Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Accidental Humor of RW

So the other day, I read quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever read in Runners’ World (not including, of course, the legendary humor of Mark Remy, mom tales from Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, and Marc Parent’s newbie chronicles. Those aside. Funniest. EVER.)  But here’s the thing: It so was NOT meant to be funny.

And before I go on, I feel absolutely obligated to issue this disclaimer: I do not in any way shape or form think that Seasonal Affective Disorder (a form of depression that is related to the changing of the seasons) or Depression, or any mental disorders of ANY kind for that matter are even in the slightest bit funny. They are serious. I have known people who have been faced with the challenges these disorders can bring and I assure you it is no laughing matter. It is difficult and it is often misunderstood. This post is not in any way a reflection on you if you or someone you love is struggling with this disorder. Furthermore, if as I go through what I’m about to go through and you’re answering yes in a not so funny way to most of the questions, I urge to talk to your doctor.

That being said, what this post is a reflection on is this fatally flawed RW quiz who’s author I suspect is certainly not a mom. In fact, it’s possible this author may not even know or have ever met a single mom. EVER. And if I’m wrong on this suspicion, and say maybe this quiz was written by a mom, then the only possible explanation for it is that all early mom memories have somehow been repressed. Because while this might be a fairly accurate quiz for some people. It is anything but for a mom with small kiddos, like me.
The quiz is called “Are you SAD?” Now, I usually don’t put much stock in quizzes and rarely take the time to go through one, but as I flipped through RW this one struck me for some reason. “Am I SAD?” I mean what exactly does that have to do with running that qualifies it to be in this running magazine? Why are they asking about my current emotional state and most importantly, wouldn’t I know if I was sad? Why would I need a quiz? Then I saw the rest of the article had to do with seasonal affective disorder and thought, “hmm…I’m related to somebody we sort of suspect has this. Maybe I AM sad and I just don’t know it.” So ok, RW I’ll take your quiz. Tell me. Am I sad?

Quiz instructions: “IF YOU CAN ANSWER YES to three or more [emphasis mine] of these questions for the same season every year, you may be exhibiting signs of fall or winter seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and should consult your doctor. Talk or light therapy are common treatments. (And here’s where they should have added some sort of disclaimer of their own, something to the effect of: unless you’re a mom of small children. Then carry on with your day, this quiz does not apply.)
Now you tell me, SAD or Mom? Here’s the quiz:

1. Even though you’ve scaled back your mileage and aren’t burning as many calories, are you craving carbohydrates, especially sweets, like crazy? (Um…Does chocolate count? Or how ‘bout a big bowl of ice cream after chasing my toddler around all day, which btw happens everyday. My answer would be: YES)

2. Do you feel like you could sleep all day even though you’re getting a full eight hours at night? (To be fair, N/A would probably be the most accurate answer to this question since a full 8 hours is rarely an option for me, at least not uninterrupted by snoring, random kid noise or talking and on occasion a small foot in my face when someone’s had a bad dream. But N/A was not an option and even when I am so lucky as to score myself a full night, I repeat: I’ve chased around a toddler, a Tiger Toddler at that, ALL DAY. So YES RW, I would fully love to sleep the ENTIRE DAY. EVERY DAY. At least for awhile.  So I’m 2 for 2.)

3. Does your head feel a bit fuzzy? Are you struggling to concentrate? (This is the one that made me laugh right out loud. If I’d have been drinking something, I surely would’ve spit it out. Let’s see…

Yep. I' d say concetration is a tad on the difficult side. I believe that’d put me at 3 for 3 and I should already talk to my doctor. But just for the fun of it, let’s continue on shall we?)

4. The holidays were great, the family is great, work is great. Even so, do you feel bummed out? (My answer: nah…not so much. **PHEW** I can answer no to SOMETHING. 3 for 4. Maybe I’m making a comeback?)

But no. There’s only one more question. And it reads:

5. Typically you like running with others, but lately have you been making up excuses to not meet up with your friends? (Answer: HECK YEAH! Are you kidding me? It’s frickin’ cold outside right now and I’ve got a perfectly good treadmill in my basement.)

So with that last one I’m 4 for 5 and technically I’ve earned myself a little light therapy (read vacation someplace warm and sunny) and/or talk therapy, (which I’ll fully take if the talking can be done lying down on a couch…with my eyes closed and yes, I am fully capable of this. I once fell asleep telling the Little Miss a story and kept right on talking about what I was seeing in my dream. She woke me up because it didn’t sound like the story anymore and she was confused. So was I.)

So quick! Someone tell my husband before RW realizes the massive flaw in their quiz and issues a retraction. And while your telling him, Caribbean. Carribbean would be a good suggestion. Thanks from this apparently textbook SAD mom.


'Til next time...

P.S. I’m not entirely sure why I like that picture so much, since it isn’t exactly a flattering angle for me. I just do. It was yesterday, we were laying around reading books and taking pictures of ourselves with my camera phone. She was thrilled. Ahhh…mom moments.

P.P.S. Time to ask for a favor! My Aunt just launched a new business and wanted some runner feedback on one of her new items, the Sweat Blossom MP3 Arm Wallet. It’s a little home for your MP3 Player when you workout. Unfortunately, I don’t listen to music when I run or workout, so I don’t really feel like I can offer her solid feedback. Any thoughts or suggestions you could offer would be much appreciated! If you guys dig it, she’s willing to run a giveaway here too. So keep that in mind. Thanks!


jgf said...

I do have SAD and probably live in the wrong part of the country for that very reason... But that is sooooo funny! Most people get a little like that in the winter--especially after the holidays.

1. Duh
2. Duh
3. Duh, stress
4. Well, the holiday was ok, my family is far away and work not so good. Gonna let this one go...
5. Typically, I like running alone, but I am looking for people to run with so I actually get out there. Does this count as opposite?

Liz said...

LOL! That is the most ridiculous quiz I have ever seen. I'm with you... totally not written by a mom.

Kitty said...

I love RW and have for a couple decades now, but since becoming a parent I've realized how many articles are clearly not written by moms. I laugh too.

Kittee I am a Runner! :) said...

Thanks for writing about this. I laughed too when I took this quiz, but then I went am I really SAD? haha

Heather said...

Darn. I have this. And it was 70 here the other day. I told my husband this morning when it was 27 that we needed to move further south. Maybe he will listen now.

Teamarcia said...

I saw that quiz and felt the same way about it!

mickiruns said...

I JUST had this same conversation with Husband last night!!! I said, "wow. so every mom out there has SAD... does this mean we can demand more sleep???!!!" - Silliness. Love the arm band; wish I would've seen it before Christmas, talk about a perfect chic runner's gift!!

Judy said...

I had a similar experience the other day while filling out an online health questionaire for our new health insurance at work. The question was:
"Do you find yourself regularly avoiding going out in public as it will cause high stress or panic?"
I understand what they mean by the question but EVERY DAY I avoid going out in public with a 5 and 3 year old because it causes high stress. I decided it was best just to answer no since they didn't include a comments section. :)