I had occasion this morning to ponder the difference (in my mind, anyway) between “feh” and “meh.”

“Meh” is accompanied by a shrug of indifference, while “feh” includes a raised eyebrow and a chin circle, as if outlining a potential cut line around the heart of my enemy. “Feh” is uttered with a little growl; “feh” isn’t passive and it isn’t good.

I was lying awake staring at the ceiling, a full 40 minutes before the alarm was to go off. I was thinking about…

  1. How screwed up my sense of time has been and how I don’t trust myself to get to places I’m supposed to go to.
  2. The big job I need to write. The client gave me until Friday and I laughed and said “Don’t be silly, I can get this to you by Wednesday, no problem,” and now Thursday was dawning and I’ve only got the lead. All I have to do is research the issue and write the back three pages; I gave myself all of yesterday afternoon to do it and somehow it remains undone.
  3. The lack of electricity in the new bathroom portion of my bedroom.

My bedroom, built in the 80s along with the rest of the house, has what I’m sure some designer thought was a very groovy feature: A tiny, dinky toilet/shower room, outside of which is an enormous bedroom with a sink next to the closet. You know, like a Motel 6.

Sure, I know – it’s so I can brush my teeth AT THE SAME TIME (ooh) as my now-departed husband takes a long shower, reveling in the thought that he is not blocking my access to exceptional oral hygiene, but that’s STUPID and now I have a bathroom in my bedroom.

I digress from my digression.

I’ve had a new bathroom vanity installed, as well as a new mirror and a new light feature. It’s stunning and makes me happy. But the guys who installed it apparently cast around and found only one lone lightbulb to put in the four-light fixture. So last night I had a clever thought and took the four lightbulbs out of the old fixture, still lying on the floor of my son’s room as part of the pile of generalized crap that needs to be hauled away.

Jonathan loved those Edison bulbs – unfrosted glass bulbs. You’re supposed to use them without a shade to show off their radiant filaments. Very groovy, but I dislike them. They’re blinding. But my four-light fixture has shades (well, it’s got three shades because one of them arrived broken and now Home Depot is shipping me a replacement and THAT’S a whole ‘nother thing) so I could use those groovy, annoying bulbs and the shades would protect me.

I screwed in the first Edison bulb (of course in the arm that had no shade; easiest access) and immediately the fixture made a sound like a cat just as its paw lashes out to trace a circle around its enemy’s heart and then all the power went out in the bath/bedroom.


To compound the party-like atmosphere, the new, malevolent lightbulb was incorrectly threaded, so I couldn’t get it back out. A light bulb is a perverse mixture of dangerous fragility and belligerent stubbornness. I’m pretty sure it’s done all the harm it’s going to do; I think I could go flip the breaker and get my power back on, but just in case I need to get that ugly, grinning Edison bulb out of there first.

And I didn’t have the oomph to deal with it late last night. So I just went to bed and festered.

When I woke up this morning (for the third time; this perimenopause is wicked harshing my lifelong gift of being able to sleep deeply and happily) and lay in bed reviewing the bidding for the day, I thought – do I HAVE to go to Balance Class? At ten in the futhermucking morning? In tight, bulge-revealing clothing? Can’t I pull on a pair of jeans like everyone else and deal with my stupid lightbulb and my stupid occupation? Can’t I go get some cake, or something, and just roll around in it in a snit?

But change doesn’t happen when you’re happy. If you only do the hard things after a great night’s rest and you bounce out of bed eager to take on the day – well, how often does THAT happen? I can’t secure my health if I give up when it gets hard.

So I’m awake. Early.

I’m dressed in Lycra. Chilly, clingy Lycra.

I’m going to haul it to Falls Church, to Body Dynamics for Balance Class (assuming I get there on time), where Barbara will use her kind but undeniable authority to somehow cause me to do for a full hour things I wouldn’t be able to endure for two minutes under other circumstances. Like planks. Or “bear-walking” across a room. Or “stack the shelf” of about ten thousand imaginary books – all while visible to other humans.

Yes, I am aware that exercise promotes endorphins, and that I will probably leave class much sunnier than when I arrived. But I’m not sunny YET. I am contemplating the huge gulf between indifferent “meh” and contemptuous “feh.”


No need to point out that the wall behind the new light fixture (with its misaligned and lethal Edison bulb) needs painting. They’re coming back to do that. They’re always coming back to do that, whatever that might be. Every time they say “There – we’re all done!” I snort. Right. All done. Tell me another one. Feh.

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