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Donna Highfill Headshot

If I Could Remember Why I Was Mad, I'd Be Furious

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My life has turned into a bad "Matlock" episode, where due to a lack of retention, everything becomes a mystery. The only thing I'm missing is the tall man in the seersucker suit to help me discover what I've forgotten.

This morning, I reached for my magnifying glasses on the bedside table so I could read the clock. My glasses were mysteriously missing, so I engaged in some significant squinting and read the clock to say "7:15 a.m." Time to get up! I lamented how dark it was and longed for the days of summer.

The longing subsided when the hot flash hit and I inhaled the lovely scent of sweaty sheets. I threw back my covers in the way that only women having hot flashes can, and swung my legs around. The eyeglass mystery was quickly resolved when my bare foot stepped on them.

My next string of words awakened the dog that now needed to go outside in the freezing cold to potty, which didn't sound so bad due to the fact that I, too, needed the cold. I did resent the fact, however, that my husband's desire to keep the backyard grass green has resulted in a situation where I have to go stand with him or he won't pee (not my husband, the dog).

My first real mystery occurred as I stood in the freezing cold and wondered why the neighborhood was so quiet. Where were the school buses? Where were the people going to work? Had Jesus come during the night? Was I left behind?

The mystery made me consider what Matlock would do. So, rather than panic, I decided to check the clocks again. I limped back into the house and found my broken glasses. I placed them on my face, and they sat cockeyed in that jaunty way glasses do when you step on them. I hobbled into the bedroom and checked the clock again. It was not 7:15 a.m. It was 5:15 a.m.

Mystery solved. I fell back to sleep instantly and jumped up a couple of hours later when I heard my son leaving for work. I ran to the kitchen and then stood there and wondered why I had felt such a need to run to the kitchen. I never did remember, so I looked at some mail on the counter so it wouldn't feel like a wasted trip.

My second mystery was presented within moments of getting into the shower. The water flowed down my face, somehow reminding me that I was angry with my husband over something. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what it was.

As I toweled off, I heard the dog barking at the front door, which set off a hot flash that made toweling off futile. I threw on my shirt and tried to step into my jeans quickly, but have you ever tried to pull up jeans when your legs are sopping wet with water and sweat? I finally got them up after pulling a muscle in my back and ran to the door with a towel on my head and no make-up.

The man standing there in a beige work shirt looked terrified as I slung open the door, fury evident on my face.

"Um, hello, ma'am. I talked with your husband last week? We are supposed to be working on your generator?"

The conversation with my husband came oozing back into my mind.

"OK, so feel free to go to the backyard. I'll be out in a minute," I responded, fully aware that one look at me told this guy I would require at least 45 minutes to look presentable.

"Well, the problem is that we need to cut off the power," he said, refusing to make eye contact.

And that was the rest of the story. The case of the angry-at-my-husband-but-I-don't-know-why myster solved. Unfortunately, I didn't deliver the upbeat, clever retorts that Matlock always provided.

"Are you freakin' kidding me? Well, you'll just have to wait until I dry my hair," I responded with a lot of accompanying spit. "GAWD." I shut the door to save the man from having to deal with me any further.

I left in a record 30 minutes and dragged the dog to doggy daycare. On the way, I had a nagging suspicion that there was one more thing that I was mad about. I got my dog's little lunch with his name on it (feel free to make fun of THAT) and took him into the daycare center. My jeans were still wet, and they were accented by my frizzy hair and poorly applied make-up.

"Hey. Did my husband call you guys about the dog coming in today?" I asked.

"No, we didn't receive any call about that," the woman politely responded.

Another hot flash crept up my face and threatened a certain storm. Being a fellow menopausal woman, the daycare owner saw my reaction and quickly said, "Don't worry. We'll make room for him."

I was saved from another anti-"Matlock" moment. Now, if I could just remember what I'm angry about, maybe I could deliver quick, Matlock-like retorts. Perhaps the secret is in the light fabric of the seersucker suit.