My Stupid Mouth
John Mayer has a song titled “My Stupid Mouth.” The first lyric is: “My stupid mouth got me in trouble.” That describes the cause of my recent situation to a tee. I use the word situation because it sounds better than the other words I should be using, like tirade or giant rant of uncontrollable emotion that makes little sense. Something like that would be a better description, but situation makes me sound less insane, so let’s stick with situation.
Approximately fifteen minutes before I go to bed each night, you don’t want to cross me. Not even cross, you don’t want to speak to me, look at me, or breath at me the wrong way. And by the wrong way, I’m referring to your general presence in my personal space. To put it simply, just before bed, I tend to lose it. From the moment I wake up until fifteen minutes before bedtime, I’m good to go. I can process things well and handle most of what comes my way with good intentions and a clear(ish) head. But during those last fifteen minutes of consciousness, if I am provoked in any of the ways I just described, I snap. I lose all sense of tolerance, logic and rationale. I’m officially the mayor of NastyTown, and you should enter at your own risk.
And as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, the person I’m around during this time is my wonderful, sweet, and devoted husband. Some days I’m successful at keeping my mouth shut, knowing that sleep is just around the corner. Other days I don’t do as good of a job. One day last week turned out to be one of those “other” days. He said something, and I lost it.
I can’t even tell you exactly what my husband said, because I can’t remember what set me off. Whatever it was, it certainly did not justify me going on a fifteen-minute crazy person rant I’m still embarrassed to own up to. I yelled and screamed and remember thinking at the time that I was making sense, but knowing in the back of my mind that what I was doing was totally uncalled for. I went to sleep and woke up the next morning ashamed and embarrassed. I headed off to work and phoned him (as he’s asleep when I leave in the morning) and apologized with all my heart, admitted my nuttiness and asked him to forgive me. And being the angel of a man he is, he did.
Still, I just can’t shake the sting and shame of losing it like that over nothing, and of doing it to my husband simply because he happens to be there. When did I become this person — a person whose nerves are not just fried at the end of the day but actually flammable and dripping in sarcastic and mean-spirited gasoline, just begging to be lit up? If you ask my good friends, they’ll tell you I’m one of the most logical and rational people they know, I swear! I’m thorough and considerate, I examine situations from all sides, I make thoughtful decisions. Except during those fifteen minutes before I go to bed … when I become a monster.
If I wanted to, I could list a slew of reasons why I’m so burned out but I won’t bother, because chances are they’re no different from your reasons. We all have things to do and responsibilities to shoulder, and I’m no different. But no matter how taxing those things may be, I am the one who decides how I act. And for some reason, during that window of time, I’m itching to lose it and get rid of that energy — like the last burst of fire before it completely burns out.
Well, I need to take responsibility for that. I’d like my mouth to have a gentler adjective than “stupid” attached to it, like sweet or kind. Or responsible, or funny. And I think if I strive for those adjectives instead, it may even land me a good night kiss as well.