By: Jill Pertler
It started in the wee hours of the morning, when the sounds of men's voices on the street pulled me from sleep. Not much later, a car alarm went off outside and I was up again. At 5:00 a.m. one of the boys had a bloody nose, and I figured any idea of sleep was a lost cause. In the near-darkness, I grabbed a toothbrush and went about the business of brushing. I flipped the light switch and saw that the toothbrush was blue. Mine is pink. I went down and turned on the coffee. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to make it the night before, so nothing was brewing. Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind that you probably wouldn't repeat if given the choice. We all have them once in awhile. I guess it's inevitable. Yesterday was my turn. If I'd known I was destined to clean up cat vomit and plunge out a clogged toilet before the clock struck midnight, I might have stayed in bed. But you can't predict things like bad days. They just happen. It's hard to see the forest when you are in amongst the trees. It's much easier to look back on things later and say, "Oh, yeah, I should have seen that bad boy coming." When you are having a bad day, you are so busy putting out fires (sometimes quite literally) that you don't have time to think about your ill fortune. You just grab the fire extinguisher and hope for minimal smoke damage to the new kitchen curtains.
Yesterday I went to the store to buy laundry detergent. I spent an hour walking the aisles, racked up a bill of over a hundred bucks and drove home to find that I'd forgotten the laundry detergent. I cannot make it very long without washing a load of clothes. That's one thing about my family; they are good at dirtying clothes. There's another thing about my family; they tend to eat morning, noon and night. Today I planned on making them chicken for dinner. I bought a nice pack of it at the store. Later in the afternoon, when I went to prepare the meal, the chicken wasn't in the fridge. I couldn't remember putting it away, and only hoped that I'd stashed it somewhere cold. I rushed off to a business meeting with a new client and was surprised that everyone in attendance noticed my new shirt. It wasn't until after the meeting that I realized why; the tags were still attached. During dinner prep, my wedding ring slipped off the counter and into the garbage disposal. The potatoes boiled over; I burned the garlic toast and let's not forget about that lost chicken. One of my sons had a hockey game in a distant city. My husband offered his taxi services. I volunteered to locate the arena using MapQuest. I felt so organized. I found my information, printed out detailed driving instructions and sent my men on their way. Two hours later they were at their destination except I'd sent them to the wrong arena. Before the day was over, I'd dropped my hairbrush into the toilet, mistook lotion for shampoo, got a Lego caught in the vacuum, spilled coffee all over my white sweater, tripped over the dog and locked the cat in the closet. The day was a total wreck. I couldn't wait to go to bed and have it all be over with. Tomorrow had to be better. Had to be.
Finally, it was time. I curled up in my jammies and cuddled under the covers. I have to admit it felt good. My head hit the pillow and I was just starting to doze when a car alarm went off outside and one of my boys woke up screaming about a bloody nose. Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer. She appreciates your comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can check out her website at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/.