Have you ever had one of those days where the universe is just out to get you? That's me today. And by "today," I mean "Monday," because that's when I wrote this. Over lunch. With my sick kiddo in the other room. Feels weird to refer to myself in the past tense since Wednesday is technically still the future where I'm siting, but that, my internet friends, is the price you pay when you schedule posts.
Here's the thing: Johanna is sick today. I mean, she was sick on Monday. She had a Very Processed Food Weekend, which isn't really something her stomach can readily handle. I should know this. My stomach can't either. WHY AM I SUCH A SLOW LEARNER? I'm shouting because I'm pissed. At myself.
I kind of saw this coming, but I waited until morning before making phone calls and trying to figure out where to put her during the workday. I learned that it's my in-laws' day to work at the food bank, and my father coaches middle school girls basketball and had an out-of-town game that both of my parents were to attend. I had roughly two and a half hours of babysitting available. Better than nothing.*
Okay, then, get myself ready, get Johanna in the car and take her to my parents'. Just tossing a kid in a car isn't as easy as you'd think, so I was running late. So of course I got behind a big ol' Chevy whose driver believed in going a good 10 to 15 miles below the speed limit at all times. Even when the roads are clear and it's posted 55. Cool, whatever, drive drive drive, get to my parents, of course Johanna does not have shoes on to walk across the wet drive way, why would she?, there's another five minutes getting her squared away, finally off to the office.
Get behind another slow truck, a smaller one this time, whatever, he turns off and I speed up, YELLOW LIGHT! AWESOME!, wait for the light to change, if I hurry I'll only be three minutes late, THE ROAD IS CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION! WONDERFUL!, take the detour, five minutes late isn't that bad, right?
Get out of the car, drop my lunchbox on the wet gross pavement, whatever, someone's yelling at me, it's Eric! Hooray! He's out on his mid-morning break. He likes to walk. Vent about the universe. He's properly sympathetic. He's a good man.
Finally at work, so much to do in so little time, hit the ground running with a high-maintenance phone call that makes me late for my 10 o'clock phone interview. It's cool, she's an Episcopalian priest, right?, so she's patient. Good chat. My B section feature is ready, I just need cutlines, can I call to confirm names in the pictures? Look for a phone number I've had for two months (um, because I've been working on this story for two months), can't find it, nice Esther looks it up for me in circulation, except when I call it's a wrong number.
Organization is overrated anyway. Write general cutlines, remember I haven't gotten the event calendar updated, do a little editing, save some press releases, WHY IS EVERYTHING SO HARD TODAY?, and why does my stomach hurt?, oh yeah, I had bad Chinese and pizza too. Well, whatever. Go ask the office manager if I can leave early and work from home, and bless Chelsea, 'cause she understands when the universe is out to get you. Save some work to my USB drive, email myself an email address I'll most certainly need before the day is over, grab a stack of papers to format at home and I'm outta there at 12:45 on the nose.
Wait, not yet, have to sing Happy Birthday to Stacey, yay Stacey!, okay, now I'm off, road still closed, late to my parents', Dad has already left, poor Mom will hopefully make her bus, Johanna is a chatterbox in the backseat, which is a nice change of pace from the absolute silence two and a half hours earlier, we get her home, she grabs the iPad and she's laying down in her bedroom. Now she's on the couch in the living room. Demanding food. This is what you call The Turning Point when it comes to Johanna's Weird Stomach. It's all going to be great from here.
[FUTURE SELF UPDATE: Nope. False alarm. She's worse. My hope is to get her into the doctor's today.]
Oh, except she's pretty sure she's NEVER EVER going to feel better and even when she's a skeleton, her stomach will hurt. Huh. That's depressing.
Ahem. Anyway, it got to the point--about at that yellow light on the way to work--that I just had to laugh. I have no idea what I did to piss off the universe, but clearly there was some offense on my part. No matter what I did, I was just not destined to succeed. Maybe I should have just called it a day and stayed home to begin with. Maybe I should have kept up the good fight and tried harder. Maybe I should go start that story for this Saturday's paper.
*I am not insinuating in any way, shape or form that my favorite parents and favorite in-laws should not have had plans. They are both so good about helping us out, always. They would have if they could have. This was just one of those times when schedules collided.