How are things?
Here, they are sleepy. My allergies have taken over in a way that has me in a zombie-like state, consistently looking like I haven’t slept in years and consistently feeling like I’m putting away a bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigarettes. In truth, the only thing I’m putting away is a consistent cocktail of Benadryl, Allegra, Claritin and Flonase, which by the way, is the worst name of a medicine ever. I’m not taking them all at once but I’m making the rounds, trying to find something that will allow me to sleep through the night. This week I’m switching to natural remedies, and not just because I’m not allowed to buy allergy medication at the store anymore. (I’m not though. They scanned my license the last time I went in and I’m on a statewide ban.)
I really am, though.
Anyway – other than the allergies, I have been a little quiet over here lately because we have been in transition. The back to school stuff causes us both a little anxiety – and I forget that every year until it happens. In her old school, it was the back to school picnic that sent me into an anxiety-ridden state of panic, and it turns out the Open House in Kittery is my triggering event. I honestly have no idea why. I think it might just be that I kick into SUPERAWKWARDERIN at events with large amounts of people I don’t know. I small talk in a way that makes me unrecognizable to myself – saying things like “HERE WE GO AGAIN HAHAHAH!” and “IS IT CHRISTMAS BREAK YET” in an unbelievably loud voice.
Which is what I did this year.
Anna also told me I had to *look nice*. I mean – I generally try to look nice. It makes me feel comfortable. So when someone tells me I have to – when I already feel uncomfortable – I ramp it up to evening gown level. I wore a summery cocktail dress. There was no need to wear a summery cocktail dress to open house, or put my hair up, or wear heels, but I did – while sweating uncontrollably, and small-talking loudly.
When we finally made it through the evening, and out to the parking lot, I said something that made Anna mad. It doesn’t matter what I said – it just made her walk a fair distance ahead of me to the car. I spent that time, watching her in front of me, and trying to remember when I shifted gears to wanting to alienate myself from my own mother, and figured it was likely around the same time, and that bummed me out.
There’s a Dairy Queen at the end of our street. We don’t go – ever – even though there’s an eyebrow raise and a smile from her almost each time we pass. And we hadn’t eaten dinner. And even though I knew it was not good – for either of us – instead of passing it that night, I pulled in. And she squealed in delight. And that made me so happy. And then we got up to the window – and I ordered, while she stared at the menu, and then she ordered – and paused to look at me and say ‘Small or large?’ and I said ‘I think small honey – they give…’ and before I could end my sentence, she threw back her head, heavy sighed, and started loudly complaining about how I never let her get anything she wants.
And I immediately burst into tears. I cried through paying for the ice cream, then while walking to the car, and all the way home. And when my own ice cream started dripping on my evening gown, I was too angry to ask her to hold it for me. So I just kept crying.
And when we pulled on to our street, and the ice cream had melted to an extent that my hand was covered, sticky and drippy and gross, and was dripping on me so much that there was a pool of cookie dough in my cocktail-dress lap, I rolled down the window, and threw the entire thing out.
And when we got home, I went in my room and laid on my bed in my ice cream-covered cocktail dress for about an hour, until Anna wandered in slowly and laid next to me, and we both apologized to each other.
And the next morning on the way to school, we pulled over about a half-mile from the house, and Anna watched me pick up the empty carton of ice cream I’d thrown out the window. (Because hello, littering?)
I feel like I usually have a reason for telling you guys a story like this – like there’s some ending for me, but this one is just for the telling. Because I bet one of you sweat uncontrollably and laughed too loudly at your own terrible joke while shaking hands with the music teacher in your heels on open house, or one of you cried through ordering ice cream while the college-aged girl stared at you in disbelief, or maybe you threw your ice cream out the window (or at least you wanted to).
And sometimes I just need to remember that when I’m laying in my ice-cream covered dress.