It's not about the house.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Curl in the Middle of My Forehead

I’m a pouter. I’m a pouter and a grudge-holder and a foot-stamper. I’m also stubborn and pig-headed and, honestly, a little fat. That last has nothing to do with anything I’m about to say, but I just figured, since I was pointing out my faults…

I’ve always been this way. Well, the fat’s been off-and-on, but all the rest. At age seven I stormed out of the house in my pyjamas and lay down in the snow in the front yard, waiting for whomever I was mad at to feel sorry for whatever they had done and come outside and get me. They didn’t. You’d think that soggy-assed, shivering perp walk back through the front door and past my nice, warm family – half of whom never even noticed I was gone – would have taught me something about the merits of a pouty temper tantrum.

It didn’t.

By age twelve or so, I did at least break the habit I had of “accidentally” kicking people in the shins. And in the quarter-century since then, I’ve managed to suppress my pout-bouts for progressively longer intervals. Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered that, the longer you suppress a pout, the bigger and darker it is when it does come bursting forth. It’s not a trait I would have chosen for myself if I’d been asked, but you gotta dance with the one what brung you. Right?

So I’ve learned to use this little – oh, let’s call it a quirk – to my advantage and, considering the raw material, it’s served me well. Maybe not so much in personal relationships (I’ve got my share of ex-friends floating around out there who, if they still think of me at all, probably tell stories about how psycho I am) but on the job, getting mad and “showing them” can be one hell of a motivator. You can get a lot of work done if you’re giving the world the silent treatment. Especially if the world, like a good family, doesn’t so much as notice in the first place.

So did you? Notice? Because I’ve been ignoring you for going on three days now. Hello?


I’m going to take that to mean you love me like I’m family.

See, I sort of, kind of, got pooped on a bit last week by the universe. Not even a real poop, in the grand scheme of things. I mean, it’s not like I found Prozac in my fish sticks or got monumentally stuck to the toilet seat or anything. No, in the grand scheme of things, what happened to me was more like a little fart.

But it was right in my face.

I was so busy over the weekend that my immediate reaction was to shove the fart in a box for smelling later and then get a little manic. Do everything I had to do, at double-speed, with a great big scary smile on my face. Eventually, though, everything was done. Johnny was dropped off at the airport. And I was home alone. On Sunday night. Smelling like Universe Ass.

I tried lying down in the front yard, but there was no snow on the ground, so it didn’t have the hair-shirt effect that I was aiming for.

I tried finishing all the leftover beer from our St. Patrick’s do, but Sunday’s a school night, and on school nights I draw the line at twelve.

I tried kicking somebody in the shins, but pizza delivery guys are just too skittish around here these days.

So I buckled down and got to work.

Well, no I didn’t. But wouldn’t that have been a nice way to end this post? “I wrote an essay that got accepted sight-unseen by The New Yorker. The End.”

I tried, but the fart smell was coming from my computer, and it lingered, and it made me gag. I did, however, buckle down and think about it. I thunk and I thunk till my thinker was sore. And trust me, when your husband flew to Ireland on Sunday night and by Tuesday you still haven’t gotten that phone call telling you he landed safely, the last thing you need is a sore freakin’ thinker.

This is not the fart to which I was referring – and besides, I’m sure he’s fine. I know the flight arrived on time, and I have no doubt that his friend picked him up there like he always does. I’m fairly certain Johnny’s just been too busy having St. Patrick’s Day-related fun (which, in Dublin, apparently involves church services, pigs feet, and something called a coddle) to think about telephoning his pouty wife. And that's all well and good. I hope he has a grand time over there.

But when he gets home, I’m gonna kick him in the shins.


Khurston said...

Still got those steel toed chucka boots?

Jean Martha said...

Seriously, are we related?

I got so pissed off at my boss last week (he's an ignorant fuck) that I pushed EVERYTHING on my desk INTO my garbage can.

su said...

K the Laura Ingalls Wilder steel toes from the factory in Fitchburg? LOL

Stephanie said...

I think sometimes the farts are worse than for-real drama because you get an added bonus of i-know-i'm-blowing-it-all-out-of-proportion guilt.

Hope things get better!

theotherbear said...

I tried the method of drinking as much beer as I could. I subsequently did not get into the office till noon, and now I feel grumpy AND hungover. Tops.

EGE said...

It's nice to know I have kindred spirits alllll over the world!

Leslie said...

Well I came here after a Week From Hell, hoping for a little cheer-up from one of my very favorite blogs, and what strikes me first is that it appears as if I'm no longer listed as a blog friend.

I pouted. I dove deeply into self-doubt and insecurity. I grumbled and whimpered at how easily you abandon people. I self-medicated and it didn't help.

Then I realized that you just renamed me. Oops.

Like I said, it's been a bad week.

EGE said...

I renamed you because there was this article in the NYT Sunday magazine this week that made me think maybe -- even though you said it was okay -- your old name didn't really suit you anymore.

But "My Big Fat I-Don't-Know-Ask-HER-What-She-(Sorry,-ZE)-Wants-You-To-Call-Her-(Sorry,-Hem,-Or-Whatever)" was already taken.

I'll put the old one back, if you like.

Leslie said...

Nah, this one's fine.