Friday, December 16, 2005


Tonight, at the end of the night, I found myself grumpy.
I figure this is up for self-psychoanalysis, so here goes.
Today was a snow day!! so I was in a decent mood. It all started as a two-hour delay at 6 am that evolved into a snow day by 7:30. In between phone-tree calls, I napped. Before it was a snow day but after it was a two-hour delay, I was the most unmotivated teacher I've ever known myself to be. The ideas of starting the day late, fighting a weirdly displaced schedule, and dealing with kids who would have massive behavior problems that day made me feel this way. So when Roberta (my phone-tree caller) called and said, "yeah, we're closed today," that was all I needed to brighten my mood.
I slept until 10:30 or so. At that point, my head was pounding a bit (dang-blasted air pressure changes!), so I got out of bed and sat around in my rubber-duckie pajamas until noon or so.
The day passed rather idyllically (is that a word?); I came to my parents once I knew the roads were okay, I did some laundry, and I lounged on the couch with the weenie dog. Plus I got to talk to JJ for a long time, which was a surprise, since she's in New Mexico and thus has an incredibly busy schedule.
I had plans to go out to dinner with some local Endicott-type friends, and I was excited, because I knew I'd be giving them their Christmas presents (a Darth-Vader Mr. Potato head for Al and Garrett, and a gift certificate for Al's wife Danielle). We were planning on Friday's or Outback for dinner, but Danielle flipped when we got there, because it was too crowded.
A piece of background info: Danielle has fibromyalgia, which is a terrible, horrible disease. I feel for her every day. At the same time, though, Al placates her and coddles her so much that it almost makes matters worse. As a result, Danielle has taken to pulling little "stunts" when things don't go exactly the way she wants.

Example/case-in-point: Once upon a time, we went to the mall, and I had to grab a book from the bookstore. It was "too far" for her to walk to the bookstore, so I ran ahead, grabbed the book, and came back to where they were. Danielle then said that her back was starting to hurt, so we'd better go home. As we were on our way out the door, we passed New York & Company (quite a wonderful store!). Danielle decided she should just check the clearance rack "real fast" in case they had any good bargains. The next 30 minutes, her back was decidedly better and didn't bother her at all.

Back to present.
Tonight the food took longer than normal at our restaurant (we decided on a local non-chain place that is actually quite tasty and fun), and our waitress was decent, but not as bend-over-backward-to-kiss-our-ass as Al expects a waitress to be when he tells them that Danielle is handicapped. Al expected her to walk around the table the long way to deliver our food (to avoid the possible chance of bumping Danielle, which would evidently cause a big problem), which the waitress did for the large order, but she didn't when she brought out drinks or a salad (small potatoes). So Al was angry the whole time about that, and Danielle kept condemning the waitress for being inconsiderate.
This got to me, because, frankly, I'm tired of discussing the devastation of fibromyalgia every time I go out to eat.
So I quieted down and just ate my dinner. I was asked what was wrong, so I answered that I was just kind of run down and tired, and expected the subject to be dropped. But then was the catalyst for the real bitchiness that was about to enter my being:
Danielle actually said, "Don't be bummed, Emily, or you'll bring me down with you."
Not "don't be bummed because I care about you" or "don't be bummed just because," but the reason I'm not supposed to be bummed or annoyed is because it might just inconvenience her.

That pissed me off.
Needless to say, I didn't say anything (I hate making a scene anymore), and I finished my dinner quietly and left the waitress a rather generous tip, because A & D didn't leave her one at all. Then I went to Target and bought myself cloud pajamas and thermal underwear and a book, and now I feel slightly better.
A & D wanted me to come over and watch some movie with them, but I told them I was "just really tired" so I thought I'd go home after Target.
So I lied.
I think the reason I'm bitchy about this is because of
internal conflict
about the whole thing. I feel guilt about being annoyed at D's behavior, but at the same time, I feel so sorry that anyone has to live her life with so many inconveniences. I feel angry that anyone has to suffer that much. I feel skepticism about some of her problems from time to time, because I see how she uses her problems as a convenient way to get out of doing things she doesn't want to do. And I feel ignorant because I know that no matter how much I try, I will never quite understand any of it.

When I feel multiple emotions, I act grumpy. I think it's because my brain doesn't know how to filter them all out and understand them and make peace with them.

So now it is time to make peace:
I don't understand. That is all right.
I was a good friend tonight, because I made sure not to upset anyone, because I knew it would only wind up in hurt.
I need to rest now so that I can do the work I need to do tomorrow.
It is okay to feel multiple emotions. It's even okay to express them in appropriate situations.
And now my skiing rubber duckies are telling me to get some sleep.

good night, moon.

Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: "For Good" from Wicked... in my head


Anonymous Michel said...

Oui on se sent mal à l ' aise devant de telles situations . On ne sait pas quel comportement adopter et on est comme paralysé soi - même .
Et surtout quand la journée commence mal et qu 'on s ' est levé du mauvais pied .
Mais tu as fait ce que tu as pu Emily . C ' est ce qui est important .

December 17, 2005 8:55 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

I worked with a kid who had mitochondrial myopathy, which has similar symptoms and simliar good/bad days. His parents were very much like your friend's wife--constantly harping on his pain, but unwilling to admit there were days he was perfectly capable of jumping off the stage during band practice (akin to a 30 minute clearance rack jaunt, I gander).

Sometimes it's easier when the disease manifests itself externally. What I'm saying is I get it. Hang in there, ok?

December 17, 2005 9:08 AM  
Blogger trusty getto said...

That felt good to get out, didn't it?

I can tell :)

December 17, 2005 10:02 PM  

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