silly putty and other reasons I can’t seem to act like an adult

A bunch of stuff happened this week. Most of it has confirmed my growing suspicion that I will never actually be able to act like an adult, no matter how grown up my life appears to be.

Today, I opened a drawer in my desk to get a teabag, and I found a coffee mug. A dirty coffee mug. Huh. What could that be doing in there? Well, as it turns out, I stuck it there. A couple weeks ago, Boss sent out an email that saying, “You all are slobs and need to at least attempt to clean off some of the crap you leave on your desks on Fridays, so the cleaning people can dust.” Obviously, he was a bit more polite than that, but being the master communicator that I am, I could tell what was REALLY meant.

And I DID clean it off that week. Or at least I sort of haphazardly stacked some of the papers, so it LOOKED comparatively less messy than before. After that, I figured the cleaning people had gotten their opportunity, and I wasn’t too concerned about tidying this week. Until I realized I was actually leaving dirty dishes around for the entire weekend. But I was already late for crossfit, and couldn’t be bothered to walk ALL the way across the office to the dishwasher.

So I stashed the mug in my drawer. Problem solved. If you don’t feel like dealing with something, hide it. Then nobody else has to deal with it either.

Another childish event: internet shopping for silly putty. I don’t have an internet shopping problem. I promise. I suspect that one of my coworkers just buys things for the fun of getting packages delivered to the office during the day. But I really NEEDED my silly putty. In fact, I have a whole Christmas list worth of CrossFit-related things that I’m dying to buy but don’t really have the money for. So I picked one.

I couldn’t have picked something cool like the speed rope I wanted. No. I decided what I needed most in the world was the grip putty.

“Look guys! Look what I just got in the mail.”

“What the heck is this stuff?” John (the chronic internet shopper) demanded once I had chucked it at him. “How much did you pay for this? It’s a giant glob of that putty stuff kids play with.” (Apparently the name Silly Putty was escaping him at the moment.)

“Hey John, remember how enthusiastic I was when you showed me those car racing shoes you got in the mail the other day?”

“Oh right. COOL. Look it stretches and . . . stuff.”

“Whatever. It’s for strengthening your grip. I think it’s going to work.”

The theory, of course, is that I will work at my desk and simultaneously squeeze the putty in various ways that will transform me from Feetus Fingers to HANDS OF STEEL. I will be like Superwoman. I can multitask like this because squeezing putty is totally brainless. Or so one would suspect.

Usually, I pick up the putty, give it a squeeze or two, realize how weird the texture gets when you stretch it really thin, start poking holes in it with my finger, suddenly realize that I haven’t gotten any work done for five minutes, and shape the stuff into an octopus before I set it back down on my desk. Until I absentmindedly pick it back up again and start the whole process over.

The other day, I had the wad of blue putty in my left hand when I felt the sudden need to roll up my right pants leg to see how my battered shin was looking (aka, see if I could cause any more damage by picking at the scab, since I love to pick incessantly at my skin. Yuck. Anna, why would you share that?). Then Boss came over and got all the way up to my desk before I noticed him. I realized I hadn’t put down the silly putty. I could tell he was wondering how to react. I obviously wasn’t working; I had a wad of something blue and oozy in one hand and was hurriedly rolling down my pants leg with the other. But then again, I obviously wasn’t on the phone or the internet or anything that I shouldn’t have been doing either. He settled for shaking his head and patting me on the back: This poor child obviously has something wrong with her. I should be nice.

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