Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(Un) Grateful

Yours truly woke up: off.

Not on the wrong side of the bed. No, she was all cozy in her proper little corner, Satan's Familiar at her feet and Merrick (He Who Climbs Into the Parental Bed at 5 AM Daily) at her side.

Mind you, these three bodies were on 1/8th of the king-size bed. John somehow requires the rest.

She digresses. The message? The poor path was established early on. The Matron was grumpy.

The outfit she had carefully mapped out the night before? Entirely untenable in the daylight. Ugh. After some closet ransacking, just ONE skirt and shirt out of a closet of dozens would do. Clothes didn't fit, purse was wrong, earrings blah-blah. It was like PMS without the actual time in the cycle.


She felt smug with her eventual wardrobe success. There's nothing liking looking good when you don't feel good. It's a narcotic. Until she was walking into her classroom and noticed the Grand Canyon-size hole in her purple wool tights, a convenient inch above her knee and well below her skirt. No amount of tight scrunching would do.

And one of her braids had come out.

The Matron spent quite some mental energy on Mood Arrangement. She reached into her little Self Help Toolbox for the big guns: gratitude practice, living in the moment, calming breath, guerrilla meditation.

Until she started preparing her Women's Studies lecture with its statistics on female life expectancy and childbirth rates. Let's just sum up the day's lesson: live in one of many African and Asian countries and you have approximately 6.8 children and die at 43.

Ah, but the Matron was not to be deterred by reality! She recalled a theory that the psyche follows the face. Smile, and if the world doesn't smile with you, at least your mood will improve. Alas, smiling while reporting said statistics to Women Studies students is bad pedagogy. Instead of feeling better, everybody (including the Matron) was just confused.

But the Matron was determined to be in a good mood. Goddamn it.

Pushing through to the positive is exhausting but yours truly persevered. Not to be beaten, rise up, think happy -- even as Utter Futility made itself clear, she continued. Red lights, dropped purse, forgotten lunch, lost keys? Be in the moment, Matron : -).

Sitting through a loooooong middle-school choir concert (but Scarlett had an amazing solo!! certainly everyone else loved it too?) and later tedious parent meeting about a mishandled school crisis ? Radiate loving kindness. Good practice opportunity, right?!


Wiped out from all that feigned happiness, she was trudging toward her house when. .. . really: she was attacked by a dog.

This was not Toto on a rampage, folks, but an enormous German Shepherd breaking free from a semi-shut door to maul the intruder (this would be the Matron) on HIS sidewalk. Maul, he did. The Matron oversize dense wool sweater saved her but not her shirt underneath, which was ripped to shreds --oh, and the bleeding bruised meatball bites on her arm.

The Matron? NOT HAPPY.

Sometimes you just get to be pissed off. And she realized that's just where she belongs, in the bleeping moment. Throwing off that serenity mask felt wonderful.

And the canine menace next door? Work in progress . . . rabies vaccine documentation en route (supposedly up to date) and big promises of more secure home fortress. Animal Control has been queried (they're useless). The Matron's arm is bandaged and soaked in antibiotics. She sees the doctor tomorrow. Still. As far as she's concerned, the Devil Lives Next Door.

Next to Merrick. And yes, she's in a Bad Mood.


MJ said...

Sometimes a good bark and a bite from you (not the neighbours' dog) is exactly what the doctor should have ordered.

Tomorrow will be better and you can practice your life affirming mantras then. Everyone's entitled to a bad day and you had yours so you should be good to go for a while. (It's kinda like getting an oil change after every XXXX miles).

Suburban Correspondent said...

I would file a police report. Animal Control often can't do anything until the second or third report. The next person to be attacked will be able to get something done.

Mrs. G. said...

I hope tomorrow is better. I'm impressed you held it together until the dog.

Some of my friends understand me well enought to know when I'm extra made up to ask, "Bad day, huh." I get that part.

trash said...

Actual real life dog bite? Uhoh. Reason right there to let the rest of the day go. Hope today is better.

Anonymous said...

Oh sheesh. A crap day that wraps up with a dog bite? Crack open the wine and pull on your sweats and call it quits, hon.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

How awful! All the lead-up to the dog bites were bad enough... but what if it had been Merrick instead of you? Police report absolutely should be filed.

The stats for your lecture were bad enough. You've earned the right for releasing some righteous anger.

JFS in IL said...

File the police report. If the neighbor gives you the stink-eye, glare back at them and say "What if it is a child next time?"

*m* said...

Yikes! Some days are just doomed from the start. Hopefully a new day and new month started out better.

And I have to agree with others that while it might not feel neighborly to file a police report, it will feel worse if that dog attacks another person (esp. a kid) in the future.

Hang in there. And may I say that it's been so nice to see your posts popping up in my reader again. You've been missed.

Anonymous said...

I hope today is better!

I got attacked by a dog while in college - except it was a "toto" and thus resulted in a bite to my lower leg. Yet it was deep and hurt. And man were those people pissed when I presented them with a doctors bill for the shot I had to get. Hello? YOUR dog bit me while running willy-nilly around around the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Poor thing. Dog is probably not rabid, how did you get the thing off you? Mary (Love your site)

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Definitely a horrible, no good, bad day. Do file a report!
Any chance the neighbor will at least pay for damages or are they not that sort?
Hate to admit that after a day like you had, I'd be tempted to add that pair of tights to the bill... ~annie