February 22, 2000
The Calm After The Storm


During the drive to work this morning, I reminded David that we had an important errand to take care of this evening.

"Don't forget," I said, "we have to go back to Mervyn's and exchange that bra."

He nodded pleasantly. "Sounds good," he said ... head bobbing, fingers tapping the steering wheel. He was infinitely more *engaged* in Lenny Kravitz, at that particular moment, than he was in Lingerie Chat with his girlfriend.

But then he stopped cold.

"Wait a second," he said, voice filled with dread. "Bra shopping? Now? Today?"

What he meant, of course, was "Bra shopping? Now? Today? While you're premenstrual and bloated and lethal, and if I turn around and take my eyes off you for so much as a millisecond, you'll start whacking the saleslady with an umbrella?"

"Nahhhh," I reassured him. "It's fine. It's perfectly 'safe.' The Seventy-Two Hours of Doom are over." 

For this month, anyway.

And it's true. Now that I am technically no longer "PRE-menstrual" -- ifyoucatchmydrift -- the worst of it is over. The dams have burst. The floodgates have opened. (To use a couple of really awful  --  but accurate -- analogies.) And I am more or less back to *normal* emotionally. It is those two or three days immediately before my period that I should come equipped with a warning label. Once the period itself finally starts, peace reigns once again in The Castle. 

"OK," he said doubtfully. "If you're sure."

"I promise not to turn it into an ordeal," I said. (Bra-shopping, historically, has not been a big bunch of fun. Basically, I am a triple-retrofitted-underwire, living in a Wonder Bra world. But that's another story for another day.) "We'll run in, get credit for the bra that doesn't fit, pick out another one real quick, and then we're out the door and home and eating leftover lasagna in bed." 

What could be easier?

He still looked skeptical, but he agreed. "If you're sure you're up to it, then it's fine with me." After the emotional hurricane we've endured this past weekend, it's no wonder he's hesitant. If I were him, *I* probably wouldn't want to go anyplace dangerous with me, either. Like the DMV. Or Lenscrafters. Or the grocery store.

Or bra-shopping, forcryingoutloud.

But you know what? I really truly think it's going to be OK.

I woke up this morning feeling better than I've felt in weeks ... not only because the PMS hurricane has blown over for another month, or because David and I made up immediately and things around The Castle have gone back to their normal level of ickypoo honeymoonesque bliss ... or because I got a semi-decent night's sleep for a change, with absolutely zero dreams about overflowing toilets or broken stairwells or cars hurtling off of cliffs in slow motion ...

... but because I definitely feel different today.

Calm. Capable. Tolerant. Serene. Less likely to implode if somebody corrects my spelling. More likely to hum as I painstakingly change all of the semi-colons back to colons.

It feels quite lovely.

I wonder ... is it too soon to be feeling the benefits of the St. John's Wort? I've only been taking it since February 7th. That's not even two weeks yet. Is that enough time?

Or am I merely talking myself into feeling better?

And does it matter, even if I am? The results are the same: I'm not bursting into tears over the sight of a blinking voicemail light. I'm craving tangerines today, instead of M&M's. And I haven't told anybody to fudk off in over 24 hours.

*I* say ... whatever works.

So tonight after work David and I are off to the lingerie department at Mervyn's, in order to exchange one incredibly uncomfortable, ridiculously-overpriced undergarment for a slightly LARGER, incredibly uncomfortable, ridiculously-overpriced undergarment.

Tons of fun for everyone!

In the meantime ... now that the floodgates have opened/the dams have burst/the hurricane has blown over/blah blah blah ... let's get this month's apologies out of the way, shall we?

  • To my Mom: I'm sorry if I seemed snippy and defensive the other day when you wrote to me. I'm a couple of years ahead of you in the AOL/Cyber Evolution stuff, and the truth is that instant messaging is no longer quite as *groovy* and *fun* as it used to be. But for you I will gladly make the exception, once in a while.

    As long as we don't talk about menopause, that is.

  • To my pal Mizz: I'm sorry if I seemed snippy and defensive the other day when you wrote to me about the missing *FootNotes* photos, sweetie. You're right. Your photo IS blurry. Guess I could really use that crash course in proper photo scanning technique, huh? (Why do you think I've got the gallery *hidden* in the first place?? It's a mess.)  I will definitely fix your photo, though, as soon as I can. And I want you to know how much your contributions to the website have always meant to me, right from Day One. (Note to other readers: Mizz is the person who took the infamous *feet on desk* photo that adorns my splash page.)

  • To David: I'm sorry if I seemed snippy and defensive the other night when you had your fit of giggles. I realize now that it could have been much, much worse ... especially if we'd had Papa Murphy's for dinner. I love you!

  • To Daughter #1: I'm sorry if I seemed snippy and defensive the other day when I ordered you to sign off so I could check my mail. As it turns out, the only thing waiting for me in my AOL mailbox was another one of those infernal "Fwd: FWD: Re: FWD: Fwd: fwd: This is really funny! FWD: fwd: ROFLMAOPIMPGACK!" e-mails. Who knows? Maybe that was my *punishment* for being snippy and defensive.
  • To Cranky Grocery Store Lady: I'm sorry if I seemed snippy and defensive the other day when you slammed the f**king plastic divider down onto the checkout counter, separating my groceries from yours. I'm sorry if my Tropicana Pure Premium accidentally shared molecule space with your Little Friskies. And I'm sorry that I accidentally bumped into you a couple of times with my purse. Twice.  (But most of all,  I'm sorry that it wasn't RAINING that day ... and that I wasn't carrying a goddamn umbrella ...)

Whoops. Looks like there's a teeny tiny bit of residual *emotional hurricane* blowing through my bloodstream this afternoon, after all.

Guess I'd better keep taking the St. John's Wort.

self-important blurb #1 will go HERE: ok, everybody. here is what i want you to do.

go to your calendar and flip it over to the month of march.

take the biggest, boldest felt-tip marker you can find -- red would be appropriate -- and circle the 17th, 18th and 19th.

then next month ... when that weekend approaches ...

... run like hell.

a year ago

here's where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
excuse me. your little friskies are touching my tropicana pure premium.
ever wanted to deck somebody in a grocery store?

amazingly profound thought of the day: "I honestly think you ought to calm down; take a stress pill and think things over." ~ HAL, "2001: A Space Odyssey" ~