It was a lovely day. The type of day when the sun can’t possibly shine so bright, but it does. The breeze can’t be just gentle and mild enough to cool your skin and leave your hairstyle intact, but, magically, it is. We spent the morning driving down a two lane highway past tiny townships with smiley names like Friendship, Tennessee. One left turn past an antebellum mansion, one right past a makeshift toll shed and we’d arrived to a western wilderness, the Safari Park.
My dad radiated joy, surrounded by two of his girls and three of his grandbabies. My sister’s kids ran from the car chasing the free-roaming peacocks and taunting the caged monkeys with ee-ee’s and oo-oo’s and the occasional ah-ah’s. Holding carrot sticks above our happy heads we thrilled and giggled as a giant giraffe arched down so gracefully to greet us. My niece discovered with much glee that one goat was fond of human kisses. She made out with it for several minutes before we thought to hand-sanitize her mouth. Our caravan ambled across a rugged trail, windows bowing open to that beautiful breeze, llamas and buffaloes popping their heads in for a bite of some nondescript pellets the park’s owner sold to us by the tub full. Evermore and by the minute it was shaping up to be a day almost too dreamy to be real. The realness of it- the zebra’s braying on my right, the dust from a kangaroo’s yard settling under my feet- was the most delightful part.
We fed the kids candy and shelled out coins for some quarter rides before heading home. My son joined his cousins on a tiny carousel ride, the cherry on top of this very sweet Sunday. But in the middle of all this great fortune I felt a cold wind and smelled a foul stink more pungent than any giraffe dung or camel patties. The yuck creeping over this blessed day rolled around and was forever captured by a snap of my sister’s camera.
“Merry-Go-Eff-Yourself,” I think this is what my boy’s glare said so clearly. Throughout this most festive visit my toddler managed to remain as consistently furious. There, among hilarious monkeys and amazing sights and carefree circles atop a carousel, this pouty son stayed pissed and peeved. Even in this best place his attitude was the worst.
Of course he was two, and inexplicable bouts of rage and sorrow were to be expected. My sister assured me he needed a nap. Maybe he’s hungry or thirsty or hot or maybe a little bit of all three my dad suggested. But I’m his mother so I knew the answer. There wasn’t one. No one or twenty things would cure his cranky. He replaced mirth with misery and we best stand a few paces back.
I’m two decades more lived than that child, so I am naturally better adjusted in the ways of counting blessings and correcting poor perspective. I am the perfect picture of gratitude and perpetual happiness.
But last week I found myself in a funk. I was raging and flustered and whimpering and beggy and then back to red-faced fierce and mad again.
It is too cold and cloudy today. Yesterday was unseasonably warm and sunny. Now I’m convinced this was a trick. That windy bitch, Weather, waited until I found my favorite flip-flops to flip the forecast on me. It’s just a little overcast, a little chilly, most reasonable folks would say. But I can’t fight the furious feeling that I’m freezer burned and being mocked.
There are only re-runs on T.V. I was ready for Real Housewives and now I’m ready to toss tables.
I am putting things away and there are not enough closets and who the hell designed this damn house with its two, tiny dwarf closets? I JUST NEED A PLACE TO STORE THREE VACUUMS & EIGHT BROKEN LAMPS! Currently the lack of storage space feels like it is meant exactly to destroy me. But wasn’t it yesterday when I was so overwhelmed by this big house? Wasn’t I sure that having to dust such huge square footage would surely kill me?
My socks have holes in them. I have other socks, but THESE ones are torn to pieces. I could change socks, but I just need a day to brood about the heel holes. HEEL HOLES!
I was cranky and hungry, so I pigged out. Spent the rest of the afternoon annoyed that I was uncomfortably stuffed.
The last drip of coffee creamer is gone. Sliding down the wall to a tearful heap of mess on the kitchen floor just seems like the logical thing to do.
It’s too cold outside so I crank up the heat. Inside the house I start to sweat. I stand naked in my bathroom with my fists curled and feet ready to stomp. My belly button is somehow still frigid, so I consider giving up because obviously there is no winning.
At this very minute if you handed me a precious pony I would complain that its hair wasn’t dyed pink and french braided to my specifications. I would bitch that you’d brought me said pony but failed to build me a stable.
Too hot and too cold.
Too clear and too cloudy.
Too starved and too stuffed.
Too late or too early.
Too bored or too busy.
Too much or too little.
It’s a little bit of everything, and it is only me.
I didn’t read any blogs because there was a chance you might be cheerful. I hate wanting to punch my friends.
I sat down to write many times but my inner voice sounded like a beligerent Eartha Kitt. Mid way through a post on how rude my husband is to get me diamond earrings for Valentine’s Day (thus forcing me to overexert myself and up my standard Card & Candy game), I was so annoyed listening to this whiny hooker I slammed the laptop shut.
Then I mourned for several minutes, the misfortune of being a blogger with a probably broken computer.
I laughed a few weeks ago at the boy’s picture, the cranky carousel, the perfect juxtaposition of a happy scene and nonsensical sadness. Merry-Go-Nothin’? Please! Two-year-olds? Fools.
Today I’m striving to just act three. I am smiling against my will. I’m going kicking and eye-rolling to a happy place where I don’t dream of wrecking into cars with cartoon family bumper stickers, where I speak the real English instead of growling at strangers, where I pause my petulance for a minute to enjoy the ride. Today I’m remembering I am the lucky brat who gets to feed giraffes and live in the big, big house with tiny, tiny closets. I’m fortunate and attempting to act accordingly. There was a poem I read once and it pretty much went like “Life doesn’t suck [plus some other flowery words]”. It’s true even when I don’t appreciate it. I’m sipping coffee, accepting a sun that will or will not shine, and unclenching these spoiled teeth.
I’m a find me a Merry-Go-Something.
What helps you find your way out of a funk?