Locusts, knots, desk hysteria and nursing manatees
When it rains, it pours. Seriously – the universe sometimes has a mean streak and when you’re down it puts its kicking shoes on.
Or, more likely, the depleted positivity of the person in an emotional fetal position is exuding ‘kick me’ vibes.
I’ll preface all of this by acknowledging that yes, a lot of people have it a lot worse.
You can’t say you’re having a bad day anymore without someone pointing out that someone, somewhere is on their death-bed and so ‘get over it.’
I know this – because I was one of those people. Until I read something that made me chuckle a little and change my point of view.
“Saying someone can’t feel sad because someone else has it worse, is like saying someone can’t feel happy because someone else has it better.”
So I don’t discount bad days anymore.
Oh, I’m also notorious for the whole ‘there are no bad days’ quote – yeah well, sometimes a day has enough suck in it to call for a write off.
The entire past week has been ‘one of those days’.
From the aforementioned heart-break – to car problems – to the timely ‘discovery’ or ‘landing’ of Freddy Kreuger in my uterus on Columbus Day.
I’ve been miserable. And no one likes a miserable person.
They skirt around you like you’re carrying a new strain of the plague and nothing beats alienation to cheer a miserable person up. (Sarcasm: I’m still capable of it.)
Then they make it worse by continuing to ask ‘How are you?’ to which, you’d better answer ‘fine’ or ‘good’ because that’s all they want to hear.
It takes time to get over something! So stop asking how I am unless you want the truth!!!
My son asked me the other day how I was feeling.
My answer was ‘Lonely’ – which is SO not me. But that’s exactly how I was feeling the moment he asked.
I was home alone with the dog at the time – who is currently nursing her plastic ‘babies’ again –so even she was busy. (Yes, yes I know! I have to get her spayed – but I had the whole jobless situation for a while and life got in the way)
Back to the phone call.
So I answer “Lonely” and he responds to that in a slightly irritated tone: “What are you going to do when I leave for college??”
We ended that call.
I’ve faired quite well on my own – and while I’ll miss my favorite person on the planet – I won’t shrivel up and cease to be. Sorry son – you are my world and I would lay down and die for you, but I do have other resources to survive on the planet.
Like ice cream … and cake … and … Oh God, don’t GO!
Started out pretty good.
Late morning, I saw a friends’ status that had me in tears literally laughing out loud.
I often laugh for no apparent reason at my desk – so much so, that one of the owners has named ‘uncontrollable-outbursts-of-desk-laughter-that-no-one-knows-the-source-of’ after me.
I know this because late in the day, she burst out laughing and followed it up with ‘I pulled an Amanda’.
(To be fair, and to avoid suspicion of insanity – I do not actually laugh for no apparent reason – I’m usually remembering something funny.)
The status that had me doubled over in hysterical laughter was this one:
“Just shared this with a friend to cheer her up and decided you lot should share in the joy.
I have just lectured a boardroom full of execs on something and as I sat down with a satisfied 'That told them' feeling I farted. Not quietly. Not short.
I may move countries. My career is dead here.”
Of course everyone able to see her status loved it and wanted to know more, especially what she did afterwards – which turned out to be following it up with an embarrassed wink.
So perfect. I can imagine that entire scene in a film.
I’m shaking with laughter just typing that out.
I love that she shared it – I love that we were all laughing WITH her. No doubt recollecting our most embarrassing moments and commiserating.
We’re all human – anyone that doesn’t find that funny has issues with their own bodily functions.
Okay – so far so good right? Good tummy aching laugh and productivity.
Next up, “Field Trip!” I needed to take my car to a mechanic for the big assessment and one of my bosses has a shop he trusts.
Plan was, he would take me home to fetch my car – then follow me to the shop to be sure I made it there, then we’d return to work.
Bonus was that there were work related errands on the way! (No sarcasm) It was nice to get out of the office and out in public on official business.
