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©March 2006

Carol Jane Remsburg




The PMS Attack






The day was going along fine (it's a Sunday), the house was relatively clean, the foray of shopping done yesterday, the pot of chili  and tray of cornbread to be reheated for dinner, only issues are washing up the bed linens and making about ten pounds of homemade hotwings to take to work tomorrow.  Oh, and teen was going SHOPPING for a couple pair of jeans with my adult niece.  Hubby even had to work a few hours in the afternoon, so the house should have been quiet for at least three hours.  Now how do you think this plays out?  A calm, quiet afternoon?




I should have known when earlier in the day, the morning, when "The Corpse Bride" was on PPV to record and teen was watching it, and I was semi-watching it too, folding up the white load of undies and socks.  Suddenly I was overwhelmed with tears over how sweet and sad it all was.


Later with the filet knife cutting up the trays of chicken wings into the 'flats' and 'drums' that knife felt too easy in my hand.  My adult niece and her daughter came by and scooped up the teen for shopping for some much needed jeans…then I addressed my photo mini-discs looking for kitty photos for a potential one who might provide a home to a brother/sister pair.  The disc was bad, the battery was going dead, the fryer needing attention, one cat demanding affection, and then there was the washer….suddenly trying to deal with several things at one time sent my irritation quotient into the outer hemisphere.  Why it should, I don't know?  I often multi-task.  I don't like to, for a I focus best when only dealing with one or two items at a time—not like five.  During this, I nearly burned up the first batch of wings frying in the hot oil.  Then there was a delay getting out the next batch of sheets and blankets to the line—and there was the ever-present Pye, she was feeling very needy, wanting a lap to snooze in and wanting strokes and strokes of loving attention.  Actually, she ended up perched on my shoulder and cried a croaking yowl which startled me nearly out of my skin. 


All my nerve endings were electrified.  Calm was what I was seeking and still getting none of it.  Hubby left for a few hours of Sunday work, grousing as much as I would have been.  The 'fire alert' for the day made me uneasy as the winds were howling, even though it was chilly out and I smelled no smoke on the winds.  I attended my frying chicken wings between hanging out the laundry.  The pix weren't there so I had to deal with that and the cat.


Suddenly time evaporated, teen was back and in tears, the shopping didn't go well.  They couldn't find exactly what they were looking for and tempers were prickly.  Hubby was gone, niece and her daughter exited stage left—in a hurry, my niece isn't DUMB…and teen remained in a full-blown tearful state. 


Guess what happened next?


The normally loving, and well-behaved teen got a very sassy mouth.  All the signals hadn't registered with her—but they were there.  I'd known from this morning I was prickly, already into the downward spiral of PMS, I just didn't realize I was already in the full-blown throes of "don't push my buttons."  We both found out I was.


I went to DEFCON 1 in under three seconds after a very nasty reply about helping me bring in our bedclothes from the line.  It was the tilt of her head and cant of her walk ahead of me to the line and when she turned, I very quietly told her to go back inside—I had blood in my eye and felt something akin to murder in my heart.  The kid had better clear out or there was going to be violence.  She saw the look and made haste to leave me there amid the violent winds and the cold to bring in the laundry.


At that point, she'd tripped my switch, actually, she'd been pushing it for about 30 minutes.  Telling her to stop is like telling the wind not to blow…as it certainly has today.  The kid often does NOT pick up on subtle nuances, not even overt ones.  However, when she looks DEATH right in the eye, at that point, she tends to get a clue.


I hauled in her sheets, blanket, quilt, shams, and pillow cases—and her nightgown…stomped up the stairs and threw them at her.  I also blasted her—she knew it was coming.  The need for new jeans was dire, but not in my present budget and she was grousing and whining about some odd, mostly imagined slight she'd felt.  I simply couldn't stomach it. 


I left her, went back to the line, brought in my own bed linens and set about making my own bed up feeling very low, missing my mother and feeling a confused mix of being unloved and anger.  Tears of the wracking sort overtook me and I hid in the bathroom as the teen beat on the door without.


The harsh words I'd screamed at her, I'd regretted, I know she did for hers as well.  Now she was crying.  It was time to pull back, be the adult, calm her fears for tears rarely fall from my eyes.  Into the bathroom we both went—time for a chilled wet cloth for the eyes, cheeks, full face, and then the back of the neck—repeated a few times.  It had a calming effect on both of us.


Suddenly, as quickly as the storm welled and broke, it was over.  Both mother and daughter were spent from the spent tension of anger, hurt, and tears.  Harmony within the house was resurrected once again.  Hubby arrived home home a bit later, all are now fed and the clean up is nigh.


However, those who reside here will step a little more cautiously over the next few days.  PMS does attack and when it does, those who live here view the Alpha female in a new light, one to step carefully around.


Know this one pertinent fact:  even the most complacent female can have her outbursts when PMS comes into play. 


Me, I think they all forgot to watch their calendars.


For the present, they are in hiding and feeling thankful it wasn't a worse episode than it could have been.


Now, anybody want to give me sass when I ask you to help me bring in the laundry?  I didn't think so.



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