1. Hunger makes me cranky.
I am one of those people whose body reacts with ridiculous histrionics to any sort of depletion. One time I was hiking out of the Grand Canyon with some friends when I suffered a sudden onset of low blood pressure and dehydration. Did I just feel crappier than normal but otherwise keep on trucking, perhaps a bit more slowly? No. I fainted all the way up that accursed trail and had to be half-dragged to the top. Embarrassing. And really annoying for my poor friends. Sorry, guys. The point is, my body is sensitive. I don’t just get hungry—I get the shakes. My limbs feel like noodles. My head throbs. My tummy burns to the point of nausea. We’re talking full-scale catastrophe. And of course, in this weakened state, my irritation at silly things skyrockets.
2. Physical discomfort makes me pouty.
You know those times when you remember your tongue and you spend a few minutes feeling uneasily aware of that big weird thing in your mouth before you can finally forget about it (you’re welcome!)? I’m that way about everything. If there’s sweat rolling down my skin, I feel every maddening drop. I feel that little wisp of hair just barely brushing my left eyeball. I feel the awkward arrangement of my legs in a chair too tall for me and the fact that there’s nowhere to rest my arms. I notice the constriction of my clothing and the slightly-too-tight sandal strap. I’m sitting here driving myself nuts over the patches of my skin that feel dry and stiff (face, lips, hands, feet). Unless these things are immediately remedied (::pauses to apply lotion::), I am too distracted to accomplish anything. But, as happens more often than not, if I’m in a situation where I can’t address the annoyance right away, I grow convinced that the universe is deliberately persecuting me.
3. Pain makes me want to cry and kick my feet.
The thing I hate the very most about pain is my inability to control it. In fact, the pain begins to control me—it limits my mobility, my motivation, my productivity. I become impatient at these limitations and frustrated at my helplessness, which translates into a puerile impulse to break everything in sight. Yesterday I scattered scrambled egg bits all over the kitchen because I couldn’t lift the frying pan the way I wanted to because my neck is all seized up, so I threw the eggy spatula into the sink with no little petulance. Take THAT, stupid neck.