There is one thing everyone should really know about me: I get irritable sometimes. I think of myself as direct with a low tolerance for twaddle, but a number of family members have noted that I can be cranky and whiny. In addition, fair warning to anyone who may ever be an overnight houseguest, I am just not a good morning person, but that is another discussion all together.
Now I know that most of you are thinking that is just not possible for such an easygoing chick like me. You are thinking she's usually so cheerful, with a big smile and that can-do demeanor, just a picture of delightfulness ready to jump on any passing bandwagon and join in the revelry. You cannot imagine me being disagreeable, much less surrounded by an acrimonious cloud, crowned with disheveled hair and sporting a bad attitude. I know you are having difficulty perceiving me as anything but ready to greet the world with sunshine and goodwill, and you would be right for the most part, but I do occasionally become taciturn with a baleful glare instead of emoting Glinda the Good Fairy happiness. Don’t worry though, it is usually only when I am feeling underappreciated (i.e. like a live-in maid and not Queen of the Household), or if you wake me up abruptly from a dream I am loath to leave (where I am Queen of the Household and not the live-in maid), or when I realize that I am not going to live forever.
Unfortunately, just the other day I had one of those you are not going to live forever moments that make me very cranky. It was my sister Meg’s birthday, she is the baby of the family and I am the eldest. It was a weekend morning, I was lounging around in my pajamas and quite cheerful. I playfully sang her a birthday song of my own creation, and teased her about turning 39 years old. When we finished our conversation, I decided to treat myself to a relaxing bath as I had the house to myself and could enjoy the bathroom, alone, for more than ten minutes. It was just before stepping into the tub of luxurious bubbles that I made the mistake of looking in the mirror and mortality soundly spanked my plump backside.
Seeing myself in full dis-clothes-ure usually does not happen for several reasons: I always remove my glasses before undressing creating a visual world that is wonderfully undefined, plus the lights are usually off; I like my baths and showers so hot and steamy that the mirrors fog over, so if I absentmindedly glance in their direction my nakedness is not reflected back. It is in this fashion I have been able to maintain the body of a twenty-five year old. Have I ever mentioned that I believe God is a comedian? He is, and it was in this indecorous fashion that he sharply reminded me that I have reached an age where the dark magic of gravity is taking its toll, plus he happily pointed out that sitting on my bum at a desk all day long typing is not a form of exercise.
I quickly immersed myself in the tub, covered all my fading glory with bubbles, leaned back, closed my eyes, and practiced deep breathing exercises while my inner 25-year-old came to terms with the outer 49-year-old woman. Steam, dreams, and a promise to drink more water and forgo bread in any form, as well as the reminder that plastic surgery is an option, got me through those few awful moments where reality looked me right in the face and I was foolish enough to look back. That and the fact that getting older sharpens one’s ability (and right) to forget things, like where you left your car keys (in the car), what you walked into the other room for (who cares it wasn’t that important anyway), and the fact that physical nature eventually takes precedence over state of mind in the case of aging.
I was on the road to recovering my cheery self, mixing a happy potion commonly known as a Bloody Mary – hey, it was almost noontime AND it was a Saturday - when Paul snuck up behind me, kissed me playfully on the neck, grabbed my bottom, and cooed something along the lines of what is that nice big pillow you have there. He denies it, but I was pretty damn sure that is what he said, which made me a little irritable. He swears I transformed into a fire-breathing dragon when all he wanted to do was get a little frisky, but as I said, I have a low tolerance for twaddle, besides the maid had to get her big pillow moving and catch up with the laundry, the dishes, and sweeping the ashes from the fireplace.
Paul, being the prince that he truly is, helped with the chores while skillfully avoiding my scathing glances; he waited patiently through my stomping up and down the stairs, the slamming of various doors, the mutterings under my breath, and the brief tears. Using some kind of man radar to determine the most opportune moment, he scooped me into a bear hug asking if the sexy maid would be interested in relations with the Man of the House, while offering me another Bloody Mary and a shoulder massage.
What woman in her right mind could stay irritable under those conditions? Besides, I do not want to be twenty-five again; I am happy with the life that I am living, and I am happy to have a man who knows that sometimes I get irritable and is still willing to hang in there until he can make me laugh again. So, as long as he doesn’t wake me up from a beautiful dream with his snoring tonight, everything will remain copacetic.