Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Replacement

It's one of those days. The kind of day that drops you off at work, bleary eyed and incoherent. You don't remember the drive to work. You're wondering if perhaps you teleported in your sleep and if you did, why HERE? You shuffle your way through loud coworkers and people nagging you for things to your friend. Your friend the coffee pot. "Hello friend." "Hello addict." You turn it on, which is considerably harder than turning Hoop on, and wait. You wait. You wait. Suddenly you realize, nothing is happening.

Sometime in the middle of the night, when no one was around to care, the coffee pot died peacefully in its sleep. But like an irrational relative at the deathbed, you try to revive it. You jiggle it around and moan, "Please! Please, don't go." Then your coworker walks in. "It's dead!" You tell her pitifully, showing her your coffee grind covered hand as proof. "Now what am I going to do?" The coworker sighs and walks over to the machine. But instead of joining in on the death wail, she reaches over and plugs it in.

"You're really a dip shit in the morning, you know that?"

"It's ALIVE!"

"Make me a cup while you're at it and I won't tell anyone."

I don't know where my brain has gone, but it certainly isn't here. It hasn't been here for awhile. Maybe it's in Aruba somewhere. Lucky bastard. My days are spent in a blur. Get up. Drive to work. Fuck off. Do something productive. Fuck off. Drive home. Make dinner. Eat dinner. Do dishes. Work on computer. Think about working on the house but then watch TV and fall asleep instead. I took on the blog to avoid boredom at my dead-end job. Then I took on writing a story to avoid boredom on the blog. Then I took on projects to avoid the writers block I had from the story. Now my interest has been renewed in all of them and I don't have time!

I quit smoking to be supportive of my Mom and now she's become such a health nut I can't stand talking to her. Every casual discussion turns into some big lecture about the benefits of walking or the importance of fiber. I can't comment about the smell of bacon without her breaking into some long winded speech on how my smell receptors have started working again now that I don't smoke. The other day Papa Bear called me, freaked out, because Mom had started drinking apple vinegar. When I mentioned it to her she got defensive. "It's not just for horses ya know!" "OK, I believe you." Weird-o.

I don't miss smoking. I have cravings still. Most of them only last two minutes. Some last two hours. But I don't really miss the act of having a cigarette. What I miss is the social interaction. I don't sit at lunch with my coworkers anymore. I don't hang out with my friends. They all smoke. I don't feel comfortable going out to a bar or club. I can't sneak off with my Mom to bitch about our lives. Hoop and I don't relax outside. Now I park at the mall at lunch so I can read, away from temptation. Hoop goes outside alone. We spend our weekend doing things inside. Safe.

The strangest part about all of this is, I spent the majority of the year trying to give purpose to my life. I did everything I could to make it better. Now I don't even recognize the girl in the mirror anymore. She's regretful, a feeling I've never felt before. She regrets the house. She resents being healthier. She feels the boy took too long to ask. She gave up on the job and stopped thinking about school. She doesn't get crazy anymore. I can't decide if she's boring or bored. She's like a dozen other girls I passed on the way here. So I've made a decision. As of the first of next year, I'm kicking her out.

I just don't know what I'm replacing her with yet.

Labels: ,

36 Comments:

At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Peggy said...

You can replace her with me. I am also a reformed smoker (many years) and no longer have to listen to people evangelize about the benefits of not smoking. I've gotten to the point where I have stopped feeling like I need to be liked by everybody. However, I am currently in a rut. Perhaps the rut you find yourself in won't be so bad for me and vice versa.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Jay said...

The born again healthy lifestyle types are just as annoying as any other born again types.

You know, I think I totally ruined my mid-life crisis. Most guys in my situation would buy a corvette and move to Vegas and pick up a couple of bad habits and chase younger women. I got even more boring. This sucks.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger coffespaz said...

Funny, that's kind of the way I have been feeling lately too. It sucks! For me, I know I need change but I don't really know what to change. However, I have faith that the path will be discovered soon. I also have faith that you will find your replacement. To me, without hearing the entire story, it sounds like you are bored, unchallenged. There is some part of your life that is unfulfilled, and that part drives your enthusiasm. Trust me, I am the same way. The trick is to find it, which you will. :-)

Regarding the evangelistic tendencies of your mother....totally commiserate. I have a lot of weight to lose, which, like quitting smoking, is hard work. Mother loves to give me a lecture every chance she gets. Sometimes I hear about how healthy I was when I was at home. Other times I hear about the changes I should be making in my life. We live at opposite ends of the coast, and she has no idea what my life is like anymore than I know what hers is like. You will get stronger and you will, once again, be able to join your friends and ignore your mother! :-)

All the best and hang in there! The beauty is that you can vent to your friends here.

