Lucky Brat

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.

safari6 safari8

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.

Dear Sir. Someone needs to tell your face that you’re having the best day ever.

“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? 


82 thoughts on “Lucky Brat

  1. First, I loved this. Loved it. Made so much sense! Second, to answer your question honestly, but shamefully, Starbucks helps defunk me. Makes me feel like a carefree adult. Don’t know why. “Heel hole” = priceless!

    1. Ahhhh, The Bucks of Star. I ought to try that. I already emotional-ate a box of Girl Scout cookies, a diet coke, and an embarrassing amount of Milk Duds but those didn’t fix a thing.

  2. Music always gets me out of my funk. Loud music. By myself – in the car – when possible – but if I ran out of coffee creamer, I would be back in that funk in a heartbeat. My tiny closets also have a similar effect on me!

    1. Music has helped. My son found my iPod and started blasting it the other day while I was making dinner. Something about dancing while stirring made the whole thing more fun 🙂

    1. My male friends call them White Girl Problems, but your description is more accurate. I’ve got plenty of whiny friends from just about every race known to man 🙂 I realized I needed an attitude adjustment when just my moping inner voice was irritating me. I was ready to unfriend myself.

  3. I am looking for a way out now…I think I’ll work on acting 3 (and potty-trained) today. Last week, every particle of dust, every blinding ray of sunshine, every dawdling snow bird, every happy couple celebrating love pissed me off like I’d discovered by best friend stole my kitten, my favorite shoes and my boyfriend. Thanks for writing this – I see myself in your words. I was getting a little tired of spoiled brat me…

    1. My rock bottom was when the worst part of my day was listening to myself whine. I kept thinking that if I was at dinner with this cranky chick I would totally get up and leave. It’s definitely a sign when we can’t stand our own company!
      P.S. THE DWARF CLOSETS? Seriously! This is just proof that there are too many male builders. A woman would make every room smaller to throw in a few more closets.

      1. Be sure to tip the maitre’d so we can get a: lousy funk..table for 3? I don’t know what it is, but the mood-o-meter has been swinging crazy for the last 6 months and there’s no end in sight. Glad to know I’m not alone.

      2. My house was built in the 50’s and obviously by someone who owned no clothes, dishes, household appliances or SHOES.

        I honestly thought about that same thing – I would not hang out with such a sour puss. I would tell her to get over herself (which I did, then I did).

    1. Red-necked, too. Things got pretty ugly. I was this giant monster of misery just spewing awful, mean things all over the place. The worst part was that I couldn’t even blame a period or serious life issue for my funk. Things really are good. I just had to be an a-hole for a minute 🙂

  4. What helps? Well, I must admit that I usually wallow in my funk for a while. Some days I kinda enjoy it, but not for too long. I eat chocolate, get dressed, and get out of the house. My funks are usually induced by not enough sunshine and too much cabin fever.

    Hope you find your way out of the pit. Sounds like your nearly there. And hey, you got a great post out of it. 😉

    1. Tori’s Cliff Notes: Yada, yada, yada Be kind. Life is good. Blah, blah, blah, love thy neighbor. After I read anything, I can only remember a few key words. This might be why I always got horrible grades on book reports 🙂

  5. As a fellow tiny closet person who becomes depressed every time I open a door because things start flinging themselves at me from all directions……..I suggest avoiding the closet. It works for me. Most of the time. That and a good walk in the sunshine.

    I’m glad you wrote this post. I was getting ready to message you with ‘where is my Tori crack?’

    1. Haha. Moping over White Girl Problems. That’s where I’ve been. Just needed a few days to realize how ridiculous I am 🙂 The tiny closets still irk my soul, but I’m trying to focus on the idea that I have closets… and a house… and a healthy family… and coffee. That eases the sting!

  6. I listen to really loud heavy metal or rock music with my headphones in…always helps. I’ve never had to deal with it for a week though.
    I was wondering where you were lat week. Good to have you back 🙂

    1. Thanks, Xae. Music is always good. Except for the sad stuff. I made the mistake of listening to a few love-gone-wrong songs the other day and cried like a crazy person. It didn’t occur to me that I’m happily married and they were just songs 🙂

  7. I woke up in such a funk on Sunday. I swore it must have been hormones and then I swore again. I finally went outside to a little corner of protection from the cold sweeping down from the mountains and soaked up some rays for few minutes. That always seems to do the trick.

