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After all, maybe it's just the full moon. Let's hope so.

I know I often complain about how Bryce talks ALL the time, but sometimes, when life feels so insane, I think I want to be just like that - constantly telling everyone what I think, repeating myself more and more loudly until I get an answer I want: "I want Mexican food tonight. John, did you hear me? I said I wanted Mexican food! HELLLLLLOOOO!!!! Mexican food!??! John. John. Let's go. I want to get Mexican food. Mexican Foo-hoo-hoo-hooo-ddd!!!"

Truth be told, right now I feel about as helpless and out of control as a four-year-old probably feels most of the time. Between reminders about the inverse correlation between ability and compensation in the corporate world, a psychotic counselor with the fate of my stepdaughter's fragile psyche in her slimy hands, a call from my stepson's friend last night telling us that he was going to have to file a police report as a result of discovering Dylan had used his SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER to procure free cable for himself in an apartment six months ago, and denial about the guests I have coming to stay in my pig sty of a house next week for Thanksgiving, things feel pretty much as out of control and out of my hands as they possibly can. I can totally relate to Bryce and Quinn right now, because to be honest, humiliating my family in public, or better, freaking out my co-workers by shrieking, "SERENITY NOW!" at the top of my lungs is the only thing that would really bring much satisfaction.

No performance review at work unless I initiate it and ask for a raise? Met with praise and compliments but followed by weeks of silence in answer to my legitimate request for a raise, then a response that I'll have to wait until the first of the year to get any answer at all as if that's the standard policy, while other positions are promoted and given salary increases in the meantime?? SERENITY NOW.

Deranged counselors obsessed with my appearance and convinced that I have single-handedly molded Hannah's views of women and success because it certainly couldn't be related to, oh, say, the fact that HER MOTHER ABANDONED HER or the fact that she obviously has many, many other issues? SERENITY NOW. SERENITY NOW.

Daily attempts at keeping my patience with ridiculous, baseless pre-school tantrums leading to white ulcers in my mouth, indigestion, pimples, and weight gain? SERENITY NOW. SERENITY NOW. SERENITY NOW.

Weekend shopping sprees when I'm not even a shopper? Writer's block when I'm never at a loss for what to say? Family nights morphed into mere obligatory last minute decisions? 10th grade English papers taking up my ever-more-important TV-filled evenings, leaving me drained and pulled in too many directions for one person to legitimately be pulled in? Having to start all over researching counselors for a stepdaughter who needs help? AD/HD? Police Reports? Undesigned wedding albums piling up in my husband's office, taunting the family with the stress awaiting him, and therefore us, in the knowledge that the holidays won't really be holidays? Thanksgiving menus scribbled on a wadded up piece of notebook paper in the kitchen? Skipped morning jogs, and more skipped evening jogs? A neglected, desperate-to-be-brushed dog? An out-of-town, depression-prone, and lonely dad longing for a call I don't have the energy to make? Guilt? Frustration? Sadness? Anger? Fear?

Well, as my wise, yet overly simplistic and usually crass, sister-in-law would say, "at least we're not in the coal mines or a concentration camp." Well, yes, that's true. But as *I* always respond, "If you have to compare your life to a concentration camp to cheer yourself up, then really, it's time to re-evaluate."

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