next!

My life is like an unfair deli counter.  Let me unpack that for you a little bit.

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I didn’t even go to art school.

If my life were like a fair and well run deli counter then everyone would get a number and served in the order that they arrived.  “Ah, Owen, you have been patiently waiting.  What can I get you?” Then I could call “Next!” with confidence that everyone had gotten what they needed.

But my life is not like that.  Imagine you are in line at the deli counter.  You have been waiting patiently until a fire bomb explodes behind you.  The deli worker rushes to extinguish it.  You wait, albeit alarmed, for them to come to you.  But in the time it took the deli worker to put out the fire, they became distracted and started wiping down counters.  “Excuse me ma’am?” You meekly ask.  The worker doesn’t respond.  “Ma’am?”  She finally turns, and tries to help you.  That is until the customer behind you slips on the water she used to extinguish the fire bomb and she rushes over to them with a first aid kit.  You still wait, distracted, feeling increasingly hungry and very disgruntled because all you want is a half pound of honey ham.  You’ve been waiting a long time.  She comes back.  She starts cutting your ham, but the power goes out.  She tosses what she cut to you and tells you to be grateful for what you have.  And to share it with the customers behind you.  Share it EQUALLY!  She’ll know if you don’t.  All the while a menacing figure in a trench coat waits in the corner.

I’m the deli worker and my children are the customers #spoileralert.  The man in the coat is the laundry.  Or the dishes.  Or the playroom.  Insert your figurative Everest.  Chores are hard.  The line shuffles, rearranges, and evolves.  The person fielding the line feels incapable and guilty.  Who to wait on first?  Who’s fire is the most important?  How long am I capable of ignoring the laundry?  (Just turn your underwear inside out!  Or go buy new underwear!  You know what?  Just stop wearing underwear.  That’s a luxury.)

You know what ladies?  We all feel crazy.  Sometimes we feel so crazy that we make up allegorical deli stories and draw stick figure laundry monsters.  If you do feel crazy, know that you are my people.

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