I feel guilty when I vacuum. That’s right…when I vacuum. That may seem strange, but hey…I feel guilty when I don’t vacuum, too. See, if I’m vacuuming, that means I’m not writing that first draft for the man-eating werebunnies or editing the story about the ninja salt water sponge that rules the universe, or working on a hundred other projects which are certain to become bestsellers. That’s not even mentioning laundry duty, lawn duty, or any of the other duties that comes with being female…or alive.
So, why the guilt, I ask myself. I mean, I’m not even Jewish. Or Catholic. (I was raised Mission Synod Lutheran though if that tells anyone anything.) I was also raised by parents who never once punished me. No spankings, no deprivations of any kind, not even a time out. Instead, Mom would just say, “I’m very disappointed.” Shudder. I kid you not, those words still strike terror into my quivering little heart. And if the dialogue wasn’t enough she’d give me those sad, long-suffering eyes. It was horrible. And it wasn’t just me. I had two brothers and three sisters. Her system worked on all of us. While others were getting grounded and penalized and lectured for every sort of offense, she would just turn her tortured basset hound eyes on me and I’d melt into the woodwork. To this day I have never been drunk, smoked a joint or …well…you probably don’t need to hear about all the things I haven’t done. It’s pathetic.
In my own mind, I believe this excess of guilt causes my chronic tardiness. (Stay with me here …there is some kind of logic to follow.) See, I generally feel that I should be trying to please people…or possibly the world at large. Ergo, I am rushing around like a decapitated chicken trying to get a host of things done at once. Then about the time I’m supposed to show up for whatever I’m supposed to show up for, I think, holy crap I have to get ready. If…God forbid, I wind up early for some unknown function, I’m always certain it’s because I’m lazy and didn’t spend enough time at home chiseling away at the list of items I’ve given myself to do.
So…how about you? Any guilt in your life? Any viable reasons why it’s there? Do you think said guilt is more prevalent in women? Any idea what to do about it? Help me out please. Disturbed guiltaholics need to know.