Get That Tater-Tot off My Plate!

Have you ever seen one of those extend-a-fork implements which telescopes out to allow you to sneak a bite off of someone else’s plate, even if they’re at the opposite end of a baronial banquet table.  Here, buy your own and use it to your heart’s content.  Maybe you’ve noticed that someone has an extra Tater-Tot, and it pisses you off.  Go for it.

I was actually thinking about whether there could be a product to help those of us who need to get something off of our plates, metaphorically speaking (though it does have applications for overeaters, of which I am one, but only about 50% of the time… see post below).  It would be for overcommitted people.  Or those with poor boundaries.  Who don’t know where they end and the other person begins.  Who don’t know what is their problem and what isn’t.

I’ve read several permutations of the Boundaries books by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.  And the reason that the books can be so successfully repackaged and repurposed and reworked, to maximum marketing effect, is that the concept is important, easy to grasp, and yet not easy to execute.  So if I didn’t master Boundaries in general, perhaps I’ll do better with its cousins, Boundaries in Marriage, or Boundaries with Short Caucasian Girls Who Work at 7-Elevens.  There is hope when there’s a separate Boundaries book for all our needs.

But seriously, I’m great at boundaries (or knowing what problems belong to me and which ones don’t) when I’m alone.  It all makes sense.  But as quick as you can say, to your not-young progeny, “We need to be working on our college applications,” we fall back into the trap of doing for other people what they can do for themselves.

I’m the queen of feeling responsible for other people’s stuff.  In church when a baby cries, I feel like I need to quiet him for the sake of the preacher and the sake of all those there.  Never mind that I last gave birth 19 years ago and that that “baby” does not cry in church (nor in public under normal circumstances).  I bend over backwards to do more for people than is good for them.  I overfunction and then complain when others underfunction.

The first step on a journey is when you …realize you’ve stepped in the quicksand.    And I’m in it.  In over my head. Something’s gotta change.  Or somebody, aka “me.”

So to mix metaphors every which way but Sunday, I’m going to pull my foot out of the quicksand, stab the Tater-Tot with the extend-a-fork and then transfer the little tottie over to the plate of whoever it belongs to, saying all the while (as an old friend used to say regularly), “Don’t lay that baby on me; it don’t look nothing like me.”


~ by Cary on September 9, 2010.

2 Responses to “Get That Tater-Tot off My Plate!”

  1. You are hilarious…and wise. I can relate to your boundaries issues, Cary! 🙂

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