Earlier today I was with my sister and we were having one of my signature conversations, one where we start on coupons and end up discussing Donald Trump. While that in and of itself isn’t a big deal, most people hop around all over conversations, I tend to do it at an Olympian rate, having several different conversations within one.
I know I bounce from one topic to another seemingly unrelated topic with jarring and disturbingly little segue, and sometimes I see my conversation partner get a mildly panicked look on their face as they wonder if somehow they just missed a few moments of conversation. Nope. You just boarded my Train of Thought. Welcome, grab a coffee, I need to check my grocery list, where did I put my keys?
Did you know I can enter my small, indescribably tiny kitchen with the objective of cleaning it and five hours later, it looks worse than when I began? But the Tupperware cabinet is freshly organized and basically the cleanest thing in the house. I could, if I could stop the noise, get up every morning, clean my entire house, do my chores, do my errands, and sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in the quiet before everyone else gets home? I could, and I know I could, because other people do it.
But not me. My brain starts this shortly after I wake, every day.
I need a coffee. And cereal. So I put my mug in the keurig, pop in a pod, and brew my coffee. Cereal time. I grab a bowl, pour the cereal, oh – need milk. Open fridge, grab milk. Oh, there’s Mr. Man’s lunch stuff from leftovers. Take out left overs. Grab his lunch bag. Grab a Tupperware, ladle food into Tupperware. Notice cereal. CRAP. Still dry, no milk. Open fridge. No milk. Where’s the milk? I turn around and see my coffee is done. Grab the coffee. Put on counter next to the milk. Oh, there’s the milk. Pour the milk. Put milk back, grab leftovers, put them back. Put a freezer pack in Mr. Man’s lunch. Drink a sip of coffee, ow shit! HOT!!!! Close Mr. Man’s lunch bag, grab the Bean’s lunch bag. Put in her lunch, zip it shut and put both bags on the table. Forgot something. OH! My cereal.
Go to kitchen, grab my cereal. Wait, somethings wrong. Oh, right, I need a spoon. Grab a spoon, go sit at table and eat my cereal. Realize shortly that I don’t have coffee. I get up and go get the coffee. I see the dog begging. I think, Hm, did Mr. Man feed them? Check food, nope. Ok, so I get dog food and drop it in the bowl. Separate dogs, they’re eating. I sip my coffee. Ow! Shit! DAMN IT, IT’S STILL HOT!!! And my cereal, well dangit. Sit, try to eat soggy cereal.
All this happened in the span of 5 minutes. Five. less time than it takes to microwave a frozen dinner. My brain has just jumped, hopped, skipped and scurried all over everywhere and I don’t have a leash on it, much less a handle.
When I have conversations, I know I ramble. I know it. I can feel the verbal vomit pouring from me like I was in a Roman vomitorum after a huge meal. I can see it on people’s faces, I can feel it in the way they can’t get a word in edgewise. I hate it.
My family says that we are all like this, my family. Great. Genetic mutation AND syndrome. My odds are awesome, wanna bet? Anyway, I know it’s hard to have a conversation with me and I know that I’m all over everywhere. I think that if maybe someone understood that for me, my brain works so fast I have to skip over parts of the verbal conversation to keep up with it.
Here is what I feel like it looks like to me and everyone else: What is bold is what is said out loud.
Sister: So do you coupon every Sunday?
Me: Every Sunday? I can’t buy the newspaper every Sunday it’s too expensive, No, I do it a little along when I print them out. I need new printer ink. Do I have enough paper? Is it worth it to save $12 when I’m spending $60 on toner cartridges? I need to break down the cost of printing the coupons. What does that formula look like? Should I add the cost of each piece of paper into the cost of cartidges and then divide by 3? Wait, does that even make sense? I don’t know. Maybe I should just buy the Sunday paper…..That boat is pretty out there. I should take a picture and try and paint it. But I’m not ready for water. Water is HARD. I could try though, do I use salt?
Sister: So how do you do it?
Me: Do it? Use salt or paint the boat? Buy the paper? Oh, no, you meant coupons. I just print some every few days. I can get more that way. Is that illegal? Should I be doing that? And how much am I actually saving? I need to figure out that formula. Cartridges are expensive.
and so on. As you can see, there’s so much more that happens in my head, than out.
So to my friends and family, if you think that I’m just making your ears bleed, please understand that I can’t always stem the tide and stop the flow. Sometimes more spills out than I intend and I’m brutally aware that neither of us want this to be happening and I desperately want to stay on one subject longer than 20 seconds. Please know that I’m trying to blend in, to feel normal, and to seem together and with it, not bouncing around inside of my own head like a superball on a continuous loop.
Please pardon my inattention, squirrel!