Grumpmaster in da house

By Mir
May 5, 2009

I am too grumpy to live.

Oh, wait. Still alive. God, that makes me grumpy. I can’t even DIE properly.

Yeah. It’s that sort of a day. I used to be able to blame such things on my dear friend “Aunt Flo,” you know, but once you hit menopause it’s like all PMS, all the time, and people stop giving you the latitude to blame such moods on your hormones… even though your hormones are pretty much completely borked all the time. (Yes, that IS the technical term for it.)

Evidence the first for my hormonal borkedness: A couple of weeks ago Otto haltingly complimented my dewy, glowy face—concerned, of course, that a compliment could easily be turned into a “What, was it awful BEFORE?” kind of situation. I surprised him by agreeing that my face was indeed looking fabulous. That apparently angered the facial gods, or something.

In the space of a week I went from looking like a walking, talking facial line commercial to looking like I have never washed my face in my entire life. I am rapidly closing in on 40, people, and while I have struggled with acne for close to three decades, suddenly—inexplicably!—my face has erupted in a display of angry, red mounds unlike any I’ve ever had before. I have no idea what the hell is going on, other than that looking in a mirror makes me want to cry. Actually, why hedge—looking in a mirror pretty much does make me cry.

I am someday going to die with deep wrinkles FILLED WITH ZITS adorning my face. I’ve always wanted to be cremated, but I feel certain that scientists will lobby to preserve my head and neck so that they can better study the bizarre causes of cystic acne in the old and cranky.

Evidence the second: I was so short and cranky with the children this morning, Monkey patted me and told me “it’s gonna be okay, Mama” and Chickadee just continued crying about how her earlobes were going to get infected and it was all my fault. (She ran out of time to clean around her earrings, because she was busy micromanaging me and everyone else, and no, I didn’t miss my opportunity to tell her so, too, because I’m just that super of a mother.) I may have thanked her for ruining my morning, too. Because she screamed at me. Repeatedly. But she’s 11, so that’s sort of her job. What the hell is MY excuse?

I should’ve gone grocery shopping over the weekend but I didn’t because of everything else we were doing, so I said I’d go yesterday. I didn’t go. I ran out of time.

Last night I went out to run an errand for the PTA that I’d left for the last minute because I’m completely disorganized, and of course what I needed to get was nowhere to be found. Which is my own fault. And the only thing I love more than having to go to Walmart is having to go to Walmart and not even being able to get what I went there for. But at least I bought a gallon of milk, because when there’s nothing to eat in the house, it’s good to have some milk.

It’s been raining for days and my garden is flourishing, so of course it was time for a Hubris Smackdown. Remember last year’s slugs? This year I was SO SO SMART. I carefully put a ring of eggshells around every plant. Slugs can’t cross the eggshells! Too sharp! HA HA HA SLUGS! Except that now that everything is growing like gangbusters, the leaves of 90% of my plants reach back to the ground. Where the slugs can easily hop aboard. And it’s been SO WET that they’re not even bothering to wait until dark—they’re just out there munching away at all hours. They’ve decimated a couple of my spinach plants and are working on the beans, now. I decided I’m tired of wasting beer on them and there’s too many, anyway, so I bought some organic slug killer that needs to WORK FASTER.

Of course, something’s eating my basil, too. And slugs don’t like basil. Some investigation revealed that in addition to the Slug Army, I’ve got sort of an impressive sow bug infestation going on, too. At this rate there will be nothing left in the garden to EAT. (I bought some diatomaceous earth to get the sow bugs, but it has to be DRY to apply it. It’s supposed to rain all week.) And yes, I’m aware that sow bugs prefer DEAD THINGS, but if you are SUPER EXTRA LUCKY like me, they’ll eat young plants in a pinch.

And I feel like I haven’t had a conversation with my husband in months. That’s not true, of course, but in my current grumpalicious state it FEELS true. Or maybe he had a conversation with one of my giant zits and I missed it.



  1. MomCat

    I think Monkey said it best….it’s gonna be okay.

  2. MagaMama

    Drink the beer. It won’t kill the slugs, but it could make you feel better.

  3. Patricia

    Isn’t salt organic? Can’t you just salt the slugs like I did as a kid and watch them die — that always improves my mood. Wait, that’s more than a little sick.

