Unless some other urgent matter claims your attention, of course.
Gotta be flexible.
Okay, so the long-due break you believed to be imminent dissolved into a handful of ephemeral dreams that blew away with the autumn winds, and the slap in the face is sharp and (somewhat) unexpected. Tremble inside, fall apart just a little bit (but stand tall in your stilettos!), place the veil of ordinariness over your soul, turn off the ‘emotion’ switch, and freshen up your lipstick, damn it.
Smile to all, proceed with your responsibilities as usual, just stop thinking. We all know that thinking is bad business, after all. Detrimental to one’s mental health. Stay numb, watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’, have a glass of Chardonnay (or three), become the sheep you were meant to be and follow the leader.
So, you shall not cry yet, okay? Dinner needs to be started, upon your return for the ‘bread winner’ adventure in the land of ‘what am I doing here’. Slice, chop, sauté, reduce, mix, serve. Voilà, all is normal in suburbia, even the pumpkins have been artfully arranged on the front steps.
Oh, heck, the land line phone seems to be on strike: no bloody dial tone. Get on an internet chat with the phone company, explain your problem in details and sound infinitely idiotic when the well-meaning representative asks you to check if all lines are plugged into the modem and you start panicking because you don’t know where the frigging modem is (orwhat it is), though you promise him to check anyway. Crawl under the furniture in the basement, stare at the tangle of wires and cables, silently curse those who should be here doing this instead of you, and still be unable to identify the modem. So, you meekly tell the professionally patient phone person that you have no clue what a modem looks like and he sends you a link to Amazon where you can view a photo of said item (while he’s possibly laughing off this call with his phone room colleagues, right before they decide to order Chinese).
But of course, while you’re busy searching for a phantom modem, you can’t even consider that good cry. Your heart (your spirit, your temper) needs to remain calm and rational (or close to it), buck up, stiff upper lip, be a modern woman, strong and moderately bitchy.
The laundry is ready to be removed from the dryer (quick, before wrinkles start to show up and you’ll have to iron! – ungrateful chore); later, the routine worrying for the younger members of the family who aren’t home yet begins to take effect, and the previous tears change the subject, as you practice your pacing while putting together tomorrow’s lunch bags (only the non-perishable items, naturally).
Wake up with a good face tomorrow. Cheery, eager, kind, helpful, inspiring. Only positive thoughts, the pain needs to be buried in the little dark place and wait its turn. Drive safely, yield, focus, be a good citizen.
Soon it will be 4pm. The house will be quiet. The silence will embrace your broken pieces.
Then it’s 4:30: You now have permission to cry.