When I was in high school, my friends and I, in an effort to be ironic and deep, posited, “Are we all just Barbies in someone else’s dream house?” In 1998 the movie “The Truman Show” followed a man who had lived his entire life unknowingly on the set of a reality TV show of which he was the star. Some days I stop and really consider the fact that it’s entirely possible I am living my own version of “The Truman Show”.
This week would have been a humdinger of an episode. This week we had “a very special episode” on Wednesday when I lived through the nightmarish drama of a radiology field trip through my left breast. A finding on my mammogram turned into a 2 hour odyssey through the mammography and ultrasound suites at the hospital. In the end, the report reads, “probably OK, but we’ll see you in 6 mos to be sure.” Could be better, could be worse. I left the hospital and got into my car. It took a few minutes for me to be able to grasp the steering wheel since my arms felt like overcooked spaghetti. I felt like I had spent the morning lifting weights.
I made it home, but had to turn around and run out to purchase the makings of a basket to present to my son’s music teacher for teacher appreciation week. While at Target I saw no fewer than half a dozen people I know. I’m sure I looked like what the cat dragged in after the morning I had. I tried having a conversation with one friend but I was interrupted by a phone call from a woman with whom I have been discussing a business proposal. Unfazed by the fact that my daughter is having surgery on Tuesday, she pushed for me to come meet with her on Monday. “Time is of the essence,” she squirted into my ear. So, there in the middle of Target, I discussed my possible career moves, my mammography disaster and my daughter’s impending medical procedures. Attention Target Shoppers…is there anyone who didn’t hear EVERYTHING I just said? Please report to housewares for complete details on the freakfest that is my life!
After Target, I went to go retrieve my daughter from her playdate. On the way there, while on the phone with a friend, I missed a call from an unfamiliar number. Upon listening to the voicemail, I found that the surgical scheduler of the doctor with whom I had originally scheduled my daughter’s surgery, the same doctor whose office had rudely called me and told me that the accommodation they had originally agreed to make for me was no longer going to be made (long story) after which I had told them that I would find a new doctor (deep breath), had called me and chewed me out for cancelling the doctor’s insurance authorization which, she acknowledged, was my right, but that it would have been nice for me to call and let them know! WH-WHA-WHAT????? I called her back in an indignant furor and let her know that it was HER office that called ME and accused me of trying to circumvent the doctor (which I didn’t do), and then hung up on me when I said I was no longer interested in having him perform the surgery. I concluded the conversation in the foyer of my daughter’s friend’s house in front of the mother who I don’t know very well and who I am sure now thinks I am certifiably insane. Great.
I took my daughter to pick up my son and his friend. We arrived a little ahead of schedule and so we sat in the car waiting to drive around and retrieve the boys. A friend was walking by and so I caught her attention and tried to catch up. My daughter started yelling at me, kicking my seat and generally acting out. I was fully mortified by her behavior and apologized to my friend over my daughter’s cries of, “STOP TALKING!!!!!”
Upon returning home my overtired 5 yr old lost her mind, lashing out at my son’s friend for laughing at her. When I turned to him and asked, in an exasperated tone, “did you laugh at her?” the boy broke down in tears on my kitchen table. He lifted his head and wheezed, “I can’t help it…I laugh at everyone!!!” I now had a 5 yr old who was exhibiting possible signs of hydrophobia and an 9 yr old boy in the throes of a personal crisis that my daughter had incited. I went into my daughter’s room to calm her down. She sat on her bed sobbing and heaving and screamed, “YOU HATE ME!!” at me. I said, “Why would you say that??” She screeched, “Because you made me sit in a hot car and that made me mad and now I have to say mean things to you because you made my day worser!” I did my level best to diffuse her. Eventually I made progress. I brought her back to the kitchen to make peace with my son’s friend. It took some time, but we got there.
After the peace accords, it was time to drive to practice. I dropped the boys at the field and then started home to begin decompressing. About a mile from my house rain started hitting my windshield. Not dainty, misty rain. It was big, chunky, fat rain. You know the kind of rain I mean…it only takes 4-5 drops to soak your whole body from head to toe. I turned the car around and went back to the field. The sun came out. It was like the sun was giving me the finger. It was saying, “Eff you and your need to lay down and try to forget the hell of your morning!” And then I swear, I heard the sun laugh at me.
Eventually, my husband made it home with dinner and flowers in hand (awww). The kids were fed and then he took them out so I could have some quiet time. I pulled out my book and got into bed. I turned on my bedside lamp and started reading. I think I read about 5 paragraphs and the next thing I knew the garage door was opening. I looked at the clock, 8:44. My room (thanks to the lamp) was bright, it seemed like daylight. In my fog I started to panic. I heard the kids’ voices. OMIGOD! We overslept!! I jumped up. The kids came into the room. I blurted, “We overslept! We need to get moving!!” My son burst into laughter. “What’s so funny?” I cranked, feeling groggy and stressed.
“Mom, it’s nighttime!”
I must be on TV, right?