3.13.2010

Control

I like to pretend that I'm not a control freak. But if you know me even a little bit you know...that's just not true.
As much as I complain and struggle with being the planner, the organizer, the task manager I seem to also thrive on it. I realize those things are connected...I'm still working on it ok.
But I like that when things are coming up that I make a plan and can see it through. However, I also have a tendancy to sacrifice almost anything in order to see the plan through to fruition.
I said to someone last weekend that I was trying really hard to realize that my relationship with this person was more important than the event going according to plan but I was really struggling to remember that.
I was talking to another person last weekend about my issues with Swiss Cake Rolls and how I think that on top of the emotional/stress eating I do I also really like the routine of eating; especially Swiss Cake Rolls. I know that when I'm about to eat a Swiss Cake Roll how I'm going to open the package, that I'll select one of the rolls and eat the chocolate off the ends, then the bottom; then I'll peel off the chocolate around the roll and eat it then unravel the cake inside and eat it like a flat piece of cake with icing on it.
I expect it. I know it. I'm comfortable with it.

A friend from church threw her husband a surprise party a few months ago. Almost everyone at that party I knew and loved and considered a friend. Yet I told Michelle the day before that I needed to know that she was inside before I could go in. So I told her that if I didn't see her car in the lot I would call her before I walked in. Why? I knew all of the people, I love them. Yet I felt awkward and more than a little scared to walk in without knowing for sure that someone I knew would be in there.
I went to an Oscar party last week...no wait...I think it was this week...anyway.
I went to an Oscar party and was really stupid nervous on the way. I thought that maybe the party had been cancelled, that the location had been moved, that every single other person that was invited had forgotten about the party and I would show up food in hand and the hosts would be all...what are you doing here.
It's all just silly seemingly. But I'm finding that I keep my comfort, safety, reassurance in my having control. I like to know what to expect, I like to know what kinds of conversations will be had, where I will sit, where the bathrooms are, what kind of food will be there. When I don't know these things, or control them by being the planner and organizer then I get nervous about what might happen. When things change I get thrown off and nervous and have cried really hard about things not going right.

I wish I could be all the time like this moment of clarity. Because sometimes I let go, de-stress, calm the hell down and just relax. But those are not the majority. Mostly I stress and worry, I lift my shoulders to my ears like earrings and run through the possible conversations that could happen in my head and worry still about what I could possibly contribute to them.
It can often be worse in groups. Because on top of worrying if I'm comfortable and in control I want to control if other people are having a good time, if they're comfortable. The first time I met Dan's now wife I asked her 10 times in one hour if she had to go to the bathroom and if so does she know where they are. I just couldn't help myself. To me comfort is knowing where the bathroom is in a strange place, and I wanted her to feel comfortable and to like me so Dan and I could still be friends. I mean, we get along and all..but just in case you were wondering asking someone about their bathroom habits that often when you first meet them is not the best way to endear yourself to someone.

It's really exhausting. I'm thinking about trying to stop, but first I have to figure out where the bathroom is and what I will talk about when I'm trying to not be in control.

2 comments:

Pete said...

I totally hate walking into a place alone, even if someone I know will be inside....but that seems to be a whole other issue.


I'm totally hungry for swiss cake rolls now.


Our lives don't change overnight, somethings take days, some months, and some years....at least that's what they say. lol.

jake - aka the comment novelist said...

Sometimes I get scared at how much of myself I see in these posts. Yet watching you work it out gives me hope that I won't always be crazy.

I heart you and your honesty. I so wish I could be closer, but I'm learning how to be close from afar.