    1. Seriously. I was typing with the idle hand while my brain was reading and going “What? Is this chick serious? Complaining because he went to Jarod’s?”. It’s probably a big sign when the person most irritating you in a room is yourself, right?

  8. Everyone gets down a bit, and needs to fight out of a funk. Good loud rocking music does the trick for me. Go out and trrat yourself to that little gift or bad dessert that you crave. That, or just people watch with a cup of coffee and make fun of them.

    Nice pics here too!

    1. I never got the memo about sweets in moderation, so I just eat dessert all the time 🙂 But people watching/mocking sounds spectacular. Might just have to stop by the coffee shop later!

  9. That photo of Thomas is PRICELESS. I would keep it forever and look at it every time I felt a funk coming on. (Otherwise, I usually force myself to go on a walk or bike ride. I hate the idea of it when I’m starting out, but the fresh air and exercise usually snaps me out of the worst funk ever.)

  10. Hate those days, but eternally thankful that I can remember to choose “happy”. How miserable those people are that choose to remain brats! Also the 12/13 year old version of those is really, really horrible. Just wanted to make sure you had time to prepare and I actually don’t know if 10 years is enough time…. 😉

    1. I think I forget that I’m the boss of my attitude sometimes. See last week for proof. You’re absolutely right, though. We can make ourselves more miserable than any situation or circumstance.

  11. So Jr. sometimes doesn’t feel super, duper happy for all the obvious reasons? Gee, wonder where he gets that from, hmmm?

    Loved this one, Tori – you nailed the mood!

  12. First off, don’t worry about your niece. Goats are surprisingly sanitary, but there’s no telling where that peanut M&M she just popped into her mouth has been.

    Second, Brookstone sells a belly button warmer. Buy it. Your navel will thank you forevermore.

    Third, rest assured that there was no happiness in my blog during your absence. Nothing but heartache and misery, as a matter of fact. Drab, depressing tales of woe. You didn’t miss nothin’, honey.

      1. OK, I made that one up. But if there is a demand, then maybe it’s a million dollar idea and my ticket to riches!! I’ll just have to figure out how to design them to fit both innies and outies…

  13. My house has five spacious, glorious, cedar-lined (mmmm) closets plus beautiful built-ins that can only be described as the stuff of dreams. Only thing is that all of this glorious storage space is upstairs… All the way… Upstairs. Where my gigantic fully-termed pregnantness does not venture. But downstairs where I spend all my time? Downstairs I have one closet. ONE. And it really doesn’t deserve to be called a closet. “Doorless wall dent” would be much more accurate. Sigh… first world problems indeed.

    Thanks so much for the laugh, Tori! I hope your day has gotten better… If not, just make the most of the funk. If nothing else, you’ll appreciate a good mood that much more once it returns!

  14. Ahh welcome back. I have been getting myself in a funk this week about having to go away for work next week. Now I am watching Justin Timberlake on the Brits and he isn’t even so much of a babe any more. Feeling unreasonably disappointed but slightly amused about his bad choice in shiny jacket and floppy hair so I cant even perv properly. To tell you the truth, I paint and tell myself positive things till I am blue in the face, and it will snap me out… eventually. That or an early night. You’ll be back to yourself soon, but for now, check out JTs bad jacket and have a giggle.

  15. Ah, we writer’s are a moody bunch – capturing the darkness is as important as capturing the light though, and that’s what makes it all so interesting. And it doesn’t necessarily propagate the mood as much as makes you feel included. I think, see, Tori gets in funks for no apparent reason too, maybe I don’t need to go on Prozac just yet….
    And of course you’ve already hit on the best way out of a funk hole: write about it! Funk on.

    1. Good point. GREAT point. If I read about somebody else having a life funk I instantly feel a little better just for the fact that another person gets a little whiny once in a while, too 🙂

  16. Gosh that day amongst goaty goodness looks magical!

    My funk-y day was last Sunday. Woke up grumpy. Moped around for about an hour then decided it was silly to waste anymore time with that. I put on latest happy songs playlist and did a little ridiculous dancing then did laundry. Happy tunes and dancing definitely help…laundry, not so much. When all else fails I’m with Kathryn – gimme some cake. 🙂

    Cheer up!

