There is this very clever country song by Miranda Lambert called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend wherein she croons this excellent little gem of a lyric:
“Cause, Baby, to a hammer… everything looks like a nail.”
Hello, PMS. Thought I saw you coming. I woke up this morning ready to rip the head off anything that looked at me funny, looked at me at all, was in my immediate vicinity, crossed my path or happened to be in my eyeline.
I finally bit the bullet and took a Maxalt to ease the marathon migraine I had had for 36 hours. Though I was deeply attached to it, thoroughly attached to it, even, I thought it might distract me if I brought it to work with me today. Again. (Because it made yesterday a living hell.)
10mg Maxalt, meet my coffee-breakfast. Coffee-breakfast, you play nice with Mr. Maxalt. Everyone gang up on the Migraine! GO!
45 minutes later I staggered into RiteAid Pharmacy, dying– dying– because my mid-section was trying to rip itself in half. WITH KNIVES. And anger. Oh, the anger. And why was my heart beating so fast? What? I can’t– I can’t hear you, over the sound of my insides slamming themselves around. Can you speak up?
I dragged myself to the pharmacy counter (bypassing the candy aisle, where things could have gotten really ugly because they put “wrappers” on their chocolate, claiming them to be “defensive barriers against pathogens and contaminates” but we all know it’s just an Evil Male conspiracy to make the chocolate harder to get to. And any PMSing woman has no problem eating through a wrapper, if it comes to that. I promise.).
The petite, smiling pharmacist sidled over and beamed, her voice ringing like Christmas bells, “How can I help you?” I slapped my Maxalt packet on the counter.
Me: “I took one of these already, for my migraine. Now I need to know, desperately, if I can also take Midol.”
Her: “Hmm…” *sizes me up, realizes I may be dangerous* “Well. Here’s the thing. You can take this with Midol, but I would avoid any Midol that says for bloating or for fatigue.”
Me: *has this woman ever had a period before?* “Ok. Hm. Which ingredients should I avoid, specifically?” (I was pretty sure I was still able to read, through the searing pain in my mid-section. I could just eat any bottle that didn’t have INGREDIENT-X in it.)
Me: *staggering, almost falling over, reeling with vivid flashbacks of the morning, when I washed down my Maxalt with a whole cup of coffee* “Caffeine?”
Her: “Yeah, caffeine can be rough with Maxalt because it tends to make your heart race.”
Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of my own heart slamming in my eardrums, can you repeat that?”
No, just kidding. I really said…
Me: “Yes, I can see how that would be a complication… SO I shouldn’t have taken it with coffee… and I should wait to have my second cup…?”
Her: “Uhm… yeah.” *pointing to my iced lemonade* “I’d also avoid cold drinks because they, uh… adversely affect your body’s ability to… you know… get the process going.”
Me: *blink, blink*
Her: “You should just stick to warm beverages, and apply heat to the area. It’ll get circulation going and make your day… and your week, even… a lot easier to handle.”
Me: *gasping from the floor, where I was writhing in pain* “Gotcha. Motrin. Warm liquid, even if it’s 95 degrees and balmy. Heating pads on top of that. Yes?”
Her: *chipper* “Yep! All in aisle 10!”
Me: “Great, thanks!”
I grabbed the PMS tools she prescribed, plus enough absorbency material to dry the island, should Manhattan decide to sink today, and somehow made it to the counter. I laid it all out for the sales clerk to inspect. She raised an eyebrow at me and craned her neck to the side, all attitude.
Sassy Black Checkout Clerk: “Whoooo-eeee. Honey I know that you’re having a rough mornin’! You need chocolate with that?”
Me: “… Got any vodka?”
SBCC: “Haha, ooh, we have a live one! My wife woke up this mornin’ feelin’ the saaaaaame pains! Mah sympuh-thies!”
Me: “Your wife has my sympathies.”
SBLCC: “She almost killed the brand new air conditioner.”
Me: “I almost killed my Fiancee.”
SBLCC: “Whooooo-eee! You win, dearie.” *packs all my things into a not-see-through-bag, out of common decency* “You try not to kill no one now. I don’t wanna see your pretty face on the news tonight.”
Me: “And good luck steering clear of your wife! I don’t want to see your face in the headlines either!”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I started my day today. One perky pharmacist who told me to stop consuming my lifeblood– coffee– and one Sassy Black Lesbian Checkout Clerk who made my whole week a happier place to be.
Universe, I will accept this as your peace-offering. We’re good.