Tammy was visiting here tonight and mentioned that she was going to stop on her way home to pick up some chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t like the thought of her eating store-bought cookies, so I spent half the evening baking cookies while listening to Tammy read me descriptions of houses we might rent for our summer vacation this year. Because now that I’ve gone on a couple trips, I can’t seem to stop planning more of them.
We identified a few house possibilities and ate some cookies (which were delicious), and then it was time for Tammy to go. I grabbed some trash that had to go out to the curb and followed her on her way out, talking about how dismayed I’ve been lately about my cornucopia of personal flaws.
“What flaws?” Tammy asked, incredulous.
“I can’t maintain a normal relationship,” I said.
“Oh, you can,” she said. “Just depends on how you define it.”
“Well, I can’t seem to clean off my desk at work, and it’s really starting to bother me.”
“Is this because I sent you that picture of my desk all clean that one day?”
“Because a clean desk is a sign of insanity.”
By now, we were outside. It’s worth noting that I was wearing my big brown boots, pink pajama pants, a ratty old t-shirt, and my bathrobe–right in full view of all the people eating in the fancy restaurant in the hotel across the street from my apartment, which it took me not a month of living here to stop caring about. I regard the porch, sidewalks, and driveway almost like they’re hallways inside the house.
“I just feel like I’m not on top of everything, and I’m supposed to be on top of everything,” I said.
At this point, Tammy may have rolled her eyes, so I kept talking.
“And, you know, I’m just stressing out about not being able to do everything perfectly, which I know I’m not supposed to even do, which means I can’t even not be a perfectionist right. And that’s really bad.”
At this point, Tammy started laughing. Really loud, too. Take that, people eating in the fancy restaurant.
“Shut up!” I said. “I’m serious.”
Tam was still laughing when she got in her truck.
“I want you to know that I am not sharing any of these cookies with Lucas,” she said.
“All right!” I said, throwing her a couple fist pumps. “That’ll teach him.”
Then I went inside and wrote down our conversation.