Unremitting Gloom Today

I’m not just talking about the weather. Although the weather is awful. Here was my view out the car windshield a few minutes ago:

Oh, my gosh. This just made me realize that the lights were on out in the parking lot. At 2 pm. Blegh.

I woke up from some high-anxiety dream. I have no idea why I’m having such high-anxiety dreams lately, but I am. Usually the dreams involve me realizing I’ve forgotten to do something crucial while at the same time sensing that one of my loved ones is in deathly peril. Maybe I need to take up meditation. Or medication.

Anyway, I clawed my way out of my bed, aka my Den of Nightmares, and lurched down to the kitchen, where my 14-year-old proceeded to completely freak out over the lack of a grocery staple in our kitchen. Which she completely didn’t need to freak out over, and it was ridiculous, but also, why hadn’t I bought that item yesterday? I don’t know. I would much prefer a complete freakout regarding an issue over which I had no control whatsoever, because then I can feel entirely blameless, as opposed to a freakout in which a teensy, weensy part of me thinks, she’s right. Which she’s totally not. But still. I tried to re-channel my Mom Guilt into a fantasy in which M’s ride fell through–it happens every once in a while–and she’d ask me to drive her to school and I would smile serenely and tell her to walk and remind her that she could stop by the grocery on the way. Unfortunately/fortunately, her ride arrived just on time.

Then I sat down to my computer and read an email alerting me to a mistake I’d made. I hate making mistakes.

Another email reminded me to make a hair appointment, and I thought, “Actually, they’re right.” Because right now I am very, very happy with my hair–it’s just excellent, thank you. But my beloved stylist books way ahead, so six weeks from now I’ll probably need one. And then I went to make the appointment and it appears that Ruth has left Studio Orlo? What the hell?!? What about my needs? Does anyone know where she’s gone? I am very, very sad about this. I was literally just thinking about a week ago that I have been in such a happy hair place since Ruth came into my life.

I am also freaking out just a little bit about this Kibbeh Potluck Party that I am helping to organize for this weekend. I have maybe, almost come up with a couple of icebreaker activities for a mixed group of people who may or may not speak English and have vastly different cultural references. And yes, part of me just hates icebreaker activities, but I feel like we need some enforced mingling. So I am doing what I can.

Another downer is that I don’t like the book I’m reading. It’s The Vegetarian by Han Kang, a book I would never, ever choose on my own. I’m reading it for Snobby Book Club. The good thing about SBC is that it keeps me in touch with people I like and it compels me to read books outside of my comfort zone. But the older I get, the more I resent spending time reading things I don’t like when life is short and there are so many books to read. This novel’s reviews include words like “ferocious,” “terrifying,” “eerie,” “provocative,” and “shocking.” In other words, it’s not the kind of book that’s going to cheer you up. I could really go for some freakin’ Jane Austen or Jojo Moyes right about now.

So I’m feeling pretty ready to crawl back into bed. Except, who are we kidding, I will probably have an anxiety dream about holding multi-lingual games while everyone rolls their eyes and/or flees. And then some new stylist will float into the disjointed dream narrative and threaten my children with shears or something. Probably the dog torture scene from The Vegetarian will work its way in there, too. Yeah, I might have to find some other bedtime reading. If I make it ’til bedtime.

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