Monday, August 12, 2013

Bad Timing

If there is an award out there for having the worst timing of all the people, I’m in the running.  Strike that.  Maybe top five percent.  May as well be the top five in something, right?

Wrong.  Having bad timing is the worst.  I’ve written about this before, but the frequency with which my timing has proved bad is mind-boggling, you guys.  Seriously.  My mind is boggling.  It’s so… boggly. 

Because I am a stay-at-home mom, the cosmos considers me to be more flexible than an obstetrician on Christmas Day or a plumber on Sunday morning, and I regularly find myself being interrupted at the most inopportune times by everything that I don’t plan to do.

That's what I tell myself, anyway.

Occasionally, I will waste an entire day away doing nothing – we’re talking TV and YouTube and reading magazines between naps level of nothing here – and the minute I step into the shower, fetch the mail, or decide that now would be a good time to use the bathroom, the phone rings, the only time all day.  And there are two children and another adult in the house and all these people are yelling to me that the phone is ringing, and there I am considering if I should shave something or stretch it another day, the only person including my neighbors within 50 yards unable to answer the phone.

I shut my eyes against the indignity of knowing that the person on the other line just clearly heard me yell DON’T COME IN I’M NAKED because here is my son standing in the doorway with the phone in his hand.  It could be my mother, my doctor, my pastor. None of whom need to know my current state of undress.

Writing ideas only come to me when I’ve got dinner going and my husband’s coming home, and he knows I’ve sat at the computer today since 9 am doing who-knows-what, he doesn’t ask, bless his heart.  What I know is that he is most certainly not going to be happy-facing it if I write before and after dinner and during our quality TV family time all evening and well past bedtime, when all the magic happens.  “Bad timing, honey,” he would never say, because he rarely says anything mean on purpose.

When I was in graduate school I prided myself on managing my time efficiently so that I worked/attended classes during a ten-hour day five days a week, leaving my weekends free so that I could smugly visit my boyfriend in a city five hours away, while my colleagues were reading journals, grading papers, and cramming for tests on the weekends because they spent all their daylight hours reading bridal magazines or playing Sims on the computer.

Today that boyfriend’s the one getting annoyed at me for writing in the evening when I had all day to do it. Yet even back then I had students at my office door after hours or when I was in the bathroom in a semi-emergency situation.

Today, in middle-adulthood, my timing is getting worse by the day.  I’m still caught in the bathroom during important times, still missing the well-timed good times because inspiration hits me at the wrong times.

Can good timing be taught?  I don’t know.  But if it can be, sign me up.

Though I’m sure I missed the deadline.  I was probably in the bathroom.

*******


18 comments:

  1. In reference to the ecard above...knocking? Please tell me when the "luxury" of your children knocking begins because right now they just swing the bathroom door open with such glee and reckless abandon it wouldn't matter if the president of the United States and his entire cabinet were standing in my hallway watching me about to sit down on the toilet...

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    1. Becky, this is hilarious! Glee and reckless abandon, HA!

      There is knocking IF I remember to shut the door, which is my issue. Honestly, the worst non-knocker in this house? My husband.

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  2. I get most of my writing ideas right as I'm about to fall asleep and then I can't go back to sleep because I don't want to lose the ideas. Always bad timing.

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    1. Yep, me too! And then I lie there, thinking, is it worth it to turn on the computer and get this all down, or should I risk waking everybody up while I look for my reading glasses to scribble the idea on a piece of paper?

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  3. If you want it to happen, and have time for it to happen now, it never does. Inspiration is finicky like a cat. It has to happen on its own time.

    How is that for a version of a great friend telling you that it wasn't you, it was him?

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    1. Inspiration sure is a finicky feline. :)

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  4. The person who said timing is everything probably didn't have kids. Or a husband. Or a cat. Or graduate school. I remember writing a post at some point last summer about what happened outside the bathroom door when I had the nerve to grab five minutes alone to pee. It cracked me up - don't know about anyone else. But it's so true...you can be available all day until the second you need a minute to yourself. Shaving? Pfft. Gave that up for Lent.

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    1. Ha! I love to crack myself up, too. My timing sucks, all the time. I used to think it was everyone else, but the more I thought about it, the more I know it's me. And that is a mean thing to realize.

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  5. I'm right (write, ha!) there with you sister! I have BTS also (Bad Timing Syndrome). It's totally a thing. ;-)

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    1. It totally is. But what is the treatment? Wine? Please tell me it's wine. ;)

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  6. I have been known to have some pretty bad timing myself. If there is a way to complicate or possibly make things awkward, I will inevitably find it. I always think, 'If only I had been one minute sooner' or 'five minutes earlier' I could avoid the situation or had the time. Alas, it seems to be my thing, as well.

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    1. So glad to know that I have some company here. The awkwardness thing is a nice touch. I have that skill, too, and am learning not to let it derail me. So far it's only marginally less horrifying.

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  7. Bad timing? No, we are married to tyrants and have demanding children. How dare they want fed when we have an idea :) I'm so with you on this.

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    1. Possibly. If they only knew the slippery slope my ideas rest on, they'd be a little more careful about when they need me. I'd be the next JK Rowling. Something to think about. ;)

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  8. Giggled my way through this. Especially: Occasionally, I will waste an entire day away doing nothing – we’re talking TV and YouTube and reading magazines between naps level of nothing here

    Yup. We're twins.

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    1. Ah, yes. The art of relaxation. Nailed it.

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  9. Isn't this like a sub-clause of Murphy's law or something?

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    1. Yes. I call it "Andrea's Law," but I don't have that copyrighted or anything. ;)

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