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


27 thoughts on “How to have a bad day

  1. Oh my goodness. I mean, oh my badness. Apart from days that include serious disaster or tragedy, this sounds like one of the worst type of days. Usually I wish I was you but I was glad I’m not while I read this post. Until I came to the end wherein you put a positive quote. Now I still want to be (like) you.

    I’m glad you survived (especially that the accident wasn’t worse) and that it all came out so lovely in the end.

  2. Oh Stephanie! It just sounds to horrible to be real….
    but you still have a sense of humor through it all, you are amazing. Thanks for the tip about tasting everyone else’s milkshakes:)
    Here’s to a better day, you deserve it.

    PS I cannot believe you have to bring your marriage certificate to the DMV!!!! ridiculous

  3. Wow. That is a really bad day. And I was cranky because it was my anniversary and I didn’t get to see my husband until 9:00 PM. Sorry I complained. I REALLY hope today is better for you.

  4. Or you could sign up for a weight loss competition at work, go to get weighed in front of a lot of people and proceed to error out the scale because you are too fat for the PEDIATRIC scale they were using (and everybody else had no problem with). You then determine that you are too fat for the weight loss program and you have a good cry in the hall and then you go back to supervising in the gym and get hit in the face with a dodgeball thrown hard by a burly fifth grader.

    My condolences on your crappy day. I hope today is better for you.

  5. Oh, man. I feel your pain! I’ve had days like this; we’ve all had days like this, eh? But I’m impressed with your desire for optimism and reconciliation with temporary madness. 😉

  6. What a crappy day. And yet you still found a way to make it better. Good for you! And thanks for the awesome Maxwell quote! Love that man!

  7. So, I had a really hard day today, and my sister told me on the phone, “Don’t worry. Your day wasn’t as bad as Stephanie’s was yesterday.” Um, she was totally right. I’m glad you lived through it, and maintained perspective. Sometimes, that’s the hardest part.

  8. I think that was an even worse day than my Wednesday was! I’m glad it ended peacefully, at least.

    On Wednesday my 4-year-old knocked a table onto his own hand during my Prim. Presidency meeting, and gave himself a hairline fracture. Fortunately the Prim. Pres. was able to do my carpool turn and go pick up my daughter and friends from school so I could take him to InstaCare. He got a splint and I got home just barely in time to take my six-year-old to her dance class. And we did go out to dinner that night. 🙂

  9. Oh Stephanie, that will be one for your family to laugh about for years. Just not quite yet.

    And aren’t you grateful for cell phones? I’m old enough that my oldest was probably at least 10 before I had one. I’m always glad when I’m having that kind of crisis day that I can call the husband and tell him I’m not showing up for lunch, instead of just not showing up…Good luck getting those other phone numbers!

  10. Ha! I’m thinking you aren’t loving Utah so much today. That sounds like a VERY typical Utah sort of bad day. And I still love it for all it’s faults. 😉

  11. How terrible. It’s awful to realize you’ve done everything and will still be late. Double stinks that you’re new to the area, but I’m sure everyone understood. Seriously bad luck. I always go out to eat to put a good ending on a too stressful day.

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