Sunday, October 08, 2006

meltdown in the bath towels

Despite my plans, I took a break from football today and spent some time with my mom. We hadn't had a day together in some time, so it was nice to get out and keep each other company. We went out to lunch, a few stores and then to get some coffee. All day, though, I could feel a sad mood approaching, but I didn't want mom to know since she gets so worried whenever depression sets in for me. So I covered it up well and tried to have fun. For the most part, I did have fun. Until we went into Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Something about being in a place that's all about domesticity--however unrealistic some of their products and prices can be--along with the fact that Fall always makes me feel more like nesting than any other time of year, plus the fact that it's my favorite season and I hate not getting to experience Fall down in Florida this year...all these things layered on top of my already declining mood and led to a minor meltdown. We were walking the aisles of Bed, Bath, and Beyond (BB&B from now on) and I couldn't stop thinking about how sad I am that I don't have my own home (apartment, whatever) right now, a place that's all mine to do whatever I want with. I was surrounded by people getting fun autumn decorations and indulging in the time of year I live for. I also automatically thought of some other things that are too depressing to mention here.

Suddenly, the tears came and wouldn't stop. I didn't want my mom to see, simply because she's seen me cry so much since I moved down here, and I hate to worry her more than necessary. And naturally, I didn't want any strangers to see, just because that's never comfortable. So without saying anything, I made a dash for the towel section, which was in a corner where nobody else was shopping. I stood hidden behind a towering display of pretty blue and white towels and tried frantically to stop the tears and to wipe their traces off my face and eyes. And no, I wasn't using the towels for this; I had a tissue in my pocket. But of course, the harder I tried to stop, the faster they came. It was ridiculous. Finally after a few minutes, I sort of pulled it together enough to catch up with mom, who thought I was just looking at towels. But, being a mom, as soon as she saw me, she knew and tried to cheer me up by reminding me that life won't always be like this for me and that I'm working hard to move on to something better, and all the things I know but don't always believe.

Still, it didn't help. The more she comforted me, the faster and harder the tears resurfaced. I turned around and went back to the corner in the towels section, where I tried to pull it together in some semblance of privacy. But BB&B was crowded today, and it was hard to get away from everyone. Just as I almost had my shit together and was nearly ready to catch up with mom again, a sales lady came into my corner and asked if I needed help with anything. Since I was blowing my nose and trying to wipe away tears that were still coming, it was surely obvious to her that I wasn't back there trying to find a new set of towels for my bathroom. So. Did she walk away and leave me alone? No. She asked, "Can I help you find anything?" I sniffled and muttered, "No, thank you." And yet she remained with a weird smile on her face and said, "Are you looking for anything specific?"

I mean, really. What was she expecting me to say? "Yeah, I'm looking for a life. A place to live that I can afford while I try to save enough money to move to a different city sometime in the next six months. Closure on past relationships. The ability to forgive--others and myself. To let go of regrets. To stop dwelling on certain things I cannot control. To come to terms with my own shortcomings. Oh, and I wouldn't mind a few decent dates with someone, perhaps even a real girlfriend someday. Do you sell these things at BB&B? Can you help me find them? Oh, and do you have this towel in a pale green color?"

Instead, I walked away and found mom, who I'm sure didn't know what to think or do at this point. By now, trying to make my eyes look like I hadn't just been standing in the towels crying was pointless. So I put on my sunglasses. But everwhere I went there were people, and I felt weird and crowded and almost claustrophobic. People were everywhere. Shopping carts on my heels. Clusters of women searching for the perfect drapes. I stopped and before I even thought about what I was saying, this is what erupted loudly from my mouth: "Jesus! Can't anyone walk around a store crying without people getting in her way??!!"

As I said this, I could hear how ridiculous my outburst sounded and I started laughing. Mom cracked up. Then, I got the giggles and couldn't stop laughing. So at this point, I was wearing sunglasses in the middle of BB&B, my face was blotchy and wet, and I was giggling like a lunatic.

This, my friends, is why I take anti-depressants.

Still, it really was pretty funny.

Unexpectedly saying something a little insane and getting to laugh at myself for it didn't totally alleviate my weird mood, but it did lighten things up a bit and forced me to step outside myself for a second, which always helps me see that things aren't as bad as they seem. Or maybe they are that bad, but that's ok. Perfection is boring and usually fake.

I'm hanging on to a decent mood for dear life tonight. Hopefully, it'll last long enough for me to sleep, go for my run in the morning and then get to work, where I'll be too distracted to worry about any of this. By the time work's over, I'll be fine again and any potential sadness will have passed completely.

In the meantime, I had a very nice day with my mom. Also, the Rams won. I got another raise at work. My voice is completely healed and my cold is gone.


At October 09, 2006 7:09 AM, Blogger Marcia said...

That's a classic, classic line. I love it. I'm going to use it when things get rough around here.

(the "this is why I take antidepressants" is what really cracked me up.)

At October 09, 2006 8:04 AM, Blogger librarylapin said...

I think B,B & B is just evil. I went there the other day and had a very depressing reaction. I just kept thinking...."how much longer do I have to stay here?"
It is gross and it feels like you forgot to be born after the fifties.


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