I spend a lot of time running errands. I don’t think there is honestly ever a day when I’m not clumsily hauling (and usually dropping) an armload of Amazon returns at UPS or stocking up at Ancona’s because truly, I’m not getting through this sober or standing in line (again) at the pharmacy, learning another hard lesson in patience and CVS Extra Bucks.
I’ve actually come to the realization that, just like there’s never a “good” time to hit the DMV, there’s never a “good” time to pick up prescriptions. It doesn’t seem to matter when I go, I’m always just standing in line looking listlessly at an army’s worth of antacids, wishing I had conned my poor husband into going instead for me.
Shamefully, I’ve spent a fair amount of this waiting time tapping my foot, sighing loudly, and (occasionally) pocketing lollipops from the COVID Shot Concession Bowl. I’ve also been known to abandon my spot in a diva-like demonstration (think Mariah Carey takes on medicinals), vocalizing my vexation to anyone who will listen, swearing to take my business elsewhere. You can hate me now.
But today is different. Today, I am second from the front, perusing some trashy magazine, smiling like the village idiot. Today there is sunshine and rainbows and lots and lots of lollipops just waiting to be pocketed. Today, I don’t even mind, not even in the slightest, that the man in front of me is taking his sweet Jesus and all the disciples’ time unloading such a big load of laxatives that I actually wonder if the store will close before he empties his cart or if the rest of the town might enjoy being constipated from now until the end of eternity.
“Is this a ‘1’ or a ‘7’?” One of the pharmacists asks the other, holding the receipt up to the light but I don’t even care.
“I think it’s a ‘7’, Janet.”
They scrutinize and agonize over this, during which time, at least four people line up behind me, and also, I manage to read half of a very informative article on the dangers of mouth breathing.
Finally, Janet and Bob agree, it’s a ‘9’ so we can all move on with our day.
I’m newly medicated. The last time I took any form of antidepressant was well over a decade ago.
I don’t remember much of that time other than weeping like a baby over my newborn and eating a lot of brownies while my husband worked something like 17 hours a day but I have to say, this is blissful. I smile. I wave to people. I even pull over my car when I see a distressed-looking woman in athletic wear running down the street then realize it’s my neighbor, out for a jog.
My husband says something irritating and I offer him a glass of water. My older daughter loses her shit when she can’t find her car keys and I stand in the kitchen, drinking my coffee. The cat lunges from across the room onto the couch, then drags her nails down the side of it, taking half the upholstery with her and I ask “who’s the prettiest little kitty,” followed by a nauseating number of coos and coochy coos.
But being happy? There are worse things. Like trying to unlock the front door of your house with the car remote or packing a sippy and some size 2T mittens for your middle schooler. Or perhaps brushing your teeth with a tube of salmon flavored hairball medication.
Listen, it wasn’t like I wasn’t doing these things before so I’m more than willing to try another round at the SSRI Rodeo especially if it means not feeling like I possibly want to round up Janet and Bob and maybe my husband and sometimes the cat and drive them to some remote location where they might consider the error of their ways, perhaps with just a big bowl of lollipops and laxatives on which to sustain themselves.
And I feel better now. Really, I do. With this “magic” pill, it’s like a giant weight has been lifted off my chest and nothing, nothing, is going to rain on my prettiest little kitty parade, nothing is going to break through this impermeable feeling of cloud (it’s a ‘9’, Janet) and test my patience or shake my nerves or force me to subtly question all of my life choices and parenting decisions with just one subtle comment, making me long for a stiff drink and one-way ticket to somewhere off the coast of Fiji at three in the afternoon.
And then my mother-in-law walks in the door and I realize even “magic” has its limitations.
Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.