Saturday, December 6, 2008

Often wrong but never in doubt.

I have never been a doubter. Never. In fact for a large portion of my life I though I knew everything. Worse than that I thought I was the only person on earth who was normal. I didn't understand the wordy nickname my father gave me, "Often wrong but never in doubt." I agreed with the never in doubt, but not the often wrong--seriously--what could he have meant by that?

Life was easy. After a sketchy bout of adolescence pudge and fuzzy brain in 8th Grade, things went pretty smoothly. I had enough sense of humor to get through high school and be one of those lucky or rather deluded kids that thought it was pretty fun. I wasn't pretty or ugly enough to be a target. I liked people, said "Hi" to everyone I saw. Felt and gave that wonderfully shallow high school love and avoided complicated people. Most things I really wanted I got. I had great boyfriends. I felt like I had empathy and understanding for those less blessed (I'm sure they looked at me as out of touch but benign--I hope).

Until I had twins at 23. Having twins felt like running into a brick wall going ninety miles an hour. After about six months of night merging into day, of adorable babies exercising their right to cry and express their feelings about colic, of never seeing the sun in the sometimes velvet prison that Oregon can become, of a husband in graduate school who was hardly home--I went crazy.

Suddenly I was mystifyingly unable to meet the demands of normal life without crying or exhibiting ragingly inappropriate gallows humor. I dreamt about sky diving, driving far away--alone, getting really drunk and weirdest of weird I had this enormous desire to smoke cigarettes. Somewhere in that dark time I ate six servings of pudding in one sitting. (That is a story for another time labeled, "Sometimes your significant other really is that insensitive.")

This was my logic. Picture this; I'm on a long and winding road so typical of Portland suburbia. I see a bar--I think, "Wouldn't that be nice to go have a few drinks." Then common sense comes shining through and I say to myself, "I'll have to wait for another day, because I have two babies in the back of the car and it's a really bad idea to drink with babies in the car." That is exactly how the conversation went. The funny thing is I hadn't even tasted alcohol before--I've always been a teetotaler. That is when I first had a glimpse that maybe there was something wrong, that maybe, just maybe I wasn't thinking straight

At about this time my loving husband made me take a day off each week (glorious Tuesdays) and organized a babysitter. Genius!

At that moment, while I dreamt new and scary dreams I realized that I was crazy. Suddenly I liked mankind so much more! I had joined them. We are all crazy--and my biggest realization was that the only people I should watch out for are people who were like my previous self. The people who did not know they were crazy and just thought you were. They were the only delusional ones out there, and they were dangerous.

I am still rarely in doubt; a fact that mystifies my husband. I always know where I want to vacation, what I want to eat, what comforter I want to buy. I don’t second guess decisions and seldom feel remorse. With all that decisiveness I don’t assert it is the only way to live or that it is even right. It just is.


  1. Ha ha - As Jimmy Buffett says, "If we weren't all crazy we would go insane."

  2. I totally know your pain! It's always an interesting realization, that moment when you discover you may not be as sane as you thought.

    My Dad read my last two blog posts, and I think that's when it hit him his daughter was crazy. He said, "You are aware computers don't have feelings, aren't you?"

  3. You're my hero for raising twins. I look up to you and I still would if you had stopped at that bar. I've thought about it myself at times. . .