Friday, February 4, 2011

The double-edged sword of PMS

Okay, so just returned from two weeks of fun and adventure in Palm Springs with lots of stories to tell, but since I have raging PMS right now, I'm gonna write about that instead.

I've never been a PMS apologist who claims it doesn't exist and gives anyone crass enough to mention it the hairy eyeball. Frankly, I couldn't hide my PMS if I tried.

Anyone who knows me more than casually knows how my hormones can hijack me faster than a 747 over Libyan airspace.

Back in college (when Beavis and Butthead was all the rage), I used to pull my T-shirt over my head and chase my friend Rachel around our dorm shouting, "I am the great Hormonio!"

(Remember that Beavis? I call her Beavis. Still. She calls me Beavis too).

Anyhow, last night was kind of a typical PMS night for me. I was a cranky, bitchy wreck of a human being. Valerie, be glad you weren't home!

I went to Wal-Mart to get some groceries. I had just run a bunch of mile repeats and was STARVING! The only thing I wanted was Morning Star brand Buffalo Wings (my grown up PMS food).

When I got home, I realized that I had somehow left the bag with both my buff wings and my garden burgers at Wal-Mart. So being both PMSsy and also hangry, I proceeded to have a massive meltdown.

It didn't help that when I opened the back of the Honda (still crowded with all my unpacked vacation crap), my case of Pabst Blue Ribbon came sliding out and landed on my toes.

Then I saw a box of Jen's hand-blown glass bees ($80 a pop) teetering on the verge of crashing to the pavement. Fortunately I caught it before it fell, but it only made me even more strung out.

I began to tear the car apart in search of the missing wings and burgers. When I didn't find them, I swear to you, I started cursing inanimate objects. I was like, bleep you Honda! Bleep you garden burgers! Bleep you, Wal-Mart!

Fortunately, my next-door neighbor was in Wyoming, so he didn't call the cops. But that was a pretty typical PMS evening for me.

But you know what? PMS can cut both ways. And on vacation just a few days ago, it actually worked in my favor for once.

It happened when Jen and I went to the "Amazing Animal Show" (or similar ridiculous spectacle) at The Living Desert in California. The retired volunteers at the park assured us it was a must see.

I said to Jen, "The second an animal dances, I'm outta here."

She said, "Let's sit over there by the exit." We weren't so optimistic, see.

At the start of the show, the trainer held up her glove and out of nowhere, this beautiful great-horned owl came flapping over the audience and landed on her arm. There were lots of oohs and ahs.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said the trainer. "I'd like you to meet ... Boob-o."

At the mention of this name, some synapse in my brain misfired on apocalyptic scale. I looked at Jen and said, in my best Butthead voice, "His name is Boob ..." And then I was laughing about as hard as I've ever laughed in my life.

Laughing loudly and obnoxiously and doubling over in spasms and gasping for breath. Laughing so hard tears started pouring down my face. Laughing harder than I've ever laughed at anything that was actually funny.

"Oh god," I sobbed and laughed. "Do you have a Kleenex, Jen?"

All I could picture was the trainer stopping the show to scold me for my interruption. Which made me laugh even harder.

Or getting escorted out by security, or the medical team. Which was pretty funny too.

It took me about five minutes to compose myself. But throughout the show (in which I'm happy to say no animals danced), periodic snorts of obnoxious laughter erupted from my nose.

So what set me off? I'm 99 percent sure it was PMS. It was the same overwhelming tidal wave of emotion that hits me when I'm watching the news at that time of the month and suddenly I'm crying over a dog stuck in a cave or a kid giving his allowance to the homeless.

But for once, instead of irritability, the emotion was pure, unbridled mirth. Delight. Lightness. Joy. Because for a just a minute, that poor owl's name was the funniest thing in the multiverse.

I wish I had more months like that.


Okay, I realize the owl's name was actually probably spelled Bubo (though Boob-o, complete with hyphen, was the spelling that popped into my head). So when I went home and googled Bubo, this was the first link I got:

Seriously, this poor owl can't win.

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