Nov 09

My friends are worried about me. They think I’ve gone over the edge because of the current stress in my life.

Well, stress does do strange things to a person.


You hit the wrong number on your speed dial and insist on talking to the person you thought you had called (Is this the party to whom I am speaking — or what?), you try to make a call with the remote, or change the channel with your phone.

Wait a minute. I do those things all the time. Stressed or not. What’s got my readers’ knickers in a knot is that in my last post I talked about a current event at Bonwit Teller, a store that has been out of business for two decades. Whoops.

On the bright side, it’s a good thing the store is defunct because I mentioned a bedbug sighting there and they could have sued me for defamation of character or something. For the record, the nasty little creatures were actually spotted at Bergdorf Goodmans. Uh-oh. Shouldn’t have mentioned that. Do I need a lawyer now? Talk about stress.

BohemePosterAnd then there was the scene at the opera last week (Get it? Opera? Scene? Never mind.) After the second act of La Boheme —you know, the Met’s version of “Rent” — I told my husband that I was really looking forward to the next act, the sunny one at the heroine’s beautiful country house.

Country house? Sun? He seemed puzzled. Mimi and all the other fine young bohemians in this opera live in a garret. In poverty. The third act takes place in the snow.

Yes, yes, I insisted. The country house. That aria about Provence and . . . wait a minute. That’s Violetta’s house. The rich courtesan. Who’s in an entirely different opera. La Traviata, if you want to get all specific about it.

Today I sent an email with the message repeated the message repeated. Who knows what I’ll do tonight. My friend Diana says I’m not safe walking around in this condition. Apparently, I’m not safe sitting here at my computer either . . .


STRESS. I always thought it would be a great name for a rock group. Maybe it is.

According to that Font of All Knowledge, Wikipedia, symptoms of stress include: a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion, as well as irritability, muscular tension, inability to concentrate, headache and elevated heart rate.

I have something to add: a loss of power.

TaxiRainI was trying to get to my tennis game on time last week and I needed a cab. No problem. Not for me, the woman with Kab Karma. It’s practically infallible. Cabs make U-turns to pick me up. I get cabs in the middle of snowstorms. On dark and deserted streets. When everyone else has given up and taken the subway.

Ah, but that day was different. It was cold and raining, so cabs were scarce. But the real reason I couldn’t get a cab was that I was stressed.

SupermanSuperheroes everywhere take note,  and that means you — Super Mom, Super Dad, Super Multitasker — your powers are diminished when your mind is not clear.

Undaunted, I stood on the corner of 23rd and 2nd and reminded myself that yes, I do have Kab Karma, and yes, I would get a cab. I WOULD get a cab! Then I realized that I was telling myself this out loud, and people were moving away from me in an ever-expanding circle, avoiding eye contact at all cost.

Embarassed, I ran to the other side of the street where I saw a cab that was either picking up or discharging a passenger. Being me, with some of my Kab Karma, if not my mind, still intact, the person was getting out and I got in.

This eased my stress a whole lot, although it did nothing for my tennis game.

Of course, I have always been what is charitably referred to as absent minded and have been known to hop into a cab for a business meeting having no idea who I was meeting with, much less why or where. Cabby! Take me to . . . wherever. And step on it!

That was before the age of technology when I didn’t have a cell phone to call my office and figure it out. But now I have whole new worlds to confuse, confound, and add to my stress levels. Today, I think I may have accidentally befriended everyone in the world on Facebook.

Meanwhile, I forget where I file people’s names in my address book: was it under their first name, last name — or something else: like L for Lillie A for Aunt Lillie or D for Dambinsky because that’s her name (really). It’s all very logical, in a ditsy sort of way, but under stress I tend to forget my own system and get very agitated.

Hell. You call it Bergdorfs, I call it Bonwits. Let’s call the whole thing off.

But before we do that . . . I need you to reassure me that I’m not the only one experiencing these “brain melts” — ironically also known as “brain freezes.”

It’ll be a kind of free internet group therapy.  Saks  is getting awfully expensive.

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