I love how, as a blogger, inspiration can strike anywhere. Especially in conversation. Yesterday was no different. As I was talking to my mom on the phone, doing our weekly catch up session, I asked what they were doing. Here is her breezy response: “Oh, we are driving around looking at houses.” Panic set in and I managed to utter a “WHAT??” See, when my mom told me this, I thought my parents were moving out of their house. Why did this make me panic, you may ask? Simply this-I hate change (and cilantro, in case you were wondering, but at least the latter and I can tolerate each other in small doses).
As it turns out, my parents are NOT moving, but they simply wanted ideas about how to finish their basement. My mom now knows that she should have led with this little nugget of information. See, I grew up in the house my parents own. We never moved. The interior may have changed a few times, even our address (long story), but we never physically moved from our house.
It seems that this aversion to change may be steeped deep within my own family. Here are some examples:
1. Many years ago when my siblings and cousins were kids, my grandma B did the unthinkable and changed the wallpaper in her bathroom. We all had fond memories of the wall paper and were so devastated, presumably because we were not consulted prior to its demise, that for christmas that year she gave us each a manilla folder with a piece of the original wallpaper securely taped to the front. I can’t decide if this made her an enabler or the world’s best grandma. For now I’m going with the latter description.
2. If you grew up in a composting family, you probably remember “the bucket.” You know the one I’m talking about. The bucket that was used to hold food scraps collected after every meal. When it was full the bucket would be taken out to the compost pile to begin the biodegrading process. All through my growing up years, we only went through two buckets. Why only two, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Our original compost bucket, of sturdy metal, served us faithfully for many years until a leak in the bottom rendered it useless. So an alternative bucket was found and promoted. But things were never the same. Sure the bucket did a fine job of holding our leftover scraps, but there was still something missing from our kitchen. So what did my parents do? Yep, they went out and bought one the exact color and shape of the original.
And what may be the craziest example of an aversion to change within my own family is the story of The Clock:
3. When I was a kid, my parents had an old clock in their kitchen via 1960 something. If you’ve ever seen and paid close attention to the US sit-com “Everybody Loves Raymond” you know what clock I’m talking about. Turns out the clock that hangs in Marie Barone’s kitchen is a dead ringer for the clock that I grew up with in my own parent’s kitchen. Unfortunately I am not able to find a picture of said clock, so let me just describe it to you. This clock, of a flat honeycomb shape, was in mosaic style and had tiny pastel ceramic tiles inside of it. The face of the clock was white with black numbers.
Around late 1990-something, the clock bit the dust. Despite a valiant attempt at fixing the clock, the effort failed. Apparently parts for a clock made in the 60’s are not widely available. With sadness, the clock was taken off the wall and a new one purchased. This one was still honey combed shaped, but was solid wood with gold around the face. It took the same position in the kitchen as the old ceramic clock. I can’t remember how long it hung on the wall before it happened. We all began to notice how loud the clock was. With each movement of the hands, the clock sounded like someone was clipping their toenails in a room full of monks who’d taken a vow of silence. After awhile it really began to get on everyone’s nerves.
After living with this annoying clock for months, Christmas morning arrived. My mom received a small box from my dad. Inside the box was a card with an address in Chicago. The address was for a clock maker that specialized in vintage clock parts. The old clock was shipped immediately to the address in Chicago, and joyfully hung back up in my parents kitchen weeks later where it still occupies space today. The loud, toe nail clipping monk clock was moved permanently to a less conspicuous area of the house.
Change is hard. For some it can be very hard. If you are one that struggles with change, I hope this blog helps you realize you are not alone or in any way crazy–seriously, read the compost bucket story again 😉 .
*Wayne’s World meme on change appears courtesy: www.wordstream.com