that I can’t be as alone as I feel.

Not Many People (your age) Can Say That

Do you ever hear that from anyone? It’s a phrase that can either be complimentary or meant as a pseudo-consolation. 

You don’t have any student loans? Not many people your age can say that.
Your parents are still married? Not many people your age can say that.
You lived in the same house for 22 years? Not many people your age can say that.
You’ve never had any cavities? Not many people…

Most (I say, most) people tend to dislike going to the dentist whereas I’ve always loved the dentist. Did I like Novocain shots? Jesus, no, what do you think I am, a masochist? But I didn’t mind getting braces or having to have a palette-spreader or getting cleanings or getting X-rays or when they scrape at your enamel or any of that. I never had a cavity and I always walked out to greet mom with an A+ report. 

That is until yesterday. 

I was in a stellar mood driving to the dentist, I did the crossword in the waiting room; it was any other checkup. 

First up were X-rays because I hadn’t had them done in a year. It seemed like it took the hygienist a while to get back to me and when she did, she punched me in the jeans. 

Not really, but she delivered a similar blow: she saw two cavities on the X-ray. TWO. Not one, but two. One, two. Cavities. Plural. 

I actually shouted “No!” and then realized probably everyone in the room heard me. Tears began to sting the corners of my eyes as she explained that they were very tiny and she’d have the dentist double-check. “She could be wrong.”

I said, no offense to your abilities, but I hope you are. 

The rest of the exam went by in a blur while I focused on not letting the annoying tears spill over. Maybe I could blame it on my mouth being held open for tools to work around in there, yeah, that’s it. 

Twenty five and a half years of no cavities and here I was, faced with TWO indescribably frustrating mars on my otherwise perfect record. 

“You know, not many people your age can say they’ve never had a cavity, so that’s pretty darn good.”

One attempt at placating me and all of a sudden I’m faced with every time I’ve ever been told that.
“Yeah, my parents have been married for almost twenty five years.” “Wow, not many people can say that anymore.” Well, now I can’t either, can I?
“Yeah, I’ve lived in the same house all my life, for twenty two years.” “Wow, not many people can say that!” Well, now I can’t either, can I?

It may sound utterly ridiculous – being so upset over two (fucking ‘two’) cavities (that are literally about one twentieth of a millimeter from what it looked like on the x-ray) – but to me, it’s another devastating end to another constant in my life. 

I used to be able to swear on my parents’ marriage and my home like the moon and the stars, and I could look forward to the dentist knowing that I’d walk out of there with another proud smile. 

And now I can’t. 

It used to be easy, and now it won’t be. 

I’m already terrified of my next check-up. I don’t even know of anyone who still regularly goes to the dentist. 

So the dentist comes in to check me over before letting me go, and says, very sternly, I might add, “If you’d ever had a cavity before, we’d be taking care of these TODAY.. But since you haven’t, let’s just see how you look in six months to a year.” And “otherwise, you look great.” 

The hygienist applied some fluoride varnish before I left, which will hopefully arrest the decay (ugh, that word alone cuts me deeply), and then some helpful toothpaste and some mints that are essentially 100% xylitol – which will help remove acidity after I eat or drink. 

I don’t know, I just feel like I’ve failed. It’s so fucking stupid, but it’s true. And it’s my own damn fault, probably, which is worse. I never floss. Never. I brush twice a day and, as you’ve learned, have always had a perfect report at check-ups. But there they are, two microscopic notches in between my lower right k9 and the first premolar. 

Oh, the hygienist also said they weren’t actually full-blown cavities /yet/, but it doesn’t matter. The damage is done, in my opinion. And I’ll be goddamned if I go back and have to have a filling. 

“At least the fillings would be tiny.” NO. There is no “at least” in this case. What an unexpected personal letdown. 


You know what else? I don’t even want to tell my folks. How idiotic is that? It’s not like they’d be disappointed, that’d be even more idiotic. I just want to nip this in the bud and by my next check-up, they’ll say, good, they look better so we won’t have to do anything unless they get dramatically worse. 

I’m going to use this stupid toothpaste and floss every goddamn day and just pray that my luck hasn’t officially run out. 

I wish I could better describe why this hit me so hard or what it feels like. Anyone reading this is probably like, yeah, and I had to file for bankruptcy today, get over yourself and your less-than-perfect teeth. 

You know, it’s just that my teeth have always been the easy thing to take care of. They’re good teeth and I’m happy with them and I’m proud of them. I am careful with them – I don’t open beer bottles with them or bite into anything rock-like that could chip one of them. 

But tonight I have to hope that eating that sandwich didn’t wipe off all of the fluoride varnish and that tomorrow when I floss for the first time in years (not counting the dentist), it’ll be the beginning of a restoration. 

