August 7, 2018

the tree scrotum

I almost didn't put this
here because now I have
to look at it a lot.
Therapist Gumby:  "So we were planning to talk about your cunt of a sister today, yes?  Do some more work on that?"

Me:  "Yeah.  Promised last week that we would.  Guess we have to.  If I can.  Whatever."

TG:  "Hmmm."

Me:  "But that's like asking you to do your math homework in the middle of the infield during a major league baseball game.  Just saying.  My brain is all everywhere today.  Hey, is the lighting in here different?  How long has that picture been there?"

TG:  "Well, let's try, and the distractions might subside.  It's worth a try, isn't it?"

Me:  "Are you accusing me of being obstructive?"

TG:  "No, I am not accusing you of being obstructive, nor do I think you are being obstructive.  Just a little distracted.  So about your cunt of a sister ... "

Me:  *tears welling up*  "You're irritated with me because you think I'm changing the subject because I don't think I can focus on my cunt of a sister, aren't you?  I can totally tell!"

TG:  "I am not irritated with you."

Me:  "You are, too!"  *counts on fingers, stares at ceiling while mouthing numbers*  "Oh, never mind.  I just figured out why I'm like this today.  I have PMS.  Wasn't expecting it so soon.  Sorry about that.  What were you saying?"

My mother spent most of my early adolescence thinking that I might be pregnant.  This sheds light both on her complete lack of reality contact when it came to my social life, because not very many years had passed since all of the birthday parties she had for me when she baked cupcakes and not a single fucking person showed up and our family grazed on cupcakes for a week, and on the complete lack of education we had as a society regarding polycystic ovarian syndrome, which, it turns out, you can have from the onset of puberty if you spent most of your childhood subsisting on a diet of Gorton's fish sticks and three-liter bottles of grape soda.

I started my period when I was eleven, shortly before my twelfth birthday.  I discovered this in a Hardee's bathroom, which is hardly romantic, and came out into the dining room and told Grandma, because I knew she wouldn't overreact or start telling me Things.  She did neither.  I loved that woman.  Even then, I dreaded going home and telling my mother for fear she'd get gushy and emote.  I really just wanted her to hand me a ten-spot so I could walk down to the drug store and get some pads, a silent transaction, but I had to endure her waxing all "hark! my youngest daughter has blossomed into the flower of early womanhood blah blah blah" but without those words.

Even then.  I'm realizing right at this moment that this happened before she read my diary.  She gave me a sentimental look and I remember dreading it beforehand and enduring it unwillingly for the few seconds it lasted.  That's probably significant.

So when I didn't get another period the next month, those looks she gave me went from sentimental to suspicious.  I didn't get one the next month, either.  Or the next one.  My adolescent pattern was two or three times a year, because my ovaries and endocrine system were already croggled.  She only asked me outright twice that I can recall, but she probably lived on the edge and was secretly stashing bibs.

My twenties weren't much different, except that with the help of drugs and some other drugs and some weird drugs on top of those, I was able to conceive and carry two pregnancies.  That was also the decade in which I ended up in an urgent care facility nauseous and breathing shallow breaths because of the pain in my left hip, which turned out to be the result of a four-centimeter ovarian cyst that was "referring pain".  I didn't know about the right-sided thing back then and assumed my appendix had burst and I was moments away from a poignant, toxic death and that my child would scarcely remember his mother.  They gave me Advil.

Only after The Kid was born did I start having PMS.

Only after my gastric bypass did I start having regular cycles and real PMS.

I wasn't ready for that.  The ovary issues were knocked back and my endocrine system was all happy post-surgery, and suddenly I was one of those every-twenty-eight-day bitches from the locker room back in middle school who bragged about "being like clockwork."  Particularly like the bitchy part of those bitches.  And the cramps are horrible.  I take Tramadol for them.  Sometimes it helps.  Sometimes.

The hardest part has been learning how to distinguish between PMS and the mood disorder that's there all the time.  The only way to do it is math, because otherwise there's just no telling on those days.  I track it on my mood chart.  Today's scheduled PMS snuck up on me, but now I have some honey bourbon that I totally should not have in my coffee, because I already had a panic attack this morning because of the second hornet, and then I was an asshole to my therapist for part of the session, and driving home I flat-out told P.J. on the phone that I refused to cook and that there was a desiccated piece of leftover pizza and some pork-fried rice with bean sprouts that look like pinworms and some mozzarella cheese sticks in the refrigerator and that I therefore didn't understand the problem.

The kid came home from his dad's during our meal of nachos, cold steak, and a Lean Cuisine meal.  We were discussing this morning's hornet, which flew into the kitchen the moment I opened the door for the dogs to go out to pee, which was eighteen seconds after my alarm went off and I climbed out of bed.  But I was smart, because Sunday afternoon at the grocery store, I bought that god-damned can of Aqua-Net I was talking about, and I grabbed it and sprayed that fucker until he groveled and prayed to the God of Stingers, then killed him with the edge of a container of disinfectant wipes, because the swatter wasn't on its peg because one of us seems to have hidden it from the other, or from Rose, or something.

I wrote about Aqua-Net to be funny, but seriously, it is sine qua non when it comes to hornet arsenals.  He dropped almost immediately after I sprayed him.  I'm considering pairing the can with a Bic lighter next time.

P.J. called our Bug Guy and was told that European hornets can live anywhere and fly anywhere and do whatever they want, so we're fucked.  There was some detail in the middle of all that, but it didn't really matter.  He did say that they're probably being attracted to the huge-ass flood light we hung outside so we could see if Molly was peeing at night, so we're bringing this on ourselves, and that was pretty helpful information.  We can use yellow bulbs; that helps.  Oh, and they have two stingers, one to hold you close to them and the second to introduce you to a world of venomous pain.

I'm trying to decide if it would be worth watching an entire season of the original Care Bears in exchange for not being stung by one of these.  The jury's deliberating.

Our Bug Guy also said they'd have to find the nest.  P.J. suspected the Cock and Balls Tree in our back yard:

The Cock-and-Balls Tree

Our kid said he'd help me look, but I had the can of Aqua-Net, so he called through the screen door, "Actually, you can do this alone, since you're the only one with a weapon," because apparently I was in Rainbow Six Siege or something.  I approached the tree slowly.  "Does she think it's in the scrotum?" I yelled to him, oblivious of neighbors.  I heard him ask P.J.  "Yeah, check the scrotum carefully," he yelled back.

I approached the tree scrotum with great reluctance, and it had nothing to do with being gay.

I walked the whole yard but no nest could be found, and I'm kind of glad because if I had found it I wouldn't sleep tonight.  We can't watch them at dusk the way you watch yellow jackets return to their nests, because the hornets are active day and night.  The ones that work third shift get better pay from the union, I guess.

All of this is to say, my day started off shitty and then I was hit by walloping PMS, but at least there have been zero dog turds in it thus far, so it hasn't been literally shitty, and Therapist Gumby is super-understanding and really wasn't irritated at all, and my family is so awesome that they don't mind shouting loudly outdoors about tree-scrotum examination.  And when Molly isn't pissing or shitting or turning an entire rug upside-down while trying to bury a flat toy, she's really pretty cute, and Rose is a dear sweetheart, and while I might want to kill people right now, life isn't so bad.

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