Me: Like… is this shit for real? I mean, there’s only so much stupid, difficult drama one person can be expected to endure before she turns into Jack Nickelson at the end of The Shining, right? Why, WHY? Why today? WHY FUCKING ME??
Also Me: OK, calm down, Sad-sack Susie. Clawing your own eyes out isn’t really going to help anything, now is it? And it’s not like anything SO horrible has happened in the last couple of weeks-
Me: What??! Are you being serious now? Not so horrible? What about the part on Tuesday morning where Jonas had a night terror so awful we thought about calling 911 because we were worried it was a seizure?
Also Me: Yeah, that was scary. But it wasn’t a seizure, right? He just has a virus and fever-induced hallucinations.
Me: Yeah, ‘just’. What about the part where the van overheated on the freeway to the doctor and we ended up having to have my mom come get us because it wouldn’t make it to the doctor?
Also Me: That was ridiculous, I admit. But you eventually made it to the doctor and then got the car to the mechanic.
Me: And I lost an entire day of work and had to throw another $500 into the insatiable gaping maw of GOV repair costs.
Also Me: No one’s saying it didn’t suck. It sucked. I’m just saying you’re being kind of dramatic right this second.
Me: Um… how about the fact that less than 24 hours after we picked up the stupid thing from the mechanic, the GOV now sits, completely dead, in front of a house I’m trying to close for my buyers, 35 miles from my own home?
Also Me: Well-
Me: And that I had to get my poor client to drive me to my sister’s school so I could borrow her car, cancel an appointment with an appraiser I had to meet because all of that took too long and rush to Jo’s school to make it to his Montessori graduation, only to get there just in time to witness this:
Also Me: That was just sad. He’s still not feeling great and he missed all the rehearsals. You can’t blame him for not wanting to go out in front of a bunch of people when he’s sick and unprepared.
Me: I don’t blame him, but for Pete’s sake. When I actually pulled into the parking lot of his school ON TIME despite the already insanely busy schedule and the stupid broken (AGAIN) car I was triumphant! I had shown the universe it couldn’t keep me from what was really important with trivial obstacles like time, space and orange painted lemons. But then I was bested by a sad, sick five year old who refused to participate.
I’m starting to wonder if I did something really horrible I’m being punished for. Or if the universe is trying to tell me in no uncertain terms I need to stop trying to do everything all the time and cut down to a more manageable schedule or something stupid and boring like that.
Also Me: Ok, see that’s what I’m talking about. You’re being maudlin and self-absorbed. And you haven’t even had any cocktails yet today so there’s really no excuse for it.
Me: I am horrifyingly sober.
Also Me: What about your poor kid who has been looking forward to this graduation for weeks? Don’t you feel sadder for him than you do for you? He’s the one who’s been sick and having horrible nightmares all week. And he only wants to go outside and catch some goddamn bugs, but is forced to lay on the couch and pathetically watch talking Chihuahua movies on the Disney channel.
Me: I do feel sadder for him. You’re right.
Also Me: And yes, the stuff with the car is beyond stupid. It’s a piece of junk. But you bought it because it was pretty and comfortable on the inside. You decided it would be fine that it’s a Dodge and it was the first year they changed the entire body style, so it was pretty much untested. It’s not really anyone’s fault but yours, and it’s certainly not surprising that after 5 years and 140K miles it is just sort of falling apart, piece-by-piece as you drive down the road. You kind of need to stop acting so shocked every time it happens.
Me: I guess that’s valid.
Also Me: The schedule IS a nightmare. But, again, you do this to yourself. You freely admit you’re generally bored and unsatisfied unless your life is filled to the very brim with activities, hobbies, work, social obligations and family time. ‘Filled to the brim’ is a difficult level to maintain without occasional (or regular) overspill and messiness. You poured the martini glass too tall and now you’ve got a pink cosmo stain on the front of your dress. Holding it all together using only surface tension is an impressive party trick, but you have to be careful not to jostle your hand. Suck it up and deal.
Me: That was an extensively maintained cocktail metaphor. Some might say slightly over-wrought. Plus, now I’m sad I don’t actually have a cosmo in my hand.
Also Me: OK, and seriously you need to stop with ‘the universe is punishing me’ shit. You fairly aggressively do not believe in that. No greater force is trying to tell you anything. You are in charge of your own destiny. If it was all too much for you to deal with this time, then maybe cut back a little next time. Or maybe don’t and just realize it’s going to be like this sometimes when you work and have three kids and like to do shit and have friends and stuff. It’s called LIFE. Sometimes it’s rad and sometimes it’s lame. Sometimes it’s rad three days in a row and lame 5 times in three hours. If it was rad all the time you’d eventually recenter your norm to ‘rad’ and then ‘pretty good’ would become ‘terrible’.
Me: That maybe makes some sense.
Also Me: Think about it this way: What if you didn’t have a sister who is probably your best friend teaching at the school right next to where your car died who was willing to loan her car to you in within five seconds of you asking so that you had the opportunity to witness your kid’s failure-to-launch graduation? What if you didn’t have a mom willing to drop everything and come pick you up in the middle of nowhere to drive you to the doctor and abandon her entire day to help you get your car to the mechanic? What if you didn’t have a husband who understands how cars generally work and can come get your car fixed tonight after work so you can continue to drive it until it actually shudders to a halt and collapses in a pile of bolts and orange paint? Where would you be then? Utterly stranded and alone? Maybe your life actually is already normed out at ‘rad’ and you’re just feeling all of this ‘pretty good’ stuff as ‘terrible’?
Me: Geez louise, now I feel like an asshole.
Also Me: Well…
Me: OK, I’ll suck it up and stop feeling sorry for myself.
Also Me: You’re wearing dance clothes for a class that’s not for five more hours just so you have an excuse to wear stretchy pants and you ate an entire bag of Chipotle chips by yourself for lunch. I think you’ve wallowed long enough.
Me: Do I have to change out of my dance clothes?
Also Me: Nah, just have a better attitude with a touch less drama-queeniness.