It’s been a rough week and I didn’t know why. Now I do.
Yerdad was traveling, and that can make for some weird sleep problems, but I think I have finally hacked the insomnia: instead of listening to some lullaby baloney on my phone, I set Mad Men to run all night at a low volume. It’s perfect background noise, with its excellent sound design and occasional groovy tunes.
Yesterday I woke up feeling like I slept well enough but with the lingering feeling that we really need to do something about Sally. Poor Sally.
Sally’s not my problem, I remembered. But what or who is my problem right now? I’m done with mood swings, so why was I pouting through a beautiful bout of garden weeding before breakfast?
It was so strange. I know I’m off balance when the dogs annoy me just by staying close, and boy were they a bunch of jerks this week. Rocketman actually landed in my lap while I was driving. Such a jerk and so unsafe!
My desk was pissing me off too. All the clutter that I normally enjoy in a perverse way became irksome. Who needs so many stupid pens? Nobody, that’s who. And you know what? My organizational ADD management seemed like bullshit, too. I needed to do something completely different. Maybe I should go to the beach. Maybe I should stop writing this stupid novel and just read great books. On the beach.
I kept my office door closed a lot. I didn’t want to chat with the kids after work, but I didn’t want to not chat with them at the same time. Struggle struggle what’s my trouble?
Finally, last night we set out to the not quite final drama awards gathering. We’ve had a delightful college graduation pile-up, a couple of proms, a gala for the area high school drama awards, complete with a stunning song performance by a Broadway Quasimodo, one college student’s triumphant move-in, a couch rescue and pet reunion. We’re more than half-way through the whirl of May, but as of last night, we still had at least three more ceremonies and a party coming up.
In the lobby, the kids began to embrace and cry all over again. Nobody can drama like a pack of drama kids. I hung back to watch, because that’s what I do at these spectacles. Another pack member arrived and her mom headed straight for me. I’ve been worried that this mom was still mad at me, because I wielded a poorly-timed joke the last time I saw her, but it seemed I was forgiven. Good. She could kill me without breaking a sweat.
She is an exasperated amazon and we really should be better friends; that we are not is entirely my fault, I’m sure. We barely said hello, as has been our habit for the past twelve years. Instead, we got immediately into the dissection of the problems and feelings of the moment. “I lost it,” she said, “while I was packing her last lunch this morning.”
That’s the thing. Right there. Like my amazonian almost-friend, my baby is graduating high school. I’ve been so occupied by the graduation treadmill, I was bound to get distracted and go splat off the end. In the past ten years, we have had ten graduations, soon to be eleven. I thought two college graduations in two different towns was hectic, but this year has been so much more bonkers.
I’m not sad to be done with their old school. I wasn’t sad to see the last of my own high school, so if anything was going to transfer it would be relief; no more skunk clouds at dawn, no more heartache of finding a crumpled assignment a day late in the bottom of a sticky bag. Those are my leftover high school feelings and they reek of guilt. Screw that nonsense. Where’s the beer?
So my funk was definitely because of some kind of sadness, but it wasn’t my sadness, only an echo of the blues the kids were feeling. They all gave speeches later on about never forgetting each other and feeling changed by their theater family. I listened and wondered if they realized that they had actually completed something more like compassionate confidence class. Drama has made them all stronger, and it’s great that they know it.
I’m not worried about them. I’m not sad for them. For the moment, I’m just sad with them.
Also I am very tired of gowns.
Need a book to read that is entirely different than navel gazing about graduations and the relentless marching of time and teenagers? Here’s one you may like: book info. Please let me know if you do!!