Thursday, 24 April 2008

Days like that: letting loose with a long, loud, primeval scream

You know those days when everything goes wrong? When, if your horoscope were something you could actually run your life by, it would read, ‘Don’t bother getting out of bed’?

I’ve just had one of those. It started early when I missed the garbage truck and segued seamlessly into a fight with the Kreepy-Krawly (the Kreepy won).

Then, in short order: I opened the fridge and a bottle of milk fell out and exploded on the floor; the dishwasher’s soap dispenser inexplicably forgot to release the soap (and in the ‘eco’ cycle, which takes almost 3 hours, this was a huge waste of time); the geyser overflow turned from a drip into a torrent; I fell over my own feet and wrenched my big toe (which is only just recovering from an injury sustained while clambering about the rocks at the seaside in the middle of the night, and the less said about that the better); I tore my favourite tablecloth while folding it (it’s a precious hand-me-down from my mother, and is fragile from many washes); and I stood in a dog poo.

In between these minor disasters, I was preparing copy for a financial e-newsletter for which I’m the content editor, writing the first draft of an article from notes taken during an interview, and trying to put together a press release about a campaign for which I had no prior knowledge and precious little source material. The e-newsletter is both boring and complicated (a terrible combination) and requires real concentration to get right. My interview notes were scrawled in my egregious handwriting and I couldn’t work out half of what they said. And after about seven attempts at the press release I finally thought I’d got it right – only to be informed via email that someone else had already written it (admittedly, their version was miles better than mine).

Then a colleague phoned to tell me that the course notes I’d painstakingly updated and put onto her computer about 18 months ago had gone astray when the company upgraded to a new system. ‘No!’ I said, my throat closing up, ‘they must be there somewhere!’ My frustration communicated itself as snittiness, and she was snitty in return.

On my ‘to-do’ list for today were also nasty stressful chores like grocery shopping (my daughter is going away on a Geography camp for the weekend, for which she needs specific and ridiculous things), fetching shoes from the mender, speaking to the insurance people (who have, after the only claim I’ve made in 12 years of paying dues, raised both my premiums AND my excess – it seem so unfair!), organising my son’s 18th birthday party (which I took my eye off for a few moments and in the absence of my control almost turned into a four-day teen-fest based at my house and for which I would be footing the bill), and finding a suitable gift for a wedding I’m going to tomorrow.

(And because of all this crap, these are the things I didn't do : make my bed, take my dog for a walk and read the newspaper. Perhaps I'm too bound by routine, but I just don't feel right if I don't do these things every day.)

Finally, rushing around Pick’n’Pay at the end of a terribly trying day, conscientiously filling the bizarre list of things my daughter needs for her camp, I realised I was bleeding down my legs (sorry for those of you who are squeamish, but these things do happen to women). I seriously considered for a moment just letting loose with a long, loud, primeval scream. Then I sighed, parked my trolley, and resigned myself to the indignity of shuffling through the mall to the Ladies’ (approximately 22 kilometres away, or so it felt).

When I got home, I poured myself a big fat whisky and put Van Morrison on the CD. The first song? ‘Days like this’ (‘When there’s no one complaining… When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch… When you don’t need to worry… When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit… When people understand what I mean… Well, my mama told me there’ll be days like this’).

‘Ja, Van, ja,’ I said, and downed the whisky in one.

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1 comment:

Juno said...

Muriel, this is such a wonderful, funny post. I'm sorry you had such a crappy day, but you made my morning.