Posted by: Kate | January 21, 2007

A Friendly’s Kind of Day

Yesterday sucked.

Not in a big, sloppy, welt-raising way… there were no deaths or injuries or permanent scars. It was just a series of small failures, leading eventually to my derrière planted on the couch and refusing to move because I was done and out of coping mechanisms. Not crying, not upset, just done.

It started with a 9:30 trip to the Local Automotive Repair Establishment because my minivan, while still stopping when I wanted it to, was making very loud and angry growling noises whenever I touched the brakes. And loud and angry growling noises are not the norm around here, brakes-wise.

So I’m sitting in the soulless boring waiting room with some knitting but no reading material, because the only magazines they had were automotive or child-friendly in nature, and frankly I was none of the above at the moment. I was not interested in joining Car Man Dave in his overly enthusiastic displays of fake humor (“Heh, heh… hot enough for ya?” in January in New Hampshire with a wind chill of -9F), nor was I interested in helping the two 90-pound athletic college girls in planning their upcoming birthday party for MeLISSa!, which they decided to work on while watching “That’s So Raven.” I’ve now watching 48 minutes more of “That’s So Raven” than I ever had before, and with any luck it will be my last 48 minutes of that cuteness, too.

But I coped. Even when I learned that it was going to cost me $300 and take two hours, I coped.

Yesterday morning, instead of eating a healthy breakfast and starting my day off right, I had opted to put a third coat of paint on the new bathroom walls and spread out flooring primer. And then forgot to stop and get something from Dunkin Donuts on the way, but how long was it going to take to get an estimate, right? So I hadn’t eaten a thing, and then when they said they’d be able to do the repair on the spot I felt like not disrupting my workweek was more important than me getting a timely meal. I can’t remember why I thought this.

But I coped. Even when another woman showed up in the soulless waiting room with a hot coffee the size of her head and a full styrofoam take-out box of eggs and grease and ham and grease and potatoes, I coped. Even when she threw out half of it.

Then I had some shopping to do, and thought about stopping for lunch then, but I thought the shopping would be quick and I could eat better and cheaper at home. It ended up taking me three stops to get all the crap I needed, which is especially annoying because it could have been done in one stop but I don’t like Walmart so I put it off to last.

Amongst my purchases were some small white shelves, a foot square by not-quite-three feet tall, intended to fit between the refrigerator, which is now tucked nicely over in the corner of the room because my washing machine has a brand-new laundry/bathroom to play in, and the counter. Very exciting, taking more steps in the making-my-house-look-decent, blah blah blah. I also bought 6 canvas-cardboard bag-box type things – here, these, but in cheerful colors – to put on the shelves, to hold the kids’ dishes and cups, and so on. They were on display next to the shelves, with a note on the packaging proclaiming them “Compatible with these shelf models!” and providing a list. Which included the shelves I’d chosen.

I’m not even sure why I had the audacity to be surprised, then, when I got home, scavenged for breakfast at 3:00 in the afternoon (and, I might add, I coped when I discovered that Willem had eaten the last slice of pizza for his lunch, hours before), and then discovered that the boxes don’t fit on the shelves. They’re about 1/4″ too tall.

That was it. I was done. I was tired and hungry and had reached my fill of failures for the day. Woe is me.

I didn’t even get upset when the washing machine, on its first run in the new bathroom, walked halfway across the room during the spin cycle. I just sat and avoided new initiatives.

And, when the time was right – i.e., after the children were in bed and I wouldn’t have to share – I went out for sundaes from Friendly’s. Because it had been that kind of day.



  1. Some days you’d have been better off just not getting out of bed.

    I hope it wasn’t a Reese’s Pieces Sundae. Then I’d have to be jealous.

  2. Some days just scream for hot fudge. This was one.

  3. I have a tin of cookies in the freezer I keep hidden under the rhubarb just for days like that and I don’t share with anyone!

  4. Boy, that 1/4″ too tall thing – I have been there! I hate it when the universe conspires against me. I’m sorry about your day. I think ice cream is a perfectly suitable coping mechanism.

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