Monday, July 21, 2014

This one is for the girls on the couch

You know who they are.

When you were a kid, she was the classmate who would come visit you when you got your tonsils out. Even if she was terrified of hospitals/needles/doctors, she would still show up, not minding that you couldn't really talk.

It's the best friend you called from the bathroom when you were trying to use a tampon for the first time and couldn't figure out where it was supposed to go and how it was supposed to feel if it's in the right spot.

And when you got to high school, she was the chick you could count on to come sit with you on the couch during parties when you felt totally shy and awkward, watching the world go by while the two of you passed a beer back and forth.

These are the girls who came over to your house when you called them crying so hard that they could barely make out what you were trying to tell them.

And they are the ones who hugged you tight while you cried and told them that your parents were getting divorced, and you both swore that you would never do this to your kids.

These are the wingmen who taught you how to drive stick, and held your hair out of the way while you barfed, and helped you hide the keg in the woods when the cops arrived to break up the party.

They were the only ones wiling to drive you over to that cute boy's neighborhood and cruise by his house casually at least three times in one afternoon hoping to "bump into him" in his driveway.

And they were the ones to drive you to your now ex-boyfriend's house to get your stuff back from that asshole.

You know who I am talking about.
And these girls - now women - are still a part of our lives.

Now that we are all grown up, they are the friends who can show up at your house with little to no notice. They don't care if the bathroom is clean, or if the dishes are done and it does not faze them in the least when there is an enormous pillow fort in the middle of the living room.

They will come in, carrying their own food and drinks, grab a pillow off the fort and throw it back on the couch, and make themselves at home.

If you are standing in the kitchen in your underpants, they won't notice, except to tell you what a nice ass you have on their way to get some ice out of the freezer. If you are out of ice, they will refill the ice cube tray and make a pot of tea instead.

If the toilet paper has run out, they know where to find another roll, and they know where you stash the maxi pads (because they also know you never got the hang of those tampons).

They are the ones you call when you are crying so hard they can't make out what you are saying, so they just hang up and drive over in their pajamas.

And they will hold you tight while you cry and tell them that you are getting divorced, and they will know that the reason you are so upset is that when you were a kid you swore you were never getting a divorce.

They are the bridesmaids and the godparents and the ones who know you have a living will, and they have solemnly sworn to pull the plug and put a pillow over your face if the doctor says there isn't any hope.

They take your call in the middle of meetings.
They pick you up from the airport at 2am.
They text you when you post a morose Facebook update, to make sure you are okay.
They give you weird gifts that no one else would like, but that you love.
They remember to bring kleenex when you go to a sad movie, and don't mind if you ugly cry during the whole second half.
They bring you food when you are sick, comfort when you are sad, and community when you are feeling all alone in this big world.

You have a song, a handshake, a catchphrase, and matching shirts that you bought separately and only discovered when you both wore them to the same party.

And they are always there for you. In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, on the phone or in person or maybe on Skype because those international phone calls are pricey, man.

My point is, we all need someone.
A wingman. A cheerleader. A confidante. A partner in crime.

A girl on the couch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So I guess it had nothing to do with Mercury in Retrograde

For the past few weeks (months? Maybe months.) I have been feeling sort of.... down. Maybe skewing a bit negative in my opinions. Perhaps a little cranky.

Wearing the proverbial hair shirt, if you will.

Usually, the mood passes or lifts.
However, there have been a few days when everything has felt wrong somehow.

Everyone has been stupid.

I was aggravated.



Actually, being annoyed? That happens a lot. I am annoyed at home. I am annoyed in the car. I am annoyed with people I love and people I already can't stand.

I have a lot of sympathy for my family, who really do not know how to deal with me when I am "in a mood", behaving like a petulant toddler. And it must be a relief at the end of the day, when I tumble into bed as soon as Ella drifts off.

I don't want to be hugged, or kissed. Or touched, actually.
But I don't want to be left alone.
I don't want to go anywhere or see anyone or do anything, either.

I don't want to drive, or be driven.
I don't want to eat, or prepare food for others.
I don't want to get dressed, nor do I want to lie around in my pajamas all day.

I hate my hair. So I got it cut. I hate the haircut.
The color was gross, so I dyed it. Worse now.

This is like Alexander's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day combined with Groundhog Day, but Bill Murray isn't around.

It's a pity. He might cheer me up. He looks like a fun guy.

But no. Not even Bill Murray is coming to my rescue.

Desperate for relief from the doldrums (and bored out of my mind) I scrolled through Pinterest one afternoon as a last resort, looking for something to inspire, entertain or enlighten me.
An activity to pass the time until I did not feel like screaming into my pillow.

Alas, I just got more pissed off.

We, as a species, spend a lot of our time doing some really dumb things - all of which is carefully documented via well-lit photography, appealing fonts, and charming illustrations, to be gleefully bookmarked and pinned for a later date which more than likely will never come. Scrolling through the pins only served to remind me how little I get accomplished, how poorly I dress, how awful my house is, how boring my parties are, and how uninspired I am in general.

As my kids would say, "Epic fail."

Concerned? Don't be. I talked with my therapist about it. It was my first appointment, the first time we had ever met, and the poor man sure opened a can of worms with some of his questions. But in the end, we agreed. I'm not crazy. I'm just bitchy.

Is it menopause? Who the hell knows. But I will say this: it doesn't help that it's miserably hot.
It doesn't help that the news from around the world is pretty fucking depressing.
It doesn't help that I had to cancel our annual vacation to my hometown.
It doesn't help that I am missing Rollercon.
It doesn't help that my kids guilted me into adopting a cat.
I hate cats.

So in an effort to cheer myself up, I am making a list of things I love and cutting it into little pieces - one item per square - then dumping the whole thing in a bowl. Every morning, and any other time I start to feel a little bleak, I will pull out one guaranteed-to-please activity or special splurge, and commence said activity FORTHWITH AND POSTHASTE.

You should stick a pin in that.