Last night while I slept, my body went nuclear, the weather went nuclear, and worst of all, my Blackberry went nuclear.
My body: The progesterone had kicked in, and I swear I slept on my head given the level of bed head I was sporting.
The weather: I looked outside and 8 inches of snow were piled up on the driveway. I couldn’t see across the street. I checked the weather forecast and learned we’re under a lake effect snow warning until tomorrow for 18 additional inches and lots of wind.
The Blackberry: I can take the cramps and the cold, but Advil and an extra pair of slippers couldn’t cure my Tour. Sometime in the middle of the night, it was sucked into a black hole, and no matter what I did I couldn’t break the loop of reset, restart. Reset, restart. I pulled the battery, tried reloading the OS…nothing worked.
I looked outside and sighed. I wasn’t going to spend the day without a phone, particularly one that doubles as a modem here on the tundra. Ergo, I had to find a Verizon store.
With my hair matted to my head, no makeup on, cramps that would choke a horse, and a total lack of self-esteem, I put on a hat, a big white sweater, my big brown boots, a scarf, and gloves and headed out to this:
It was snowing so hard, I could barely see the road, let alone store signs. I turned into an Auto Zone and asked a man putting a new windshield wiper on his car where Verizon was. He said I’d gone about two blocks too far and was looking for it on the wrong side of the road. I thanked him, got back in my car, started it up and was on my way. At a stop light, a red pickup truck pulled up on my right. I heard yelling and turned to see what was going on. The pickup driver was yelling and gesturing at me. I rolled down my window and he screamed, “Turn on your f*@&ing lights!”
In my defense, I had my lights on when I first ventured out. I’d turned off my car and lights at Auto Zone a block away, so it’s not like I’d had them off very long. I just forgot to turn them on is all. But this guy acted like I’d plotted to ruin his day by not turning on my lights.
Still, what did I do? I apologized! Ugh. I hate when I do that. He dropped the f-bomb and I was the one apologizing? He was the jerkface, not me. Didn’t matter, though. I had Armageddon going on my uterus and his words made me want to cry.
I didn’t, though. I rolled up my window and journeyed on to the Verizon store. I expected there’d be one, maybe two employees tops who’d made it to work, but heavens no! When I walked in, I was greeted by 9 young sharp-dressed men, many of whom snickered when they saw me. I was covered in snow, you already know what my hair looked like, and – flustered – what did I say to them?
“I don’t normally look like this!”
‘Oh I didn’t just say that,’ I thought.
But I had. And they laughed. My FFG was humiliated.
Why did I feel I had to apologize for how I looked?
While one of the guys took my phone away to try and fix it, I sat down and started writing this blog on a couple of deposit slips. I thought about what was really going on. First of all, I was in the throes of hormones, and as such, every little thing in my world felt like it had gone nuclear. OK, I could accept that. Second, just because the world around me felt estranged, it didn’t mean I had to abandon myself, too. Yes, I apologized for things that didn’t need apologizing, but I caught myself before I did it again. Go me!
When Junior came out with a new phone because he couldn’t fix the old one, I thanked him, looking him straight in the eye. What he saw may not have been very attractive, but I didn’t care. How I looked in that moment was neither here nor there. That a guy lobbed the f-bomb at me because I forgot to turn my lights on didn’t matter anymore, either. Junior asked if I knew how to set up my email. I said I did. He smiled and said, “Wow. You don’t know how many people have no idea how to do that. That’s awesome!”
Suffering uterus, bad hair, snow, nuclear Blackberry… There are worse things, and life is what it is. It’s how we react that makes all the difference. Today, as in many days before, I realized that my weight still has a lot to do with my self-image and self-esteem. As I’ve said many times here, just because you lose weight doesn’t mean you lose the baggage. “I yam what I yam.” Today was just another one of those reminder days.
How do you respond in the moment of distress? Do you apologize? Run away? Eat? Make excuses? Beat yourself up? And if you catch yourself doing it, how do you work through the moment?