I never could get the hang of Thursdays

21 Oct

I’m having one of those days. You know, the kind where you realize, by ten in the morning, that if you make it to dinnertime without breaking a leg and accidentally causing a twelve-car pileup on the highway, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Just one of those days where a lot of irritating little things pile up to create one big jumble of irritation.

I overslept this morning.  By more than an hour. I woke up about ten minutes after I should have been walking out of the house. I should have seen it coming, really. I haven’t slept well for about two weeks, and last night my head was literally buzzing with exhaustion. My body was bound to crash and burn sooner or later.

It was the sound of James crying that woke me up. He had woken up thirsty and no-one had given him his morning milk. Of course they hadn’t.  The customary milk-getter was slumbering away, oblivious to everything, while the customary milk-gettee waited patiently – and in vain. When the sound of the crying pierced my somewhat sluggish consciousness, I glanced at the clock, had about thirty-seven panicky thoughts in three milliseconds (all variations of the same theme, which was: “Oh, crap!”), and flew out of bed.

I got James his milk and warned him that things were about to get really chaotic. Into the bathroom, hair brushed into a big-haired, frizzy mess (no time for the hair-straightener), makeup perfunctorily applied, back into the bedroom, clothes thrown on, brief pause in frenzied activity for the purpose of breathing. Somewhere during all of this I tossed James’ clothes at him and hurriedly pleaded with him to put them on. James, who is used to me being a bit slow and dim-witted first thing in the morning, was stunned into compliance.

As I walked by my desk, I saw a note from James’ teacher with a list of what was needed for today’s field trip to a farm. Quickly, I scanned the list to make sure I had taken care of everything. Yes, I had dug out a pair of rubber boots for James to wear while trudging through the pumpkin patch.  Yes, I had put mitts and a scarf in his bag in case it got cold. Yes, I had supplied a plastic bag for the pumpkin that James would pick out. No, I had not made him a packed lunch.

I never make packed lunches for James. There is a snack program at his school, and he gets lunch and afternoon snack at the daycare. The one day that I actually have to make him a packed lunch (and of course, forget), just has to be the one day on which I oversleep.  Go figure. So I grabbed bread, margarine, and slices of cheese, and somehow managed to arrange all of this into a sandwich without lopping off a finger. Goldfish crackers. A couple of juice boxes.

OK. Packed lunch was made. I was dressed. James was dressed. My travel mug was filled with fresh, hot coffee and ready to go.

Somehow I made it out of the front door with James in tow, fifteen minutes after waking up. If I forgot anything, I don’t know about it yet. I got James to the daycare in time for his breakfast. The transit gods were with me: an express bus pulled up to the bus stop about thirty seconds after I got there. I got to work just twenty minutes or so later than usual.  So, not bad, considering how my morning started.

I returned a couple of phone calls and answered some emails. I reviewed my list of things to do today, and checked my calendar. Only one meeting today. Good. Then I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The same guy who’s always there took my order.  A breakfast sandwich with bacon and a splash of ketchup, on an English muffin. I get breakfast sandwiches once or twice a week, always ordering the same thing from the same person. He could probably recite my order in his sleep. It’s nice. There’s comfort in predictability.

With coffee and sandwich in my hand, I returned to my desk and called Gerard, my husband-to-be. I wanted to know if the lady from our wedding venue had called him back. She had promised to call us this morning to tell us which of two dates we could have the hall for. I have been waiting for this day, waiting for the answer. It all hinges on one guy who had made a tentative booking on our preferred date, to use the hall for a darts tournament. As it turned out, the lady from the hall did call Gerard, but she didn’t have an answer for us. The darts tournament man is not reachable because he’s gone hunting.

Hunting? What is this, The Clan Of the Cave Bear?

Apparently, we’ll get an answer by the weekend. I don’t want to wait until the weekend.  I want to know now. But there’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll have to wallow in my frustration for two or three more days.

With the phonecall to Gerard done, I unwrapped my breakfast sandwich, looking forward to the comfort and risk-averse nature of eating something that I’ve eaten dozens of times before. And I was bitterly disappointed.

Sandwich Guy messed up. First, there was the state of the muffin, which can only be described one way: burned. The outer edges of the muffin had actually burned to a crisp. The rest of it was just one step away from being charred. I could also tell right away that the ketchup had been left off. There was no tell-tale smudge of ketchup peeking out from the edge. Worst of all, though, is that instead of bacon, my breakfast sandwich had been made with ham. So much for the comfort of familiarity.

I was faced with a dilemma. Do I eat a sandwich I don’t want and am pretty sure I won’t like? Or do I schlepp downstairs to complain and get a new sandwich made?  After thinking about it for a minute, I reasoned that maybe Sandwich Guy was having a bad day too. Maybe he too had overslept, forgotten until the last second that his kid needed a packed lunch, been late for work, and discovered that the provider of much-anticipated information was off hunting like Indiana-Freaking-Jones.  I also recognized that if I actually did go back downstairs, I’d probably be meaner to Sandwich Guy than the situation called for, and I might make him cry. Not to be judgmental, but he does look like a bit of a cry-baby – um, sensitive person.

So I sat at my desk and half-heartedly ate my burned, ketchup-free, wrong-meat sandwich. I did not enjoy it. The coffee, however, was outstanding.

As I reached under my desk to throw the sandwich wrapper and empty coffee cup into my waste basket, I pulled a back muscle.

I’m starting to think that me and this day just aren’t going to get along.

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