Remember Physical Education class at school?

When I was at school, PE/Physical Education was a subject you got given, whether you liked it or not.

The part that always used to amaze me was that the PE Teacher, was always the largest (weight) person on the staff body.  She always used to wear that stupid matching track suit which made you think that she might have once coached or done hockey, or maybe women’s wrestling.

Her hair style was usually something that you would get done at the barber.

You were always just a little bit suspicious as to her sexual orientation.  You did not actually know what “sexual orientation” meant, but you were still a bit suspicious that things were not quite as they should be.

Personally I had no qualms about PE – I did not love it, but I sort of got by.  I did sport most days, so a bit of running around on the field during school time was no real issue.  (if we exclude the horror I had to go through when changing…. I developed really late ….. it was all a bit tragic)

You always had to wear the most ridiculous clothes loosely terms as your PE uniform.  It even made skinny pretty girls look like they had a camel toe and a hunchback.

It was all in all just not attractive.   In was in a coed school from standard 6 – 8 so that was also its own set of torture.

But this was the same era that gave you Dynasty and Sue Ellen on Dallas, so abysmal fashion decisions were pretty much the norm.

The thing I hated about PE, and I think has mentally scarred me for life was when Ms PE Teacher wanted the class to play a team game.

Everyone would mill around, then she would call out two random girl’s names “Sharon” (I was of the generation where there would be between 1 – 3 Sharons per grade) and “Leeanne” – then Sharon and Leeanne would each pick a girl for their teams.

You know all the girls they liked, who were popular with them.

As each name got called out, there would be some squealing and maybe hugging as the girls would go and huddle behind either Sharon and Leeanne, and stand and smirk at the group of girls who had not been picked i.e. me.

There I would stand “quietly begging” that I got chosen – please choose me, please choose me, I promise to catch/hit the ball.  Promise!!!

See I can jump.  See I can run.  Look Janet Look!!

You would want to edge together with all the girls “not yet chosen” so there was safety in numbers, and at the same time you did not want to stand near anyone who was really unpopular in case you were tainted with the cooties.

The result was a mass of girls sort of twitching and having that look of nervous anticipation combined with rampantly unreliable hormones, and too tight fitting shorty shorts and a vest number!

I hated the fact that I might be the last one left, and not really chosen as much as being a team member by default.    If I was chosen by Sharon or Leeanne then I would also go and stand in that rather selfish little group behind and smirk and the group of “unpopular” girls who had not been selected.

There are few things worse than being the kid who stands there last and has to be in either of the team – it’s lonely and it is so painful being “that kid.”

The fear of that is enough to sympathise (and envy) girl who always said she was having her period or had a note saying she did not have to do PE.  There were usually 3 – 4 of them.

My friend Claudine Steyn and Joanne Mustoe did not EVER do PE.  I have no idea how one has a period that long.

I realise I am trying to link two rather vague points to each other here so bear with me and I stumble forward – but for the love of gd, please go and nominate me – the 2nd Annual Mommy Blogger Competition 2012 is on, and I am having that nervous shuffling on a field feeling again.

Mommy bloggers have had a bit of a bad rap at the last Blogger Awards, so we are all a bit desperate for anything that makes us say “winner, winner, chicken dinner” right now – trust me we would get excited if the prize was a McNugget Happy Meal + a toy!

I have no illusions about winning.

There are far better mommy bloggers out there with moms who really “sweat” and work their blogs, and do really pretty things and well make a huge effort.

I am attempting to appear that this sort of thing does not bother nor interest me.  You know being jaded and all.  And all.

I am a fair weather blogger, and I do not try very hard to remain popular or clearly attract sponsors!  Clearly the idea of me associating with a brand has brand managers and communication managers developing symptoms of thrush (the itch and the part where it hurts when you pee!)

I have no real drive to run around and pimp my “please vote for me” all over Facebook and every other place you can beg for a vote, but I just don’t want to be the fat pimply kid who does not get picked for PE teams by Sharon and Leeanne.

I don’t have to win, but I just don’t want to be left on the field like a total loser!!  Cheese and Rice, it is like primary school again!

<link for voting – http://www.kidzworld.co.za/mommy-blogger-competition.htm>

You chew that apple and I am going to stab you. In the eye.

