Sunday, February 04, 2007

mirror, mirror, on the wall...

It is the bane of my existence.

Its slim, graceful frame hangs above the sink, halfway imbedded into the wall, sleek and silvery against the muted gray of our bathroom. Having just slammed it shut, its mirrored surface now returns my furrowed brow, my likeness cursing in unison with my own mouth. The irony is that though the image looks like me—my eyes, my hair, my lips—my true reflection is actually found on the other side of the door.

Several times a day—especially lately, given how our lovely Midwestern winters affect the health of our household—I open the glass front, holding my breath, and tentatively reach within. Three shelves in height crammed with six levels of various remedies and elixirs, all precariously perched, disassembles at my slightest touch, sending multiple boxes and bottles and paraphernalia crashing into the porcelain sink below, usually when the children are sleeping. “Are you trying to wake the kids?” my husband calls, as I slam the medicine cabinet shut after three attempts to balance all that I know fit into it because it all came out of it. My usual reply is not fit for print.

Brightly colored band-aids, just out of my daughter’s reach so as to not run out of them in a week’s time. Beige colored band-aids, so that my husband does not have to go to work with Barbie on his boo-boos. Thermometers, tweezers, nail clippers and dental floss. Creams for itching, creams for burning, creams for bumps, and creams for bruises. Pills that make certain things run and pills that make other things stop running. Orange colored bottles, half-full, labeled “BE SURE TO TAKE ALL OF THIS MEDICATION.” Seven different types of pain relief, most of them legal. (That’s a joke.) Boxes of this, bottles of that, tubes of the other—the medicinal menagerie has gotten unmanageable.

It feels all too familiar.

If it’s not the cabinet, it’s the pantry. If it’s not the pantry, it’s the linen closet. If it’s not the linen closet, it’s the basement. Crap is falling on my head all over the place, and that’s just the external problems. If it’s not my marriage, it’s my parenting. If it’s not my parenting, it’s my weight. If it’s not my weight, it’s my relationship with God. Crap is filling my head all over the place, falling out at the wrong times in the wrong places with the wrong people, and I am constantly trying to cram it all back in and make it fit. Too much stuff, not enough space. This is my headache.

All I needed was a flippin’ ibuprofen.

Now, I need a tranquilizer.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Sounds like you've been in my kitchen cabinet (filled with meds) or my linen closet or the shelf in the bathroom...I'm currently taking cough medicine prescribed to my daughter (she won't take it -- hates the taste). Why, you ask? Because I can't fine the one prescribed to me.
(I figure I triple the dose based on weight and I'm ok?)