    Monkey is a bright boy — you should listen to him, “It will be ok.”

  4. Mama Bear

    Chocolate, it solves everything, except slugs.

  5. BethR

    @Patricia – I salted the slugs, too. It’s really gross, but it might be a great way to get out of the grumpies.

    And believe me, Mir, if the scientists keep your head to investigate the acne and wrinkles phenomenon (do-do-dedoodoo) (sorry, Muppets on the brain), mine will be in the jar next to yours! I think it’s the constant rain – how are we supposed to keep our pores clear when there’s so much moisture in the air we’re all sprouting?

  6. Half Assed Kitchen

    The ad that came up in the feeder with this post was for a bizarre looking matchmaking site. I thought, for a minute, that was why you were grumpy.

  7. Jennifer Joyner

    Wine, chocolate, bubble bath….whatever it takes, Mir. Take some time for you today!!

  8. Christina

    In my house it’s “Grumpypants Malone”.

    Don’t know why.

    It’s a name that came out one day when my, now 3 1/2 yr old, was an infant and teething.

    It’ll be better soon. I like the idea Magamama had “Drink the beer”

  9. Aimee

    I know it’s Tuesday, but it sounds like you’ve got a case of the Mondays. Which I can sympathize with, because I’ve had a case of the Mondays since January, and I’m not sure what to do to get rid of it. Chocolate helps, at least for a little while. It may not kill the slugs, but it might make you feel better.

  10. Tracy

    I know exactly what you are going through. At my age, you would think I was over the zit thing. And why is it always smack dab in the middle of your forehead or nose, where you can’t hide it for nothing. Cheer up, sweetie. It will be gone in a few days and life will be back on track.

  11. Brigitte

    What’s the use of a black widow if she won’t even keep away slugs and sow bugs?

  12. dad

    That Monkey is one brilliant dude!

    Relax. The cavalry is coming.

  13. Kelly

    I totally think you drinking the beer is the way to go.

  14. exile on mom street

    I hate to say it, but exercise will make you feel better.

    Take a quick walk between storms and then come home and have some chocolate or beer (or BOTH!) as some other commenters suggested. You’ll deserve it after a walk.

    And Wal-Mart = 2nd circle of hell.

  15. Amelia

    * hugs to you *

    Don’t beat yourself up. You’re allowed to be human too, you know. (And besides, I see that your dad is telling you that the cavalry is coming. Maybe it’ll bring groceries! :))

  16. Debora Silkotch

    I was another lifelong acne acne sufferer, so I definitely feel your pain! I say “was,” because lo, I finally found the magical combination of treatments that worked for me. I know everyone’s skin is different, but here are a few things you could try: 1. Those “Skin, Hair And Nails” supplements. It takes a month or two to see results, but after that it’s really noticeable. I like the Futurebiotics brand. One caveat: you don’t want to keep taking them for more than six months or so at a stretch, because they contain megadoses of some nutrients that will eventually build up in your body. 2. Grow beets, and eat the green tops in your salads. The roots are great for your skin too, but don’t skip the tops! 3. Use organic extra virgin olive oil as an after-shower skin moisturizer. I know putting oil on your skin sounds counterintuitive, but olive oil contains antibacterial properties very similar to those present in healthy skin oils.

    Sorry you’ve got the grumpies…hormones suck. :^(

  17. Lylah

    You’re allowed to have grumpy days! Listen to your brilliant boy, know that you are surrounded by people who care (even if from far away), and just make it through to bedtime…

  18. Tammy

    I’m going to third (fourth? fifth?) the suggestion to drink the beer. And then salt the slugs. And laugh maniacally.

  19. Megan

    Sigh – and yesterday? It was Monday. All. Day. Long. I think it did it on purpose.

  20. Laura

    Beer bread! That way you also get to pound out some frustration.

  21. Cathy

    On the bright side, today is Cinco de Mayo, so I say leave the beer for the slugs and use the salt people have been talking about for a nice, big margarita!

  22. Judy

    I thought I was the only one going through the “change of life acne.” Misery loves company. I’ve gone back to one of my teenage favorites.. “Wash your face with Noxema, do it every day”… lalalalaa.. I’ve just given myself an ear worm… hey.. maybe the ear worm can get together with your slugs and sow bugs?…no?

