The word "tetchy" perfectly describes how I'm feeling today.
If I were participating in ' upcoming production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, I would ask for the word's origin (Middle English or "vulgar" Latin), then ask for it to be used in a sentence. Here's my sentence: "The usually unflappable librarian became tetchy from a combination of screaming children and flying at her head." Call me kooky, but I'm tired of living in an Easy-Bake Oven.
The heat is making me crazy and more than a bit peckish (another great word). I don't think I'm being presumptuous in saying everyone is feeling the heat. In much the same way that a string of snowstorms and the ensuing cabin fever makes us all kind of cranky, a string of days in the 90s leaves us drooping, wilted, damp. And fractious.
Because I've been stuck in this mindset, I've been thinking about things that are annoying me right now. I've been talking back to the television and waggling my fist at weaving motorists. The man who butted in front of me at a shore store was politely told that, no, I had been there first. Normally, I would have just shrugged and let it go, but I'm a middle-aged woman with rivulets of sweat running down her back, so move it, buster! Get back into your huge black SUV and don't be so rude.
Here's my list of minor and major annoyances that, were the weather less steamy, probably wouldn't bother me at all:
- New Yorkers invading the Jersey Shore — Okay, youse guys. Youse got Long Island, youse got beaches in Queens. Stay outta South Jersey. LBI is being overrun by the gang from up North. They drive differently, their team allegiances are repugnant, they talk funny. They've got their own beaches and they should stay there. We should erect a fence on the Parkway and not let them come any further south than Seaside Heights.
- Bike riders in full regalia — It's great so many people have taken to the street on bikes, but what's up with the outfits? Is it mandatory to wear ersatz Tour de France garb even though you're riding from Mo'town to Medford? That's sort of like me putting on a Nascar jumpsuit to drive over to ShopRite. I get the stretchy pants thing, but the shirts with advertising? A tank top will sufffice.
- The Febreze commercial on TV — You know the one I mean. Three or four blindfolded "bystanders" are led into a meat locker or a room filled with dead dogs and old cabbage. The room has been sprayed with Febreze and the people are guided to a couch that has been thrown up on, soiled and stained by 53 hamsters and several toddlers. They are then asked to breathe deeply. The voice-over booms "Where do you think you are?" The answers are comical: "Princeton University?" "The Vatican?" "The flower show?" Do you really think we're that dumb?
- PREIT — This is going to be a short one. I am so weary of hearing how . I honestly expected to see huge liquor bottles marching in the . Instead of throwing candy, they would hurl small airplane bottles of booze at the crowd. Ouch! Can you say "," Susie?
- Facebook — Okay. I'll admit I check my Facebook page once a week, but there are people on there every day, filling it with the minutiae of their lives. They just took a bath! Woo-hoo! Their grandchild just passed gas. Congrats! They beseech you to play Farmville. I don't want to play Farmville because I am not a farmer, I am a consumer. If I want to play consumer, I head over to Wegmans on a weekend, where the aisles are crowded with other consumers all hellbent on nabbing that last loaf of expensive Tuscan rosemary/olive oil bread or a wheel of $45 cheese.
- Gum-chewing — Gum-chewing is just a subset of a recent phenomenon: The sad fact that teaching good manners seems to be a thing of the past. If any educators are reading this, they are nodding their heads in agreement because it seems teaching etiquette is now part of their curriculum. I love chewing gum, especially when I'm at the gym. Somehow, it seems to rev me up to have a wad of Trident peppermint in my mouth. But I was harangued from a very young age to chew with my mouth closed, at the dinner table and when chewing Doublemint, my mother's gum of choice. Yesterday, in town, I saw a mother and four children, all chawing gum with their mouths open like a herd of cows. It made me shake my head in despair. Please! I don't want to see the inside of your mouths! It's just déclassé. Or is it just me? The age of men taking off their hats indoors, and especially at the table, is a thing of the past as well. I am sorry to see this bit of good manners disappear. We were at a diner last week and the 60+ man across the aisle wore his Orioles hat throughout the meal. Come on! You should know better, you Baltimorean oldster!
- Politics — Mitt Romney and his wife look like wealthy dolls. Obama just looks desperate. We have months and months of negative campaigning to go, so can someone just shoot me now?
If you're feeling as weather-weary as I am, I have a few suggestions and they all include air conditioning and good entertainment. The first one is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at on July 13, 14, 18, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., with a matinee at 3 p.m. on the 15th. Caught an excerpt of the show at one of and it was great.
Also, check out 's Summer Stage production of The Little Mermaid, which runs from July 11-13, with performances at 7 p.m. July 11; 10 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m. July 12; and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 13, all at .
And consider a run to Haddonfield Plays and Players' production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. I happened to catch some of it recently while slogging through the heat at Haddonfield's First Night Bake-Off. Those crazy kids in the cast were doing a medley of songs from the show and I was quite impressed. Showtimes for Millie are July 12 at 7:30 p.m.; July 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, August 3 and 4 at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on July 15, 22 and 29.
You can visit each organizations' website for more information: www.moorarts.org, www.moorestowntheatercompany.org, and www.haddonfieldplayers.com. In the meantime, me and my bad attitude can be found parked in front of an air conditioner. Don't say I didn't warn you!