(photo credit: Rebecca)
For me, the worst PMS comes mid-cycle. I might get a little Ally-McBeal mopey the day “before,” but what happens in the middle of the month approaches Annie-Wilkes psychotic. I’ve been charting it since summer, when I began taking the anti-anxiety medication and noticed that the little tablet was less effective on certain days—that for one or two days out of 28, I need a Celexa sandwich with a cup of Celexa soup, followed by some Celexa a’la mode. On those days, I mark a big C for CRAZY on my Napoleon Dynamite calendar and dare Uncle Rico to look at me sideways.
From the research I’ve done on serotonin, I gather that I simply don’t have enough of that chemical available to equalize the extra hormonal stress. In order to ensure the safety of those around me, I need to anticipate the problem and pop an extra 20 mg., which nullifies the problem.
Still, sometimes I worry that I’m medicating away a justifiable homicide.
For instance, this past Sunday: Did I fail to pay enough attention to the calendar, or would a normal human being—male or female—have raged under similar circumstances? You tell me: Justifiable or Certifiable?
First, I must refresh your memories to an ongoing complaint of mine, namely, that at almost 44, I can’t have anything—or anyplace--of my own. I come home from work, and Lola is eating cheese in my bed; I go to check my email, and Jack is downloading Cavaliers’ drum solos on my laptop; I find my underwear in Georgia’s floor and my toothbrush in the dog’s water bowl.
I’ve accepted the consequences of my choice to have four kids. Since 1987, when Sadie was born, until 2018, when Lola will leave for college, I’m signed up for gum on the sofa, fingerprints on the walls, skid marks on the toilet, dishes in the sink, and spoons under the bed.
But before I remarried, I had my children trained. My room was off-limits. It was the only place where I could have glass and candles, where I could put a cup of hot tea on the table (who am I kidding—a goblet of wine) without keeping my constant (pink) eye on it.
After I married Biggy, our bedroom became a wrestling-mat-boxing-ring-batting-cage-jungle-gym. And during down-time, it’s study hall, cafeteria, and infirmary.
I just want a 300 sq. ft. space out of the 5000 square feet that comprise our house with basement apartment—one fractional child-free zone. I’ve been clear about my wishes.
So here’s what happened this past weekend:
Biggy took Lo and Jack Man to the Monster Truck Show at the Georgia Dome (I don’t know why!!!) like he does this time every January, and I spent all afternoon and early evening cleaning the house. It wasn’t an entirely unpleasant task; often, scrubbing toilets in peace beats being all-day short-order cook and nurse.
I also got caught up on the laundry so that Sunday I could wash my sheets and blanket, dust and vacuum my room and put on the brand new spread I’d gotten for half-price at Kohl’s after-Christmas sale. I was finally going to replace the dingy, dog-chewed quilt I’ve had since we bought our last VCR.
I had no sooner put the new spread on, sighed with satisfaction over the task completed, and stepped into the closet to find my running shoes when I heard the usual two-step head slaps between Biggy and JackMan followed by, “Way to go, Jack; You got blood on your mom’s new bedspread.”
I went snake-spit-bat-fit-ape-shit. I came out full banshee. I don’t even remember what I said. And if looks could really kill, the two of them would have spontaneously combusted. I ran downstairs and burst into tears over all of it—the bloody spread, the broken handle on the passenger seat of my Beetle, my missing bracelets, the cracked Napoleon Dynamite bobblehead doll…
Georgia came into the sunroom where I stood bawling and asked me what was wrong. I gave her the staccato blubbering version, and she convinced me to go ahead and jog with her. The folly there was that Biggy was, by that time, out working in the front yard, so I had to confront him with my snivel-face. He assured me that they’d spot-cleaned the spread good as new. I was more furious, though, because he wasn’t doing follow-up penance. I iterated that he was completely missing the point, and I tried to explain, through the tears, exactly what he was missing--until I got sick of his glancing over my head to see if the neighbors were around. Finally, out of words, I scooped up two big armfuls of dirt and mulch and threw them in the front seat of his FJ.
After that, I felt like running.