There’s a hormone thing going on for me right now and I am as irritable as a baby with a sandy diaper. You know how babies scrunch their little fat faces up when they’re pissed and they just belt it out! Man, I wish as a grownup I could do that – how cool would that be? - but instead I just chafe internally when I walk, especially past the mirror where I see my mother looking rather like a homeless man. My hair needs to be cut. After three pregnancies I’ve not only lost my wallet and my entire waist, but the ability to grow hair anywhere but on my face. I’m feeling old and hairy in the wrong spots and I can’t just wail like a fat baby so I made an appointment with a new hair stylist who – my hand to God – has the exact same name as a dog that once bit me. You think this is a bad sign?
Here’s something you shouldn’t do when you feel cranky: go out to dinner, as if eating in a different environment will somehow ease the general pissed-offendness in your belly, residing there like bad gas. Married couples don’t have a lot to talk about in a restaurant and so, oddly, they often gush over the waiter.
“Brandon! Wow! What a great name! Are you in college!”
And so forth. We try to engage this hapless underpaid overworked twenty year old in some lame ass conversation because it’s just so nice to talk to SOMEONE ELSE for a change. The wait staff is patient in most cases, treating old married folks like we’re in need of extra patience, and then they go back in the kitchen and likely – hopefully – laugh their assess off at us.
There’s been a minor uproar in the news lately – a flash in the pan that happens every eight years or so – about Jesus being married. Some piece of old parchment that I could have put together in fourth grade (you just burn the edges of the paper for God’s sake) allegedly said “Jesus’ wife.” Dude, there is no way Jesus could have been married. It would have ruined his street cred. He would have given up on saving the world and just tried to save Himself. They’d be looking for the guy who performs miracles and he’d be at the bar with the Pharisees complaining about how Mrs. Jesus doesn’t understand Him.
After dinner I’m driving home and every four-way stop intersection in Steamboat ticks me off because everyone’s like “You go!,” “No, please, YOU go!” Oh for the love of God! I shriek. Four way stops back East are blood sport. It’s the freaking Coliseum, it’s the Lions and the Christians, it’s kill or be killed. So all these pleasant people almost get in accidents because they’re all making eye contact and smiling. Geezus, I need a haircut.
The next day I go for a hike with Chopper, beautiful aspen everywhere, and life is good for a few minutes until my beloved black lab – almost unbearably loving and stupid – emerges from the bushes with porcupine quills all over his face, looking at me like “What? What’s up?” This is the FOURTH time Chopper has thought that maybe, just maybe these porcupines are friendly creatures. I want to take a picture and put him on www.dogshaming.com but I realize nothing can really shame Chopper. He’s pretty chill with his dog self, quills and all.
The dog who bit me was named Dominga, like my hair stylist, and she didn’t like being in a dog’s skin, not at all. Her whole dog life, apparently, she was looking over her little shoulder to see who might be out to get her and she would bite them first. That’s the way it rolled for little Dominga. Hope my hairdresser has better self esteem. There’s nothing worse than an animal that doesn’t like his chosen incarnation; I knew a horse who just hated everything about being a 1200 pound animal with a prey’s outlook on life. Poor Spike jumped at everything, and then just shook his big horsey head like “Oh, shit, I hate this horse gig.”
I'm stuck in my earthsuit, a hunka hunka burning spirit inside these aching bones and baby pouch. Stuck in an earthsuit with roiling hormones and bad hair - but unlike poor Spike or Dominga- at least I have the cognition to know that this will pass – the haircut, the irritability, and even the irascible dog with quills in his nose. That's what separates us from the rest of the animals (aside from opposable thumbs): no matter how bad it gets, like bad gas, at least we know that this too shall pass.