Before we get started, let me just get this out of the way. You see that word up there? Ugh, not that one. The other one: Peoplleaneous. Yeah, that one. Dude. I fretted over that far longer than I should have. The way I should spell it, I mean. And this is what I settled upon. While I’m still not pleased with it, take it or leave it. (Please take it. It would miss you if you left it.)
Chapata One: The Pep-Talk
Now that bit of housekeeping is taken care of, let’s move along shall we? This morning started off well enough – better than usual, actually. I got this
little grand idea of starting the day off with a pep talk from shaunk84 over at Tales in Anxiety. (Please check him out if you haven’t already. Good stuff.) It’s sort of like a verbal note-to-self to start your day off in a positive way. Since I spend so much of my time telling Stephanie what a right piece of shit she is, I know full well how powerful the words we speak to ourselves can be. So I put the pep-talk to the test.
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror (just a regular one on the door of a medicine cabinet) in my bra and underwear and. Yeah. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t muster the strength while she just stood there all naked and gross. So I gave myself some wiggle room.
I cranked some jams, on and up. Damn, I haven’t done that in ages: listened to music while getting ready for work. That used to be part of my morning routine. Then depression took it from me. Well, I’m taking it back. I played Kenna’s “Make Sure They See My Face” album, because it’s one of those than seems to have a knack for getting me moving in spite of myself. This song in particular had me hopping around and smiling:
I went to get dressed for work, got all my shit together, then returned to the bathroom mirror. Psyched up and ready for myself.
This time I managed to do it. I didn’t say much…but I looked myself in the eye and said something like, “You got this.” It was all mumbly and weird. So I laughed, raised my voice a little and looked me in the eye and said – bolder, louder – “Today is your bitch, and you’ve got this shit!” Then I opened my mouth, stuck my tongue out and shook my head back and forth, hands throwing that sign.
You know the look. Dear god, I hope I didn’t look as much a twat as he did/does. I did, didn’t I? You know what? I don’t give a fuck. It worked! I was embarrassed with myself, but I did it. And I was smiling, to boot. Smiling. On the way out the door. To work. Quelle surprise!
Chapata Two: Chinks in the Armor or Revenge of the Oatmeal
I managed to maintain that smile for an hour or so. And then I bit into breakfast, only to find I’d have to return to my dentist. I had a filling yesterday, so it wasn’t like I was eating bricks. Not for at least a couple more days yet. It was oatmeal, for fucks sake. And I suddenly had the sensation of an epidural-size needle (those ten-foot ones they show in the movies – that’s what they use, right?) driving straight through my jaw. Like some badass motherfucker was trying, with all his might, to pierce my skull. Yay me!
My armor suffered chink number one.
Then Queen Bitch of the Universe got to work. And commenced to being Queen Bitch of the Universe. Who gets even bitchier when I refuse to bow down. Then I let her talk me into going to lunch with her (the fuck is the matter with me?), where – you guessed it – things got even worse. It got so bad that I cried at my desk after lunch, before remembering that I’m in my thirties FOR. FUCKS. SAKE. and need to take ownership of my life. You don’t survive in Corporate America by being the nice girl. Your heart and soul get thrown into the blender, and they serve that shit alongside the stale-ass birthday cake on the table outside accounting.
My armor suffered chink number two.
But I started polishing up my LinkedIn profile. Emphasis on started. I am one thousand percent shyte at networking. But I am going to improve on that, damnit. And I will get out of this shithouse job and into a new shithouse job if it’s the last thing I do!
Then I go to the dentist, and he proceeds to drill down my new filling….sans any numbing agents whatsoever. No little anbesol swabby thingy. No shots of anesthetic (yes I meant that to be plural. I’m a bitch to numb.). Nada. It was the best time I’ve ever had outside the time I broke my tailbone in the bowling alley.
My armor suffered chink number three.