I told the dentist that I was already depressed over the news, and he replied, “Oh, there are so many other things to expend emotion over; this is not one of those things.”

He’s probably right. Even if his last name is Weak. 

In other news, I’ve been unemployed for over a year, but I was able to move into a new apartment that I absolutely love. 

And well, *kicks imaginary stone on the pavement* not many people can say that at my age. 

Thursday Was A Good Day, but

I woke up to a missed call from MINI – my car was in. Finally. I called the sales manager back and asked if the windows were tinted. He said, no, but would I like them tinted? I said, yes, can they be done by the end of the day? He said he would get them done in a few hours and wouldn’t charge me. Damn right. So I would have to exercise my threadbare patience until 4pm.

I figured I would get up and get ready and run some errands in the meantime. While I was getting ready, my financial advisor on the east coast called me and told me that we shouldn’t have to jump through as many hoops trying to get the house, which is great! But it might still be tough to prove I wouldn’t just run off to Vegas and blow all of my money. Well, whatever, we’ll figure it out. I let my loan officer know and he said he would look into it. I thought, oh my God, this might be easy as hell.

Checked my mail and had finally gotten the settlement check from my insurance company. Went to the bank and made a total dad joke when the teller asked how I wanted my cash back (‘In dollars,’ I said). Took off for Starbucks and the barista told me my hair was fantastic. It was just shaping up to be an awesome day. 

I turned in my rental car, dad met me there and took me to MINI. My car is absolutely beautiful. Next step will be putting on the black bonnet stripes (maybe next week before/after Jo gets here). I’m just so happy to be back in a familiar car. Being able to press the clutch and shift gears; flicking the indicator lever and knowing it’ll blink three times so I can change lanes or merge. And now I’m spoiled with heated seats and a panoramic sunroof. 

Went to a friend’s house, actually one of my English teachers from high school. She was laid up with an injured back, so I helped her read through some papers. It was probably more fun than it should have been, but then again, I’m a total nerd, so it was right up my alley. 

All in all, an awesome day after a couple frustrating weeks.

And then I woke up Friday.

Had a text from my LO saying to call him when I had a chance. I called him from bed and he told me that because I don’t have any income, I’d either need a co-signor on the loan or I’d have to pay cash. Paying cash was out of the question, for a number of reasons, but mainly because the point of a loan was to build equity/credit/have a tax write-off. That left me with finding a co-signor. My mom is about to move into her fiancée’s house this fall, so she is out. My dad’s got his mortgage. My brother is in school, so he doesn’t have an income, either. Any other co-signor would have to be a roommate, which I don’t want. 

I also don’t want to continue on this woe-is-me shit, but it was really, really disappointing. I honestly thought it was going to be a done deal as soon as I did the loan paperwork. I was looking forward to working with my LO, doing the closing, moving stuff into the house, getting new bedroom furniture, I’d already started thinking of things to put on this huge blank wall in the entry way… Yeah. Like usual, I got way too ahead of myself and way too excited, so, like usual, I got way let down. I’ve only myself to blame, I know.

I know that it clearly wasn’t meant to be, otherwise it would be. I’m still fucking sad about it. 

Of course mom was like, you never know, you might get a job offer in the next month and then you’ll be whisked out of Omaha anyway – then having a house or being in the middle of the house process would just be in the way. I’d love to believe that. Obviously, I hope for it. The funny thing was, though, that once I’d found this house and even though I’d be a super rental property even if I did move, I was kind of hoping I’d find something here and I’d be here for a bit longer.

Oh yeah, and then I got turned down for the social media job in town that I’d applied for and, surprise surprise, I’d gotten very excited about. 

Thank God I’d been invited out for wings and drinks. Plenty of both later, I was home looking up rental properties in Omaha. A couple people asked me if I’d be able to get a loan if I got like a part-time barista job at a Starbucks for the sake of having an income. Would they even lend me money on the basis that I’m a part-time barista? I doubt it. 

I’m pretty sure I’ll just end up in either another apartment, or renting my apartment month-to-month so that I don’t have to sign another lease. I’d love (well, I say ‘love’) to move into the apartments down the street. They’re much nicer than my apartments, there’s a nice pool and a 24 hour gym, they allow dogs, etc. I’ve been in one of their apartments and they’re just really beautiful and feel comfortable. As much as it would be a pain in the ass to move, I’m honestly thinking I’d rather live there than here. (As I listen to my loud fucking neighbors). 

Then, of course, I think, oh, but what if I do get a job offer and I move by the end of summer and I’ve moved for no reason when I could have just rented month-to-month and now I’ll just be moving once… 

I don’t know what to do. I’m back to square one. 

At least I’ve got my goddamn car.

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