    1. Luckily I haven’t managed to stay in a funk more than a week. That’s the running record for now at least. Any longer than that I get really sick of my own attitude. Cake is a recurring answer. I must have a whole one today 🙂

  17. It happens to all of us so don’t feel bad. I’ve missed you this past week so I’m glad you’re back, even if you’re still not quite out of the funky stage yet.
    Change of scenery, some good music, and dancing like a crazy person in my room does it for me. And some really good food. Doesn’t have to be expensive, just make sure it’s good. Oh and laughter! Youtube enough videos and you’ll be laughing your way out of the funk in no time. Hang in there, sister.

  18. Just recognizing you need an attitude adjustment is a HUGE first step. Sometimes it still takes someone else to tell me that I am way out of line. Most of the time I find if I actually allow myself to really get into the funk all the way I get bored – FAST. I also like to remember that my greatest parental threat to the 3 year olds is “If you don’t do it yourself I’m going to do it for you.”

  19. Your inner voice sounded like a belligerent Eartha Kitt! haha! Is it just me or does Eartha look like the Grinch, from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?” – that Grinch. (In case there was any confusion.)

    I hate wanting to punch my friends, too. I’m so glad you wrote this. It’s very validating. 🙂

  20. Even when you’re in a funk you’re entertaining 🙂 Some days gratefulness just takes a break and leaves the whiny complainer in charge. That’s when I avoid contact with others (the poison may be contagious) and force myself to think thankful thoughts. Sometimes, it works out quickly, other times it takes a few days. I hope you’re doing better now.

  21. Awesome post. I get like that all the time. When I know I’m supposed to be happy and it causes me to be bitchy. I hate myself for it, but it’s just how I am. Why can’t I be normal?!

    I love the carousel picture. So awesome.

  22. I know this life, oh boy. And the only thing that can really, really get me out of a funk is laughing. The wheeze-and-no-sound kind. Or yelling as loud as I can. Or even brownies and ice cream. Or food in general. Like pizza.

    I should stop now…

  23. I’ll confess I’m a little too relieved to find that I’m not the only one who has these kinds of funks where fit throwing and tears alternately seem to be the ONLY options. The gym is what helps me. I always want to eat and eat and eat, but then I’m miserable. If I go to the gym I feel good about myself, and the work off the stress.
    Usually, I still end up apologizing to my husband for being such a…challenge.

  24. Oh Gawd, the FUNK! It makes me feel so much better to know that someone else is wallowing in it too. And I swore I wasn’t going to let it get me this winter. I stocked up on Vitamin D – and it helped some. But February rolls around and I hate everything, Vitamin D or not. I’m not eating well. I’m not sleeping well. I’m barely exercising. I keep telling myself to get back to exercising. It’s my catalyst for feeling better. I just haven’t really listened to myself just yet.

    As for what does help? Alcohol. At least temporarily. But it’s frowned upon in the office to show up with your buzz on.

  25. It’s toe holes that drive me nuts. Because, it’s like, I can’t keep my digits from falling out-o-the things. I try to overcompensate by pulling my socks half-way off before putting on a shoe, but then things just get all bunched up (it’s like walking with a rock in my shoe) and my toe still manages to find its way out anyway, and…
    wow… did I just write that much about toe holes? Um… sorry… about… that…

  26. Been there, done that!! And you want to hold onto the anger and frustration and tears and all of it because that is the one thing you have control over. My husband doesn’t get it because he doesn’t get mad and frustrated and everything else. Another reason, of course, to be mad because NO ONE UNDERSTANDS! Totally get it!!

      1. Being that I live in ‘Straya (mate) we don’t actually get Milk Duds, but from what I understand, they’re chocolate covered caramel things, so I’ll just go out on a limb and assume that I would love them regardless. I do however enjoy elastic waisted pants… primarily my basketball shorts and trackies (sweat pants). They just make life so much easier.

        Mary-Kate suits me. Sometimes I don’t shave for a couple of weeks, and as I’m facial-hair-challenged, I sometimes look scruffy and homeless, just like Mary Kate. Suits me fine.

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