He introduced me to the office supply employee as his friend from work – and went on to add (after I could not stop touching things at the counter) ‘special friend’ as in – helmet kind of special.
At the locksmith, I played with the various locks and devices while we waited for a key to be cut. “You don’t get out much do you?” It wasn’t a question. He was right. Couldn’t argue with that one.
So I just kept playing with safes, pretending I was cracking the combinations and said ‘Shhhh’.
Got the car safely to the shop and back to work we went.
Shortly after was when my body said “Done!” The stress of the past week or so finally hitting me and physically exacerbating my heart condition.
I sat with my heart thudding and breathed through dizzy spells. I did all of this while sitting at my desk after it was time to go not trusting myself to be behind the wheel of a car.
I wanted to be home. But there are other people on the road that don’t want me to be home at their expense.
I do care about others.
Half an hour later I felt confident enough to navigate a car.
I arrived home and noticed the dogs bowl was almost empty of water.
Put my purse down, filled the bowl and stood up –
The sound of my head meeting a very hard edge of my hutch.
Bells rang – tears sprang to my eyes.
I staggered from the middle of the kitchen to the freezer, grabbed 3 ice cubes, and somehow through my blurred vision, managed to find an Easter treat bag to put them in. (Note to self: Buy sandwich/freezer bags.)
I stood in that kitchen and cried.
My head hurt – a lot. I was dizzier now than before and just … done.
I sobbed for a few minutes before shuffling to my son’s room.
There he sat with headphones on.
He looked up at me, holding an Easter Bunny compress on my head – my face streaked with tears as I said “You’re useless with those headphones on.”
I returned to the kitchen and he followed me there.
That’s when I did the ‘Can you look?? I don’t want to look!’ thing.
I get a little unsettled having a wound revealed – and was not going to be the discoverer.
He checked and said he saw nothing.
“I know the answer.” I said. “The answer to what will you do when I leave to college” .
We both said the answer at about the same time.
Which was ‘die’.
I’ll probably trip over something and go unnoticed for days.
I did end up with a cherry sized knot on my head – ok, maybe it was blueberry. But my head hurt. I was ready for bed and it was only 6pm.
Then the locust came.
I’m terrified of unpredictable nature. Not lions or tigers or sharks … not that kind of unpredictable. I mean, flying, leaping, rapid crawling or fluttering nature that gets up in your face. Moths, spiders, wasps, cockroaches, beetles, the entire Solifugae order… and locusts.
One had found its way into our home and was thudding loudly in my lamp shade.
They seriously THUD. Creeps me out.
They can’t weigh that much can they??
To make that much of a thud – seriously – how much energy is being put into that hop/fly motion? There’s an inertia formula that probably would come in handy here. Algebra – it DOES have a place in everyday life!
(IS inertia even the right word? Doesn’t matter – you all know what I mean. Velocity? It matters – I can’t move on until we have this right. I think it’s right. We’re moving on.)
I remember in India – there was a flying beetle that if thudded into you, could actually leave a bruise! One landed on your arm and it was like getting hit by a bug brick. Ginormous freaking winged beetles. No wonder I’m traumatized.
Anyway – I didn’t want it getting me.
I also didn’t want to get off of the couch – but could not settle with it jumping and flying and thudding. I fetched a cup and an envelope and caught it on the wall and put it outside.
I was done with the living room – wanted my bed.
Nature called first – and as I sat, vulnerable, mid tinkle – I noticed out of the corner of my eye – another freaking locust on the wall. Above me. To my left.
Literally caught with my pants down.
I was thinking at that point, f&%* it.
Land on me and just end my beating heart.
You know you’ve had a crappy month when you’ve ended your day stuck on a toilet, with a knot on your head, mascara stained cheeks and a locust threatening to attack.
I managed to finish unscathed – capture the flipping thing and release it back into the wild.
Face washed, teeth brushed, I hit my knees to pray to the God who’s probably still really pissed off about my blasphemous post and then hit my pillow.
Butters nested next to me with her babies.
Sleep found me quickly.
