Last night I arrived home after an evening out at a friend's house for an Easter celebration and to continue gorging on chocolate, as I'd been doing all day. It was the last of several weekend events, including a night out on Franklin St. - bustling with activity now that it's so warm - and a cocktail party where I had enough wine to think dancing to "What a Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers was a pretty good idea. I mean, it was, and it wasn't. When I got back last night I took a good look around the house and decided that doing the dishes wasn't happening. J was at a baseball game and I opened the front and back doors, letting a breeze in, settled on the couch and proceeded to declare myself in a slightly depressed mood. Yes, the kind that occurs when a long weekend ends and Monday is fast approaching, but there was something else. Was it the wine? The candy? The pounds and pounds of candy?
The mood did not disperse entirely over the course of the evening, and was slightly less intense this morning, until it was nearly 8 a.m. and I realized I had to get up and go to work. The bed was so comfortable. The shower, so far away.
Needless to say I did what needed to be done and got out of the house with only time to grab a cup of coffee and blow my hair halfway dry before driving away, through Chapel Hill, into the county. I was half-heartedly listening to Lindsay Lohan's true Hollywood story on my satellite radio, trying to sympathize with her, having had such trying times (the stress of upholding all those social obligations, those crazy nights out) when I realized that I, like Lohan, really had no right to complain. Ok -her dad lands himself in jail now and then, and mine, thankfully, does not, so maybe she's got an advantage on me when it comes to sulking. The point is, occasional mood changes are normal, especially for me, it seems, during transitions, whether that's from a long weekend to the work week or an entire change of a season - or even going from eating no sweets, to eating icing straight out of the container while decorating cupcakes, because Goddamnit, you sacrificed for 40 days.
When I was little my mother talked about this type of mood change all the time, ensuring me it was perfectly acceptable. It might happen due to something that would normally make someone sad, like the end of a particularly wonderful vacation at the beach, but also might occur when something as small as a friend leaving after a sleepover happened, she'd explain. Transitions, no matter how minor, could be tough, she told me. Similarly, before I got together with J, and in the beginning stages of our dating (just after ending a long relationship with someone else) my friend Max used to tussle my hair or put his arm around my shoulder when we were all hanging out and announce to everyone, "Cara is going through her transitional stage." And in the midst of explaining to everyone that what I was doing was right, and that I knew I was making major life changes, but that they were important ones, this was exactly the encouragement I wanted. That was exactly what I was going through, I felt.
It's not as though every time the seasons change I need to sit home wearing huge sweatpants and watching Lifetime for days or anything like that (although that does sound pretty great). Instead, I think every now and then one is entitled to eat more than their fair share of peanut butter and chocolate candy eggs and allow the dishes to go unwashed. It helps rejuvenate the senses, somehow, to shirk responsibility, just briefly, and commiserate with Lindsay Lohan. I doubt my mood will last much longer than it takes to get back into the swing of things at work. In fact, it may be fading now, even against my will as I'd like to chalk up another night of lazy television watching to a state of mind I just can't shake. Let's face it though, people who like Michael McDonald Doobie Brothers songs just aren't fit for melodrama.