Yesterday I was in the crabbiest mood ever. It felt like everything was just off. It started with I found out one of my favorite soap opera actresses Beverlee McKinsley died of kidney failure. She was such a lady, a grand dame and a fantastic actress to boot. Little things were just going wrong. I couldn’t find an appointment card for my doctor’s appointment that morning to let me know what time it would be, so I tried to look online, but because I couldn’t remember my favorite historical person (I thought I put Jacqueline Onassis, but maybe I put down Eleanor Roosevelt) I did manage to get someone on the phone and get the appointment time.
After I saw the doctor, he told me that hey, guess what! I am no longer considered clinically depressed. Which is true, I’ve been okay for three months now. But he reminded me that since I am considered a recurring depressive, it could come back. Thanks pal. I so needed to hear this right now. I fought the urge to go to the new San Francisco Creamery to celebrate that hey, I’m not depressed today! (I’ve lost 25 pounds and I’m trying to lose 25 more).
I went to Target and bought Mother’s Day gifts, and then I went home. My mother and I got into a fight about something stupid. I stomped around the house just angry at the world, then got ready for a special dinner they were having at Mills. Last year I was feeling a bit flush and I gave them some money for scholarships. Now I get invited to special events, which is great because I get to meet other alumnae and network. But yesterday I felt so crabby, so angry at the world.
I went to Mills dressed up, thinking it would all be okay. I’ll have a nice dinner, all will be good. I had new shoes on and they looked cute. I was just going to meet my friend Lilly Marie at her dorm after her hair appointment. Before that, I went to the library, said hello to one of favorite librarians Michael Beller, and I caught up on e-mail. I was feeling a bit better. I called Lilly-Marie on the library phone because I forgot my cell. She wasn’t home. We were going to meet at 5. It was five fifteen.
I breathed thinking traffic. She’s stuck in traffic, which makes sense. I took a deep breath, and then looked at the new books for a while. I look up at the clock. Five-fifteen. I call her again. Not home.
I managed my way into her dorm and knocked on her door. She’s working on her final thesis so I thought maybe she had her phone turned off. No Lilly-Marie. And then suddenly I felt so angry. I checked the time. 6:00. The dinner was starting. I took off my shoes to see I had a air bubble blister that just burst.
I went outside and I just wanted to start crying. I was so crabby. There’s something so freeing about being crabby at times. It’s admitting that you are so tired of being polite, that all is well. You can admit that sometimes, things work your nerves. People being late. Someone you felt like you knew dying. New shoes giving you blisters. Misplacing cards, invitations. The fact I was wearing a sleeveless black dress, and it was about 60 degrees. I felt like yelling at people who looked cheerful. I wanted to have a good old fashioned temper tantrum.
Of course, we can’t be crabby all the time. For some people, it can kill them. I envy people who can admit they are crabby when a grocery checker asks them how they are doing. We always say “fine” when we aren’t. But if we stay in a crabby mood forever, it’s not good for you as well.
After sitting for a moment, I did some breathing exercises. I stood up and called again. Lilly-Marie just came home. We went over to the dinner, which just started because there was a delay. I sat down feeling better, and then right in front of me was a woman who worked at my community college who gave me some transcription work four years ago. The money I got from her paid for my entrance fee at Mills. Now here we were, alumnae. She saw me and smiled. We lifted our wine glasses in a toast.
Suddenly the crabbiness wasn’t there anymore. I knew it would come back, but not for a while. I felt good about things again, and I smiled and nodded when some people asked for donations and I thought um, I’m not flush now, guys. But I was reminded again that although sometimes it’s good to be crabby, it’s also good to remain open to everything, to always remember that in the end, not that many things are important. Being in the moment, trying to do the best you can is.
However, no matter what, wear shoes that don’t give you blisters.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries