(to “Barb” something: a verb meaning to over-complicate, muddle, or confuse a thing; a noun indicating the over-complicated, muddled, or confused result.)
I’m not anal about everything—my house is clean but not sterile (the same can be said for my kids, my car, and my purse)—but there are some things that trigger instant anality within me, and they all involve organizational skills that in turn trigger a frenzy of irrational Barbings.
Filing and spring-cleaning are two examples that come to mind. The blog is another. Just ask Deb: I am anal about fonts, spacing, ellipses, em-dashes, lower and upper case, timing, and postings. But I’ve also Barbed it so much as to make the postings and pages a mess of embedded rules and regulations. The thought of changing our blog, as much as I would love to try a refreshed look, sends my anal anxieties swirling into virtual orbit.
But the real test to my anal/Barbing is coming up. My darling hubby has a milestone birthday this year. I won’t reveal it in case he cherishes his privacy (okay, it rhymes with the Shmig Shmive Shmoh), but suffice to say, I got a lotta plannin’ to do.
We can’t have a huge, open-door party as I don’t have the space. But he has lots of family and friends who want to honour him, so I have to finesse a guest list. Not so hard––anal-brain loves making the lists … but did I FORGET SOMEBODY??? Barb-brain devises a series of odd charts and counter charts … and somehow leaves people off one or the other.
I saved my own ass by deciding not to throw a surprise party (my husband says it’s okay, he knows he’s turning 50.) (OOPS, shit!) Anyway, the real truth is my Barb brain would have combusted under the onus of adding “surprise” to the mix. Anal-brain hates that I went the “easy” route on that one; Barb-brain sends me kisses every morning.
When it comes to keeping track of the guest-list, anal-brain copied a friend’s e-vite formula and was able to send out a summons. But this required reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading the copy, never feeling I got it just right. Barb-brain had to pull me away from the computer because anal-brain was weeping and braying that I screwed the whole thing up and that a drugged monkey would’ve done a nicer job!
Barb-brain checks the rsvp list every five minutes, anal-brain makes copious calculations based on Barbed math. The result: I literally have no idea how many people are coming.
And the worst part is: I have to look and sound like a seriously cool cuke or none of this will be fun for anybody. It is SO NOT PRETTY!
Okay, thanks for the shoulder. I’m good now. Just had to vent a bit. Real Barb is back and she is neither anal nor muddled. Just a little spent. Phew.
Deb: I love the Barbing it, the whole concept. It personalizes something we all do to some degree. The thing I love the most when Barb “Barb’s it”, is that it is always with the best intentions. She is on the job trying to solve the problem, trying to find the path of least resistance. The thing is ... she doesn’t. She Barb’s it. And it has given us more laughs over the years than I can say.
Barb: Well, if we are supposed to bring ice cream to the dinner party tonight, why don’t we take a cooler full of ice and I will pick it up on the way to your house and then you can take it from there when I go home to change and bring it to the dinner?
Deb: Or I could just leave a few minutes early and buy the ice cream on my way over.
Barb: I just Barbed it, didn’t I?
Deb: Yes. Yes you did.