Last week I was sitting in the waiting room while my daughter had her weekly session with her psychologist, whom I will call Dr. Abrams (because that’s actually his name). Jesse is 8 years old and she has issues. She’s pretty darn functional, but she’s definitely got a severe anxiety disorder and OCD, and then also she’s sort-of-Aspergers and on a tic spectrum somewhere, and there are some social cue issues, and a lot of rigidity and self-loathing. And maybe it’s all related to anxiety, or maybe it’s not. In other words, she’s got PITA (Pain In The Ass syndrome). Also she has severe egg allergies, which doesn’t sit well with anxiety and OCD, since we have to be rigidly careful about food exposures, and there’s a lot of hand washing involved in moving around the world. A perfect storm.
So I was sitting and listening to the usual assortment of strange noises issuing from behind the closed door of Dr. Abrams’s office, and ignoring my 4-year-old boy Nick because he had the iPad and didn’t need me. Jesse puts on good demos, giving Dr. Abrams an accurate glimpse of the type of ululating, whining, noisy complaining, and yelling that accompany this little tortured soul through her days. I spied a book on the coffee table, Love for no Reason, said cover of which references a prequel, Happy for no Reason. I peered at the photo of the author, Marci Shimoff, trying to take my mind off the Sounds of Jesse. Airbrushed, made-up, plucked, perfect white smile, the works. Marci’s eyebrows seemed to be sitting unnaturally high, in a way that said “botox” to me. I flipped through the Love book and quickly identified the seven love chakras I need to open so I can love for no reason. I began to seethe about Marci’s no-reason lifestyle, as I continued to hear Jesse sounding off to Dr. Abrams. What really would help me, I thought, is a book called Grumpy for no Reason. (Hence this blog.)
I couldn’t get those stupid no-reason books out of my head. I visited the web page for the no-reason lady. I discovered that she’s the bestselling author of a series of books about chicken soup. Very famous and rich, speaking tours, etc. I’ve never heard of her. I’m a little out of touch. But now I know what she’s selling, because it says so in big red letters on her webpage. “Be happy, wealthy, and well…Learn the secret to getting what you want.” This made me seethe even more. She’s not happy or loving for no reason. She does it for money. Love and happiness are profit-making enterprises.
If it was me, I would choose a different motto. This is my motto: “be grumpy, cheeky and well… Learn the secret to living with what you’ve got.” It ought to be enough.
Recently I was extremely grumpy with the kids in the evening; I snapped and grumbled and yelled my way through our evening routine.
Oh wait, that’s almost every night.
Anyway, on this particular evening, we snuggled up in bed together (aka, they smothered me with their tiny little bodies). Through the muff of their hair, I mumbled these words. “You guys have really irritated me today. I’m grumpy. But I love you, and I’m so happy to be here with you, even though you drive me crazy. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.” We hugged all over each other and went to sleep content.
I’m thinking I’ve got the no-reason thing going on.