The Bebitching Hour

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Photo by Jan Prokes on

Yesterday, particularly last night, I became a bitch. It’s not something most people plan to do; it happens. It happens for various reasons – lack of sleep, too much sleep, stress, illness, not enough caffeine, too much caffeine, the list can go on and on. I morphed into one because of jealousy and uncertainty.

The day was going fine. I slept through most of it. It’s been my routine. One day I’m okay, the next day all I want to do is sleep. And it’s not even good sleep. It’s enough to make time go by faster, fast enough to hope this nightmare ends. Only I know it doesn’t,  yet some days, I still try to jump to the ending chapters.

Last night, my son, my daughter and I decided, to have our dinner out before she headed back to her home and career five hours away. She needs to go back. I want her to go back. My husband would want her to go back. Her life needs to continue, not stand still. She’s too young and talented.

We went to a brewery walking distance from my house. It was a good place and one I could escape from if I felt the need. As we headed toward a table all the way in the back,  one I chose for privacy in case the tears came, I stopped to say hello to friends celebrating birthdays. One of the friends has been so kind to me, and the others are, well, they’re plain kind.  We passed a group of men laughing and whooping it up about something. There were tables of moms and dads correcting their children’s manners. There were girlfriends sharing stories.  And there was a pregnant woman with her family, finishing off the leftovers on her husband’s and daughter’s plate. It made me smile remembering my own pregnancies.

Our dinner was fine. Their fried cheese curds are amazing. I’m not much into beer, but it was refreshing on a ninety-one-degree day.  My daughter entertained us with her always interesting and humorous stories. My son threw in a story here and there, but like his father, he is a man of few words, especially surrounded by my daughter and me. We tend to talk a lot. Normally, I would have quips, stories of my own, and talk with the server. (It’s a tough job, one I did for a while in my college years. Servers don’t always get seen. I always try my best to see them.) And while I did talk last night, it was minimal. It wasn’t the dinner or the company, more the hour. When the day strikes five o’clock in the evening,  dread, depression, anxiety, all of the above, robs me of speech and enjoyment and replaces it with ugly parts of myself.

Before we left, I went to the restroom.  As I washed my hands, I fell forward and gripped the lip of the sink. I saw my wedding ring on my finger, and Peter’s next to it.  I had to take deep breaths to keep myself from a full-blown panic attack.

After dinner as we left the restaurant, I let my tears come. I wondered if I will ever be able to move on and take off our wedding rings. I knew the answer was whenever I feel it’s time, but it was more the question I never thought I’d be asking causing the tears.  See, it was a given. The wedding rings would come off when Peter and I grew old together or died around the same time.  Or, I would die first and Peter would have to deal. But here I am, a widow way before I was supposed to be, and thinking about a future without my ring on.

When I got home, I texted my tribe on how down I was and about the question of my wedding ring. They all had answers, but, in the bitchiness creeping in me, I snapped it’s not an answer I needed, it was that I was even asking. I also went on about how unfair the celebrations, the whooping it up, the families together and the chatter of a Saturday evening were still happening while I was in deep despair. It was a selfish thought for sure, and in the light of today, I know, of course, life goes on, should go on.  At around five o’clock though, I block out any reasoning because my life goes on in a different, sadder, way.

After my text, I flipped through social media and saw a beautiful picture of a lake a person posted. The caption read something like God always being good. The photo pushed me over the edge. Like a full moon changing a person into a werewolf, the snapshot officially turned me into a bitch. I commented something like “I don’t see it that way” like I needed to ruin her moment.  Her response was kind to my own unkindness.  I even texted a “could you believe” to two of my friends.  They didn’t have my back on this one, just an understanding, ‘things are tough right now’ response.

Yesterday, as I lay in bed, I realized I have a bebitching hour. It’s at five o’clock every evening since this nightmare started. This was the hour Peter and my routine started. The hour when I made dinner for us. When he came home from work. When we sat and talked about our days. When I washed the dinner’s dishes and he put away the food. When he would sit and read his newspaper or play his ukulele, and I would flip through the television. When we would kiss good-night. When I knew, I would have another day with him. And now, with all of that gone, the bebitching hour strikes. The bitch in me comes out, angry as hell because I will miss all of it, including keeping my wedding ring on.