I’ve been getting looks.
Lots of them.
You know the ones. You’ve shot them at folks a time or two when you notice someone—especially someone you’re close to—doing something strange or out of character.
I’ve also been getting those are-you-okay-there comments from a few brave souls.
After several rounds of looks and are-you-okay-there’s this past week, I realize I must be wearing it.
Wearing the stress.
The thyroid fatigue.
The CIRCUS scents.
Something. For certain, my “smile and nod” filter is on the glitch. I mean, good grief. I even went all snarky on Dove chocolate last week. I’ve been in a moody funk, that’s for sure.
And through this season, I have learned there are two kinds of folks that shop at Walmart, and then there are the employees.
The first folks see someone “wearing it,” process and turn their carts out of the pet food aisle—or better yet, back up and knock into other shoppers and endcap displays to avoid said “wearer.” Their kitties can go hungry this week. No amount of feline chaos at home is worth facing someone in a moody funk and can’t choose cat kibble.
The second kind see, process, and head their carts straight for the “wearer.” These well-meaning souls offer advice, support, and a Kleenex. They pull out their phones, asking if they can make a call or two… They divulge a massive amount of personal information about themselves regarding the twelve different times they had a moody funk in some random aisle of Walmart.
The employees are immune to emotion in any aisle unless there’s blood involved. They’ve seen too much in their tours of duty to register that someone is “wearing it”—unless the shopper is wearing something that still has the tags and is about to walk out of the building before going through the checkout lane.
There’s a fourth kind—one that I’ve yet to encounter at Walmart, but I know they exist. Those fellow humans who hum with the same “it” frequency. They see someone in a funk and just nod—no words. No judgment. But that microsecond of eye contact and that nod convey a clear message: “Yup. I see your crazy hair day. Had mine four days ago. Got another scheduled for tomorrow.” And they walk on past…
By the time this posts, I hope to have at least tamed the frizz a bit and dialed down the deer-in-headlights expression I’ve been wearing for a couple of months. Several things will be off my calendar and off my mind. Little Miss Muse has been cooperating with me fairly well for the last couple of days (no small miracle since her favorite brand of grape soda changed its formulation), and Trudi the Office Goose has been hard at work preparing for our in-person fall events (she’s solid as a rock, that one).
Since it seems I can’t get rid of the entire CIRCUS, I’ve purchased a new tent for the backyard. The current one is ratty looking, the flaps won’t close, and it smells of elephant. The new one comes with antimicrobial protection and flaps that can be secured from the outside with a chain if need be.
The tent’s smaller, too… I’m laying off a third of the clowns and shipping the unicycling poodles to a gig over in Portland—as far away as I can get them without having to buy them all passports...
And to my dear readers who may be going through “it,” feeling “it,” wearing “it,” or smelling like “it,” I see your crazy hair day, and I leave you with an understanding nod…