To borrow an expression of my mother’s, last week it felt like somebody laid a huge fart over the universe. Everybody seemed to be in a pissed off mood, combative, unyielding, and inconsiderate. I was cranky and my short fuse was working overtime. I cursed my doctor, who insisted that I come in to see her before she will renew my medication, and then had the audacity to ask me with absolute sincerely “what brings you in today?”
It all started when I needed to pick the kids up early on Sunday (or, otherwise, late) because our neighborhood get-together was the same day. It seemed the ex would have to “let me know” what would work best for him and left me hanging until nearly the last possible minute – while adding that it wasn’t fair that I was taking time away from him. (Seriously, he had 5 straight days with them, and we all know that's no picnic.) Now, keep in mind I did tell him he could bring them home himself at any time that worked for him. I do not like to be left hanging and certainly don’t want anyone expecting that I’m just sitting around waiting to be a taxi service at everyone else’s convenience.
Everything else just fell on top of the clusterf#ck after that. (Well, the one exception being the party – which was big fun.) The kids returned to school after what I swear was the longest winter break in the history of winter breaks, for ONE DAY. The next day was a snow day and everyone on Facebook was all like – oh yay! A snow day! And I’m all like, for the love of God, WHY?? Because the two of them have been on each other’s (and thus, my) last nerve since the day after Christmas and I’m feeling punchy because Owen keeps going into Ava’s room uninvited and she keeps yelling at him to “GET OUT!!!!!!!” …. After which he starts giggling, takes 2 steps out of her room, then turns around as if he’s changed his mind – and then she starts screaming again. And I’m like – knock it off!! And feeling my blood pressure building like gas after New Year’s pork and sauerkraut. Look out kids – she’s gonna blow!
I told Todd I cannot be held responsible for my actions if I have to go one more week like this. And that was after he threw a fit before we were to leave for bowling, because the kids were dawdling to get ready and when asked, Ava looked up with round eyes and said something like, “so go without me” in her best GFO attitude. I had already decided we were all going – just to get away from the house for a few hours and so Ava could run around with the girls there. I threw my purse on the floor and …. Enough of this shit! I don’t have enough medication to make this okay! And then Todd ran up and kissed me. (But, in case you’re wondering, kisses don’t fix things for me and I wanted to wallow in my pissed-offedness for a while longer. Though he did get a reluctant smile out of me, because he can.)
Then, while I sulked in the car, I opened up my email from a prospective employer – whose test I spent hours sweating over (not to mention sniveling over the ridiculous level of difficulty) – to find that while they “appreciated my interest and efforts” they just didn’t want to hire me now, and – wait for it – invited me to reapply in 6 months. Oh HELL no. So now my sulk is topped with a generous pissed-off au jus.
So we get to the bowling alley where the league teams are already warming up on their lanes, and as luck would have it (or not, as you’ll soon see) Todd’s team had the last lane before what’s supposed to be “the break” (what separates one league from another, or from ordinary bowling customers). A few minutes later, a 60-ish woman with a high-pitched, whiney voice walks over and asks Bob’s wife (who is a spectator, record keeper, and great-grandmother who walks with a cane) and her daughter (Connie) for their table. Connie looks at her perplexed and I don’t remember what she said, but this woman goes on to say that this is their table and that we all have to get up and move. To which Connie said something about our team bowling right there (pointing) and the woman says “yes – then that’s your table” and points to the next table down, fully occupied by other bowlers in our league. I watched the color change in Connie’s face before she walked the woman over to the counter to let the management handle it. What I learned that night was that the tables are for “spectators” and that it’s “first come, first serve.” So this woman didn’t get very far with her “request.”
Myself being a spectator, I spent the evening watching the scene around me and felt like there were a lot of people looking around with the stink eye. And then I felt my dander rising again. I made the colossal mistake of telling Todd that if I have to come here and listen to people complain and make me feel ornery (well –he did ask me what was wrong) then I don’t need to come at all. Then of course I had to tell him what happened (again – he asked!), and doesn’t he stalk off toward the front desk and raise his own stink. Apparently, the operators didn’t create a break between the leagues, which is “poor business” (this may not be an exact quote). So, I decided it was time to break my New Year’s resolution to quit drinking and ordered a white Russian and the night started to look a whole lot brighter!
However, before that icing on the proverbial shit cake, I have been spending time vacuuming up the stray kibble from the oldest dog – who likes to grab a mouthful from the bowl and walk around chewing it – and of course she drops pieces of it along the way because why not? I will vacuum the floors and within a half hour she’s back and eating again. I know she does this on purpose to make me crazy. I’m not paranoid. And I know she does it too because she will grab a mouthful and walk over to me where I’m sitting and stare at me, not chewing, and the food just drops. Out. Of. Her. Mouth.
And the food bowl shenanigans continued. First, the cat went on a tear through the house early one morning and upset the entire dish full of dog food, which was scattered in 18 directions and nearly as many feet wide. Later that same day, Sabra, who - being the skitzy, nervous dog in residence here and panicked by the sound of me shifting in my chair 4 feet away - ran past the dog dish (again, full of food) like her ass was on fire and stepped in the dish – which only scared her more – and overturned it.
By Saturday a wave of exhaustion hit me, and I procrastinated about a trip to the grocery store because, well, the nervous tick I’ve developed from going there nearly every day for a week hasn’t yet subsided. But it soon became apparent that if we were going to eat, I was going to have to go. And what did I learn? The fastest way to pissed off is a trip to the grocery store just 3 hours before an NFL playoff game featuring the home team. The lot was full, and I noticed two large vans bearing the name of a local private boarding school. I didn’t think much of it until I attempted to maneuver my shopping cart around a store full of people who obviously hadn’t bothered to make a shopping list and a plan. And to make matters worse, ALL the students from the academy were international students speaking foreign languages to each other and moving like mental patients on their first trip out of the hospital, strolling the aisles like they’ve never seen so much food in one place before, and paying very little attention to the rest of us who were on a mission.
Old ladies pushing carts in front of me would stop at the end of the aisle we were in and look around like they’d forgotten where they were. Hell – I even forgot where I was – did I go to Walmart by mistake?? Except, there were no crying children (a dead giveaway). Everyone was acting like they’d never taken a driving lesson in their lives, and had no idea about the cart-to-the right mentality. It was worse than a Toys ‘R Us on Christmas Eve. I found myself shamelessly thanking the angels above for letting me at least come here alone, since Owen likes to drive the cart and once took out my Achilles heel, and Ava is like the junk food salesman who won’t leave your house until you buy something.
The rest of the weekend went quietly by, and all was well with the universe on Monday. Sort of.
I’m glad that’s over.