Have you ever had one of those days when pretty much nothing goes well? I don’t mean the horrid-life-changing-tragedy type of days, but the kind that will stick with you and make you dread the decision you made earlier to get out of bed?
I’m sure you know them — the kind where you step out of bed barefooted into something the cat left for you to remind you she needs more hairball medicine. The kind where you just get lathered up and the water in the shower starts shooting icicles from it’s spout. The kind that makes you wake up the next morning with a sense of dread and the first aware thought being: “What fresh new hells will I be faced with today?” The days that also leave with you very little patience and almost no gratefulness whatsoever.
Born without the luck of the Irish, a large portion of my life has been filled with those days. While I’m not sure what purpose my Maker plans for days like these, I can only guess that either I’ve been given too many good things and He wants me to realize it, or He just has an odd sense of humor.
An example hit me hard last week. It started with an alarm sounding that caused me to reach to stop the horrendous beeping of — which resulted in me knocking it, my glasses, leftover glass of water, television remote and cell phone off of my night stand in one fell swoop. Tangled in my bed linens I roll almost to the floor. “Almost” meaning my feet were still in bed while the rest of me was not, which, with my face inches from the alarm clock’s face (now on the floor), showed me that I had apparently already smacked at it earlier in the morning to allow me to sleep past when I planned to.
That mess tended, I manage to use the restroom in readying myself — only managing to drop the toothpaste once, spill the nail polish remover on the chair, drop my hairbrush into the puddle in the sink (which was clogged) and almost grab a spider which I through was a string attached to my bath towel.
Readied to face the day I head downstairs, set out the kids vitamins, and was on my way back from dropping one to school when I realized I had left the dogs out in the yard before leaving.
Upon my return, I found they had faithfully (or fearfully) chosen to remain on the porch. I packed my lunch, listed daily chores on the frig and threw a cereal bar in my purse. A handful of medications in one hand, purse on one shoulder, the other hefting a camera bag and briefcase, I proceed out the door, closing it with the “pill hand” (the other is holding my morning caffeine) and my purse proceeds to slide off my shoulder, dump my drink partially in my purse, on my arm and the porch. In reaction, I open the other hand and drop the pills, two of them rolling to the great beyond below the porch.
I came inside, shouted at my faithful companions for their gleeful presentation of their love for me with: “YOU CAN’T HAVE MISSED ME! I WASN’T EVEN GONE YET!”
I cleaned out my purse and replaced my missing medications. I changed my pants and sandals which had been splashed on and successfully made it to my car, across town and to my office without any mishaps … though I was almost out of gas. I entered the office after a successful balancing act and step into a rank odor. I set everything down and reach toward one of the mouse traps I engaged the day before and realize I was an apt murderer. I dispose of poor Jerry, wash my hands and woefully set the trap for his friends while mentally whispering to his kin and kind to run for the hills.
I sit down to realize that once again my email isn’t working properly. I restart the computer. Once set, I try to scan a photo. Doesn’t work. I send an email. No remedy found. I continue on with angrily typing and editing submissions, returning calls, setting appointments, downloading and editing photos and answering questions that have nothing to do with what I do for a living. A couple hours later I realize that my “tumbly is grumbly” and open my lunch bag which I find only contains a napkin, dirty silverware and warm ice packs. I had the correct one when I originally went to leave but apparently picked up the wrong one when I set out the second time. My lunch is rotting on the counter at home.
I thank God aloud that he has somehow allowed me to manage to live as long as I have, a seemingly great and amazing task, and set out to round up some food. On the way out into the cheery and sun-filled day I realize I’d forgotten to put on deodorant. Once in the car, I realize two more things: For the hundredth time I forgot to re-cover my steering wheel with the soft thing that keeps my hands from turning into molten lava, and, I don’t have enough gas to get home.
I open my purse and find seven dollars. I mentally clarify that the nearest TCU is in Plymouth, I do not have the checkbook on me, and had sworn off all credit cards and other plastic — including ATM cards. I say some nasty words that make me feel a little better and then reach to seatbelt myself burning my hand in the process on the scalding metal of the clasp.
I punch at buttons on the dashboard daring the air conditioning not to kick in and head to the gas station. Everyone there has taken a spot near a tank so I sit precariously on the side street awaiting an opening. A car (of course) turns from the main street so now I have to drive around the block. Can’t turn the way I’d like so now I’m on my way to the other, further gas station where I thankfully and easily find a pump and get my ridiculous $5 in gas, pretending not to notice the look from the cashier when I admit I’d put such a measly amount in.
