Underneath the Normal

I’m definitely one of those people who comes off as having it all together. Mature. Well-spoken. Age appropriate. I’m not even tooting my own horn on that, multiple adults have confirmed that this is the case.

But true to humanity, I’m an onion. And underneath all those layers of “normal” is a whole lotta bat shit crazy. It doesn’t take wine to bring her out. Nor shots of fireball (yeah, I just said nor. It was weird but I liked it). It’s just there, waiting for me to get comfortable enough with you to drop a bomb about an irrational fear or absurd habit.


I’ve mentioned before that I work for a childhood cancer foundation. I’ve also alluded to the fact that I’m a little worried about getting cancer. I mean, who isn’t, right? As someone who spent years baking herself to death in tanning beds, I have more than enough reason to be terrified. This year, my Step-Dad was diagnosed with Melanoma, heightening my paranoia to a whole new levels.

Which is why all of this happens:

I know where all the nuclear power plants are within a 60 mile radius of my home. There are 4. You can find out where the closest ones are to your home here.

I get water delivered. And not a little bit of water. Like, water cooler at the office, water. Yup, we’ve got a sweet hot/cold water cooler right in our kitchen. I will only use tap water for washing dishes (and even that creeps me out). I will not cook pasta with tap water. And I definitely will not drink it. Yes, at least 30% of my clothes are from Goodwill but I will not drink tap water. 

Archie only drinks water cooler water too. My dog does not drink tap water. The reality of my crazy really sunk in as I typed that.

I cover my entire body in sunscreen on the daily. SPF 50 or higher ( this isn’t crazy, it’s just smart). I even read a ton about chemical sunscreens and have recently switched to mineral sunscreens only. 

I meticulously wash all of my fruits and vegetables with a fruit and vegetable wash before eating them. No, I can’t afford organic for everything so this is how I put my mind at ease.

I technically live in a cancer cluster. All across the United States (and probably the world), there are places where they have high rates of certain types of cancer and they aren’t sure why. It is crazy that this isn’t widely known. For instance, my little section of my county has a much higher than average rates of lung cancer. Why? No one is sure. But search your state and “cancer cluster” and you’ll find them. When we moved in to our apartment I immediately bought an air purifier. It runs 24 hours a day.

Have I lost it? Perhaps. But behind each computer screen, there is a person with their own neuroses. Their own fears. And their own crazy habits. These are mine. Is it weird to be at peace with your crazy? Because if so, I think that might be where I am.


Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Celeste from Our Fabulous Life in the Suburbs.


Celeste has been around these parts before. She wrote a guest post a while back about how to blend two very different families. Her and her handsome hubby, Arsen, are the best preview for what it will be like for me and N. Plus, 5 months ago they became parents to Grayson!

Celeste has been very honest about her journey as a new Mom. She’s shared the not-so-glamorous side of motherhood and 5 things she’s learned since becoming a Mom. She’s even admitted that it’s the toughest job she’s ever had. But take one look at little Grayson’s face. You’ll see right away exactly why it’s all worth it! Want to see more of Celeste and her sweet family? Head over to her blog or follow her on Bloglovin.

  • Nadine, you’re not crazy. Promise. Getting cancer is no joke .. especially since you work around it everyday. It’s obviously going to be on your mind. I’m 22, on the verge of 23, and I’m still afraid of the dark. I’m fully convinced that there is someone hiding behind every corner and waiting for me in my driveway every night to attack. Shout out to iOs 7 for coming with that handy dandy flash light feature. But really. You’re normal. Plus, I need to remember that sunscreen thing. Yikes.

    xo fal

    • Me toooo! I have met my irrational fears soul mate! Thank goodness for my iPhone, previously I would run through my pitch black, empty house as quickly as possible to reach the bathroom, now Siri has my back 🙂

  • I don’t give my cat tap water. The water here is disgusting, he gets the same bottled water that we drink.
    the lung cancer in your cluster might be from being surrounded by 4 nuclear power plants, yikes!

  • So glad I am not the only one! All my produce goes in a tub full of a water/vinegar solution for 20 minutes before I eat it.Also sunscreen is a must daily. I freak out about being on the computer too much but taking 17 college credits online kind of makes that unavoidable. I’ve been researching trying to find where cancer clusters are in my area and can’t really find a whole lot. Where did you find your info? Thanks for sharing!!


  • You don’t sound crazy at all! That stuff is great to know/do. If you are worried about melanoma, go see a dermatologist for a full body exam. It’s always good to have a baseline. I live in FL and so going to see a dermatologist is a big deal for me every year! I am scared off so many things haha, I just try yo deal with them the best way I can. 🙂

  • Loved how honest you were with this post- I think it’s so important to remember that everyone has their own neuroses. I definitely do and, like you, I’m someone that seems to have it all together!

  • You’re not crazy. I worry about skin cancer all the time. Especially when I realize I NEVER put on sunscreen and the sun beats down on my skin as I’m driving. I know there’s a special hand cream out there with sunscreen in it but I haven’t found it. Thanks for the reminder to keep looking for it!

    And…you’re weird and mature? I knew I liked you!

  • Great post. We all have our little crazies, you were just brave enough to put it out there. And people at work think I’M obsessive because I always wash my apples with dish soap to get off as much as I can. Now I’m scared to google cancer clusters where I live…

  • I have so many weird habits – I think yours sound pretty tame, haha!
    Great honest post. Thanks for sharing.

  • i had no idea about the cancer clusters! what the…? you definitely don’t sound crazy, i think more people (myself included) need to be more aware of what’s going on around us and how it could affect our body and health.

  • The text above the photo in this post could’ve been ripped straight from my brain. We’re probably not ‘normal’… but what is normal anyway? Sometimes, I like my quirkiness (sometimes, not so much, but what can you do).

    But being concerned about cancer and clean living doesn’t seem crazy at all 🙂 My mum wraps pressies for our cats and puts them under the tree every year. So a dog drinking purified water seems fine!

  • I’ll only drink filtered water from the fridge (or the Brita). My dog also drinks the filtered fridge water, and that’s what I cook with too. When I went to visit my parents last week, it kind of weirded me out to drink right from the faucet.

    The nearest nuclear plant to me is 67 miles away. Whew! 🙂

  • To me, cancer has to be one of the most terrifying things in the world. Because no matter how proactive you are, there’s just no telling. I’d never heard of the geographical cancer clusters before.

  • Although I wouldn’t do these things, I have my own quirks. Perhaps an inspired blog post? I do find the cancer cluster thing interesting and looked into it for NJ/NYC… there’s really only one in NJ, in Toms River and as for NYC, only Fulton County (upstate) came up on the list for testicular cancer.

  • Lauren Harrelson

    Love this – share the neuroses girl, we all have them and we allll know it! 🙂

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