Cyber-hugs.......

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Peggy: We should set up a trial period. Does February work for you?

Jay: It sounds like you're due for a change too. We should buy motorcycles and create a gang of traveling bloggers. That would be fun.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Anonymous emily in jax (yeah, unfortunately, jax) said...

Wow,

just wow.

I've got one of those girls, and I've been thinking about kicking her out too. In fact, it's been so heavy on my mind these past few months that I've been thinking that if I start a blog, I can exorcise her with words. But I won't, because I'm a reader, not a writer. And that's ok, because apparently you're writing what's in my head these days, and working it out for me! Thanks for that, btw....

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Coffespaz: I have come to realize that the most powerful beings in all the world are Moms. They have the ability to build or destroy our egos in one phone call. That's pretty damn impressive. I think I'll be taking my phone off the hook for awhile.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Emily: Quick, where are you sitting right now? I've never heard of a split personality escaping, but you never know. ;)

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Lefty said...

This is a great post. Not great in the sense of "how wonderful for Tink," but in that it is insightful and honest and well done. And a little sad.

I don't have advice. Even if I did, I'd be the last person in the world from whom you should accept advice. But I can say that you've got a lot of great things going for you and this, too, shall pass.

On second thought, I do have some advice about that girl you're kicking out of your life. Replace her with either a pitcher of cold beer or an Xbox 360.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Nettie said...

I'm in the very same rut girl. It's amazing what changes when you give up smoking. I have become very tired lately too. Tired all the time, just want to sleep. Can't even get myself through a really good workout anymore. I've put on weight and my favorite jeans are now tight. Maybe we could send these alter egos to the same place and go on an extented search of the new USes.....is that a word?

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Scarlet Witch said...

OMG, my heart was pounding, and I was feeling your anxiety, then the co-worker came and plugged it in. Whew. Don't scare me like that!

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Mamalujo said...

Dear Tink:

I can't think of anything wise or helpful to say, except that maybe being a grownup gets this way some times (hah! lots of the time). And that's not very wise or helpful. The alternative is worse. Cheer up, sweetie.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

I am trying to figure out "me" too! I like Tink, the new and the old. :)

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Lefty: Replacing her with a pitcher of beer is a great idea! She would hate that. ;)

Nettie: I feel like putting all my shit on hold and running away for an adventure. Care to join me? I have the car running.

Scarlet Witch: How do you think I felt?!

Mamalujo: So if this is how it is a lot of the time, what's the point? Shouldn't there be one? :(

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Chelle: Care to join Nettie and I? :)

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger mamatulip said...

Oh girl...that last paragraph? I can TOTALLY relate to that.

Totally.

((hugs))

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Maggie said...

Ok here's my big get out of a rut free fantasy at the moment:

I hop in the car and load it with tons of cash that just happens to be sitting around (ha) and beef jerky and pepperoni sticks and soda and n*rds. I drive straight down to Florida wherein I honk wildly and scream out "ROAD TRIP" and we go off creating a caravan of crazy, bored bloggers who need a break from the bleak and adventure all over till one of us does some crazy illegal thing and then we end up driving off of a cliff. Ok scratch that last part. We'll do the rest.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Sunshine said...

Congrats and hang in there! I'm married to an ex-smoker who's fallen off the wagon a few times, so I realize how tough it is to quit.

Very proud of you (said in my best mom voice)!

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger captain corky said...

It takes a long time to get out of the funk. 3 months just to feel normal again from smoking. At least for me. I still feel that I write better with a big wad of tobacco between my cheek and gum, and a large cup of coffee in my gut. Oh well...

Just promise me one thing Tink, Promise me that you wont become a bible thumper. ;)

Hang in there, you're doing great.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Hang in there. She is doing just fine.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger Alex said...

Some years ask the questions, some years give the answers.

Hang in there, tiger.

 
At 27 September, 2007, Blogger meno said...

