I have been sitting down to write this post and then standing right back up again. If, by "standing right back up again" I mean sitting here shoving some Christmas cookies in my mouth.
Stress = food in Suebobland. Or, more closely stress = carbs, because, really, only carbs will do.
I don't have a reason for real stress. All is well here. I just have the stress of disappointing myself so severely that I am all spun out and discombobulated.
Confused yet? Let me 'splain.
Last night we had our Christmas eve service at church. I wasn't in the mood to start with. It was cold and the wind was blowing hard and I wanted to do nothing more than to stay home with the dog and be warm and cozy. But my folks had asked me to pick up some steak dinners for them for their Christmas eve meal, so I had to go out anyway, and decided to go do the church thing while I was out of my PJs.
The place looked gorgeous and everyone was dressed in festive colors and the string quartet was beautiful.
Then I heard a snorfling noise behind me. I looked back and someone whom I like was sitting right back in the next row, wiping her nose. I took one look at her and realized she had a bad cold.
I am not really germ phobic. I never use antibacterial soap and I grab washroom door handles without a paper towel and generally don't worry much about the filth of the world.
But this thing - this going out in public with a cold when it is absolutely unnecessary and especially when people are confined together in an enclosed place - it has become a huge source of anger for me.
I sat there just feeling this woman - who is, again, someone I really like - breathing her cold germs over all of us. I was trapped with her for an hour, stuck and miserable, absolutely unaffected by the baby Jesus story or the beautiful carols because all I could think about was HOW DARE SHE!
I wanted to leave but I couldn't bring myself to stand up in front of the whole congregation at Christmas eve and march out. I remained, boiling and squirming.
After the service, she hugged my friends and said "Merry Christmas." She leaned toward me and I hissed "Do you have a cold?" I didn't even hide my contempt.
"Yes," she admitted, kind of sheepishly. "Can I just shake your hand?"
"No!" I said, in the tone of a 13-year-old when asked if he wants to hang around with his parents at the mall.
I backed up and left the hall as quickly as possible.
That's right. Less than 15 minutes after hearing the story of Jesus and the manger and the Light of the World, I was snarling at a fellow church member and was in a towering rage.
I couldn't shake it. I wanted to punch something. I was not just a little angry. I was very, very mad at this person for ruining my Christmas eve and for trying to infect me with her germs.
Let me be clear: I know it was me that ruined my Christmas eve. And I know she was not trying to infect me purposely. I am taking this issue way too personally. I am feeling like people who go out in public when they are sick are saying "I don't care about you. I really don't give a thought to anyone but myself."
I am trying to get my brain into a better place, because I am spending too much time being angry and resentful about this. I don't want to have this stupid thing in my heart and in my mind.
But I still want to yell at sick people who do stupid stuff like going to church or museums or amusement parks. Because? GAH.