The week between payday, and the last paycheck is always tight, and that is sugar coating it. Bills paid, and food purchased, there isn't much left over, except gas money. When I had the impulse to flee the house on Monday, it was the kids bickering, and boredom that had really done me in. But the cherry on the top was being stressed over cash flow, and the lack of it. My head was spinning, and I started going to that place in my mind where I felt isolated, and doomed. Like we were heading right down the tubes.
I picked up my Olivia from my girlfriends house that afternoon, where she was playing, and my friend invited me out for Wing Night, in town, that night. Dollar drafts, and even less expensive wings. She and her friends go often. I never go out, but this time, I really, desperately wanted to. I needed time away from the girls, and these walls. I felt silly that I couldn't even swing a night out that probably would have totaled 10 bucks. My friend said it would be her treat. She said "We got you, we have all been there".
And she was right. She and her husband had suffered through an awful winter, of unemployment, and tragedy. Her girlfriend who was out with us is stressed over her husbands current unemployment. We sat, and had some beers, and ate more blue cheese than any human should, along with our wings, and talked, and I suddenly felt not so alone. I felt the isolation I had all around me that afternoon, begin to melt away. I listened more than I spoke, and heard the same stories, and worries going on in houses right in my own neighborhood, and knew at that moment, that I wasn't the only one going crazy. I wasn't the only one feeding my kids out of the pantry. I wasn't the only one calculating out the cost of gas, and what trips were necessary, and what trips were simply too frivolous. I wasn't the only one feeling like I was slowly going insane.
$39.00 for four women to have some beers, and wings, and...OK...maybe some cheese fries too...ugh..... I left Grace O'Malley's feeling heavier from the sudden rush of calories, but mentally, lighter. I felt no shame in not being able to afford my portion of the bill. And I felt thankful for being taken care of. I was grateful for the laughs, and comforted by knowing that I officially am not going mad. And if I am, I am not the only one.
Kids, summer vacation going on way too long, money, and the lack of it, stress, and worry about the future. It's all going on, in everyone else's house, to a certain degree. Some more than others. I realized my nut house isn't so bad.
And next week, (and there will be a next week!!), I can pay for one of those ladies.