Can you burn the house down, accidental like, and claim the insurance? Did you know that termites pop when they burn?

I don't know the answers for you, but i suspect you will find them.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger janet said...

hang in there, kiddo.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Mary said...

settling down can be good, and bad. no one talks about the bad/boring so much.

when you figure it out, let me know!

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Allison said...

Ugh. Steve's the same way. EVERYTHING I say turns into some discussion about organic food/pesticides/red meat/steroids in animals/etc. It's so effing annoying that I actually think about what I say before I say it, hoping it won't somehow relate to health. [sigh]

As for the vinegar, that's actually a proven health benefit and really helps your digestive system. Not that you asked... LOL!

As for being boring, I'm so with you. It sucks, doesn't it? I'm boring now too.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Newt said...

Oh honey, doesn't that person at work realize that the brain doesn't function until coffee is added? I mean, how could anyone expect you to function at high enough a cognitive level to problem solve BEFORE coffee. It's such a vicious circle.

As for the rest of your beautiful and deeply moving post, since I think all of us can relate to this, I can only say, hang in there and lean on me. I'll lean on you and we can be there for one another. And, I'm running away with you and Nettie. You guys leave town with out me and I'll be really upset with you both.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger furiousBall said...

Is the coffee pot harder to turn on than Hoop? Or is it just different actions are required to do so? I think you need to settle this. Put a coffee filter with grounds in it in Hoops ass and see what happens. We'll be waiting for your results.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Furiousball: Oh the mental pictures you just gave me. For some reason I don't think Hoop would agree with this experiment. AT ALL. ;)

Newt: Pfft. As if we'd forget you! You wouldn't have a choice in the matter. I assumed we'd be kidnapping you. Isn't that right, Nettie?

Allison: Oh man, I can't imagine if I LIVED with her! Just thinking about all that health talk makes me want a Twinkie.

Meno: Do you think I'd still get the insurance money if the fire department found me roasting marshmallows over my burning house?

Corky: Me, a bible thumper? Oh hell no. :D

Maggie: I am so there.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Macoosh said...

i'm totally understanding you except i'm going for the boring replacement. the one with monthly bills and a dinner table instead of eating sitting up in some bed somewhere in the world. that girl. how about, i give you my old self and you give me yours? at least we'll know we still get a sense of humor out of the deal. :)

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger eric said...

consider the question of whether you actually have as much control to completely make the decision you mention in your last sentence.

i've found it comforting to know that i don't.

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Edge said...

You and I can watch porn together ... or not ...


~Jef

 
At 28 September, 2007, Anonymous Kim said...

You read "Eat, Pray, Love" yet?? You sound ready for it.
(((Tink)))


Kim

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Eric: Everyone has that control. It just depends on if you're brave enough or stupid enough to do it. The only time that freedom is not available is if you're dead or in jail.

Edge: As long as there aren't pool sticks involved in your film of choice. *Shudder* I'll never understand that one.

Kim: No, I haven't. But I'll remember your recommendation the next time I go to the book store.

Macoosh: Does your reality have cupcakes in it? Because mine does, and I'm looking for a fair trade. ;)

 
At 28 September, 2007, Blogger Betty said...

Traveling bloggers. That's a great idea!

 
At 30 September, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

I think I need to get on board with your kicking out that girl project, too. I could totally relate to that last paragraph...

 
At 02 October, 2007, Anonymous TB said...

I'm glad you're still not smoking and I promise, the resentment fades.

As for the rest, I feel you sister. Here's to making some changes for the better.

 
At 06 October, 2007, Blogger ETK said...

I just found your blog, so this is a bit behind (I love it so far though!). I just wanted to say that as an ex-smoker myself (1 year in Nov), where you are - at around the 30 day mark, boredom is quite common. Restlessness, boredom, resentment.

When I quit, my husband actually told me (right aroudn this time) that maybe it'd be better if I smoked. He regrets saying that now - but I was pretty intolerable. Then, it got better.

It really will get better. You'll look back and be so happy that you got out from under smoking.

You'll realize that instead of missing out on the interaction, or little breaks and gossip you get to look forward to the fact that your life is not ruled by when you'll get the next cigarette. You'll notice how everyone else smells and you don't. You'll breath easier and taste more.

Just don't eat yourself into depression. :)

Good luck! You actually CAN do it and you know it.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home