My mood ring, that is. It's turning from a happy go lucky shade of pink, to a desperate, driven to the edge of madness shade of black.
Why? It's simple. I'm here in Chicago with 8 members of my family and they are driving me crazy. The fact that I ever agreed to come on this trip surprises me no end, but it hasn't all been bad.
I wouldn't have missed being here for the Obama rally for anything, but really - do we absolutely have to eat in the same chain restaurant 2 nights in a row? Am I really the only one who has any kind of a plan for the day - every day?
I'm stuck with an aunt who apologises for everything and who is constantly worried that someone is having a bad time; a mother who is largely bewildered by the whole experience and who can't decide whether or not she wants a cup of tea with her breakfast (I have to make the decision for her); a brother who is an absolute control freak and who only agrees to do things if he can be convinced that doing it was his idea; a cousin and husband who are lovely and are proving to be the saving grace; and a nephew and niece who play nicely with everyone else, but who like to beat shit out of me, their loving uncle.
You can imagine that I'm having a lovely time, can't you?
Today I left them to their own devices and headed off for a spot of retail therapy and time to myself. Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole were both soothing my wounded soul when my cellphone rang.
"Hello son, it's me, Mom"
"We've just left the Gap and we're lost. How do we get home?". My Mother truly sounded like she was calling from beyond the edge of reason.
"Which branch of Gap is it?" I asked, not unreasonably.
"I don't know. There are a lot of tall buildings and a park".
Is it any wonder that my mood ring is black?