Guest Blogs

“Apology Parrot”

I am perennially late for meetings, the morning swim dates. “Sorry.” “I’m SO sorry.”

Life has taken a turnaround over the last few weeks. Love is in the cold, frigid December air. My mind is no longer totally fixated on the she-boss, churning out more pieces, but rather on the mystery man who so far has revealed fragments of his life that seem, well, odd. Doorman, bartender, kick boxer… and then there’s the travel. I imagine that the only place he hasn’t been to is the North Pole, and I think I’m suffering from a nasty case of wanderlust.

But because the opaque attracts me, I continue to deal with what clearly drives me mad. For the life of me, I haven’t the faintest idea why I would actually spend several hours at a sports bar watching, of all things, ice hockey. It’s crazy, if not nuts, but there’s something about the blend of genius, shyness, kindness, straightforwardness, and clearly the mystery that keeps me nodding excitedly when the sports bar invite comes around.

However, evil symptoms of the ADHD self have been surfacing again.

I am perennially late for the weekly guinea-pig meetings, the morning swim dates on Saturday, with the student checking and rechecking her watch. I’ve been apologizing in parrot-like style. “Sorry.” “I’m so sorry.” Life feels like one big apology-even to the mystery man whom I clearly adore.

However, there is humor in the bleak winter too. At the Meet-up finale, I am 15 minutes late, and would have been a record 45 minutes late if I hadn’t had spent $15 on a cross town cab, huffing and puffing my way into the coffee cafe where the fellow ADDers are clearly on time.

But when my ADHD self is surrounded by those who are just like me, I feel at home. It’s like a pair of sneakers, compared to the shiny sexy black heels that I tromp about in most of the time. I feel like I am in the pilot’s seat, able to emerge as an expert rather than someone ditzy, forgetful, a bit insane.

I feel free. This is a classic ADHD meeting, conversations veering about like third-world traffic (no traffic cop in sight), tangent central, and I am able to emerge as someone who sympathizes too.

There was a young man who said he’d been diagnosed 10 days ago, and said he thought there were only a few ways to “cure” ADHD-medication or not, organizer (yes or no). I recognize the edge in his voice. Maybe at some point he’ll start to see some light even in what feels at times like a New York City sewer.

Someone had the idea of going round-robin and sharing our most embarrassing ADHD-related stories. There was the woman who admitted that she once had a cabinet packed with unwashed dishes, but, thanks to FlyLady, the habit had died down. A young man described a studio apartment that seemed more like a double dare obstacle course, with brown boxes everywhere.

I shared something intimate, something I once regarded as shameful. I’d been accused of washing dishes with water only and with no detergent, my comeback being “I want to save money” to the annoyed father.

There was also the episode at work the other day where the IT man lifted up the computer monitor after it had stopped working. I was speechless by the mess of crumbs, the coffee and soda stains, the coins stuck in the sticky mess.

“I inherited this from someone else a year ago,” I spat out.

The man wasn’t amused. “If you bought a new house and the bathroom was filthy, would you not clean it?”

OK, so he was a bit harsh, but somehow he believed me. “You’re so neatly dressed that I know it’s not you,” he said. The episode sparked me into buying a bottle of Mr. Clean. Dire situations spark dire solutions. Everyone laughed and somehow I felt that my lateness was forgiven at least for now.