My New Hobby


The self-inflicted variety, to be exact.

It’s free, doesn’t require a glue gun and  you can take it with you everywhere you go without incurring one of those annoying over-limit baggage fees.

And no one  knows you’re practicing it unless I ramble on about it on my blog or it comes raging to the surface in the form of hives or shingles or some other dreadful skin disorder that gives it away.   To avoid this, one must perfect the art of what I like to call “emotional subterfuge”.  And that means establishing a manageable balance between guilt and it’s evil twin, angst, so you can remain enviably cool on the surface while keeping your internal Vesuvius from erupting into a full-blown external meltdown.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you go to your local Spin class with a non-biodegradable plastic bottle of water.   You sweat off 20 pounds.  You chug your Fiji water (it has the most desirable pH balance, you know).   Ahhhhh.  That’s good stuff, right?  But then you look around.  Your spinmates are staring you down as they hold up  their environmentally friendly, stainless steel water bottles filled with Brita-filtered tap water.   Panic sets in and your inside freeze up.  To make matters worse there is not a recycle bin in sight.   And then….the questions:


Don’t you have a SIGG bottle?

HYPOTHETICAL ME:  I just have Fiji water…in a bottle.  A recycleable plastic bottle.

I suddenly feel ashamed, like I’ve I committed a grevious act (guilt).  I feel an overwhelming dread (angst).   Breathe, relax, find your balance, I tell myself.  Take a deep breath in, hold for 4 seconds then let it out, hold for 4 seconds (I learned this on Good Morning America.  It wards off panic attacks).


But don’t worry.  I recycle.  I’ll just take it home and put it in my bin.

I toss the empty bottle into my giant leather tote bag that was most likely chrome-tanned and the run off from the tanning factory has probably contaminated some town’s water supply.

The spinners stare at me.  Is it because of my plastic bottle, my leather bag or do they just dig my work-out gear?  I don’t know.  Holy shit, I…do…not….know.  


Uh….my recycled bottle will probably have a second life as one of those plush toys they make from recycled plastic.  You know, the ones they sell at Whole Foods?

But this is all hypothetical and meant to be funny. I have a great sense of humor.  Really.  I laugh ALL THE TIME.   And besides, the Real Me would never be that hard on the Real Me.  That’s right.  Just all good fun that must come to end. 

So I’m off to make some long neglected phone calls and catch up on some schoolwork.  I feel bad that I’ve been remiss.  Really bad.  Like I-may-lose-sleep bad.   What might people be thinking of me right now?  I feel bad because I may have made others feel bad or neglected.

My dogs are staring at me.  They each hold  a side of a Frisbee in their clenched jaws.  They want to play and I don’t have time.

I feel bad about that.

I think I’ll take up needlepoint.

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March 3, 2009 6:23 am

Good to have you back.
Is that Guilt, to feel good that your blog cheeers me up?

Sharon Matthams
Sharon Matthams
March 3, 2009 4:05 pm

Oh BTW Julie, the telephone number for that
phychoanalyst is…….
You can also find help in the yellow pages

Whew, it sure feels good knowing I am in such
esteemed company. I’m not even Catholic, which just proves my theory; Any established church will do just fine when you need to start the indoctrination. (Uh Oh…too much Bill Maher)

March 3, 2009 6:57 pm

I am feeling a little guilty that I did not leave my kids with you when we were out there a few weeks ago….does that count as a good guilt.

March 4, 2009 12:10 am

Your alive!!