Friday, December 9, 2011


Yesterday, we had a new after school babysitter start.  Our nanny of three years is moving on, so we had to find someone new, and took the opportunity to change the full-time nanny gig, which we no longer need, into an after school babysitting gig.  It doesn't sound like much, but having someone new in your house five hours a day, three days a week requires some major adjustment.

I am a very particular and quirky person.  One of my quirks is that, no matter what I'm doing, I like to do it without input or suggestions, unless I ask for them.  I want to figure it out myself.  I get a lot of pleasure out of messing with something for a while and then figuring it out.  But mostly, I just don't like being interrupted.

Even with the most mundane of chores, I can work for hours without getting bored or tired, as long as I don't get interrupted.  Sometimes I'll put music on, sometimes I'll work in silence, but I like to do what I'm doing.  I call this chore-flow.  Our nanny had figured this out, through my blatant displays of irritation.  If she asked me a question when I was mowing the lawn and I had to shut off the lawnmower to answer, I would do it, but it was pretty obvious I didn't like it.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve a bit.

So last night, I was up for two hours in the middle of the night, irrationally worrying about an incident where our new babysitter came into the kitchen while I was making dinner.  I had to chop 8 cloves of garlic, and about 6 cloves in, my hands and knife were all garlic-sticky, making it hard to peel the garlic.  She offered a helpful tip about smashing the garlic with the broad side of the knife, to make it easier to peel, then went on about how there is a thing at Crate and Barrel that peels the garlic for you, blahblahblah.  That is probably considered nice and helpful by most people, especially since smashing the garlic actually does make it much easier to peel, which I knew but had forgotten.

But dude.  She interrupted my chore-flow.

Of course, my insomnia-riddled mind was worried that I would be miserably unhappy, with someone constantly interrupting my chore-flow, in a way our nanny never did, because she had figured it out.  So, I woke up Kathy.  I told her about the garlic incident, and how our nanny never did that because she knew me, and knew I like to do chores without interruption, and I was going to miss that about her, how she already knew what I wanted her to do, and how could we let her go, I missed her already even though she leaves junk in the car all the time, and she was a member of our family, waaahhhhhhhhhh.

At which point Kathy said to me, "Really?  You think it's hard to figure out when you are annoyed?"

Which, okay, it's not.

This morning, I was relating the garlic-incident, as I have come to refer to it in my mind, to my sister.  She countered with a story of her own about a new woman at work who was irritating her by not doing what she was supposed to do.  A co-worker asked her whether she had thought about the woman's feedback.  "Well," my sister said.  "I haven't given her feedback yet, but she should be able to tell by how irritated I am that the feedback won't be good."

Her co-worker replied, "That is the most passive-aggressive thing I have ever heard."  Which, of course, it is.  I had never thought about my stomping around grumpily every time I am interrupted as passive-aggressive, but really, it is.  Rather than stomping, I could also try just telling people about chore-flow, and how I like to do things my own way even though they are not necessarily the most efficient, and I don't really even like to chat during chores because I am focusing.  Only, you know, in a way that sounds slightly less harsh and weird.

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