IDGAF

I know I’m pretty much useless when, instead of getting work done, I’m folding clothes.

It’s 11 a.m. and my workday should be in full swing. But I work from home, and so instead I’m folding laundry and checking my emails every five minutes looking for something exciting. Nothing exciting comes in.

I spot the stack of old financial papers that need shredding. I’ve let them languish by the shredder for months. Yes, months. I know something is really awry because now pulverizing that stack through the shredder is looking really good and I spend the next hour doing it.

Hello, Rebellion. How are you today?

“I don’t want to! You can’t make me. I don’t care if I should. No.”

My name is No . . . my sign is No.

A Types, overachievers, controllers, and those of us who generally Get Shit Done know this feeling and it scares the heck out of us. It’s called IDGAF. (You can work that acronym out.)

IDGAF is your inner rebel, telling you she needs a break. Give her one. What’s so hard about that?

Oh, I know what’s hard: you’re going to lose control of your life for five or ten minutes, or maybe even half a day. Or if you really slack, maybe even . . . a week. And if you’re really, really screwed — a month. And of course the ultimate freak: forever.  You’ll be in IDGAF forever.

Because what if you never find your way out of IDGAF? What if you stop earning your income? What if your marriage that you’ve been propping up suddenly bores you? What if you stop to relax for one bald second and discover that you’re running on fumes and those fumes felt so real that you lived off them for ages?

Toilet woman

In the stall next to me, a woman is on her cell phone.

She’s booking an appointment. I can’t tell with whom. Is it nails? Her therapist? Her oncologist? Her voice echoes over the empty bathroom stalls.

I snap the paper toilet seat cover down and sit. This is really uncomfortable. I’m going to make pee noises. The woman in the stall next to me is chatting away.

I hesitate, then I get mad. She’s the one breaking the rules, I think, not me. I am going to pee as loud as I want.

When I get up to flush, I’m frozen again. I’m thinking how awkward it must be for the person on the other end of her phone to hear all the noises of a public bathroom. I’m actually thinking about the feelings of the person the woman beside me is not thinking about at all. This is ridiculous.

I flush. It’s really loud.

As I’m washing my hands I realize that I have just seen what happens when you break a social norm. It’s not embarrassing the woman next to me to talk to a stranger while using the bathroom. But it’s embarrassing me. Because I go around thinking that everyone feels like me: I would never call someone from inside a public toilet stall. Ever. I think that everyone else thinks like me, too.

Until someone snaps that idea in half.