Cultivating inadequacy

I had a meltdown a couple of days ago.

The worst part was my kids were watching.


In my defense, I had good reasons.

Here I was last week, out doing my usual errands, and getting constant texts to pick up extra food.

Which I did.

Even though I already had a decent stash.

Look. I’m pragmatic. I thought by buying some extra whole oats, a few extra bags of beans and lentils, and a few containers of soup broth would help me make quick and nourishing meals during an apocalypse.

Yes, I have some extra flour in the house (I usually do, I make pizza dough for my teenagers regularly).

I have quite a bit of extra pasta (but usually do) and canned sauce or tomatoes (which is a regular, and versatile staple in this house to feed sporty teens).

I have enough rice, which at least one kid isn’t crazy about eating, in the house to keep us from impending starvation.

Still, the texts kept coming.

After I finished my meltdown and decompressed for a day, I approached him and explained what I thought had happened.

I said:

“When you texted me over the past weeks to remind me to buy extra food and toilet paper, I did. But I did so with future meals in my head. I did so without turning into a raving lunatic. I did so without emptying an entire shelf leaving nothing for the confused senior on a fixed income and no space to hoard a dozen packs of toilet paper.

When I got home from the last trip and you left to do more shopping yourself, without even looking at what was already in house, nor consulting with me about a list,  IT MADE ME FEEL INADEQUATE.”

That’s exactly what it came down to. Inadequacy. Not being able to meet expectations. Or, feeling like what I did wasn’t good enough.

I’m not good enough.

But here’s the thing. As is usually the case, there are two sides to every coin.

My sense of inadequacy, of implied inability to measure up, that is my problem. Not his.

My meltdown, lashing out at his panic buying and smuggling endless packs of non-perishables into the house and garage, it didn’t help matters. And it set a poor example to the kids.

Sometime over the past few days, I came across an article that talked about the psychology behind panic buying and preparing in the event of a major crisis. And what it comes down to is quite simply this:

A sense of control.

I remember the feeling of lack of control after my first baby was born, and a more severe case of spiraling out of control after the second one came. Partly it was due to the ongoing issues with the house. There were other issues which is neither here nor there at the moment.

After the birth of my children, which simultaneously birthed, and cultivated, my feelings of inadequacy, I should have seen the signs more clearly in recent days when family members reacted to the way they did.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

Now, with this social distancing, unknown factors of short- and long-term effects of coronavirus, and an abundance of media bombardment, anxieties are running higher with each passing day.

I told the family at dinner last night that I am comfortable making do with what we have. Technically, if we only eat once a day, the stash of food we have currently will easily last us for the next half year. (Which isn’t practical – we all know that we eat when we’re bored. And we all know how much teenagers eat, and how often.)

Point is, we’ll be fine.

I know this. So my job going forward is to not let other people’s reaction affect me negatively while at the same time allow them to do what they need to help them feel in control.

One final note: if this is the last post you’ll read on my blog I was likely pelted to death by 17 thousand pounds of macaroni. 😂

Stay healthy, and sane.

25 thoughts on “Cultivating inadequacy

  1. The panic set in here in Texas this weekend. Was very thankful we already had most of what we needed. I went so far as to add up the calories in my stash because I had NO idea how to gauge how long it would last. lol. #nerd

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we are all panic buying. It feeds on itself – you see others doing it so you go ahead and do it as well because you see empty store shelves on the news. I’ve actually decided when this over that I’d be smart to keep extra’s of some essentials at home regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing is, I liked having extras on hand because I hate shopping and we were always running out of stuff! It’s the teenagers in sports thing…ugh.

      So when he went out and bought a lot more I was a little stumped.

      Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, no one is going to starve any time soon. 🙂


  3. In the time during which your current stores would last, you could grow enough to get you through the next year. What better cause for conscription of the offspring? They could learn a lot, and grow the things they’d like to eat. And you’d keep them busy, so they wouldn’t have time to be bored (and thus nervously eat away at your stores.) It would give them survival skills. It might keep them out of your hair. Unfortunately, even an experienced gardner, like me, doesn’t know how to grow chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We grew many veggies since they were toddlers! Flowers too. Over the past few years though the city wildlife destroyed everything. Raccoons, squirrels, groundhogs…ugh. They managed to dig up root veg too. Even with fencing and other deterrents! We gave up and now grow cherry tomatoes and a few herbs in boxes.

      Here in my part of Canada outdoor planting season starts in late May. Too much frost risk before that. So…we grow herbs from seed indoors and hope for the best. 🙂


      1. Though I’m in Michigan, I’m farther north than you. And yes, it is a constant battle with the critters. Just the thing to keep teens busy! Enjoy your tomatoes and herbs.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We have no such rush here in Tampa. Pretty much everything appears normal. Maybe I am not going to the right places? Shelves are stocked, crowds are cordial (well, no different than usual, maybe not so cordial), and no lines anywhere. Maybe ignorance is bliss in this case?

    Anyway – this is for you Claudette – today’s survival tip: you can filter dirty water through the bunting in your pillows to get out about 80% of the impurities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I will collect and draft a post next week if I can get it together here… 😉

      Canada assures us food supplies won’t be interrupted. No time like the present to practice local, eh?


      1. A friend and I tried purchasing non-perishable goods at two stores yesterday in hopes of making a food donation to the local Daily Bread Food Bank … Empty shelves. If you have surplus, we’d be willing to purchase.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just checked their website. They accept food donations via Amazon for the food bank. Amazon delivers to their door.

        I’ll take an inventory and assess our situation. I can definitely part with some pasta…Not sure (yet) what’s in our garage, I haven’t been out to check. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to say I am confused. Is your husband’s lists driving you crazy, the media or other people or the voice in your head telling you to get with the program? If it is your own voice, you can learn to quell this and tame it. If it is your husband, a long talk and if it is the media, oh well…..perhaps lawsuits years from now if this was overplayed by the media.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, my husband is like this way about drinks and now you know we have two refrigerators. Sodas, waters, vitamin waters, ice tea, sports waters…I thought it was funny when I went to our local store and a couple of women were checking out my cart. I wondered if they were thinking of jumpin’ me if I had what they needed. We get some tough looking cookies in Florida! But all I had was my usual weird assortment of keto.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Deep breath. Who in the world would feel, or more like, who in the world would make you feel inadequate for provisioning for your family? Good lord, this is backwards! Good for you, there is no over doing it when it comes to making sure there is PLENTY of food for your family in the midst of a GOD DAMN PANDEMIC!


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