Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beware of Speeding Mare

I often feel badly for MOBB.

Whenever Mother of Bungalow Babe calls during working hours, she anxiously prefaces her words with, "I'm catching you in the middle, aren't I?" which is true on every level -- in the middle of the work day, in the middle of a meeting, an e-mail or two or three or ten, a phone conversation, a deadline, a project, a press conference, a trip to the airport, a cab ride to a meeting, a lunch date, a proposal, a bathroom break, a negotiation, a name might know it...perhaps you live the same way as I do.

I feel bad for MOBB but in truth, I cannot talk during work hours and often find myself trying to ascertain the urgency of the matter without sounding snooty or impatient or disrespectful. And many times, what is NBD (no big deal) to me is a BFD (big frikkin' deal) to her.
Or to my teen daughter, Middle Babe.
Or to Big and Little Babe, my adult and pre-Bar Mitzvah sons, respectively.
Or to HOBB (Husband of Bungalow Babe), who often calls mid-day to chat cozily about marital or domestic or family stuff from his cushy office in the middle of his cushy life as a professor.

While I bolt like a mare on speed through my work day. By which I mean that my work life is super-intense. But don't go feeling bad for me; I am stimulated by my work and turned on by the projects and causes I promote and love my clients (some, of course, more than others) and feel plugged into the zeitgeist.

And just so you don't go thinking I'm a workaholic or anything, let me state for the record that I also play hard.

Naturally, there is stress. Stress is my oxygen. And I'm not downplaying the deleterious effects of stress or the fact that those nearest and dearest to me have seen me utterly break down in tears over the stress or simply act psychotic, and yes, some days or weeks or months have been impossible and I have a huge sleep debt and I've made myself meshuggeh and seen my skin break out and gained or lost weight and felt deprived of simple pleasures like having the head-space to read fiction at the end of the day and screamed at my husband for not being an international banker and said that I'd rather be a corporate drone than run my own business for one more second but five years into this adventure I have determined that either I'm masochistic or I actually like the mare-on-speed sensation.
Probably, it's a bit of both. As BSOBB (Birth Sister of Bungalow Babe) once put it -- some people don't have a low gear.
But let me not mislead my readers. Family always does come first. For real, true emergencies. Just not for workday chitchat.
Still, I usually do chat with MOBB, even in the middle of my workday because I love her and would hate to be thought of as a bad or insensitive daughter. At the conclusion of our conversation, she'll often sigh and remark, admiringly, "You have such an interesting life!"

Which makes me smile and regard her acknowledgement as a true sign of the success of feminism. And while I was driven at first by the sheer necessity of working hard to bring in the funds that would help keep our family afloat, I see the payback in ways that exceed the joys of solvency. It is gratifying to be a grown-up in the financial sense and enjoy the autonomy that comes with owning my own business.
Finally, not to gloat, but readers of my post from last week will know exactly why I am posting the following Breaking News item, which just popped onto

Investigators pass security at 19 airports with bomb parts
Transportation Security Administration: Checkpoints only part of total security

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Investigators with bomb-making components in their luggage and on their person were able to pass through security checkpoints at 19 U.S. airports without detection, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Passengers pass through security at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.

GAO officials are expected to testify about the investigation Thursday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The investigators reported that most of the time security officers followed Transportation Security Administration policies and procedures, but investigators were able to take advantage of "weaknesses in TSA procedures and other vulnerabilities."
Check out the sad state of airport security by clicking on this link to the story:

In other words, La Guardia Airport: I want my frikkin' pink sparkly lotion back!

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