I have a hard time with change. Change to me is like eating a bowl of rice with ketchup — it is not entirely unpleasant, some people even like it, but there is something a bit unsettling about it. When I look back over the trajectory of my life, it probably didn’t help that routine was engraved into me from a young age.
My first lesson in shunning variety came in the form of picking out what to wear in elementary school. Either because she thought they looked good on me or because she had a very curious sense of humor, my mom dressed me in her own take of a school uniform — pink, purple and yellow sweatsuits (and not the swanky Juicy kind either). When I was in the lower grades, she would help me get dressed, pulling up my elasticized waist up and over my sweatshirt, creating a neat, tucked-in look. On days where I felt particularly sassy, I might puff out my sweatshirt a bit after it had been tucked in to lend the look some edge. Some days I would wear an all purple suit, other days I would switch it up with yellow pants and a pink top, but as sure as you could count on someone scraping a knee on the playground, I would be wearing a sweatsuit.
Although I find change hard, that is not to say that I am not good at dealing with it. In fact, on my resume, I will often list adaptability as a notable skill, right alongside my impressive ability to eat copious amounts of snacks. Once I had a boss whom I liked. I didn’t know how much I liked her until she told me she was leaving the company, and I surprised even myself by bursting into tears. In an effort to console me, she wanted to know if I had any questions for her. I did have questions, but none that I thought she would understand. She wanted to know if I was worried about the project I was working on and if I’d get to finish it. But I really wanted to know who would keep a tube of expensive French cream on her desk to moisturize her perfectly manicured hands after every trip to the bathroom now? Certainly not her! There would be someone new, someone sloppier undoubtedly, someone who would lead in a cruel, tyrannical way. (Of course this never came to fruition, but it could have). When the new boss came, I adjusted quickly, slipping back into the same mode I had been pre-favorite boss’ departure, and life went on.
Recently, I’ve realized that I might expect a boss to leave now and again, but then there are some things which I had believed should never change. But as I’m learning, aside from peanut allergies and the like, most things will change in some way or form. And it is an uncomfortable thing to have to come to terms with. Which is exactly why I must soon leave Alan for someone who values ritual and consistency above all else, either a highly obsessive compulsive disordered man with excellent oral hygiene and neat fingernails or an OCD grandma who spends every Sunday morning at church and every other free moment laboriously dusting her collection of ceramic pig figurines.When I say the sweatsuit dress code started young, I really mean it started as soon as I learned to stand on my own two feet. See below. That’s me in the middle with Denise and Nat. And notice how I’m the only one with my sweatshirt tucked into my pants as if my pants just might fall down completely without the extra girth of the sweatshirt to hold them up? My mom is such a jokester!