Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mood Swings

I know that you could probably care less about my mood swings, so if you want to back out now, who could blame you? Others of you that know me probably think I am a tower of stability, never flinching, cracking, emoting or feeling. I have been described alternately as Mr. Spock or Sheldon. I am not nearly as smart as either one of those imaginary characters, but I do sometimes envy them their demeanor.

Despite my exterior of marble, mood swings have been a part of my life like forever. Today was no different. I woke up in a nice place. I was not sad or happy or anything but content. I was feeling some motivation and thinking about what I was going to do today. I had some coffee, took a shower and shaved and then dressed. I made a grocery list and headed out for my Saturday errands. I pulled up Chris Rice on the thumb drive I have plugged into my truck stereo and started driving to the gas station.

Music alters my consciousness. I'm not sure how that works, but in the space of a few minutes, it can make me want to dance (no one wants to see that - trust me), to sing (another bad idea) or weep. It's usually the combination of the words and music that will do it. Three Christian artists do this to me; Rich Mullins, Andrew Petersen and Chris Rice. Anyway, Chris was on the box. I was parked outside the car wash entrance, dancing in my seat as he sang "Smellin Coffee". It's a great morning song. The "glad" hormones were flowing. After I pulled into the car wash, I put on "Thirsty" and I was suddenly spiritual and reflective and by the time the song was done, the truck was also clean. After that I went to get some fuel and then departed for the grocery store when Chris started singing "Missin You". The tears began to flow as I pulled into the Hy Vee. Chris had me thinking about Jesus and Easter and how much I really want to see Him. After talking to Jesus for a few minutes and trying to compose myself, I went into the grocery store to fulfill my list of stuff.

The grocery store always makes me happy. It is a place of plenty and abundance. It is a place of variety and happy people of all sorts. It is also a good place to for a Ground Hog to observe life outside of his tightly drawn circle of security and safety. It's fun...usually.

Today, I bumped into a couple of guys shopping together. At first I thought they were brothers, but then my gaydar went off. I've tried to train myself not to make assumptions about people, but these two had all the signs of being married and involved in a very deep relationship. They did not look gay if you know what I mean, but they did not act like a couple of guys that were doing the shopping for their wives either. These two knew each other way too well to be just BFF's.

Anyhow, these two managed to produce some envy in me. I suddenly wanted what they seem to have even though I know nothing about their actual relationship. Odd that. I am usually more sensible.

Despite this I trudged forward in fulfillment of my list when I suddenly heard a child screaming and crying like his arm had just been cut off. I looked up and saw a mother with her two boys. The mother was pushing her cart with one arm. The youngest boy was sitting quietly in the cart and she had her other arm wrapped around the waist of what looked like a big 4 year old that was screaming, "No Mommy, stop. Don't do this..." and crying himself hoarse. She did not seem to be hurting the boy, so I don't know what the screaming was about, but it was very unsettling.

I was sensing abuse, though there was none apparent. This child seemed to be horrified by what this otherwise normal looking woman was doing. I suddenly felt awful. I felt alarm. I felt terribly sad.

Now it could be that this kid was just a brat that was putting Mom in the worst light possible or it could be that she's a real bitch that was going to stick the kid's hand under the hot water faucet when she got home. I never know what to do when I see things like I did nothing.

By the time I got to the checkout line, my horror had switched to guilt, when suddenly the checkout guy asked me if I found everything I needed. I looked up and... and he was beautiful. I knew at that moment why I go to Hy Vee. That helpful smile in every aisle is going to get me in trouble one of these days. I don't know if I blushed, but when he asked me how I was, I said "perfect". It's a good thing the grocery list was short because I was getting flirty.

Yes, I'm a terrible person sometimes. Deal with it.

After that, I went to Caribou and promptly ordered a large cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. I really needed it. Focus was beginning to drain away. This time it was my turn to get flirted with. The women behind the counter know me and my order by name and are always way too nice to me. Even in my advanced years, there is apparently still something attractive about me. I'm not sure what it is, but I wish it would go away.

As I made my grocery store exit, I was thinking that my grocery store experience was everything I wanted it to be. I was content again.

See what I mean? I am a roller coaster of moods. If I actually took any of them seriously, my life could be a soap opera worthy of a Jerry Springer episode. It comes down to what I have always maintained. It's brain chemistry. Feelings are chemical reactions produced in our brains. Those chemical reactions can create a real mess if control is not exercised. Right now my 5 shot cappuccino is driving me to write this. I will most likely be embarrassed that I even talked about it tomorrow, let alone discussed it on the internet for the world to see. For now though, I feel just fine about it. It's a good thing I quit drinking (:^0            See ya in church.

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