i went to my friend’s 40th birthday. everyone gathered in the kitchen. one person talked at a yelling level. my friend’s husband normally talks at a half a yelling level. with those two talking loudly everyone had to raise their level to be heard. on top of that, three conversations carried on at the same time. man, it got loud. i could feel my anxiety start to climb to uncomfortable levels.
i left to another room hoping for more quiet. that help but kids would still run through the room. i worked on a puzzle on my ipad. i also hear Mary queried if anyone knew where i was. i kept quiet. i heard a conversation in the kitchen and overheard brunt pizza lady say something about people having their noses buried into their electronic devices. soon, burnt pizza lady poked her head around the corner and will a little disdain said, “there he is. he’s working on his ipad or something.”
i held my ground, trying to stay away from the noise. as i sad there, i still thought the noise level teetered on uncomfortable, nearly to triggering levels. as i sat there i realized i felt slightly nauseous. at the same time i felt marginally hungry, i decided to run the gauntlet.
upon entering the kitchen and crossing the room to my wife, she asked, “is everything okay? i told her that i felt a little nauseous. she replied pointing to her new found friend, “you are in luck! she’s a nurse!”, she said jokingly. the nurse mentioned something about not having her nausea meds. i gather some food and headed out to the backyard. at least there, the noise didn’t overwhelm me.
i ate my dinner in a somewhat slow and mindful manner, trying not to shovel my food. that often happens when i have anxiety. when finished i started to write this. soon, the silence got pierced by the pitter padder of little feet on the cement patio along with the piercing scream and joyful giggles of happy kids. soon, their attention turned to the play set not but thirty feet from me. there goes the neighborhood. i took off to a wood bench along side the garage. periodically, a kid would scamper by and i could hear an adult conversation just under an earshot away. while i sat there, i texted Mary so she’d know my hiding place.
soon, i heard Mary beckoning forth. her request, at best, sounded garbled, so i tracked her down. she informed me the time had come to cut the cake. the cake looked massively cool. the frosting got used to make the cake look like two stacked pieces of logs. it got too loud for me so i retreated to my front room location. Mary stuck her head around the corner and asked if i wanted vanilla or chocolate ice cream. my plate arrived sans cake. i asked if i got a piece a cake, she apologized thinking i didn’t want cake. she took my plate back and return with a piece of cake.
i return to the relative quiet of the back yard made possible since the kids stayed inside eating their cake and ice cream. soon, i heard the muffled sound of Mary bellowing my name. i tracked her down and she informed me the time had come to open presents.
man, too many people chattered at the same time and i found it too loud. this time, i felt i couldn’t escape to the living room since i would not be present for the opening of the presents. i ducked around a corner to try to block out at least a little of the sound. soon all the presents had been ohhed and ahhed and shortly there after we headed for home.
on the way home i shared what i had written with Mary. she chuckled when i read burned pizza lady. then she asked me to if the writing helped. “duh!” okay, i didn’t say that. i said i found it helped and it gave me a chance to do something somewhat productive.
Mary then preceded to defend the burnt pizza lady. she found three ways or so to try to convince me that the bpl had no ill intent with her comment. i stood by my little disdained, that’s how i saw it, and from my point of view, that’s how it went down. i reminded Mary about the bpl comments in the conversation about electronic devices. she concurred and defended the tone of bpl, yet again! i answered back as politely as i could,”why do you keep defending her?” Mary offered up one final defending statement. i said, in a relatively calm voice, “there you go again.” then, Mary claimed that she got it.
i had felt like i had offered up an emotion, disdain, which carried no right or wrong. Mary’s continual defense of the bpl felt like an attempt to convince me that bpl didn’t speak with disdain. if she didn’t talk with disdain, then my feeling of disdain must be wrong. but emotions carry no value of right or wrong; they just are. then, in the situation bpl could speak in disdain and not speak with disdain at the same time. that hurts my head, true and false at the same time. sure, that could be true considering point of view, but Mary’s continual defense felt like an attempt to show me that my disdain did not fit the situation.
the ride became quiet. at one point she expressed her sadness in my struggle and the hurt i feel. i answer that i didn’t really feel hurt by tonight’s events. she said that she meant about hurt in general. a couple to a few times she told me how she stood of for me telling people i had only 2 hours of sleep that day.
oh, did i mention we were both operating on about two hours of sleep? yea, i guess i did.i think that added to the volatility in the car.
then, in a rather sharp tone, she said, ”i defended you! i defended you.”i told her i did not appreciate the sharp tone. she addressed me back saying that she always talked that way. i replied, “no, you have a much more sweet and calm voice.” after a few moments of silence, in her regular tone of voice, Mary told me that she defended me and went on to tell me about a particular instance. i thanked her for defending me and additionally told her that with the specific example, i could more fully appreciate what she had done for me. further expressed my appreciation .
thus ended the tumultuous part of the day. both operating on little sleep, we came home and went to bed. as my gramma use to say,”nighty night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”