How to have a bad day

If you’re in the market for the kind of day that makes you want to wake up any moment from the bad dream….

First, go to the DMV.  That usually pretty much guarantees a bad day, but if you happen to wait in line for an hour and then get turned away because you didn’t bring your marriage certificate (?!), you’re well on your way to a doozy of a day.  Apparently, the fact that your social security card and your previous drivers license have your maiden name AND married name on them is not enough evidence that you are truly the person your birth certificate says you are.

Second, drive half an hour back home to pick up your daughter from preschool and then turn around and go half an hour back north again to meet your husband for lunch.  Right after you take the exit, get sideswiped by a State of Utah truck that knocks off your mirror and delays you on the side of the road for well over an hour as you hang out with the recreational crasher, police officer, and a very tired and hungry 3-year-old in your back seat.  Take deep breaths as the officer claims there’s no way to tell who’s at fault, and you’ll just have to leave it up to the insurance companies to decide.

Third, realize that there’s no time for lunch after all if you have any hopes of getting back home in time to pick up one son from the bus stop and take your weekly turn doing a walking carpool to pick up the other son from his new school.  Panda Express drive-thru window.  I now know that a-la-carte does not mean “skip the side dish and the soft drink combo”; it means no rice, no nothing, just a nasty pile of meat in a tiny little carry out cup that will spill grease on one of the few pairs of pants that fit you.

Fourth, get caught in road construction and sit still on the highway in a panic as you realize you will NOT get home in time to claim your children or fulfill your pick-up-the-neighborhood-kids responsibility.  Kick yourself because you don’t know anyone’s phone number in your new neighboorhood.  Call your husband with a desperate plea to help and then hear back from him about 15 minutes later that he wasn’t able to reach anyone.  (!!!?)  Tell him as many last names as you can remember and then fret the rest of the way home that your neighbors probably think you are the most irresponsible dork on the planet.  Try hard not to cry from embarrassment when you apologize to the sweet lady who rescued your orphaned child wandering the streets alone and then went and picked up the walking group and helped them get home.

So, there you have it.  1+2+3+4= really cruddy day, just in case you were looking for the magic formula.


Take lots of deep breaths.  Apologize to abandoned children many times.  Give them their new library books and send them to their rooms for a long, quiet reading time.  Flop yourself down on the sofa and watch the finale of Top Chef you recorded yesterday.  Unload the dishwasher, clean the counters, and wait patiently for your husband to come home so you can announce that you are going out for dinner.  Sit around a table of food that you did not have to prepare and laugh and tell stories with your family.  Don’t order a milkshake, but take bites of everyone else’s.  Sit quietly in the car on the way home and listen to all three of your children snoring softly in the back seat.  Count your blessings.  Write it all down.  Go to bed.

“You must not mistake passing local cloud cover for general darkness.”  ~ Neal A. Maxwell