I’m a risky proposition this week. Dangerous. Not in an epic, biblical way. In a thin-skinned, hormonal, haven’t slept, the loo-is-leaking-through-the-kitchen-ceiling, indigestion kind of a way. I am grim. I am taking a dim view of almost everything and I know that I am radiating…. atmosphere.
But, because I am a grown-up, apparently, it no longer turns me on to needlessly scare people with my air of combustibility. To growl and grinch and throb because I need to wordlessly communicate how incredibly short is my fuse. How heavily compromised is my tether. No. These days I come out and say it: “Please do not do that because I am so irritable that I will lose my temper.” Or, “Please do not say that because, today, I cannot bear to hear it. It’s not you, it’s me. And my horrible personality.”
It’s an insurance policy, really. Instead of seething and battling and making enemies, I can own up to a kind of brittle vulnerability while, in a sharp sort of way, admitting what I need. I need people to understand that I’ll try my best today but the spirits aren’t on my side. I need to be recognised as someone who doesn’t want to be an arsehole but whose inner-arsehole (!) is fighting to make herself heard. I need to be seen as a woman whose greatest enemy is always herself. And, of course, once I say it – I’m a bit of a dick today, sorry – I neutralise the danger. And I’m nicer than I could have hoped to be when I prowled out of bed and stormed to work first thing this morning. And nobody minds.