Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Excuse Me, Your Stress Is Showing...

Excuse me, your stress is showing…

“Mrs. Camiolo,” one of my students called from the back of the room as everyone pulled out their textbooks for class. “You’re…you’re wearing flat shoes!”

Within seconds a full blown discussion of how odd my choice of ballet flats was broke out in the classroom. “You look so much shorter!” called this young lady (who, even when I am wearing flats, stands about 4 inches shorter than I).

I felt some surprise that my students NOTICED. I mean, really, I am an antique compared to them, my wardrobe is practically medieval (remember how old 40 seemed when YOU were 15? Egads!) . And most days I do make a conscious choice to wear tall shoes. I feel like it gives me an edge to be 5’10” in a classroom full of teens. I feel like An Official Teacher somehow, which is kind of funny since so many of the teachers of my youth were middle aged women who wore comfortable shoes and polyester slacks with a permanent crease, men who only had one pair of nondescript “school shoes” , or nuns, who wore the most practical (and often, no disrespect intended, not super snazzy) of footwear at all times. But for me, now, tall shoes = confidence.

Anyway, the moment amused me. I told them that by tomorrow I’d likely be in Converse, because that was just how my week /month/year was going. I did suggest that the Student Council members in my class work to get us a Chuck Taylor day, but I think that just confused them.

And once again, I was brought up short by the realization that yes, my stress is showing.

Granted, stress showing through the choice of flats over heels is really kind of silly. Ok, it’s not kind of silly, it’s uber-silly. But it’s real. I just didn’t have the mental energy to wear tall shoes. I just didn’t care.

I also noticed in the past week that people who know me at all KNOW that my normal answer to the question “how are you?” – “super fabulous, and you?”, is a big fat lie. People who know me less well (or just don’t feel like dealing with lurking drama) just take it as genuine (sigh, I’m sorry), but for the first time in the past week I’ve had folks (who I care about a lot) stop short and be all sympathetic and supportive when I give my stock response.

Hey, even my sarcasm is failing to hide the stress! This could be serious. Houston, we have a problem…

I’m not sure what you do when stress starts to ooze out from every possible crack. Sometimes exercise, vitamins, cutting back on caffeine, praying extra, trying to go to bed earlier, breathing deeply, shopping, eating chocolate, running, listening to music…sometimes NONE of these things even remotely take the edge off stress. Heck, if I hear the song “If I Die Young” ONE MORE TIME in my car, I am going to have a conniption. No joke, 3 times in the past 2 days!

Even trying every zenlike trick in the book, I still feel like I’m crawling out of my skin. My poor 9 year old keeps asking me at church if I’m ok, I look so sad. Aaaaagh! Dang.

For my kids, the ones I gave birth to AND the ones I teach, I have to find ways to keep my zen, even if it means stapling it to myself somehow.

I opted for my 3 inch heels again today, and my sophomores felt better (yes, they noticed). I may just bring an auxiliary cable in the car so I can use my iPod and avoid any unfortunate Band Perry incidents, and maybe I can bake something. Whatever I do, I have to figure something out, because just like a live performance of Nicky Minaj, nobody REALLY wants to see my stress showing.

So…anyone have ANYTHING else that I haven’t tried yet? Obviously the circumstances of life here are kind of epic, so within that context…what the heck do you do so YOUR stress doesn’t show?

Maybe I could go SHOE shopping…hmmm. That could be win win for all concerned…

1 comment:

  1. this probably doesn't help much but when I was in high school, there was this really stylish teacher with brown curly hair and glasses who bravely went with us to Poland. And she didn't wear polyster pants or ugly shoes either. We all thought she was cool ;) -Jaclyn