In my twenty-eight years on this planet, I have never encountered anything quite like the organ twisting,
self-esteem massacring, want to hurl-myself-off-a-cliff-side-and-wash-away-all-traces-of-my-pathetic-existence, that attempting to write something of worth stirs in me -- all within the first three seconds of opening my laptop. What IS that?!? I haven't even typed one word and already my hands are trembling, pulse is racing, and there is a rhinoceros sitting on my chest. And am I mistaken, or did my vision just go black for a second? I mean, come on! Sitting down to work on my book does not need to put me in a state of bleak dysphoria.
I am not Jake Gyllenhaal, deactivating a bomb in the Source Code. I am not Tom Hanks, on the brink of unveiling possibly THE most controversially debated religious issue. I am not Gregory House M.D., mid-epiphany after a consult with Wilson, about to solve a medically implausible case, save the girl from a flesh eating virus, all while leaving me plenty of time to belittle my diagnostics team before I go down a half a bottle of Vicodin (Good show. Look it up on Hulu). I am simply Cara; writing a book, because it's fun. Er. Scratch that. Used to be fun. Last time I checked, experiencing a cocktail of symptoms, varying somewhere between cholera and spina-bifida is not a whole lot of fun. So! This is a dilemma, yes? I need to be able to put my prose on the page if I want to see this book finished before the actors I envision playing my teenage characters hit fifty-five.
What I need is some perspective; a real look at a situation conclusively agreed upon as terrible. Inside the garret I confine myself in each day, my world can seem quite desolate and hopeless. Cliche dialogue, a run-on sentence, or consistent usage of an incorrect "your" can spin me into hysterics in a mere 2.5 milliseconds. A fatal epidemic is sweeping across Africa, tornadoes are ripping apart entire cities, tsunamis are destroying hundreds of years of unprecedented industry and innovation and me... well, I'm barely clinging to my sanity because I can't seem to get my sentence structure just right. Hm. Yea... some perspective might be helpful. Thus, I have decided to blog about a day that has *almost* reached that point where I might find its atrocity humorous.
Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 -- my 7th wedding anniversary.
It started off pleasant enough; my doting, dashing, and romantically adorable husband woke me with a sweet kiss upon my sweaty, drool laden cheek. After a softly murmured, "Happy anniversary, my love," he allowed me a moment to make myself decent, before welcoming me into the kitchen with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The agenda was as followed: Wake up, have coffee, revel in a writing/editing/responsibility free morning, go to spa, relax. Well, two out of five isn't bad. Unless, that is, it really is that bad. You see, my husband is an over-achiever. Even worse, he doesn't know it, so that makes him a humble over-achiever. Feel free to glower at the screen with me. For our anniversary he presented to me, a creative, ingenious, and thoughtful gift. He has yet to ever give me a gift I don't absolutely adore. Because I am a writer, a selfish writer who uses every ounce of free time to pour into her own- Focus! Assuming the massages I had booked for us later that afternoon was "present" enough, I hadn't purchased anything for my darling husband. Did I mention that in addition to a thoughtful gift, he had also risen early that morning to declare his love for me via FB? I know... I suck. Immediately guilt laden and slightly tingling with competitiveness, I set off to do the same as he, wanting to boast of the endless and remarkable qualities of my dear husband. But alas, I am a writer. So, of course, it had to be perfect. THE GRANDEST MOST BESTEST ANNIVERSARY CARD EVERRRRRR!!! I spent over an hour clicking away, knowing my "revel in a responsibility free morning" was dwindling right before my eyes.
With that nuisance out of the way *huff huff* I stormed off to the bedroom to haphazardly throw on some clothes, and pack what my husband and I would need for dinner later that evening. It was precisely 1:30 p.m. The exact hour I had planned to be baking on the deck of the sauna with half-eaten cucumbers cupping my eyes. For the sake of expediency, I'll skip ahead. We rushed. We fought for a parking spot. We found out that our massages had not been scheduled as a "couples massage," but as individuals in separate rooms.
Oh, the romance.
Wanting to make the most of the fifteen minutes before my massage and use the sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi, I hurried to relax. Yes, that's right, I did say hurry to relax. And I might have been somewhat successful in that if there hadn't been more women vying for the facilities, than a bite on the neck from Robert Pattinson. You can imagine the tranquil state I was in as I stepped into the lounge to meet my husband and await our masseuses. Mm hm. When a formidable man, wearing a scrub-ish Burke Williams outfit and donning a furrow between his brows called my name, my stomach dropped. He frowned at me and said, "Do you have any particular areas that you- Oh, just come with me!" No joke. He took off at the speed of cheetah, while I panicked and managed to squeak out, "I think I would be more comfortable with a female technician." He said, "Okay, fine," and led me back into the lounge, ordering me to wait on the couch. My husband was -- I hoped -- already enjoying his 50 minute Pure Relaxation Massage. I waited for about five minutes on the lonely couch, until a petite young twenty-something strolled over to tell me, "Cara, I'm sorry , but we have no other technicians available today. Would you like me to cancel your appointment?"
And cue the tears.
Fast-forward ahead fifteen minutes. I am sitting on a ledge in the women's locker room, dabbing my eyes with a wadded up tissue, and attempting to invoke sympathy from a friend via text. Eventually they were able to dredge up a staff member to give the pathetic, sniveling woman bawling her eyes out, a 25 minute massage. Flat on my stomach, in the darkened room smelling of lavender and wafting oriental music through the speakers, the technician pauses mid-stroke and laughs. You see, my back had gone into spasm due to the fact that my "Special Anniversary Day!!" was amounting to as match fun as giving a walrus an enema.
It didn't go well.
Fast-forward ahead sixty minutes. I've just finished putting on my make-up and slipped into a snazzy dress. I'm eager to move on to the romantic dinner with my husband at our favorite restaurant and more than ready to put the whole dastardly drama of the day behind me. In a moment of complete and slightly sardonic randomness, I think to myself, the only thing that could possibly make this day any worse would be if...
Fast-forward ahead three seconds. Hyperventilating. The one and half carat center stone of my wedding ring is gone. No where to be found. Bye-bye. Kaput.
The Burke Williams staff is on their hands and knees with flashlights, the benevolent spa goers are gasping in horror as I stoically explain why I'm scanning the area around their feet, and my throat... it's locked as tight as a frog's butt, as I imagine walking out the door to tell my husband that our day just got a whole heck of a lot worse.
So... I bet you're wondering if I ever found the diamond. What do you think?
Fast-forward ahead forty-five minutes. I'm sitting in a booth at The Cheesecake Factory. I have a Vietnamese taco in one hand, a half diet-Pepsi, half Pepsi with a shot of grenadine in the other, (AKA: The Cara) and the consummate love of my life sitting across from me. Oh... and I have the diamond to my ring in my purse.
While the story ends with a crippled -- yet thankful -- happily ever after, the day still sucked like a Dyson. It is here I will visit when I need to be reminded what a bad day really looks like. Maybe then, I can actually get some freaking writing done.