Most of the time I can give Wonder Woman and Superwoman a run for their money. I keep a dozens of balls up in the air on a daily basis and juggle them effortlessly (If I do say so myself), but over the last couple months, fate dealt me several blows which I”m still trying to recover from. On the surface, I handled everything well, but underneath my emotions were running unchecked and amuck.
Today, during CNN’s coverage of the Women’s March on Washington, the undercurrent of stress and fatigue finally reached its zenith and I spiraled into a cataclysmic meltdown worthy of a belligerent toddler. Thank you, Madonna, for tipping me past the point of no return.
Sprawled on the kitchen floor, I sobbed over the bucket of soapy water I was using to wash the floor, and loudly berated Madonna for her use of undignified language on national television. Happening onto the situation, the hubster tried to retreat, but he wasn’t fast enough to get away.
“I see you,” I bellowed.
“I was afraid of that,” he said. “If you’re trying to fill that bucket, I’d recommend using the faucet.”
I glowered at him, trying to scorch holes in him with my eyes. Most of the time his Asperger’s retorts don’t have much of an effect on me, but today he was in trouble and he knew it, too.
“You aren’t funny. You’re supposed to ask me what’s wrong … and everything is wrong! I burned dinner and set off the smoke alarm in the kitchen. I’ve been too busy to do any writing on Rafe Ryder or any social media posting in weeks. People are going to lose interest in my writing. Not to mention, the Women’s Marches for human rights and equality are turning into anti-Trump rallies and Madonna just dropped three f-bombs on CNN and … and … she said she’s thought about blowing up the White House. That’s crazy! I can’t support that type of nonsense. Why would she say something like that? ” I ranted.
“Uh … because she’s Madonna.”
“But that’s not classy behavior. It makes me so not proud of being a Democrat!” I wailed.
“I think you’re being excessively dramatic.”
“I am not. I just want everyone in America to get along with each other before we have another civil war.” I paused, partly for maximum effect, but mostly because I’d forgotten where I was going with my next thought. Still I couldn’t shut myself up. “You know what I need?”
“No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me,” he said washing his hands over his face in frustration.
“I NEED a housekeeper,” I squalled. “Like Alice on The Brady Bunch.”
“Yeah … I was going go with mental health counselor … but okay.”
Ignoring his jab, I removed the rag from my bucket without wringing it out and sloshed water onto the floor. “The dogs won’t stop fighting. I stepped on bleach in my favorite red socks, so I have to wear these yucky black ones. I can’t get the moldy smell out of the washing machine … and I’m allergic to gluten.”
“Oh boy, we’re back to that gluten thing again. I see where this is going.”
“You’re not helping me. Do you know how hard it is not to be able to eat bread anymore?” I asked, bawling and scrubbing at the floor in front of me. “You’re supposed to act interested and talk to me about stuff … and ask me if anything else is bothering me.”
“Of course there is! You have stupid lymphoma and now my dad has throat cancer, and I can’t deal with anything else right now, especially Madonna!”
“It’s no wonder you’ve got a stomach ulcer.”
“Yes, and it really, really hurts.”
Snapping a picture of me with his phone, the hubster executed an eye roll worthy of television.
“Why would you take a picture of me like this? You’re the worst.”
“Maybe you should talk to your doctor about some xanax.”
I gave the hubster my haughtiest scowl. “How dare you say something like that to me?”
“Fine, I’ll talk to my doctor about getting some xanax for me then.”
“Why can’t you be supportive of my feelings for once … just once?”
He shook his head helplessly. “I don’t know what you want.”
He had a valid point. Being physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I didn’t actually know what I wanted either, so I went with the first thing that popped into my head.
“I. Want. To. Be. A. Mermaid.”
“Shoot me now,” said the hubster, lifting his eyes heavenward and pleading with a higher power.
“Mermaids don’t EVER have to wash floors!”
Pulling a spoon from the drawer next to him, he strolled over to the freezer, opened the door and produced a small carton of ice cream.
What are you doing?”
“Leaving you with the only two people capable of helping you at this point. Ben and Jerry.”
Sniffing, I momentarily feigned disinterest. “What flavor?”
“I call it, Magic Meltdown Management, but they call it Triple Caramel Chunk.”
Wiping my nose on the sleeve of my hoodie, I took the carton from his hands. “Ice cream makes me cough.”
“I don’t care. Just stop blubbering and eat it,” he said as he exited the room.
“Fine,” I whimpered, prying the cover off the ice cream. “I will.”
That’s the end of the story, and you can stop with the judgy side-eye now, people. Everyone meets his or her waterloo eventually. I’m no different. While I’d prefer to tell you I handled my emotional outburst with grace, mindfulness, and prayer, I have to tell you I ate my feelings first. After my ice cream coma was over, I snapped out of it and I am back to myself again.
Well played, hubster, well played.