For the second time I find myself in this Ladies toilet with the express intention of crying, not weeing. I’m hidden away in a stall; tears stream down my face; I try to suppress wailing sobs, a weeper’s hiccups that threaten to shatter my discrete indulgence into the feminine side.
Please don’t let anyone come in. Please. Please. Please.
The sobs burst forth.
Don’t be ridiculous.
My head knows there’s nothing to cry about. My Man has said it time and time again: there’s nothing about work that merits this emotional investment. It’s the truth, but knowing the truth doesn’t protect this thin skin of mine, nor the tender ego underneath.
The man with the trust issues put me here. [I know, I know: I put me here.]
Now I remember: he was the one who sent me here the first time.
My hiccups begin to subside. I rip off a piece of rough, crackly loo roll and wipe the moisture from my cheeks and eyes. I know without looking in the mirror that my eyes are bloodshot.
Allergies. Blame it on allergies.
So I do. When I return to my desk, the nice guy sitting behind me who probably overheard the phone conversation that preceded my retreat to the Ladies asks me if I’m ok.
“Oh, I’m ok. Allergies are killing me today.” My voice quavers. I don’t think Nice Guy is going to buy it, but then he offers me a Claritin. I take it.
What harm can it do?
It’s not yet ½ nine. The day had started so well, with yoga and tea and Dog snuggling. But for the man with trust issues it might have continued so. Now I have bloodshot eyes, an unnecessary pharmaceutical in my veins, and a general sense of malaise, anger, and crippled professional self-esteem.
Just like a woman.