High Anxiety

You visit
without warning
unlike a gentleman
come to call

my heart races
with terror
when you wend my way
you can make
the mightiest fall

I wish I could stop the
flutter in my chest,
the fear from things

I don’t like you
please pack up your bags
And leave!

Bed, Bath & Trauma



Christmas Tree Shops is/are one of my favorite stores. I haven’t figured out if the store name is considered singular–as it would be for a collective noun like “family” or plural since “Shops” is plural. Any guesses? For now, I’m going to assume it is plural.

Christmas Tree Shops’ (“CTS”) parent company is Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Although the former has a better selection of products than CTS, I tend to prefer CTS for the prices–much cheaper. That being said, a co-worker informed me yesterday that there was a Bed, Bath Beyond / Barnes & Noble / Whole Foods store complex (not exactly a mall) near our new office space on Vesey Street, so I had to venture forth. I knew it was raining, but I wasn’t expecting the blustering winds, spray and cold. It didn’t feel like early June. I was wearing a jean jacket over my blouse and had my mini urban umbrella, which wasn’t cutting it.

I was on a mission to continue looking for small items to spruce up our home. We are in the process of doing a short sale and our realtor’s photographer is expected at our house early next week; after the photos are done, our house will be listed. Last weekend I got coasters, a throw pillow, a couple candles and a glass jar with beach glass (or at the least the package said it was) in the shape of fish at CTS. Having done more online research about pre-sale home staging, I decided I needed more throw pillows for the master bedroom, a bowl of balls like they have in corporate apartments (see Better Call Saul episode 6, season 2, “Bali Ha’i”) or fake fruit  for the dining room table, and other sundries.

The Bed, Bath & Beyond on Greenwich Street was smaller than the one I normally go to in Paramus, NJ, claustrophobic, even. No ball of balls to be found and the throw pillows I liked were all around $34.99 (too expensive for a short sale). I ended up with two plush gray-blue bath towels and a hand towel–both on sale.

Determined to find that bowl of balls or anything else, I kept repeating the circuit: around and around, from BATH section to BRIDAL section to BEDDING section with overpriced DK sheets and pillow shams to KITCHEN section to SCENT section to OUTDOOR DINING section and over and over. I couldn’t stop, as if possessed. Then I started to feel dizzy. I looked at my watch: 1:35, still 25 minutes to get back to work, and the walk was 10 minutes. Around and around I went. I was lightheaded, and my hands were shaking, and I desperately wanted to find the cashier but he/she was not in sight. Oh my God, what’s going on, I thought. Trapped in Bed, Bath and Beyond! Now I knew what the “Beyond” was for.

Finally I saw an “EXIT’ sign, which I assumed would lead to the cashier. At last, a kindly cashier beckoned me. He was smiling, which helped a great deal, as I was trapped inside the maws of a full-blown panic attack. I smiled at him, or at least I thought I was smiling. Perhaps I looked manic or even insane. I didn’t know. All I knew is that I wanted to purchase the murky blue towels and get the hell out of there.

“Did you find everything you were looking for?” he asked, cheerfully.

“Well, I was looking for a bowl for the dining room or living room, and I couldn’t find it.” I was hoping this made sense.

“Oh, you mean to use as a centerpiece?”


“Oh, we don’t have many of those; this store is smaller than most of them.”

“Yes, that’s what I thought. I wondered if I had missed something.”

I inserted my chip card, my eyes not focusing well.

I thanked him and left.

I found it difficult to put one foot in front of the other; my hands were still shaking. I was pulling in enormous gulps of air, audibly. It felt weird.

On the downward escalator, I scanned for seating downstairs, but there was none. I took a mild sedative, and faced the tempest.

It was colder and more blustery than before, or so it felt.

My knees felt like blocks of steel; my feet were partially numb. When I entered Brookfield Place, I plopped my soggy corpus onto one of the uncomfortable benches, vaguely watching shoppers popping in and out of J. Crew and the other chi-chi stores. It was 1:50 p.m.

After a few minutes, I dragged myself to the escalator, then took the elevator to my floor. Eating a sandwich at my desk was a gift from God. I felt like I had experienced a shock, a trauma of some kind. But it was all within myself.

No more Bed, Bath & Beyond for me. At least not for a while.




Missed Connection

Missed flights. Make sure that the day of your flight, you set a few alarms, call the airline, and get to the airport in time to get through security. Missed flights are an expensive hassle.

google image

This time I missed the bus. It was going to be a long bus ride—maybe 6 to 10 hours. Not sure where I was going. Bizarre obstacles would impede my forward motion, and eventually I would go home with friendly people I had recently met, hoping not to miss the next bus which would depart in the wee hours of the morning.

This is my recurring dream—a missed connection. The night before I dreamed I missed a flight—deliberately sabotaged myself by leaving home 5 minutes prior to scheduled takeoff.

In another dream, I was going to a faraway land—another continent—and it was imperative that I catch this particular plane because it only departed once a day. My dad helped me pack a heavy steamer trunk and drove me to the airport. While riding the escalator which seemed to go on for an eternity, I noticed my luggage was missing. I had left it at home. I missed this very important flight. I was crestfallen, but somehow, not surprised—as if I expected to fail. It felt like a failure.

The missed connection dream used to occur once a week or so; now it’s been 2 days in a row. What does this mean? Google is always available to counsel me on such matters.

Psychiclibrary.com says this is a very common dream due to the fact that “the majority of us are under such stress to manage our time and multitask our waking lives.”

Interpretations (according to pyschiclibrary):

(1)        a sign of ambivalence, that you are waffling or having difficulty making decisions about new opportunities;

(2)        you may feel unsupported in accomplishing your immediate goals;

(3)        you may feel confused about making solid decisions for your future;

(4)        you could be feeling time is running out for making solid plans, or you will be unable to make all the appointments on your calendar;

(5)        may be indicative of profound and deeply rooted regret and sadness about a missed opportunity or decision not made;

(6)        may indicate you resent an individual who has influence over you at work or in your personal relationships;

(7)        you are over-worked or having anxiety about deadlines.

Whew! I have plenty to digest and mull over.

My husband and I have been making plans for the next chapter of our lives, and I admit to feeling overworked and anxious. I do feel pressed for time with a busy work day and a 1 ½ to 2 hour commute each way. More than I care to admit, I feel like I’ve been missing out on LIFE—the important things—as if it’s been rushing past me and I can’t grab hold of it, and it will slip away before I’ve accomplished anything of worth.

All I can do for the moment, while sitting on the NJ Transit bus at 8:52 a.m., knowing I’ll be late for work again, is try to stay positive and breathe.