    Okay.. going back to lurking.

  23. Heidi

    I hear you. The big old zit on my forehead must have gotten lonely and sent out a siren call, because now it has a matching companion. I’m old enough that vanity is out the door, though.

  24. Sharon

    Monkey is going to make an excellent husband one day. He knows just what to say!

  25. Harmony

    I too suffer from cystic acne and I’m in my 30’s now. I’ve found aveeno’s acne face soap for sensitive skin to be FAB and when that fails to work a quick trip to the dermatologist for a hydro cortisone shot right into one of those bad boys. Hurts like the dickens but they go away in just a few hours.

  26. mamalang

    Poor Mir. I’m feeling you. Spring is supposed to renew us, but I haven’t felt spring yet.

  27. Pepper

    I believe Monkey said it best, it will be ok. Sit on your deck with a good book and some of that beer and you’ll feel better.

  28. Em

    Crappy week but good news! We’re here! Me and all of these other people and I feel safe in speaking for everyone to say we think you rock. Now, besides us all being here and thinking you rock, it is also cinco de Mayo which is Spanish for “the day to eat salsa for supper and drink sangria margaritas until everything is better”. You really could not have picked a better day to have a lousy day.

  29. Katie in MA

    Don’t worry, Mir. It will all be okay. What I recommend – and I KNOW, it’s CRAZY! – is to go bust a move on Wii Fit or go for a long bike run or a really fast walk. Get those endorphins moving AND you’ll feel pretty superfly for going and actually doing something. I have to literally force myself to do it because usually I don’t wanna (!), but it always makes me feel better.

    Sorry, pretty Mir, that you’re having a bad day!

  30. Joshilyn

    You are pretty. I heart you. I send you chinese folk tale widom: This too shall pass. And a poster of a kitten who is about to plummet to his death that says HANG IN THERE. I send Moosetracks. I send love.

  31. Randi

    When all else fails, eat chocolate.

  32. Amelia

    But why wait for everything to fail? Go ahead with the chocolate.

  33. tj

    What Randi said.

  34. steff

    And spend some time under the light that portrays sunshine – what’s it called again? :-)

  35. Jess

    Maybe this is going around. I’m so cranky today that my daughter has written me TWO notes telling me that she loves me/I’m the best. And she’s SIX.

  36. Laura

    As a teenager, I thought I’d have acne in my teens. Then a few good good years. Then wrinkles in my 40s. I’ve got both. What’s up with that?

  37. Heather

    Monkey had it right. Hang in there, Mir! It can only get better, right?

  38. Katherine

    I’ve got the acne (and the wrinkles, but they hide in the acne). And I’ve got a 13 yo boy who is determined to make my life hell. And that end of the semester crazy-busy husband. I think I’ll go find some chocolate (the beer will have to wait until after the PTO meeting tonight….)

  39. Lucinda

    I agree with all the others. Drink beer. Salt slugs. Then you can take out your angst on them and not feel guilty! Hope you feel better soon. Hormones suck.

  40. gaylin in vancouver

    As a small child my nick name was Granny Grunt. I still am not even vaguely human first thing in the morning – unless I am on vacation.

    My dad used to use the garden fork to flick slugs out onto the road and my brother and I would run over them with our bikes. Ahhh, the warm loving memories of childhood.

    I have no acne cures, rest up, go for a walk, hug your family.
    You are pretty.

  41. ImpostorMom

    I feel your pain on the zits. Ugh, aren’t these sposta go AWAY after puberty.

  42. TC

    I’m 45, DIDN’T have acne as a teenager, but now not only have several zits–both in my wrinkles AND ON MY AGE SPOTS–but I have SCARS from the ones I’ve had over the past couple of years. WTF? Makes me grumpy, too.

  43. Karen

    This, too… shall pass. :-)

  44. annette

    I spent a long time adding my own bitch and moan session and then my computer lost the internet. Um, Yeah. That pretty much sums up my day!

    I did want to apologize. I hope my clarisonic inquiry didn’t curse you!

  45. Jane

    At least you planted enough for you AND the bugs? Maybe?

