As a kid I heard family members when they clipped their toenails in the upstairs bathroom. That insanely loud chomp of popcorn in movie theaters made me crazy. I was also guilty of scaring kids at school. When they tried to erase homework mistakes with nothing but the bald metal on the end of a pencil, I growled like a rabid dog. Writing utensils with no erasers mysteriously disappeared (because I later threw them away in the girls rest room).
Unfortunately, adolescence brought an even keener sense of hearing. For example, I could hear people on the next street when they slurped their morning coffee.
Oh yes, to go with those Dumbo ears of mine, PMS also brought along a more alert sense of smell. But at least I finally had an acceptable reason for being an overly sensitive nut cake.
As I adjusted to life – with giant cotton balls stuffed in my ears (and up both nostrils) – I learned that certain noises and scents could drive me crazier than others. If they crunched ice in my presence, people learned quickly to duck when I got fed up with hearing it. If I walked into any type of establishment and smelled incense, I quickly fell right off the edge of appropriate. And I didn’t care at all who heard it, either.
More often than not, I snapped something like, “Are you smoking pot in here?” which was a rather bizarre question to ask at well-known department stores or malls.
Immediately, the answer from store clerks was a fast, no-nonsense, “Absolutely no weed monkeys around here.”
“Then stop burning incense,” I hissed. “That stuff gives more people than me terrible headaches, you know.”
As I edged toward my late forties, life – (for other people, I mean) – got even worse.
Like many of my girlfriends, I rolled through menopause like a honked-off, Harley-riding, queen mother of witches.
I traumatized a few people by cupping my hand under their chins when they blew bubbles or cracked their gum.
When they stared at me, confused, I snapped, “You know what to do. Spit it. Right now. Gum in my palm. Do it now. If I can see it or hear it, you lose it.”
I had no idea that it was possible. But that sensitivity has peaked at an even higher level.
Umm hmm, PMS and menopause made my senses way too sensitive.
But guess what? Breast cancer didn’t necessarily heighten my senses. But it certainly made my attitude more brazen. I have always had a temper. But it’s always been a slow burn to get to the fireworks.
Since breast cancer my fuse is an incredibly short one. It is especially short for negative, nasty, dishonest and hurtful people.
I have been tempted to climb out of windows to avoid the yuck of being in bad situations. As their nastiness permeates the air, my chest tightens with anxiety and sadness. Very soon, those emotions slam right into a temptation to drop-kick the ugly.
My fuse is shorter these days because I know how precious your life and my life should be to us, every single new day that we breathe.
I am not spending whatever days I have left around brat stuff. I still have that honked-off, Harley-riding, queen mother of witches mentality. When I add that to the idea of throwing myself a good old-fashioned hissy fit, it makes me laugh out loud. We should all threaten to mix those two possibilities, you know. And then we should whistle our way right past the nasty.