Unleashing Lois Griffin
If you know me even slightly, you know that Family Guy and South Park are my two favorite shows. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Not even a little. Lois Griffin is the long-suffering wife of Peter Griffin on Family Guy. I'm not sure there is an episode I haven't seen, but the holiday ones are always my favorite.
One Christmas episode in particular I think many of us can relate to. Lois, so caught up in the joy of the season, is un-phased by all the chaos her family creates, including Peter delivering ALL of the family's gifts to a needy family instead of the one that she told him to. No worries! Peter did a good thing by helping a needy family at Christmas, even if said family thought the Sony VCR was a "sex box". Lois happily piles the fam in the car on Christmas Eve to go to the mall and buy all new presents. Brian, the family dog, is left to keep an eye on the turkey. Needless to say, the Griffins come home to a house filled with smoke and a fire in the oven that Brian couldn't put out because Peter thought it would be cute to buy a trick fire extinguisher. All is still well on this holiest of nights, though, because as Lois says, Christmas is about family and being together. She tells her daughter Meg to grab the paper towels and they will clean everything up in time to head to the big Christmas tree lighting in the town square. Off screen, we hear Meg say, "We're out of paper towels." Well, as you can probably guess (because you've probably experienced it), Lois. Loses. Her shit. She proceeds to morph into a Tasmanian Devil, screaming at everyone that they think Christmas just comes out of nowhere, that all the decorations, gifts, treats, and cheer just suddenly appear as if pulled out of thin air. I've made my point here, but I might as well finish the story for you. Lois unleashes her wrath all over the town, and ends up climbing the town tree and refusing to come down, so she has to be shot with a dart with enough Ketamine to take down a horse.
No, this is not a post about Christmas. There'll be enough stress for that in December. What I really relate to here is that I (believe it or not), am one of those people who always wants everyone to be happy, never wants to offend, and will avoid conflict at all costs. When it comes to calming ruffled feathers or using as much honey as necessary to get what I need, I've got mad skills. The problem with this is that I end up repressing a LOT of the feels. (Which probably explains why my blood pressure is 172/92 as I type this)
Here's what I'm referring to. I, along with my colleagues, spent a year and a half being on full alert for COVID symptoms in our patients, ourselves, and the ones we live with. We spent a lot of that time calming residents' fears, helping them understand what was going on, comforting them, and doing the same for their family members. Be polite. Be professional. Be compassionate. Same goes for the essential workers in the grocery stores, drug stores, the mailman, the food delivery person. Everyone is stressed, so keep yourself together, be calm, be understanding. Take all your own feelings and stress and shove them down deep somewhere in your psyche and hope that they miraculously get absorbed.
As things get somewhat closer to normal, visitors start coming in again, but the rules set forth NOT BY US but by the state do not always make them happy. And we have to enforce them with a smile on our face, which is of course still hidden behind a mask. All of this stress is still wound up tight within us, but we manage to keep ourselves in check, either through vast amounts of caffeine, including some drink called BANG, which I have never tried but have witnessed its effects. I know that my own anxiety is so high from keeping everything bottled in that my restless leg is about to punch clear through the hardwood floors, and I very well may show up at work one day with my heart sitting in my front pocket because it exploded.
Then, of course, there's the dreaded back injury. I've never dealt with Worker's Comp and this has been a learning experience to say the least. Now let me say that everything is being done by the book. It doesn't mean that it doesn't totally suck, though. I am a nurse with two degrees, 26 years of experience, and over the last few months while on light duty I have taken temperatures and screened staff and visitors, escorted visitors to the designated visiting areas, made sure supplies were stocked, and passed meds for an entire hall while hunched over like Quasimodo and fighting back tears because of the pain. But anyone working with me knows that I somehow manage to keep my sense of humor!! Today, I started training to work as a dietary aide in the kitchen. I passed morning meds for one hall then reported to the kitchen, donned my black net cap over my practically non-existent hair, and dove in head first. Under the guidance of my new bff Lawanda, we served lunch on the hall in record time, got our own lunch and took a break, then washed, dried, and stacked the dishes for ALL FOUR halls. I was so drenched in sweat that I wish I had thought to bottle it to use to wet the stamps on my kid's wedding invitations this weekend. To be honest, they may have created a monster. Working in the kitchen with only four or five other people, no residents, no family members, no management!, and there was an ice cream cart waiting in the hall for me when I finished! If I can move tomorrow it will be a miracle from the sweet baby Jesus.
