Crying Over You

At 11 p.m. Tuesday night, I burst into tears.

They were declaring the race for Senator Barak Obama, and I was so many emotions, I cried.

I was happy. I felt that the good guys had won. Which isn’t to reduce politics to “good guys” and “bad guys”, and especially isn’t to cast Senator John McCain as a bad guy. His concession speech was perhaps the classiest thing I had ever heard from a politician. It’s just… my guy, the guy I was rooting for this time, this time won.

I was relieved. Two years of campaigning were over. And especially the ugliness that had defined this run since the summer. OVER.

I was hopeful. I have been very impressed with Obama. I AM hopeful. Things are not going to change overnight, and not every change will be made. On that note, could Obama be a little less serious for a little bit? Dude (and I use that term with the highest respect): You Won. I know that being too celebratory would look like gloating, and you don’t want to gloat — you shouldn’t gloat. But loosen the tie. Swing your wife or one of your kids through the air.

Okay, well, he is going to buy a puppy.

This post isn’t really about politics, or the sea change Obama can (I hope will) bring to Washington DC.

It’s about those tears.

Lately, I would estimate since about May, I have been a mess. The slightest thing will make me start to cry. Alternatively, I lose my temper. Or, maybe, I just get really anxious and turn into a stuttering wreck trying to answer a simple question.

It’s not pretty, people.

I think — I think — I used to be a little more even keeled. I was never that much of a crier. Or too much of a yeller. On the other hand, I have always been anxious, to the point of therapy. But anxiety tends to freeze me up rather than make me overly emotional.

But not lately. I’m snappish, I get furious very quickly (I can also cool myself down fairly quickly, for the record), I’m irritable.

And dear Lord, the tears.

The other night, Monkey asked me to sing “Puff the Magic Dragon”. DearDR had printed out the lyrics just for the occasion. Innocently enough, I began.

“Puff the Magic Dragon” is NOT A HAPPY SONG. Okay? It’s a song about the loss of innocence. And somewhere around “Dragons live forever, but not so little boys” I started leaking. And I couldn’t even start the next verse.

Monkey found it a little upsetting. To say the least.

Even a passing thought of Gabriel can make me teary. And he has been on my mind a lot lately. At Halloween, I was thinking that he would probably have been Indiana Jones this year, or maybe a cowboy.

Pass me a Kleenex. *sniff* *blow* Okay.

So, yeah, I wasn’t really surprised to be crying Tuesday night. Or even a little bit Wednesday listening to the news.

I don’t know if it’s hormones. It seems to be worst around ovulation and close to my period. But that’s when it’s WORST. It’s still pretty bad the rest of the time. I feel super-sensitive ALL THE TIME lately.

Sorry about all the caps.

I don’t know if this will ebb. Or when it will ebb. I don’t know if I should get back to therapy. (Yes, the irony is not lost on me.) I shy away from medication, because, you know, it’s just emotions. I’m coping, I’m not incapacitated by my emotionality.

It’s just the feeling that it’s not in control. That’s the worst part right now.

That and crying during “Puff the Magic Dragon”! For goodness sake.

The Kindest Cut

On Saturday, Monkey and I finally got our hairs cut. We had needed an appointment for quite some time, but my stylist was traveling in Hong Kong for three weeks. More than a cut, I really needed color — my hair was especially dry, for one thing; the grays were creeping back, for another; and for a third, I was losing my fondness for being a redhead. And DearDR wanted a trim, too.

Here’s a little photo essay.
Before the Cuts:

Leopard Sisters:

Quote from Monkey, “Are you taking out the white, Mommy?” I didn’t think my gray hair was quite that noticeable. Thank you, Monkey.

Quote from my stylist, to Monkey, “Don’t worry, you can give her some more in just a minute.”

After, Monkey:

You can finally see her eyes again! I like the length on the sides and in the back, too.

Monkey has very pretty hair, straight, shiny, and soft (we use conditioner). On her last visit, my mom commented on how pretty her hair was. Then added, “Your hair was never that nice.”

Gee, thanks, Mom.

“No, but it wasn’t,” she said defensively. “You always had a kink or a wave in it. It just didn’t lay nice.”

Hence, short hair for me. Since about eighth grade.