After that, I decided to hell with it. I’m not going back to work this late in the day. So I headed to some department stores to look for shoes (for those stupid insole thingies that the podiatrist had me order). Went into four shops, none of which had a single friendly salesperson and none of which had any appropriate removable-insole footwear for sale. One lady was so mean that after she insulted me and walked off, I grabbed a credit app off of the check-out counter and scrawled a message in Sharpie: “Some customers actually do need assistance and aren’t just wasting your time. You could have gotten a commission off of me. THANKS FOR NOTHING.”
Passive Aggressive much? Yeah, I know…I know…But do you have any idea how hard it is for me to darken the doors of places like that, much less actually shop around, try things on, blah blah blah? Fuck it. I’m ordering online and will deal with returns if the size is wrong.
My armor suffered chink number four.
And then it happened. The dam burst, and I cried all the way home.
Chapata Three: The Squirrels Lay Siege to The Veggie Patch
After changing into comfy shit, I flopped face-first onto the bed and got the rest of my crying out. Got up. Blew my nose. Sat back down on the edge of the bed. Even the cats wouldn’t greet me. I mean, what the fuck man. I nearly called it quits on the day right then and there. Take my evening meds early so I wouldn’t miss ’em and just pass out and sleep ’til morning.
But the rain had broken. There was a drought here of several months, which suddenly broke on Saturday, and the rain hasn’t stopped since then until this evening. I looked out the window, from my perch on the edge of the bed, out toward Veggiopolis, and knew this could be my only shot for a few days. I needed to check on things and get some garlic in the ground.
I remembered my pep-talk. I remembered shaunk’s words. I remembered how good it felt to smile this morning. I remembered all the shit you hear about outdoors being good for you. And I forced myself out the back door. I wasn’t happy about it. I wanted to sulk and cry and feel sorry for myself and hate the world. But I did it. I got off my ass, and I did it.
Task #1 was to clear the eight thousand five-hundred seventy-six tons of pine-straw off of The Veggie Patch. Task #2 was to plant some garlic. Task #1 taken care of (holy balls, bending over that much makes me dizzy…), I move on to Task #2…
But wait. Wait a fucking minute. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!
I think the proper question is, what WAS that? Look at all of that disturbed earth. The upset twine. The missing…that little fucker. A vicious squirrel has launched The War on Veggies. He stole my pre-pubescent carrot and maybe even ate him. If I allow him to continue his shenanigans, Veggiopolis will become Veggiopolis-adjacent!
Ask me if he stopped there! Do it! Ask me! Oh no. Ohhhohohooohhhhhno he most certainly did not! Behold!
Have you any idea what that is? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Y’all know what time it is? It’s time to go to the mattresses.
You know what I’m gonna do with that poor underdeveloped tater? I’m gonna make the world’s smallest potato cannon and go Rambo on some squirrel ass!
Then I’m going to cook up some squirrel patties…hmm. We can’t call them burgers. Let’s call them squirgers. I’m going to cook squirgers and one-third of a french fry out of that tater. And then I’m going to go outside, sit with my legs propped up on the timbers of Veggiopolis, and eat that squirger and one-third length french fry right in front of the squirrel’s entire family.
“No, Stephanie! You mustn’t! That will incite revenge!” you frantically exclaim.
To which I say, bring it bitches. Do your worst, for I shall do mine. I’m going to fashion tiny daggers out of
any remaining carrots. And I’m going to arm the gnomes to the teeth.
To. The. Teeth!
In the meantime, since Tom Petty won’t back down, I figure I shouldn’t either. I mean, what’s good for the Petty is good for the gander or something like that.
I’m fighting back with garlic. Behold the Spanish Roja. Beware squirrels. And vampires. And especially vampire squirrels. And Bunnicula.
King’s to you, Squirrel. King’s to you.
Chapata Four: Stephanie Prevails
The Veggie Patch shenanigans made me smile, and I prevailed. Yay me.