Monday, May 26, 2008

Cindy Nails It --

Oddly, I had been thinking about another aspect of my moods, one that is more active & more me than the other beasts. I had even been thinking it was Red. Then Cindy responded:

I also have the red demon, she makes me do stuff I regret. Gives the black beast something to talk about. She's pissed and bored of the grey beast and trying to fight back and get even. But she over-does it.

Yep, I thought. That's the one.

The Gray Beast is a condition that happens to me, while the Black Beast is a prosecutor, judge & jury all in one miserable mood. The Red Beast, however, takes a small emotion & builds a jungle out of it. It's not entirely my fault -- I may feel something really uncomfortable or the Black Beast may have really driven home one or another flaw -- but it's my job to keep from using a feeling to wake up my Red Beast & poke his ribs until he (or I) rampages.

This weekend was a case in point. Friday night I went to a wedding. I knew exactly 3.5 people there -- the mother of the groom, the father of the groom, the groom, and I've said hello to the bride. This is in descending order of my involve
ment with the family. I twisted on the end of a string for months about my R.S.V.P. But talk of the wedding filled our dogs walks & I helped search for Ann's dress & accessories & found myself getting wrapped up in it.

I bought a dress at Victorian Trading Company, which is a brilliant find for those of Us looking for beautiful formal dresses & funky otherwise.

I found the perfect shoes at another Big Ladies Sometimes Luck Out catalog, Brownstone Studio.

I found an Edwardian satin evening bag & had myself an ivory orgy happening.

The trouble was that I had 90 minutes to go from dog walker to Edwardian lady & I find this a most difficult turn-around the few times I've had to really transform myself like that. It's a mind game as well as a shampoo & eye liner game. & then again, the trouble was that I was doing this why? To sit alone in a church & thread through crowds at the reception & force up a conversation at dinner & be the only person there who didn't know anyone?

It was & wasn't that bad. My table mate at dinner knew as many (& the same) people as I did. But I certainly found myself feeling the outsider looking in. & when I'm like that, the Red Beast starts being nasty about the mother of the bride (I first thought she was a drag queen), the bridesmaids (three of them really shouldn't have been dressed in strapless gowns), the dancers (the blonde Connecticut wife barely moved on the dance floor: is she like that in bed??), the bride (this is all about her & her fantasies: it's not a ceremony, it's the ultimate Girls' Night Out).

The Red Beast acts. I stuffed myself with hors d'oeuvres & champagne. I really wanted cake but it was 11.30 when the waitstaff cleared our dinner plates & the desserts looked anything but tempting. I was exhausted & cell phone to the rescued myself home.

The Red Beast was not done. Somehow I was invited to the two families' brunch the next day. I thought I was going to help set up but found myself sucked into the party where there was a buffet of French toast & other crimes. More small talk was called for, although it was easier with the people I happened to sit with, & by 1.30 I was exhausted with all socializing. & I still wanted cake.

So you know what the Red Beast did, of course.

I slept a lot on Saturday, then again yesterday. I'm sitting in front of roasted vegetables after a fairly energetic but paced day. I'm pacing myself after having gone through the Gray, the Red & the Black. Too much shoving & I provoke either of the latter two & given that it's a holiday weekend -- my neighbors are having a barbecue, the neighborhood has been quiet as a cemetery except for tourists dining outside -- I have too many opportunities to feel left out & pitiful & ripe for the Red Beast.

So I walked Daisy & Boomer around Cadman Plaza. I finished two New Yorkers. I went -- gasp! -- to the post office. I only need to survive the next hour or two in order to call it a useful day.

But I have no terms for Useful Days, or Content Days, or whatever else is on the other side of the Beasts. Isn't THAT significant?


Vickie said...

All this talk of colors - made me think of log cabin quilt blocks. The center square (that holds the light side and the dark side together) can be different colors. I remember that red (in this case) means HEARTH. And I know I have seen white and green too, but don't know what they mean.

What you think of as RED - I think of (in my own life) as TOO MUCH. I suppose too much on the outside - pressing in and too much on the inside reacting.

Post office is one of my hardest things to do - don't know why - my mother ends up going for me much of the time - or I just never get the stuff that has to be weighed and fussed with - finished/gone.

Marian said...

Holly Golightly nailed it too, with the Mean Reds. Even worse than the Blues, it's when you are afraid and don't even know what you are afraid of. Probably is, lately I am fully aware of what I am afraid of and it's pretty much EVERYTHING. Losing my job, losing my home, dying alone, blah blah blah. And oh yeah - losing my abstinence. My therapist calls it "catastrophizing" and if that's not a word, it should be. I wish I could make money off my ability to turn everything to the negative! (Insurance person, maybe?)

Laura N said...

The dress looks beautiful. You had a very full weekend, Frances. That much socializing with semi-strangers would have worn me out, too. So I hope you're not too hard on yourself. I'm proud of you for going even though you had doubts.

Anonymous said...

I ordered your book and it is in today and I am so excited to start reading it!