  46. The Mother

    Secondary acne is really common in your forties. See a dermatologist–he/she can fix that.

    As someone staring at FIFTY, I certainly relate to everything. Except the sowbugs. Black thumb.

  47. Jessica (@kikarose)

    Man, you know how to put a good grump on! I’m bringing the beer so we can have a proper pity party! Then we can give some to the slugs because apparently that’s the best way to get rid of them. The sow bugs? Sorry, I got nothing on them. But, if you put them on their backs is that like teeeny tiny cow tipping?
    Sorry you’re having a crummy day/week. Hope tomorrow is better!

  48. mama speak

    Forget the beer, get the shots going sista! It’s Cinco de Mayo & you need one or twelve. ;-)

    No advice for the slugs, but do love the flick & ride over w/bikes suggestion. It’s a family affair.

    Hormones blow, that’s all there is to it.

    I 2nd the dermatologist suggestion, and my I also suggest doing some serious research into finding a really good one that’s on your insurance. I finally did that, when looking for help w/hyper pigmentation. I found that the treatment he provided to help me w/the hyper pigmentation also made my skin a lot clearer. I commented on that to him & he was like, “Oh I’ve got something that’ll really help you with that!” And, BOOM the acne I’ve dealt w/ALL MY LIFE is pretty much gone. I get the once a month deal, but these are the cystic things, these are treatable overnight w/OTC stuff. Good doc = great results!

  49. margie

    i have nothing to say to you. nothing that would help anyway. so sorry to be so useless. but hey who isn’t useless?? i hate those people.

  50. joaaanna

    A friend of mine who had a burst of sudden, huge acne (ew, that sounds so gross) finally went to the doctor and he had a staph infection. Worth checking out?

    And BTW – what acne? I just see a radiant, smart, beautiful, funny, lovely woman!

  51. JennyM

    [Pats Mir on the arm.] I hear you, sister.

    My allergy medication has stopped working, I am officially OVER the crazy southern spring weather, I’ve scraped muddy paw prints off the floor, the walls, the kitchen counter (which, WTF, DOGS?! when did that start?) AND my best-fitting work pants for the umpteenth morning in a row, the big dog stepped RIGHT ON one of my carefully nurtured lilies this morning, I haven’t had a conversation with my husband for weeks due to his work schedule, and since my skin has been fairly decent for a while I think I can feel Mount Vesuvius gearing up on my chin, I’m out of 2 Buck Chuck and I’ve got a dermatologist appointment tomorrow morning to check out this THING on my ARM, and all my basil has DIED. If you’re not going to drink your beer, can I have it?

  52. Heidiho

    After months of complaining that my skin was never going to clear up again, and trying every trick in my repertoire, I broke down and bought the Proactiv kit. It pained me. I got in on QVC because it was cheaper in the VAT size, and in a week I could tell the difference. I have been using it for a few months now, and am a believer. I was afraid it was just for teeny-boppers, but I am 37. I barely get a pimple when Flo visits now. I have not tried the knock off, cheaper version (Acne Free)you can get in stores because I am afraid to mess up a good thing but it looks like the same stuff. Good luck with the bumps and the grumps!

  53. My Kids Mom

    Question for you… I put out three baby grown-with-love-by-seed cucumber plants on Monday, and today… they aren’t there. Lots and lots of sow bugs though. Lots. Do you think they devoured my new plants? Let me know if the diatomaceous earth works. (If it ever stops raining.)

  54. Sarah @

    a) I feel you on the vegetable garden. And I’m sorry. What a bummer.

    b) I hope the freak acne clears up soon!

  55. Stephanie

    Oh, Mir. I know about the menopause induced zits…my skin has been a constant mass of red bumps for several years now. Sometimes they *almost* go away…other times I look like a pre-pubescent teenager with greying hair and wrinkles. It sucks. I have found an olive oil cleaner from DHC that works pretty well, some of the time…haven’t tried Proactive, but Sydney looks at me, smiling sweetly, every time the commercial comes on and says “Mommy, *you* should buy that!” (Thanks, honey, I love you too.)

    Can’t help with the garden OR the zits, but I can commiserate. That’s about all I’m good for, these days.

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