Foul Mood

Foul moods just hit me every once in a while. Sometimes, without warning, I wake up on the wrong side of the bed prepared to hate everyone and everything while the demon on my shoulder does its best to spoil my day. I guess I was due for one of those, because the demon decided to visit me today.

I started my day with a trip to the gym. I normally don’t do weekday morning group fitness classes because of the crowds they attract: elderly people and stay-at-home moms with young kids. This morning I already knew to avoid the dance class full of shimmying grandmas (which is really kind of fun if you want to goof around and laugh a lot) and instead migrate toward the advanced stability ball / weightlifting class next door. What I didn’t bargain for was a room full of moms + their young children. Despite the teacher’s repeated remarks–she also didn’t seem to have bargained for the children–a few of the moms let their children run around the gym getting in our way while we were working out. And while the same moms were enjoying the free babysitting hour, they engaged in some really vile gossip. The group of chatterboxes closest to me spent the entire hour gabbing about the lives of others, including some of the women on the opposite end of the room! They didn’t do half of the routine, and when they did move they were usually half-assing it while gab gab gabbing away nonstop and standing in someone else’s way. At one point I had to accidentally drop a hand weight on the floor behind a woman after my repeated “excuse me”s proved ineffective as I tried to interrupt to ask her to please step off of my mat.

After my disappointing workout, I returned home to find that our two-year-old dog has not, as we’d previously assumed, grown out of chewing things. We’ve gone a year since the last book chewing incident, so in my rush to leave this morning I didn’t worry about leaving my textbook on the sofa, especially since it was underneath my laptop bag. Bad idea. I came home to find my $60 (used price) textbook and reference manual in bits on the floor. And there were the dogs, standing there beaming at me, as if to say “HiMom!Welcomehome!Lookwhatwemadeforyou!” When I saw my book on the floor I grabbed both of them by the collars and made them sit in the corner. And they stayed there for an hour while I cleaned up the book shreds, took a shower, got dressed, rush-ordered a new textbook online since I need it for a final exam in a week, and ate a snack before leaving again to run errands. The dogs-who-never-get-spanked-or-have-to-sleep-outside-overnight seemed to get the message well enough. Mama was mad.

My second errand was a quick trip to buy a board at Home Depot, the orange place. *shiver* I generally dislike bright colors and busy patterns, and while in small doses these things can be tolerable, when they’re splashed on every corner and overhead and under my feet, I kind of freak out. (My neurologist once explained that it has something to do with my migraines. He said migraine sufferers typically can’t stand busy patterns and bright colors, even on regular days when they’re not suffering from attacks.) Since this town doesn’t have a pleasantly blue-colored Lowe’s to hide out in, I depend on Home Depot for my project materials. My plan today was to run into the store, grab what I needed, have an associate trim the board down to the right size for me, then get outta there. But just like every other time I’ve walked into that store, I was immediately set upon by five (I couldn’t count, really, the orange was messing with my brain) bored orange-clad Home Depotians at once, all asking me if I needed help. I calmly told them I knew where I was going and thanked them. Fifteen more Depotians each stopped me on my way to the lumber section, which is quite unfortunately located all the way in the back corner of the store, and each one received the same “No, thank you. I know where it is.” response without eye contact. Each time I had to say it I could feel my face stretching as my unconvincing smile-grimace began to wear off. I found the board I needed, had it cut down to the right sizes, then started toward the registers. And wouldn’t you know, on the way to the front of the store another twenty (wow these numbers really add up) Depotians had to ask me if I needed help, or to exclaim that I must have needed a basket to carry my stuff in! One guy actually jumped down from where he was standing on a shelf (where he had been installing a light fixture in a display) to “lend me a hand.” At this point I decided I was being ambushed since they were starting to fall from the sky, and I needed to escape from the store ASAP. I paid for my purchase, told the cashier twice that I was not interested in a Home Depot credit card, then breathed a sigh of relief as I exited the store, only to bump into another Home Depotian on her way back through the door. “Have a great day!” she orangely exclaimed with a bright orange cheesy orange smile full of Home Depot orange. (!!!) I dashed to my car, got inside, and locked the doors so I could close my eyes and meditate on cool, soothing blues and greens.

I slowly drove home, enjoying the sunshine, taking slow deep breaths, and chanting “I will not kill anyone today” under my breath. At home, I decided to use up some canned pumpkin that was about to go bad in the fridge, so I mixed some batter for pumpkin oatmeal cookies.  And I dropped an egg on the floor. (I really don’t think I’ve ever in my life done that before!) One moment I had an egg in my hand, and the next moment it was on the floor, slowly oozing into a puddle. My rotten mood demon had snatched it from me and chunked it at the floor, just to test me. By this point I was already feeling tired and defeated and I’d used up all my creative cuss words, so I quietly cleaned it up and finished mixing the cookie dough, which is now sitting in the fridge. Given my streak of luck and the fact that I already have an ugly burn mark on my hand from last week, I don’t think I should try to operate the oven just yet.

So what now? Oh yeah. I should study without a textbook for my final exam which takes place in a week.

I’m not moving from this sofa again for a while, so either I’m going to be productive and review all of my class notes in an attempt to study, or I’m going to fall asleep into a nap and maybe wake up feeling ready to like people again. Either way, I’m not fit to operate machinery, see bright colors, or talk to people until my rotten mood clears, so I’m staying put.

Demon, if you plan on hanging around you need to go sit over there in the corner, next to the bad book-chewing dogs.

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