I dig through the glove box, my purse, and yes, crawl into the back to dig under the seat to collect enough change to pay for the tax for my two, dollar-menu lunch items — of which I can’t stand but can only afford.
I get back to the office feeling like I’ve actually accomplished something and vowing to get to the bank for a stinking debit card — (this IS the 20th Century after all is it not? Why am I still writing out checks to those that don’t need me to fill it out and standing there stupidly while other cashiers await me filling it out anyway?).
I get to the door and the phone is ringing. I balance the purse, bag, keys, drink and get the door open and set my stuff down and get to the phone as my recorded voice is directing the caller. I pick up. They hang up.
More colorful words expressed I reach to get a napkin from my stash of leftover fast food paraphernalia (because the helpful person at the drive-through window forgot to include one) and knock my full, large sweet-and-sticky tea all over my chair, desk, briefcase and floor.
A half-hour later, with a different, drier chair, and adorned with my second wet pair of pants for the day, I eat my cold sandwich and wash it down with tepid tap water. I work a couple hours more and after a call from the main office that “I wasn’t answering my phone and someone had been trying to get a ahold of me ALL DAY” I decide it’s time to go home.
But wait, I can’t. That’s right. I have a meeting that evening, which means I actually came in too early because one really shouldn’t set themselves up for 14-hour days if they don’t have to. I stay busy for a couple more hours, at least accomplishing things like weeding through and typing up things that normally put me to sleep. I wash the windows and clean the office in general taking great care not to further muss my clothing. After all, the pants are dry now from when I washed the tea out of them in the claustrophobic bathroom’s sink.
I start digging around trying to find paper (something all reporters must have tons of right?) and find one pad with three sheets on it and another with three and pick a couple gel pens, even though they have been my bane on occasion in the past, simply because they make me happy to write with and it isn’t raining out.
My son texts for the 90-millionth time in his 15-year-old life: “Dinner?”
I reply, “Sure, whatcha making?”
No reply. I text him back that he will have to “read the box of something and figure it out because your hands aren’t broken” and then head for the door wondering why he thought I should have dinner ready and waiting for him to get hone from practice when I clearly told him I had a meeting today.
Wait. No. I was looking at the wrong date. I don’t have a meeting tonight at all. I HAD an appointment I apparently entirely blew off this morning — which was why the alarm clock was screaming at me earlier. I look at all three of my calendars and realize I am correct in that I am wrong.
I try not to cry on my way home, turning the music on that is supposed to make me happy and calm. Sorry, but I want to boot the chanting monks right off their peaceful mountain top. I tap the radio about to find an angry rock song and blare it instead — which makes me feel better.
I get home and head to the house, tripping over the crack in the sidewalk that has always been there and catching myself with a side-step into dog poo. Scraping my shoe as I walk (and chanting things very un-monk-like) I enter the house. The dogs, once again happy to see me, get scolded for greeting me again and my son meets me with a frown and a “thought you had a meeting…No? Then what’s for dinner?”
I take a deep breath and answer: “You and your sister can share what’s in that lunch bag!” before I storm off to hide in my room.
I avoid all calls, and force myself to get lost in Television World.
I feel like the worst person in the world when my son brings me two cold pieces of burnt freezer-pizza (he had made) and later even worse when my husband tells me later: “It’s okay. It was just one of those days.”
I remind him that it’s just ANOTHER one of those days, the kind that often come to me and then make me feel like the worst wife ... when he laughs and tell me that he ”knew what he was in for” with my bad luck before he married me.
“You mean it’s rubbing off?” I ask. He just smiles. “Tomorrow is another day,” he says.
I lay alone staring at my ceiling. Another day? I don’t know if I’m ready for it!
I prove later that I am though, as always, and somehow, through the week, manage to make it through. I do bend over to reach my purse that fell into the passenger side floor area and as a result, mash my banana milkshake into my cup holder and console area with my chest. I leave my lunch at home two more out of the five occasions, and schedule three appointments within two hours of each other, which both run over into the following day and make me miss a person stopping in the office. I dump my unzipped briefcase upside down into the literal middle of a road but you know what?
I am alive. My family is healthy and they and I have eaten dinner before 10 p.m. on four out of last seven days (two of them AT the dinner table!) regardless of who or where it came from. Which all in all — with my luck — makes for a pretty good week.