September 22, 2000
Ten Ways To Feel Better Fast


Ten Ways To Feel Better Fast
(Without Drinking, Drugs, or Killing Anybody Totally Dead)
~ By Secra ~

  • Wear something bright red.

    Everybody has their Power Color: a color that makes them feel competent and attractive and invincible, every time they wear it.

    Red is *my* Power Color.

    Red makes me feel happy, even when I'm hanging by a slender emotional thread. Red makes me look healthy, even when I've just spent the past twenty minutes in the ladies room, waiting for the Imodium A-D to kick in. And red makes people respond to me positively, even when I'm secretly measuring them for that goddamn bunny suit.

    I wore red three times this week. The days I didn't wear it, I felt limp and sluggish, like a helium balloon with a slow leak. I need to wear red more often.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Get two decent nights' sleep in a row.

    This is easier said than done, especially when you live right in the middle of *Bad Noisy Teen Central.* (And when every single one of the Bad Noisy Teens comes equipped with a basketball.) But if I'm careful about caffeine late in the day, and if I begin the transition from Wide Awake Secra to Sleepytime Secra pretty much the minute I get home in the evenings (read this: in my p.j.'s before dinner) ...

    ... AND if I can get David to settle down before midnight, without having to use the tranquilizer darts ...

    ... I'm usually able to drift off by 10 p.m. or so.  (Last night it was slightly later than that -- David was in a creative frenzy, putting the finishing touches on his latest .jpg masterpiece  -- but eventually he calmed down enough for us both to fall asleep by 11.) When I've had two good nights' sleep in a row, the difference in my mood, my energy level, my productivity ... my everything ... is positively amazing.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Listen to Hanson.

    "This is what I want to listen to while we drive to work," I said to David, slightly embarrassed. And I handed him the cassette.

    I call it "MMM-Bop Therapy."

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Order something out of a catalog.

    I've been looking at the new Chadwick's catalog for about three weeks now, lusting over a beautiful leather coat that screams my name, every time I look at it.

    "SECRA!" it shrieks."Buy me! Wear me! Relive the glory days of your youth! I promise you won't look like a forty-two year old woman trying to pass for twenty!"

    Unfortunately, the jacket is slightly out of my price range at the moment. (Frankly, chewing gum is "slightly out of my price range" at the moment.) But that didn't stop me from sitting at my desk and filling out the order form, anyway. I figure it's going to be another month, at least, before I can afford to actually send the order in ... if I ever do. But in the meantime I felt a sort of absurd pleasure, filling out the form.

    While I was at it, I added a suit, a sweater and a couple of blouses to the order. Whut the hell.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Weep over something dorky.

    I am SO not a fan of televised sports in general -- and the Overblown Olympics in particular -- but even I managed to squeeze out a tear or two, when I saw that cyclist guy pluck his small son out of the stands and take him for a victory lap around the track.

    Then I wept when they gave Chicken George's daughter a full college scholarship on "Big Brother." And I don't even like Chicken George: I'm an Eddie Fan, all the way.

    Then I wept when I heard "Southern Cross" on the radio this morning, because it reminded me of Jaymi, standing on the coffeetable in her rosebud underpants, singing along to this song in her tuneless three-year-old voice, about a bazillion and a half years ago ...

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Create a little behind-the-scenes chaos. Just for fun.

    Once in a while I like to tiptoe up front to the Totem Pole lobby, when nobody else is around, and tilt all the pictures hanging on the wall. There are thirty or forty of them altogether -- mostly professional degrees and certification and stuff like that, artfully arranged on the wall above the reception desk. I tip them all about 15º to the left: by the time I'm done, it looks like we've had another earthquake. Franz is convinced that our building is sinking.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Go out to lunch.

    For me, this is a lot less glamorous -- or fun -- or nutritious -- than it sounds.

    Basically it means getting up and physically removing myself from my desk, even if all I'm doing is sitting downstairs in front of the fountain, drinking my pukey little can of Slim Fast and reading "The Executary Newsletter" for twenty minutes, until Franz leaves for his dermatologist appointment and it's safe for me to go back upstairs.

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Annoy your kid.

    If you haven't heard from your daughter in a couple of days (and you've begun to imagine that she's miffed at you, for one reason or another, mainly because she isn't returning your voicemail messages), try this: lay in wait for her online. It might take a few hours, but sooner or later she's going to sign on. The instant her name twinkles onto your Buddy List, send her an i.m., using your dorkiest AOL stealth name.

    MomHeartsEwe: Hi!! Come up with a name for the baby yet?
    Jaymi: Oh geez ...
    MomHeartsEwe: I'll pay you a thousand dollars if you name her "Viola!"
    Jaymi: It has to start with a *J* ... to go with Jaymi, Joel, and ...
    MomHeartsEwe: Joaquin? José? Jacques? Javier?

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Do something vaguely naughty.

    Once in a while I like to duck into my office -- during the busiest, most frantic portion of the morning or afternoon, if possible ... shut my door ... stand in the corner, away from the window, where no one can see me ...

    ... and change my pantyhose.

    Try it! It's fun!

    (Just remember to LOCK YOUR DOOR first.)

          *      *      *      *      *      *

  • Ignore all unsolicited advice for a while.

    I have been forced to turn a deaf ear to a lot of the advice that has landed in my mailbox this past week. These pesky hormones of mine have simply made it impossible for me to respond without getting defensive, or bursting into tears, or feeling hurt, or politely telling the person offering the advice to fudk off and die, more or less immediately.

    So if you wrote to me this week asking me why I don't just invite my children to live with me ... or to suggest I urge my daughter to "discontinue" her pregnancy ... or to inform me that Jesus H. Christ wants me to reconcile with my ex-husband  ...

    ... or if you wrote to correct my spelling/my math/my grammar/my chemical balance ...

    ... you probably won't be hearing back from me right away.

    If, on the other hand, if you wrote to tell me that you like *FootNotes,* and that you think I'm doing a good job as a mom, or as a writer, or as an Executive Ass, and that you understand that even the sunniest of Internet journalers goes through the occasional *bad [crabby/whiney/weepy/self-indulgent] patch,* and that you hope I feel better soon ...

    ... you still probably won't be hearing back from me right away, since I am ludicrously behind on my e-mail at the moment.

    But I'll catch up eventually. And in the meantime: thank you.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Sometimes the only *cure* for a broken window  ...  is new glass.

Sometimes the only *cure* for seven straight days of premenstrual hormonal ridiculousness ...  is the damn DAM bursting, finally.

And sometimes the only *cure* for a really really really bad week ... is the weekend.

Let's all have a good one.

P.S. I'm divorced. It's official. Details to follow. Big BIG THANK YOU to my baby sister for checking into it for me.

two years ago: death's door

throw a rock