Whew….. that was the crankiest of months, very glad that one is over. My rough January seemed to be set off surrounding the rescue of a spider….sort of.
While having a conversation with my boss in the hallway, we simultaneously noticed a spider hanging out against the molding along the floor. You couldn’t miss it because the spider had some considerable bulk to it, and a face. Large enough to see a face. He said, “Would you look at that… what kind do you think it is?”
Since I was not home and didn’t have my “Little Golden Guide of Spiders and Their Kin” with me, I wasn’t sure exactly what kind it was (don’t laugh, it’s really a gem of a little book – and as explained in previous posts, I’m kind of a nature geek). But since it was large and had hairy legs, I told him it might be a Wolf Spider. Actually, I cheat in this department, because the only ones I really know (and call by their nicknames mostly) are the gangly “Daddy Long-Legs”, the little black Jumping Spider, the Black and Yellow Argiope (my personal favorite!) and the distinctive Black Widow. After that, anything big and brown I call a Wolf Spider, regardless of what it really is. Nobody seems to challenge that suggestion.
He then wondered if we should “do something about it”. There are a few people in the office that abhor spiders – that get very upset about spiders, actually - but this spider was out in the hall and not anywhere near them. I don’t kill spiders, and honestly, I just was not in the mood to do the old “scoop and remove to the outside” maneuver at the moment, seeing how it was cold out and I was getting ready to eat lunch. I said it wasn’t bothering anyone. So I suggested we ignore it…..and not say anything to anyone about it, lest we generate some mild hysteria. Spider spared.
A few days later I am sitting at my desk and I suddenly feel this very, very sharp sting at the very top of my butt/lower back. And then, an incredible itch, like every mosquito bite or hornet sting I have ever gotten. Except it’s winter and there are no hornets or mosquitoes in sight. I happened to be wearing a pair of jeans that gapped in the back when I sat down. I thought it was the tag or a pin that stuck me, and I scratched myself to pieces throughout the day, but really didn’t look at it until I got home. Nasty. Could that spider have gone down the back of my pants? A few days later it had started to fan out into what appeared to be a major bruise… so after looking up spider bites on the web and seeing enough flesh-eating Brown Recluse bite photos to scare myself silly (even though we don’t even have the Brown Recluse hereabouts), I sought medical treatment. It turns out a little cortisone cream was able to treat it, but I had scratched myself up so badly there was no telling exactly what had caused it at that point. I am not sure if it was that spider – or any spider at all that actually bit me. If so, perhaps getting bit on the ass was payback for not telling my spider-fearing coworkers there was a very big one loose in the office. But it was a lousy way to start off the new year.
Following that debacle, I decided to address some things I needed to do that entailed Large Sums Of Money and also generated Significant Stress in their execution. I put money down on a car that was to be been delivered “soon”, but now, way too many weeks later, is still a month out from arrival, apparently either on the assembly line in Japan or out on the ocean somewhere en route. In the meantime, I do not want to spend yet one more cent on my current vehicle. The longer I have had to wait for this new car, the more anxiety I am having that Something Will Break Down on my current car. Or, worse perhaps, as just this past week I was almost creamed by an oblivious woman in dark blue sedan who, without even slowing down, blazed out of the toll booth and into the traffic circle where I had the right-of-way. With this major stall, I am actually waffling and thinking maybe I should just sink the money into fixing my old car and keep it. This indecisiveness regarding major purchases is one of those traits I really dislike in myself.
Following these two upsets, I then had Creepy Eye Surgery Part Deux. After the not-so-thrilling first cataract surgery (here), this one was justifiably met with a bit of anxiety, compounded by the fact that while I was getting my eye prepped, the nurse told me there is something called “Second Eye Syndrome”, where the second eye surgery does not do as well as the first. This was not thrilling to hear, considering the first was no party. However, it actually did go a lot smoother than the first, partially because this time I insisted on Better Drugs. The experience was different too. Instead of staring into what had looked like a white-hot sun last time, this time it appeared I was staring into a greenish, glowing shape that looked like a miniature coffin.
When it was over, instead of everything being orange and then neon pink and shimmery for a week, all I experienced was a few pink dots and a little flashing the first day. However (isn’t there always a However?) I discovered that I could no longer see many things that I used to take for granted with this “new eye”. Like the food on my plate (don’t you like to see what you are eating?) or the keypad on my cell phone, or trying to cut my own fingernails, or to study my reflection in the mirror. I have felt unbalanced and very, very cranky. I am told some of this will improve as the weeks go on and to Be Patient. I am also told that I will need to get glasses. And there was a little insult too….like discovering hours later that they had not removed the sticky EKG leads and I was walking around with those things on me. I mean, really….it would have been kind of polite to finish up the job and remove them (or at least let me know about them).
Next, the S.O. got this bee in his bonnet to suddenly get rid of our cable TV service (something to do with the remote being too slow or the box being “a piece of crap”) and change over to a dish satellite television, without really considering my input into any of this. In the process, he also insisted on disconnecting our land line phone and set up an entirely new phone number via the Magic Jack, one of those gimmicks “as seen on TV”. Instead of putting it up by the roof, before we realized it, the installers put up a large, ugly satellite dish only about ten feet off the ground, sticking out on the side of the house over my lovely scotch broom plant and hanging into the driveway so that anyone who might enter the premises in a truck could hit it. And now, if we want to move it, we have to pay them to do it. Not only that, but it looks incredibly low-rent and cheesy. It seems all we really need to complete the ensemble now is to put a broken toilet in the front yard and turn it into a planter. Maybe we should add some plastic flamingos too. Needless to say, I am upset.
Having a different television system with yet another remote I can’t figure out (but what the hell, I can’t see the TV very well anyway following this eye surgery) and a new phone number I can’t remember that doesn’t work that well anyway, it’s been the final straw in an edgy few weeks that has melted me down and turned me into a real January Bitch this past month.
In the scheme of things, it will all work out, I know. Sometimes it’s just the culmination of everything where you suddenly just feel like you have had Enough for a while, you know? All of this makes me want to either Get Out Of Here for a little while or curl up in a ball and hide under a blanket.
So here we are into February now, usually a challenging time of year. I have armed myself with chocolate. To become more at a balance, today – a cold but sunny day - we went for a lovely walk by the river. It lent some peace. I think doing more of that could definitely ease a lot of stress. Onward……