Everyone Gets a Turn as the Hot Mess
I’m here to make a case for Group Text Threads. On the whole, they are my favorite. At any time of day, concerning any question of life, I have at my disposal a handful of people ready to offer an opinion. Is this dress fancy enough? How should I answer this question my kid just asked? Read this funny thing I read this morning.
Group Texts can get annoying, like when you’re trying to read 30 minutes worth of texts, but the current texts keep pinging in, so your phone keeps jumping down to the bottom of the scroll instead of where you were reading, so you have to keep jumping up to find your place. Times are hard, you guys.
Group Texts are also great for the Hot Mess. Do you have a friend in the Group Text that’s the Hot Mess? If you don’t think so, then you are probably the Hot Mess.
The Hot Mess always has too many irons in the fire, terrible mornings full of drama, diaper blowouts, dress malfunctions, keys locked in the car while the car is running, fights with in-laws, fights with spouses, just a daily onslaught of crazy circumstances.
I’ve been the Hot Mess. We had a van that would break down at the worst times, so I would be the Hot Mess stuck on the side of the road in De Soto, Texas, waiting for my sister-in-law to drive down to rescue me at the repair shop.
On the week before I sold that dumb van, I locked myself out of it about five times because 1) the key fob was lost, and 2) there was only a manual key lock on the driver’s side door, and 3) the driver’s door would no longer open from the outside, but 4) the car kept automatically locking itself.
Oh, I have been the Hot Mess.
But, I’ve decided that we all get our turn as The Hot Mess. If someone is dealing with a new job and a move and taking their kid to a new school and her baby is teething and her oldest is also wetting the bed, you don’t get to be the Hot Mess with that friend. She needs a break. Listen and offer advice. You can bring up your life’s issues with a different set of friends who are looking for the next Hot Mess, or you can look at your life and see that it’s not that bad right now.
I’m saying all of this not to keep us from airing out our life’s problems. I’m not saying, “Suck it up, Buttercup. Life’s hard, and you need to deal with it.” Authenticity is important. And the more we share with each other, the less we feel alone.
But, I use the phrase, “Everyone gets a turn as the Hot Mess,” to remind myself that not everyone needs to know everyone’s drama all the time. If someone is in the middle of a Season of Suck, try not to amp up their crazy life by one upping the drama — this is not a competitive sport.
If you feel like you are ALWAYS the Hot Mess, (trust me, I’ve been there), maybe ask yourself, “What can I do to reduce the crazy mess of my life?” Just asking that question can help take some ownership in that. If you look around and see that not much can be done, well, you’re just the Hot Mess for a time.
Say that to your friends, “Guys, I’m really sorry. My life is an absolute zoo right now, and I need your help.” Acknowledging that you’re the Hot Mess in this stage also helps your friends see that you aren’t trying to be dramatic. Good friends will rally around you and see you through it.