I come home to find what looks like a bullet hole in the glass window on my back door. Now, I know I'm half awake when I leave for work at 6:30, but I am 100% positive that was not there when I left. After some detective work, I have determined that it was probably something that was kicked up by a lawnmower and hit the window pane. OK, no biggie. Just have to make sure Brody doesn't accidentally break the window when he jumps up to see what action he's missing in the Courts of Oleander.
I take a nice, long, hot bubble bath to sooth my muscles (because they sure as Hell won't give me any pain meds), chill out in front of the tv for a bit, then I made the fatal error. The decision that would prove to be the event that hurled me over the edge and into the abyss. It started simply. I ordered DoorDash. Now, unless I am so broke I'm in the red, I order DoorDash at least once a week. It's just easier when you're exhausted after a long day. I wait ever so patiently, while knowing full well I will get a call from the driver stating that he or she can't seem to find my apartment, and I spend the next ten minutes trying to guide them in the right direction only to have them say, "Can you just meet me outside?" Here's where things went wrong. I get a notification that my order has been delivered, along with a photo as evidence. I open my door. No bag. I look back at the photo, thinking she might have put it in front of one of the upstairs apartments. It's obvious, though, that it's a first floor apartment. I messaged the driver that that was not my apartment....twice. I called her number three times. No answer.
Now here's where it gets visually entertaining for you - imagine me, not the young and hot me who had fly hair, flawless skin, and washboard abs. I'm talking the current me - aging, overweight, jaded, and becoming more and more agitated, stomping out in front of my building in my shortie pajamas, robe, and bedroom slippers, looking in every entrance to see if my delivery ended up in front of someone else's door. Hurling expletives the entire time, while my lesbian neighbor sits in front of her door smoking a cigar. (She's a nurse, too, so I guess this is her personal coping mechanism)
So, no food, and the driver doesn't seem to give a crap whether the food I tipped her for made it to the right apartment. That was it. That was my Lois moment. I lost my damned mind. I am DONE being polite, accommodating, and putting my own feelings on the back burner. I. Am. Pissed. I get on my phone, pull up the DoorDash app, and proceed to report the issue. I try to report that my order was never received, only to get a message that the driver attempted to contact me but couldn't, so they were going to be gracious enough to refund me $27.01 (NOT the full amount) but also scolded me for not being available to receive my order. At this point I am ready to throw something. I was sitting right here with my phone next to me. No call was received. I search the entire app, and finally find the chat button. Through tears (at this point because DAMN, it was crab legs!), I type in the chat explaining my issue in a "tone" that I am not very proud of. Poor Michaela. She is the lucky recipient of Cindy's rare full-blown tantrums. I even went so far as to tell her that I was a nurse who had just worked her ass off all day and just wanted to be able to come home and not have to cook. Michaela, ever the professional, credits the full amount to my account and apologizes profusely for the situation. She attempted to call the driver as well, with no luck, but added that when she looked up my order, there was a note indicating the driver had attempted to contact me and was unable to. Well, MICHAELA, that's a load of bollocks, and I want to file a formal complaint against this little pedal happy driver, who obviously drove out of the parking lot like she'd been shot out of a cannon, already headed to her next pick up with dollar signs in her eyes. Well, I hope she gets a good tip because she sure as Hell isn't receiving one from me except to say, "If you're going to do a thing, do it right and to the best of your ability." I knew nothing about how to serve meals and wash dishes in an industrial dishwasher in a kitchen that felt like I should be doing hot yoga. But I did it and gave it everything I had. It shouldn't be too much to ask the same of others.
My inner Lois came out tonight, and it was not pretty. I apologized to poor Michaela for unloading my frustration of the last year and a half on her, and she was very gracious about it. I then scrambled up some eggs for dinner at 9:30pm, still fuming, hurling eggshells around and generally doing everything "with gusto".
I imagine Miss DoorDash driver is gonna be pissed when she realizes that not only did I file a complaint, but she no longer gets a tip, but I feel confident that there will be no retribution since she obviously does not know where I live.
So watch out when Sicilian Cindy is released, and make sure you have enough Ketamine.