Yesterday I was a jerk but today not quite so much

On February 8, 2013 by Eden M. Kennedy

The astrology app on my iGoogle home page is so weirdly on-point sometimes that I am often happy to think that Venus, Saturn, and the bones of Copernicus are responsible for who I am today. But invariably I’ll read one of those long monthly forecasts online that predicts the best days for me to plant corn or have an orgasm and I’ll get all excited, and then I’ll get mixed up and plant my corn on my orgasm days and then our garden goes CRAZY and I’m finding Doritos in my underpants.

According to my latest horoscope, Wednesday was supposed to be some amazing career day where if I asked for a raise I’d totally get one, not taking into account the fact that I work for a government agency and am about as likely to get a raise as to get a city-sponsored hot air balloon to pick me up for work in the morning. Ironically, however, I finally got the insurance check for my totaled car and put it into the bank on Wednesday, so it was a big money day? But the astrologer who told me to ask for a raise maybe has a limited imagination about how creatively the stars and planets can reach into my wallet.

I have to say, there was some weird energy in the air around the middle of the week. We were watching the most recent Downton Abbey episode on Tuesday night and Jack made a crack about Lady Mary wanting to learn to cook and I burst into tears. Then Wednesday I just felt itchy and manic, which means I was probably tailgating you and thinking uncharitable thoughts about your inability to use your turn signal, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wondered what it would be like to smack into you if you opened your car door just a little wider and stuck your ass out just a little farther into the street without checking for oncoming traffic. I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I glared and complained into the airless dark of my goddamned rental car with its mushy steering and terrible shocks and lazy acceleration and ugly interior.

I was on my way over to Renaud’s the next morning to buy croissants for an early morning staff meeting and as I got out of my car I sort of fell in next to this woman who was clearly going to Renaud’s, too. It’s awkward enough to be walking next to a total stranger through an empty strip mall, but she was walking at a pace that made me really anxious because I was going to be late if I didn’t get my hustle on, but she was older than me and my God, who was I becoming? Someone who fantasized about clipping pedestrians and beating old ladies to the front of the croissant line? So I sped up to a trot and passed her, and she made this little gasping noise, and when I got to the door I held it open for her so she could go in first. SWITCHEROO. It was really funny how relieved she was to find that I wasn’t actually a giant asshole. She ordered her latte and was so happy, now she wouldn’t be late for school (she was a substitute teacher), and what did I do? Oh, libraries are wonderful! Librarians are wonderful, too! You’re buying croissants for librarians? THAT’S WONDERFUL.

So I felt like I got my karma straightened out a little. I did some other nice stuff for old people that day, too, but I’m not going into it other than to say you need to watch out for some of those old guys, they are super flirtatious. I bet they know all sorts of things about plowing corn.

This drawing was a long time coming, it’s for someone who got on board after I’d closed donations so she just sent me $20 and told me what to draw, which is a “witty, postmodern version of Alice falling down the rabbit hole.”


Get it? She’s falling into a black hole! Which you might have picked up even if my little Stephen Hawking in the corner didn’t tip you off. I put a stretched-out pocket watch in there for a reference to the March Hare with a dash of Dalí. (Like I need to explain that to you.) Anyway, this took an inordinate amount of thought on my part, plus I was intimidated by having an actual commission. I will try to get over it, because this was fun and I want to do more.



17 Responses to “Yesterday I was a jerk but today not quite so much”

  • I’m also really sorry that those tree leaves look like pubic hair.

  • I am totally OK with pubic-hair leaves, but mildly disconcerted by Alice’s garters. (Though probably she wore them, right? Probably she wore all kinds of crazy underwear.) Anyway, it is always a treat to see that you’ve posted again, though I am sorry to hear you have been subject to the random aggressive thought. That’s what it’s like to be me all the time, I fear.

    • I think her garters are mildly disconcerting, too, and the fact that I didn’t give her any bloomers. I blame all the Ronald Searle schoolgirl drawings I looked at as a kid.

  • This speaks to me so deeply because in many ways I am a jerk in public space–all the people. They bug me so.

    And I had this one moment where I was being a jerk (in my mind only) and there was some old lady involvement (I remember this vaguely) and I had this thought how I need to change my life *completely* if I’m getting so impatient.

    So I thought ‘well if I just started doing yoga again I could see the beauty of all humanity and would be calm and peaceful and loving.’ But YOU do yoga all the time and I see you are struggling. But maybe it’s the yoga that got you to open the door for the lady.

    It is fully unacceptable to me that I am running around on earth and people are just objects in my way or vaguely threatening coworkers who stress me out–I’m down to 2 people who I feel good about (husband and child naturally) and that seems like too few people. Meanwhile, my daughter is loving all humanity. (Except for 2 kids in her class. Long story.) It’s sad I lost that. I want it back.

    So yoga? Or what?

    • It’s interesting that you ask that because the other day I was pissed off by something Jack had said (he was tired and sick and not particularly in the mood to be whoever I needed him to be at the moment), and I had the thought that he was just a difficult yoga pose. If I were in a yoga studio trying to stuff my ankle behind my head, I’d recognize that it was a hard pose and I’d just breathe and do the best I could and then let go of the results and move on to the next one. So I hugged him and went off and did something else, because yelling or demanding that he feel any different that he felt would be insane. Literally insane. It was a freeing moment, believe me. So, yes, I think people are difficult yoga poses; sometimes my own thoughts and feelings are difficult yoga poses; and the kindest way to get through them is to calm the fuck down. It takes work, but it’s worth it because sometimes you end up smiling like an idiot at really ordinary things.

      • Oh my god I think you just fixed me. Not in the ‘no more having kittens under the sofa’ sense. Yoga. That’s it.

        • Although I bet you’ll never have kittens under the sofa again, either. Bonus! Mrs. K. has *powers*

      • I read this fascinating thing on reddit meditation (I don’t meditate–I just read about it!) that our feelings that cause us suffering which we direct toward other people are attempts to make them change. Futile attempts. We irrationally feel anger thinking this might work since nothing else does. Clearly, this isn’t 100% true but bizarrely useful to me somehow in letting go of pointless feelings toward others. If you know you can’t change others (and I can barely change myself, so hello!) then there isn’t any point in getting angsty about them. Accepting this makes it much easier not to freak out (for me at least).

        I love the yoga pose idea as applied to other people. The yoga pose just is. I can’t do a large percentage of the poses and I’m OK with that. I do whatever is possible for me.

  • Awesome post! reading it made my day.

  • I love your yoga comment response. It is sheer genius. Also: “SWITCHEROO.” Perfection. That is all.

  • That’s a difficult one:) I never know if I should overtake the slow walker and become the uncaring speedy giant or die of boredom as the calm snail paced stalker. I suppose the former is what the heart wants but reason often pushes me reluctantly into the latter:)

  • Eden, I received the drawing about 30 minutes ago in the mail then ran over to the computer to see if you had posted about it. I adore it! You nailed Hawking’s knowing expression — and Alice’s vacant one, too. I love the garters, the pubic hair trees, the tree stripes and the Cheshire Cat as smiling Buddha. Plus, it made me laugh. Thank you so much.

  • A post that includes corn, Downton Abbey, Stephen Hawking, and the fuckers who are turn-signal impaired? Today you win the internet. hell, you win for the week.

  • I noticed this site because of picture (retro one with 2 guys and the little girl in winter).
    Who is fussy? is this site belong to that young lady in the photo( above )?

    love to check comments, interesting.