Let’s play a game called “Guess This Sound” and here it goes:
“Drip. Drip.DripDrip.DripDripDrip. Drip”
A) The sound of my incontinence as I put my key in the door when I am not wearing any underwear.
B) The sound of the water leaking into the pot on the stove from the crack in the roof.
C) The sound of my adrenal glands injecting a steady stream of stress hormones through my veins
D) All of the above!
Correct answer is D) All of the above! I am a Lady Of A Certain Age (LOCA) undergoing a nervous breakdown. It’s just a phase really. And nobody hates inspiration quotations more than me, so don’t get any ideas and send me a “Don’t worry, be happy” emoticon. It’s occurred to me I must be pretty happy worrying because I am not just writing about it, I am planning my wardrobe around it. I want my nervous breakdown to be glamorous, like something the late great Elizabeth Taylor would have had in her heyday. I purposefully pack on the mascara so when I cry, it runs elegantly down my cheeks like two little black streams framing my quivering mouth. I slightly tease my hair so it puffs in the back and sweeps dramatically in the front like I was caught in a hurricane. I am smoking Chesterfield cigarettes and drinking gin and tonic in the morning. My white silk robe (no stains!) has come undone and underneath is a lavender slip, slightly ripped from the last time I was manhandled in 1967. My nail polish, Revlon’s Fire and Ice, is chipped but my pearls are in tact, as is my diamond tennis bracelet that I clutch in between swigs and drags. Finally, in my perfect nervous breakdown fantasy, I have a rotary telephone that I dial with a calloused finger that shakes between the numbers as I call the pharmacist for my prescription. I’m popping pills, too, but I’m not sure what kind or how they go down but the minute they start bunging me up, this fantasy is over.
Really though, as my house turns into Grey Gardens and my nights turn into sleepless Twitterpalooza, I am coping by keeping my car nice and clean, going to yoga, and planning my future step by step. As Robertson Davies once tweeted (yes! quotes are now tweets): “Only a fool expects to be happy all the time.” And once you dissect it, the anatomy of my nervous breakdown consists of the perfect storm of fear, anger, despair, a hormonal imbalance, a series of unfortunate events caused by weather, a leaky roof, a lawyer with an insatiable appetite for money who can’t seem to add with a calculator, an ex-husband holding a bucket of black tar, and an impending birthday that requires a new drivers license. It’s simple stuff really, just a big middle-aged pimple ready to pop. Tomorrow is another day! Mani-pedi-Botox!