Word of the Week: Maelstrom

maelstrom  /n. /  a large, powerful, or violent whirlpool.  a restless, disordered, tumultuous state of affairs.  a violent or turbulent situation.  bedlam.  turmoil or chaos.  pandemonium.  fuss.  flap.

maelstrom  /n./  1.  I've had it with this word.  Plagued by maelstroms all week, I am ready for a new word.

maelstrom  /n./  2.  Most of my week was spent inside an internal maelstrom of my own making.  (Incidentally, they are almost always of my own making.  Why is that?)  I was in complete turmoil thinking and planning for my class at our Relief Society Mini-conference.  Doubting and fussing for days and days.  And truthfully, it did not go quite as I planned and then I fussed about that disaster for the rest of Saturday.  The previous session had run over and so they told me they were going to cut my class by ten minutes and hoped that wouldn't mess me up.  I was too flustered and nervous to regroup and rearrange what I was going to say right on the spot and so I thought it ended rather lamely.  But, the maelstrom has passed, leaving only a bit of regret in its wake, and, after two months of thinking about it, the talk is thankfully out of my head.  That is something, I suppose.


Against my better judgement, I have included this picture for those of you curious about the dress and the hair color. 

I added the ribbon "for extra beauty," as my Olivia would say.  As you can see, RIM won the jewelry argument. 

A pity, really.

maelstrom  /n./  3.  I was such a maelstrom of emotion when it was all over I told my husband, "I either need to go running, go on a bike ride, have sex, or have a good cry."  As none of these seemed related to each other in any way, he just looked at me in wonderment.  I really don't know how he survives my maelstroms.  It's been a good year since I've done any running so that was sure to end badly.  And truth be told I think David was a bit nervous, given my state, about the emotional landmines of option three.  So in the end, we went on a bike ride, but I quit halfway through and asked to go home, where I had a good cry.   Did you know the word "maelstrom" comes from an actual, famous, swirling, tidal current off the west coast of Norway, hazardous to safe navigation?  That was me exactly:  hazardous to safe navigation.  Poor man. 


maelstrom  /n./  4.  I took my kids to the dentist on Thursday morning.  There was a bit of a flap about missing school for the first hour, but eventually I commandeered them into the car and to the dentist.  The dental assistant came and got me when they were examining Ethan and asked, "Does he have a thumb habit?" 

I have never in my life seen him suck his thumb and so I said, "No." 

The dental assistant looked skeptically at me.  "He doesn't have a thumb habit?" 

Concerned about my future orthodontic bill, I said, "No.  Does he look like he has a thumb habit?" 

 She looked at me askance and didn't say anything.  Her eyebrows said, "Look, lady, I've seen a lot of these and you are not scoring any points by lying to me." 

I started hunting around my brain, thinking that maybe all this time I had been lying to myself.  Maybe he really does have a thumb habit and I have blissfully ignored it for four and a half years.  Could that be?  Casting around for something that could producing her skepticism, I said, "He has a blanket habit." 

By this time we had made it back to the examining room and she said, knowingly, to her friend, "He sucks on his blanket." 

Realizing my mistake, I said, "No he doesn't suck on his blanket.  He just carries it around." 

She looked at me like I was losing my mind.  What would that have to do with his mouth?

So then she turned to Ethan and said, "Do you suck your thumb?"  At which point he promptly stuck his thumb in his mouth and began sucking, showing her that, yes, he could actually suck his thumb.  She turned her supercilious eyes at me as if to say, "Well?  Now what are you going to say?"

My cheeks were on fire.  She thought I was lying and Ethan was doing his best to prove her right.  Fighting a maelstrom of embarrassment and consternation over this false accusation, I said, "I have never seen him do that.  He does not have a thumb habit.  He's just showing you that he can suck his thumb if you want him to.  Really." 

She just looked at me and finally said, "Uh huh."  But her eyebrows said, "Me thinks she doth protest too much." 



maelstrom  /n./  5.  I had two nieces born this week.  One to my sister, Rachel and the other to my brother, Jared.  Lora and Jane.  Darling names, darling girls.  Having two girls of my own, I know the kind of maelstroms my brother and sister are in for.  Savannah was in a complete fuss last night...sleep finally claimed her...and I smiled to myself a bit (after it was over) thinking of all that lay ahead of my siblings, and the charming, maddening maelstrom that is life with girls.  (See #3.)

IMG_0474blackandwhite.jpg jane.jpg

maelstrom  /n./  6.  I can't talk about this final maelstrom of my week "out loud" yet, but it is tumultuous indeed.  You'll have to take my word for it.  A change I can hardly bear to contemplate is in the works.  It has me quite distraught...I told David on Saturday, "This is sorrow of the acutest kind."  (You'll find this hard to believe, but I do tend to exaggerate my emotional life, particularly when I'm in the middle of the Jane Austen collection on Masterpiece Theatre.)  It truly is not as grave as I've made it sound, but hard for me nonetheless.  Like I said, I'm am very ready for a new word.