Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Upside of Anger

This "Supermoon" phenomenon continues - and I'm blaming it for the bad mood I've been in for the last twenty four hours. I'm also blaming it for the bad mood that everybody else I seem to encounter at the moment.

Stupid thing is, the anger is only masking a whole heap of really good things, which would be missed if it wasn't for the fact that it's the small, nice things that are keeping me sane in his rather nasty hell week.

Hell week? My name for the week where I have something on every night - with no respite. Monday was a Pinochet session (not really out, but it was a commitment), last night book group, tonight dream group, tomorrow night out for a posh dinner with Millie and Jonella, Friday, girlie admin, maybe rub a set of feet and pack and then I hop on a plane to go away for the weekend Saturday morning.

What, going away for the weekend? Yeah. As a reward for myself, I'm celebrating the third anniversary of me running timed races by doing the Mother's Day Classic in Sydney this year. I'm also visiting some friends while I'm up there, making the trip there even more worthy. I was telling Reindert that I couldn't believe how far my running had come in the last three years. It was the 2009 Mother's Day Classic that Em and I ran the 4 km race for the first time. In 2010 I did the 8 km race with Kitt. Last year I amazed myself with in the 8 km race completing the distance in around 50 minutes. I'm not going to run anything amazing this time round - 55 minutes would be grand - I'm doing the distance. Even better, the race starts at 8.10 almost from the door of my hotel. I should be done by 9.30, can grab a coffee on the way back and meet my friend at around 11 before coming back. Works well.

Okay, so I'm busy after work. Work has me with barely time to scratch myself. Back to back meetings most days often in different locations across the city. Great. Which means hell week is even harder.

The anger started to rear it's head last night at book group.

It wasn't the book, which was fantastic (Stephen Kelman's "Pigeon English" - highly recommended - exceptional writing), the discussion was wonderful. For the first time in ages, we had a full contingent, which was also great. It was nice to be at our winter home, a quiet city pub.

The fact that the kitchen made us wait an hour for our meals. GRRRRRRRR.

"Where's my dinner?" I thumped the table gently after 40 minutes wait. The tables around us who had arrived before us had been fed.
"What's up with you?" asked Jonella.
"I didn't get my afternoon snack. They feed you well here, so I didn't have my 3 pm muesli bar."

Another five minutes went by. There were two women sitting at the bar who had walked in ten minutes before received a bowl of chips. This was taking the piss.

"Where's my dinner?" I thumped the table again - a little louder.
"Wassup?" asked Georgie.
"I get grumpy when I don't get fed. It's been 50 minutes. It's getting close to 8 pm. I could eat one of Blarney's units."
"Ah, that happens to Tom," said Georgie, "He get's grumpy when he's hungry. I call it "hangry"."
"Great word for it. Still hasn't brought my dinner out."

After another ten minutes, after trying in vain to flag down the harangued waitress (in their defence, they were understaffed) we were told our meals would be five minutes. No explanation - nothing.

I was very, very hangry by now.

15 minutes later, dinner arrived. One last minor glitch - the tomato sauce I requested didn't turn up. Can't have chips without that. It's unAustralian! Grrrr. Could have thrown something.

The manager came and spoke to the table, apologised, gave the table a bottle of wine - but still, left a bit of a bad taste - thought the meals, when they came, were great - plentiful and robust. Just very late. We will go back to that pub - we've been there before, it's the first time we've had such a problem.

I got home around 9 pm, later than I wanted, Em's cat fed, not too many smelly drunks on the tram. I had to be up early this morning. Due for a run with Desi at 7.30 from the city.

Up, showered, dressed, packed, on the tram at 7 am, happily reading my new book (Jasper Fforde's,"The Eyre Affair" - had me doing spit takes at that early hour)

Arrived at the gym where I store my gear - Desi wasn't going to make it - bus trouble. GRRRRR. The only way I was going to run was with somebody. Too tired to run without somebody to take my mind off the fact I was schlepping around the Yarra at 7.30 in the morning.

Rather than run, I did 45 minutes on the cross trainer - which helped the mood somewhat. It doesn't matter that I wasn't running, I was doing something and breaking a decent sweat.

Work was brutal today - everybody appeared to be in a bad mood. The atmosphere was toxic - thankfully it's not normally like that - just today - it was terrible. I escaped at lunchtime - I've been working through for the last few days, and it felt indulgent - but clearing the mailbox and a macaron or two might help things I thought. It was also a glorious day out in the sunshine. 20 degrees. Light breeze. Bliss to walk in.

Arriving at "La Belle Miette", I staggered in the day. Karen behind the counter greeted me.
"Bad day, love?"
"Yep. The natives are revolting in more ways that one."
"A macaron will make it better."
"Why do you think I'm here?"
"We have some new flavours for you to try. We want your expert opinion."

I ordered a lavender and a jasmine tea macaron - the new ones on the menu. They looked interesting. Karen urged me try tell her what I thought. The lavender one was divine. Light, unusual, perfectly balanced. Then for the Jasmine Tea one. I bit into it.

"Hmm, this tastes like your Champagne and Cassis." I told her.

She had a look. "They look the same, looks like they got mixed up." She indicated to her co-worker to look at the line of macarons - sure enough, there was a mix up. I was passed a real Jasmine Tea one, free of charge, to taste.

It pays to be a regular sometimes.

The third macaron was exquisite. Seriously, if you're down Hardware Lane, pop in. Best macarons in Melbourne.

Returning to the office, the acrimony continued. My saving grace was the dentist appointment at 5.30 pm. I'd have to leave a bit early. Amazing how work can make you look forward to something which you normally dread. A phone call during the afternoon made it better. Could I make it a bit earlier? They'd had a cancellation.


So I got away. I got to walk in the balmy afternoon light. The health fund somehow paid out ten dollars more for my check up and polish than they did last time. I don't need any fillings. Life is good.

It's going to be a bit strange for a few more days I feel. I know Sydney will restore me. Just the chance to get away and read a book in the bath will help a bit.

But I'm also grateful that though I'm a bit grumpy and temporarily angry, I can see all the nice things going on around me. Macarons, sunny days, uncomplicated dentist appointments, good friends, plentiful food - when it arrives, great literature, a varied life.

These are the upsides of anger.

Just don't delay my dinner and don't forget my tomato sauce - then there's hell to pay.


Kath said...

Ah yes, 'hangry'. Love Chunks is a grumpy old git when tiredness and/or hunger enters the equation.

Enjoy Sydney and the run!

The Elephant's Child said...

Echoing Kath - and enjoy the Eyre Affair. Such a talented writer.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Not heard of the "Supermoon". I don't think that anything's involved when I'm a grump - other than tiredness usually.

Forgetting your tomato sauce? I'm feeling annoyed on your behalf! How DARE they.