I suppose it must be a fairly common malady, grumpus totalitorus. Insidious and consuming, the affliction makes the infected person moody and almost intolerable to be around. It effects us all at one time or another. I had a severe bout with it this weekend in fact. In my own case the most tragic effect is that my dear wife bares the brunt of my symptoms. Despite yesterday marking the end of coaching my son's soccer team for the fall season and my wife finishing the current sub-semester at Liberty University, I rolled out of the wrong side of the bed with a resounding thud.
"Would you mind editing my final discussion forum response, Shane?" my wife asked me after lunch. I sat at my work desk in the garage.
"You need to learn to do it yourself," I said and continued hovering over the circuit board I fiddled with.
"I tried my best, but the teacher said to clean up my spelling the last time," she pleaded. My wife is from Japan and while her English is pretty good, sometimes the finer points get missed.
"Why should I? You don't appreciate it." Where this came from, I don't know.
"Sure, you say thank you, but what's the difference? You have to SHOW you appreciate somebody, not just say it." I hadn't lifted my head while I belittled her, and yes, I am an ass. It is interesting to me how you know something is bad, but you never realize how bad until you tell someone else, like now, as I tell you.
"I don't understand," she said.
"I have to do some yard work. I don't want to talk about this. I'll check your forum later." I took the weed eater and walked from the garage.
I spent a very long time manicuring the lawn, so long I started hearing Gandalf from Followship of The Ring. "A little late for trimming the verge, don't you think?"
I looked like the Jolly Green Giant by the time I finished, with weeds in my hair and blades of grass between my teeth.
At this exact moment, as I type, my wife is peeking over my shoulder and won't leave. She's making comments about this being my own personal diary. She is saying, "You shouldn't share your diary. Hey do you remember before we were married? I came home and you were reading my personal, sacred diary. Hey stop that. Quit writing what I'm saying. Shane! I'm not in this! What are you doing. Erase it."
No, I will not erase it. Now stop looking over my shoulder, or I'll use your name in here!
She's going away mumbling, "This is not romantic. Your there writing in your diary, being mean."
She has a way of knowing what gets me. Apparently this is my diary, my "womanly diary". Anyway, let's carry on. I suddenly feel a tinge of my prior grumpiness. Stay on target.
Anyway, so I went into the house and edited her forum. She's actually getting much better. Japanese is a bit odd compared to English. Japanese tends not to use personal pronouns and doesn't have plural forms of words.
Oh boy, she's back. "You should put in some information about what I'm learning at school." She's a Psychology major with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. "About how important it is to treat women with respect. You shouldn't write on the blog. No respect. You're mean. You're so mean," she says. "Stupid blog people, wasting time."
"Nobody cares what I say." I just said.
"Yeah, whatever." She now has turned to my son. "Daddy needs this, a diary. Maybe we should buy him one, with a lock and everything."
Former grumpiness, increasing.
Arrgh! So the grumpiness continued for much of the day yesterday, right up until the evening and we watched a movie as a family. We were half way through when three slow knocks boomed throughout the house.
"Someone is at the front door. Who could it be?" my wife wondered.
"Could it be the boy next door?" my son added.
"It's kind of late." I stated. Three more ominous knocks echoed down the basement stairwell. "I'll go get it."
I reached for the door and did something udderly (utterly) stupid. I unlocked the door. I tried opening the door, but it wouldn't come open. I instantly knew someone held it closed from the outside. I reached up and tried to re-lock the dead bolt. The tension applied on the other side of the door had pulled the bolt in just enough so that it wouldn't go back into the door jamb. However, I didn't realize this at the time. All I could think was, "How are they keeping me from locking the door?" as if the boogie man had intentionally worked it out this way. For about two seconds I panicked, and then I realized the truth. My little sister Elisa and her husband Cade waited to play some prank on me from the other side of the door. They were getting me back for the prank I'd played on them the previous weekend.
I turned to my son who had crept next to me on pensive toes. "Don't worry," I told him, "it's just Aunt Elisa and Uncle Cade."
I pulled on the door again and this time it came open. A black apparition jumped at me from the other side and screamed, I mimicked the same scream and jumped toward the figure I knew was Cade. Elisa sprang from the shadows, video camera in hand.
"You've been Pranked!" She yelled.
I may have known it was them when I opened the door, but for those two seconds when the lock wouldn't close, they had me going.
They came in and my wife came up. We all laughed, had a nice chat and by the time they left I didn't feel grumpy anymore. I told my wife I was sorry and thanks to the prank, I feel much better. So maybe pranks aren't always bad. At least it scared the grumpiness out of me.
My wife is back, watching me type.
"I'm worried. I think you may need some therapeutic counseling." She just said. "I'd much rather you went in the garage and made a huge mess. You could use the garage for yourself. I won't complain anymore. It might be healthier than this. Publishing our private lives." I give her the smolder-look. "Stop that, I hate that cool look, like you've got the victory or something."
Don't worry. She can't resist the smolder.