I’m out of most everything – but get paid today. Although, depending on the diagnosis of my car’s transmission issue – there may not be any pay left for such frivolities like food and coffee.
Head still hurts.
Oh! And I managed to super glue my thumb to my shoe.
I’d shake my fist at the Universe – but I’d probably end up accidentally whacking my arm on something in the process.
… to be continued
Yesterday, for a myriad of reasons – I was upset. Physically hurting and my emotional nerves exposed.
I was shamefully aware of my negative attitude.
I tried to sequester myself as much as I could, tried to limit the words that came out of my mouth – because I knew they were being tainted by my mood.
I still had to interact though – when people came to me. I kept my responses short – bit down on the bitchy verbal Tourette’s that strained to come out of my mouth.
I failed a couple of times – but owned it. I said to one person, ‘God, I’m sorry – I am being a completely unreasonable bitch.’
To be fair, (to myself for once), my responses were not completely unreasonable. But if there’s one thing I’ve practiced to a fairly consistent level of aptitude – it is choosing to filter my responses and to find a positive way to respond, rather than react.
Then my son called.
Why, oh why do we hurt the ones we love?
I think it has a lot to do with having more interaction with them than anyone, mixed with the arrogant assumption that our loved ones will forgive us. Also, lashing out stems from fear, and where there is great emotion – there is something that we care greatly about behind it.
The phone call came at a bad time, (Okay, any hour yesterday was a ‘bad time’) and unless he was calling to tell me he loved me and by the way, the house was clean, laundry done and a cake magically appeared in the fridge, there wasn’t anything he could have said to his advantage.
I was upset that he stayed up most of the night before – I was upset that our conversations about him doing more around the house had not resulted in him actually doing more around the house. I was upset that … let’s face it, I was just upset.
I spat words at him – and when he reacted – I struck again. Verbally. I reached a point where I could not be a part of the conversation any longer and … CLICK!
I hung up.
I’ve told him one of the worst things you can do is hang up on someone. It’s rude – it’s unkind – it’s immature. Apropos response on my behalf I suppose, considering I was being rude, unkind and immature.
5 O’Clock finally arrived.
I drove home – with my tail between my legs. (Which is a quite uncomfortable to sit by the way.)
When we finally spoke – I apologized. I calmly expressed my frustrations and we spoke eye to eye.
I apologized for the way I spoke to him and he said, “Mom, it’s fine.”
That didn’t sit well with me.
“No,” I said, “no it’s not fine. It may be forgivable – perhaps even to some degree understandable – but it is NOT ‘fine’ for someone to speak to you that way. Don’t you go through life thinking that it is.”
No matter how hurt, angry or exposed I feel, I will keep practicing the choice to respond positively – and if I can’t – I’ll practice removing myself from the situation until I can.
Because negative reactions are never ‘fine’.
1.of high quality.“this was a fine piece of filmmaking”
synonyms: excellent, first-class, first-rate, great, exceptional, outstanding, quality, superior, splendid, magnificent, exquisite, choice, select, prime, supreme, superb, wonderful, superlative, of high quality, second to none; MoreinformalA1, top-notch, blue-ribbon, blue-chip, splendiferous“fine wines” antonyms: poor
(of a person) worthy of or eliciting admiration.“what a fine human being he is”
synonyms: worthy, admirable, praiseworthy, laudable, estimable, upright, upstanding, respectable More“a fine citizen”
good; satisfactory.“relations in the group were fine”
synonyms: all right, acceptable, suitable, good (enough), passable, satisfactory, adequate, reasonable, tolerable; MoreinformalOK“the initiative is fine, but it’s not enough on its own” antonyms: unsatisfactory
used to express one’s agreement with or acquiescence to something.“anything you want is fine by me, Linda”
synonyms: impressive, imposing, striking, splendid, grand, majestic, magnificent, stately More“a fine old house”
1.in a satisfactory or pleasing manner; very well.““And how’s the job-hunting going?” “Oh, fine.””