I have been sensitive to sound for almost forever.  But in the last 10 years it has got remarkably worse.

These are a couple, in no real order, that drive me to anger and rage almost instantaneously:-

1.  Kids chewing cereal …. even Pro-nutro … but you can only imagine what the sound of crunchy cereal does to me head/mind/sanity.

2.  Slurping tea or coffee – and my best is slurping soup.

3.  Repeatedly tapping of feet onto a surface (my kids kick the centre pole in our kitchen whilst eating) or Isabelle picks up her spoon and drops it on the counter, picks it up, and drops it — repeat until mother bursts a blood vessel.

4.  The sound of normal chewing …. I always sit next to Kennith at the dining room table, and I have been wondering whether it would be rude for me to move to the other end of the table.  We have an 8 seater, me on one end, him on the other at dinner time … strange much?

5. Sucking of marrow bones, or chicken bones or anything that makes your lips smack …without a doubt this is when I excuse myself from the table to go and attend to a child … even when I am out without my children.

6.  Sniffing…. I keep tissues in my bag for the sole purpose of handing to my children and strangers.  I make it look like an act of guidance or caring.  Meanwhile.  Not so much.

7.  A door that isn’t closed properly that knocks every time a breeze blows down the passage.

8.  Someone flicking through television channels, and the variance in sound that occurs as they move from one channel to another.

9.  Reality shows – especially American Idols or X-Factor – there is a severe pitch variance, and a lot of screaming and loud voices and then the low sound as someone says something deep and meaningful and then the screaming again.  Does my head in.

10.  Wind that whistles through window joints, and the bang-bang-bang that usually occurs on windows.

11.  The squeezing and sucking sounds caused when someone drinks from one of those water bottle numbers.  I can’t.  I really cannot bear it.

12.  Teeth sucking …. like after dinner and then there is this teeth sucking.

Okay let me stop.

Now that I make a list, I realise that the list is rather long and I have not touched the ice berg of the things that make me lose my shit completely.

I think there are lots of noises/sounds that we do not like.  But with me it does more than just annoy me.  It makes me angry, and irritated, and well just fkn angry.

My heart starts to pound.  I can feel my eyes narrowing.  I focus on the sound at the exclusion of everything else and then I can feel I get angrier and angrier as the sound gets louder and more acute in my ear.

Kennith always says that if we go to the movies, I will attract the guy with the slush puppy who sucks, and does that shoesh-shoesh-shoesh sound as he pushes his straw through the slush to loosen up the liquid, for another suck.

Kennith is probably right – I attract these people like nobodies business.  But the reality is that no matter where the slush puppy person sits, I will be able to hear them.  And the added problem is that I can’t hear the movie, as the sound gets louder and louder and louder for me.

This issue alone is probably the main reason I no longer go to movies.

Of course I just put it down to the fact that I was a miserable cow with too many issues to number – seems fair enough, so let’s not totally discount that as a good reason for my being irritable.

Then I saw this word on Friday “Misophonia” and suddenly so much makes sense, or at least I do not feel so guilty for always feeling so damn angry when there is a sound that sets my teeth on edge.

I thought this definition was bang on the money:

The response has been described as a reflexive emotional flood of rage and panic with a storm of fight-or-flight reactions becoming paramount. Adrenaline flooding, face flushing, heart-pounding and/or shaking and the need to physically flee or attack are often experienced. The mindful thoughts that the emotional reflex/response is unreasonable given the facts of the stimulus is often actually harmless come only after the fight-or-flight response is in full force and the affected person may find themselves in a constant mode of “talking themselves down” into a normal state of calm.

The hypocrisy of it all, is that I make a noise when I eat, and I often flick my nail when I am alone – I also love chewing raw pasta — all of these sounds would drive me to commit manslaughter if someone else did it.

According to my research there is no cure – one either must avoid the sound, do extensive CBT or take enough medication to not hear anything.

One bloke suggested moving to a quiet town, and never being in public places so the sounds of the masses do not drive him to insanity. He also has opted to work from home as “office” sounds also set him off.

Sadly I think it is too late for me.  What is sadder is that I understand his point of view, and his plan does not seem that unreasonable to me.