After 30ish Working Mom Years (WMY), which like dog years are equivalent to several years in a human life, it becomes easier to recognize the subtle clues given by that ambassador of common sense that I like to call the Clue Fairy. I have been on the receiving end of many, often repeated, blows from her ginormous rubber mallet. As I’ve progressed in my WMYs, I have learned the value of heeding her early, subtle signs as opposed to waiting for the ever-escalating, increasingly frequent, insistent, and attention-getting blows that will eventually come when I don’t listen attentively.
Think Tooth Fairy on steroids: large rubber mallet, flowing pink and purple clothing and steel-toed ass-kicking booties, wings, wand, the whole bit. Then add a belted collection bag tied to her waist. However, the bag does not contain baby teeth, nor shiny coins or crisp dollar bills to leave under your pillow. Rather, it contains teeny, tiny pieces of your precious ego and instead of leaving money, she dispenses life clues.
At first, they come like sour tasting little candies from a clue-filled Pez dispenser: one for you, one for you, another for you. These small, palatable pokes and prods signal that life has indeed, once again, become far too chaotic, far too busy, far too–well, far too much of anything. The Clue Fairy (TCF) eats, drinks, and lives moderation.
Those of us with Type A personalities (the “A” may or may not stand for ADD) tend to allow our lives to become far too much of anything and everything. When that happens—and it will happen–it typically means that, unbeknownst to us, something (everything) else is suffering. Although this may sound like a negative, it’s a particularly awesome problem to have: to love what you are doing so much that you can recklessly abandon everything else including the house, the spouse, and those needy teenaged people who call you mom. You know, the one with the urgent doctor appointment, because what started off as a stye now looks disturbingly like the dawning of a third eyeball. Or maybe it’s the loud one, the boy with his beat-up, toes-flapping-in-the-wind, neon orange tennis shoes – why can’t they make a steel-toe reinforced model? But I digress.
Right around the time that I’m intensely immersing myself in that all-consuming “thing” while simultaneously arming my children with a negligent mommy list that rivals Oprah’s “What I Know for Sure” segments, it happens: the clue is dispensed. Without sound or spotlights, alarm or pain, it’s dropped precisely for maximum impact, as a recent example demonstrates.
Commence autopilot morning grooming sequence: shower, shampoo, shaving roulette (because God knows a girl doesn’t have time to do all her shaving every day), towel dry, towel sarong, attempt at hair, 5-minute face, and off to the wardrobe. After flinging open the closet doors and yanking open the dresser drawers, there it is—or, more accurately, there it isn’t. The panty stores have run dry! No panties at all–no old ones, no new ones, no least favorite, no favorites, no thongs, no granny panties, no sexy ones. Nothing.
Desperate to make the web camera conference that’s scheduled to start in three minutes, let’s just say my “Basic Instincts” didn’t kick in. Esther Williams won out over Sharon Stone. I grab a dress and my skirted swimsuit bottoms, and off I go. I assure you, the visual was exactly as you are imagining.
And now, every one of my attention sockets are involuntarily flooded with images of piles of laundry, a packed schedule, an empty fridge, a messy closet. And there it is, the unpacked suitcase from 14 days ago. As my day plays out, I share this latest mallet blow with my social media tribe: “I may or may not be wearing my bathing suit bottoms because my laundry is not done.” A friend chimes in and says, “We’ll all send you some panties,” spoken like only a true friend and supportive member of the working mommy club could do.
“If only,” I thought. If only, indeed. Why are the basics so hard to get? With another 5-day supply of underwear in hand, I could potentially solve world peace! If women ruled the world, things would be different. Women see problems and creatively fix them. For instance, why isn’t there a panty dispenser on every street corner? Just go along with me, people. Imagine a world where you could order your venti Flat White with almond milk and a grande 3-pack of panties at the same drive thru!
If more women stepped up, leaned in, and used our powerful feminine lens to be a part of the local, national and global conversations, I know we’d do better. We have far more in common than we don’t. Let’s try. No politics. Just moms doing what we do best: making everything better.
So, this is me. This is me joining the conversation through blogs, vlogs, and whatever form seems appropriate. This is me sharing my gifts and talents with anyone who wants to listen. My desire is to help women live seamlessly. That means living a life that’s full, rewarding, and messy but mostly abundant in love. I want to help people laugh more, love more, and make more of themselves and their families. I have no idea where this will go but, at the very least, there’s value to be found in sharing my ideas and in amusing myself along the way.
Oh, and please don’t send me panties! I can afford my own. But do seriously consider sending some underwear to a homeless shelter. I can’t even imagine how we live in a world where so many people don’t have the basics. Let’s just start there. Find a local shelter or, if you truly don’t have a place in mind, I know for sure that the Franciscan Renewal Center in Arizona will put your donation to good use.