brooding & sadness
It’s only 9:05 and I already feel like I’ve reached my stress-test limit. Blake has the sniffles, so I was woken at random intervals throughout the night. The Boy came to bed at 3:30. Blake was up for the day at 5. Slow crispy death.
I was saved when the Boy, bless him, got up and started Blake’s day for me. I got a precious 45 minutes of dozing, which was painfully inadequate and yet desperately needed. When I got ready to load up the lunch-club lunch that had taken two frustrating hours to prepare, my mom cooly informed me that I had forgotten to perform a crucial instruction that she had, in turn, forgotten to write down. The conversation…went downhill from there.
Maybe I should back up. Shortly after we started the school year, Maeve was bitten by the lunch club bug. There is an all-male lunch club already in existence at Bat Masterson, and watching these guys energetically discuss their glorious meals in palpitating detail was hard for those of us chewing grimly through re-heated left-overs. Maeve decided to start another chapter, and recruited me as I’m game for anything that involves not packing a lunch 4 days a week. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks of the club, 2 members have dropped out, citing stress. (I find it less stressful to cook one day and relax for four, but that’s just me.) Anyway, Wednesday is my day and I had never found it a negative experience until today.
I tried to keep myself from blaming my obvious failure on my mother’s inadequate recipe, because there’s no way to win with that attack. There’s also no percentage in arguing that if she had been there to supervise me, everything would have been okay, because how old am I? I take responsibility for my own cooking, have for years. What I won’t accept is blame, because that’s counterproductive. Almost all acts of cooking are well-intentioned, and if they don’t work out, there’s no need to get all finger-pointy. But I think my mom was feeling a little unacknowledged guilt for her sketchy directions, as well as a little bit of the arrogance an experienced cook has towards a novice. One of the main bones of contention between my parents and I is that they communicate hurriedly and take great offence when their meaning is not taken. Me, I’m in the business of making myself understood, even when I’m being wilfully ignored; I’m well-past the stage of getting upset because someone doesn’t “get” me.
I tried to keep my end neutral, but the blame-throwers were in hand and I ended up feeling that they saw me as hopelessly incompetent. (Never mind that my dad can’t buy groceries without a list so specific that a stranger could follow it, and he blows into a rage whenever he makes an obvious mistake that was omitted from the list. I was the one on trial.)
I got into the car with my ruined lunch and burst into tears. Not those cute little tears, the kind of boo-hoo sobbing that sounds fake but is desperately real. I managed to stop crying long enough to go to the 24-hour supermarket and buy bread, cold-cuts & salad (the Boy’s suggestion. He’s a great clutch player.) It actually felt cathartic, once I was safely in school. I’m sad a lot of the time lately thanks to the extra pressure of the Boy’s opposite work schedule; this was a good chance to let off steam.
Of course, I arrived to a swirling debate on Macbeth timelines that has concluded in such a way as to have me teaching the entire fifth act (9 scenes!!) in 2 days. My kids are going to shit a brick. I am also Not Happy.
But though I am shaky & though I’m not ready to talk about my problems lest I start crying again, there is little possibility of things getting worse. I have no caffeine to make me hyper, no alcohol to make me stupid, no free time to make me restless, and enough bitter wisdom from the last time I shot off my stupid mouth to keep the pain from escaping in scorching, alienating statements to and about my co-workers. I might even have yoga tonight to smooth out the edges… except I’ll have to practice in my work clothes because, of course, I forgot my comfortable clothes at home. Brooding & sadness, people. Brooding & sadness.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*