Friday, October 06, 2006
Free-Floating Hostility
Ever have one of those mornings when you wake up and immediately start ogling floor-level objects in the house to evaluate them for kickworthiness? When you simply don't even bother checking a mirror on your way out the door because you already know what you look like and even if you'd gotten up an hour earlier you wouldn't be able to fix it? When you stop at the vending machines on the way to your desk to get both peanut M&Ms and a hot cocoa because you need your hands full to avoid pinching any random person you happen to pass in the hallway?

Yeah. I'm a peach today.

There's a couple of reasons.

One, my husband got my son a buzz cut yesterday. It looks terrible. It just does. It takes every ounce of loving motherhood dredged up from the very depths of my soul to be able to smile and praise Jacob for doing a good job at his haircut and not rush for the nearest paper bag. I'd even be charitable enough to cut eyeholes in it. It just, ugh. So redneck. He just looks like a bruiser now.

And I swear to you on whatever it is that would matter to you if I swore on it, his personality changes when he gets a bad haircut. He's more argumentative, more rough-and-tumble, more not-my-sweet-boy.

So, in the nature of watching paint dry only slower, I'll be waiting for my little fluffhead to return. And in the meantime I'm trying not to snarl at Willem every time I see him. But he's trying to claim cluelessness: "I didn't know what to tell them about how to do his hair." Um... first of all, when all else fails, tell them to copy yours, because I'm willing to be seen in public with YOU and trust me, bucko, that wouldn't be happening if you had a buzz cut. And second, let's stop and reflect on who has had more experience ordering male haircut styles? Hmmmm?


And then, of course, there are the ongoing internship application, IUD, should I be a Girl Scout leader, what should I plan for meals, what should I wear to maximize my frumpiness, et cetera, decisions which are pressing down upon my very will to live.



Then we have the big one. We've spent several weeks planning for it, and we spent last night packing for it, and still I'm neither emotionally nor physically ready. Today we head to NY for my father-in-law's memorial.

Oh, the bliss I experience at the mere thought. It's enough to make me do a quick check for nearby trash receptacles, just in case the nausea actually enforces itself.

It's not the idea of going to a memorial that upsets me. Even for my father-in-law. He was a complicated guy, I miss him, and I've worked through the initial shock and constant awareness of his death, and while I would have preferred a memorial a month ago (you know, within a reasonable period of time from the event), I'm okay with it now. I made a very nice, tasteful DVD slideshow of photos and videos we had from his life, sure to irritate my mother-in-law to no end because she's planning a photo board and even though I didn't learn about the photo board until after I'd already started working on the DVD clearly I must be trying to upstage her, we're ready to go.

As should be no surprise to anyone who's ever read my ramblings for more than a week, it's my mother-in-law. She has tried to cast a pall over so many family events, including my own wedding, the birth of each of my children, and numerous Christmas/Thanksgiving/birthday type things, and the only reason I'm able to dodge that pall is because I'm willing to laugh at her, not with her. But the fact remains that she has a hard time behaving appropriately, thoughtfully, sensitively when it comes to family matters, and here's her shining moment to grab that limelight and wring it dry.

I can never anticipate just how she'll do it, but the woman's a professional. When it comes to guilt and negativity, she applies herself and is focused on her goal. She gets the job done.

So. Lots of reasons I can come up with to be cranky. I hope to mellow into merely snarky by the time we get in the car to actually drive anywhere.