My Vat of Frustration

My frustration vat is dangerously close to overflowing. What’s a frustration vat, you ask? It is that internal thing that holds all of the frustrating stuff that happens as it builds throughout the week until one day you just LOSE YOUR MIND AND IT ALL SPILLS OUT DROWNING ANY WHO DARE CROSS YOUR PATH! Or something like that.

My anxiety tends to make me fairly easily frustrated, but, on the flip side, I’m usually very good at keeping my vat under control. A little might splash out now and then – at home maybe where I let my crazy run free – but not enough to break my poise and grace (ha!) in public. I like to think someone comes to empty my vat on the weekends when I’m recharging. Maybe the same guy who brings the wine. The last two weekends however, that little guy has been MIA.

Weekend #1 – I spent in a state of constant background stress while I was trying to write an article for a magazine on a short deadline. The article itself didn’t take all that much time, but I worried about it incessantly. I also had to wake up at 4am on Saturday. That certainly didn’t help. [In the end, the article turned out great. That doesn’t negate my self-imposed stress though.]

Weekend #2 – We went out of town to see the Phantom of the Opera on Saturday (fun! – stay tuned for a review of the new stage show this Saturday) then my husband left on a work trip for an entire week on Sunday. I used to enjoy the husband’s trips; after our daughter went to bed, I had the entire – very clean – house to myself. Not so much anymore though. The little man is just almost too heavy for me and carting around a mostly immobile nearly-five-year-old all week is tiring.

Long-story-short, my frustration vat is full and sloshing back and forth like a community pool on the hottest day of the year. If there was a giant red warning light on my head, it would be flashing like crazy.

I used my massive paint skills to illustrate my point.
My regular frustration-relievers just aren’t helping this time around. I’ve listened to so much classical music I will probably dream about Bach for weeks. I’ve tried to read, but the kids need . . . attention and motherly stuff. I hate to nap. I despise yoga. I do love to drive, but getting the little man in and out of the car is a big cause of stress. I can’t take a trashy television and wine break in my bedroom (my last resort go-to, leave-me-alone relief). I’m exhausting my options. What to try next? Maybe chocolate or melted cheese.

In all seriousness though, I’m tired and anxious for my husband to return. I’m sure my daughter is too, as she has been tasked with watching her brother many times this week. The little man hasn’t been sleeping well – he appears to be uncomfortable at night, but I can’t tell if it is new teeth coming in, a growth spurt, or regular cerebral palsy muscle spasms. If he doesn’t get to sleep, I don’t get to sleep.

I’ve had to cook dinner, ya’ll. Pray for my daughter; she has to eat it.

PSA: The Scar

I have a big scar on my chest. It is still red and expands into a silver dollar-sized circle at the top. I would have to wear turtle necks every single day to hide it, so you are probably going to notice it. That is fine.

Here is what you should do when you notice it:

1. Stop looking.
Okay, you saw it. Not stop being creepy. At this point you are just staring at my breasts.

2. Don’t ask questions.
There are a few exceptions to this one. It is okay to ask about my scar if you are:

  1. a child
  2. mentally disabled
  3. sporting a similar scar
  4. facing surgery that will result in the same scar
  5. an acquaintance I haven’t seen since before surgery (although at this point, that is unlikely)
  6. a new friend

3. Smile and move along.
The smile is optional, but I’m a southerner so let’s assume you will smile.

And done! Now, wasn’t that easy?

Look, it is great that you grandma had open heart surgery, came through it all okay, and has a similar scar . . . but I just don’t care. You are a stranger. Plus, I just told you it wasn’t heart surgery when you so rudely inquired into my medical health. The fact that your memaw* had clogged arteries doesn’t make us bosom buddies.

*It is almost always a memaw when I end up in these situations. Wonder if that is significant?

I tried to take a good photo of my scar to share with you all, but it ended up being mostly boobs and I just don’t want to share that here. I’ll leave you with Tina Fey instead.