Mommy, After I:

My stylist overruled you all. Sorry. When I showed him the blog post, he laughed heartily (and my stylist has a seriously hearty laugh — he’s about 6’5″) and said, “Like this is a democracy.” He pointed to 3. “That’s what we’re doing.” I said that most everyone who had commented really liked 2. “I know I need to grow it –” I started.

My stylist interjected: “Look, that is a great cut for you. But Monkey and Bun will be in college before your hair is that long.” (I think he was exaggerating.) “We’re going to start here [# 3] so you can eventually get there [# 2].”

Mommy, After II:

This is how it looks after my stylist does my hair. I may ask to go darker next time.

And, yes, that is my kitchen and dining room. My stylist comes to my house.

Mommy, After III:

The Zoolander pose. Does my nose look big?

This is what it looks like after I style my hair myself.

And finally, Mommy, After IV:

Thought to myself, “At least smile a little, woman!” It’s hard taking pictures in a mirror.

Random Thoughts: Again?!

Yeah, it was a busy, busy weekend, and it’s going to be a week of stress and late nights. Steelers, election, preparing for a 4-year-old’s birthday party, happy hour with people from work. Plus, the daily.

But I do have a couple of things I want to post about.

Obviously, I made the decision to not NaBloPoMo. I mean, we’re three days in, and here’s my first post of November. I’m bummed about it, because it is a good thing for me to do in terms of site traffic and my own writing. But I also know it’s the right decision, because, as the short list above illustrates, I gotta whole lot o’ lotta going on. As much as I love the challenge and exercise of posting every day, this year, I have to give myself a break.

On the other hand, I am seriously considering, come Jan. 1, to attempt Blog365.

And besides, there is always Plurk. Which I completely missed this weekend, and I have a lot to catch up on there.


Two conversations overheard in Costco this weekend:

A hippie dad saying to his two children, explaining the vaccination poster by the ladies’ room: “Well, that’s about doctors, who really shouldn’t be trusted. They give unnecessary shots to kids, and they don’t do what’s best for their patients.”


It took a lot of self control to not stop on the spot and confront him. I understand distrust of the medical community, especially for people of my generation, but I think the answer, rather than indoctrinating our kids against doctors is to actually teach them to be stewards of their own care. Ask questions, get information, participate in your health. And while I agree that the vaccination schedule for children is overly aggressive, I think the answer is to work with your pediatrician to spread out the shots. I think not vaccinating your children at all is very, very risky.

Later, a mom to her 2- or 3-year-old son, who was obviously getting upset at not getting to eat Costco pizza (I heartily empathize): “Oh, look. I think I see the police outside. You better not cry or disobey mommy or they’ll come take you away.”


Threatening your children with the police? What kind of message is that?

Monkey is learning about police and firefighters at her preschool. The basic message, which I try to reinforce when she asks questions, is: These people are here to help you. You can trust them. I wouldn’t dream of telling her that the police are going to take her away for being bad.

To top it off, the mother gave into her child’s demands, and instead of going to a restaurant, they ate at Costco. Parenting FAIL!

Also, I did end up having a very pleasant conversation with the hippie dad and his wife as we were all eating our pizza. Their two children, a boy and a girl, were adorable, and Monkey was clearly fascinated by the whole family, notably the father’s beard which was much longer than her daddy’s neatly trimmed facial hair. I did not bring up what I overheard him saying about doctors though. No need to throw down at the local warehouse shopping club.


Monkey is showing a great awareness of driving rules. She always reminds me to stay on “this side” of the lines. “Because then cars will crash into you, if you drive on the other side.” I’ve been explaining, in very basic terms, double yellow lines, broken white lines, and solid white lines. Sunday, I introduced the concept of the shoulder. I pointed out the solid white line to the right, and said, “I can’t cross that white line either. That’s the shoulder of the road, and you shouldn’t drive on the shoulder. It’s for emergencies.”

As we were driving back home, I took an exit ramp off of route 60. “Mommy, don’t forget,” Monkey piped up, “don’t drive on the elbow.”


Lastly, and I am shocked — shocked — to report this: I started my Christmas shopping this weekend. I’ve got three nephews and my niece crossed off the list already. It helps that Costco has great prices on some pretty neat things, and also other retailers are offering rock-bottom prices, plus $10 gift cards for spending a certain amount of money. I’ve got $20 to blow in two stores before the holidays! Shopping WIN!