Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Murphy's Law Monday

I had a “Murphy’s Law” sort of day yesterday. Not that anything really major happened that had me cowering under the comforter by day's end, but just a lot of little things that went wrong one right after the next. Sort of made me wish I had stayed under the comforter all day.

I should’ve known how my day was going to progress as soon as I woke up and realized I’d forgotten to set the “Hair Washing Wake-up Alarm.” Instead, it was on the “Woohoo! I Get to Sleep In Another 20 Minutes Alarm” setting for those days where I pretty much only need to brush my hair and spritz a little spray on it and I’m good to go.

So I immediately knew without even glancing in the mirror that it was going to be a bad hair day. But I couldn’t pull it up in a ponytail – because that would’ve exposed way too much of my face.

In addition to Murphy’s Law Monday, yesterday was also apparently “Relive Your Adolescence Day” because I awoke to a cheek full of acne. I swear, if it weren’t for the wrinkles, dark circles and bags under my eyes, you could’ve mistaken me for a 14-year-old.

After carefully applying an extra layer of cover-up (that covered up absolutely nothing), I threw on a tank top and a lightweight corduroy jacket because I knew it was a chilly morning, but assumed it would warm up at some point during the day. It wasn’t until I arrived at the office later that I noticed the big splotch dead center in the middle of the shirt that didn’t come out in the laundry. “Shout it Out,” my foot.

Prior to my reaching the office, however, other little mishaps continued to dog me. Like, for instance, when I walked downstairs and tripped over Jinx-the-cat who was doing her morning weave-and-bob thing of trying to get me into the kitchen quicker to show me that her food bowl was – alas – empty. Like either of the felines in the household would ever allow me to leave without fulfilling my morning chore of refilling their food bowls.

Kitty logic must not extend to the understanding that if you trip your human and she breaks an ankle, it won’t be conducive to a full belly.

My morning commute has been brutal in recent weeks due to road construction, which is closing an ever-increasing number of routes and exits in downtown Columbus. I might as well get used to it since this construction project is going to last three YEARS. Ugh. So I’ve dealt with the delays by leaving earlier each morning, but most of the time it’s hit or miss whether or not I’ll arrive at the office on time.

Yesterday was not one of those on-time kinds of mornings.

My first hurdle was when I reached the double set of train tracks near our home. I’ve gotten used to the train schedule and knew that no trains were scheduled for another, oh, six point seven minutes (or thereabouts), but as I approached the tracks, I noticed that the lights were flashing and the safety arms were down. However, cars coming from the opposite direction were crossing the tracks.

Now, crossing train tracks when the lights are flashing and the safety arms are down is not something I want to attempt any morning, let alone on a Murphy’s Law Monday morning. I figured the other cars would be the Road Runners in this scenario and I’d end up being Wile E. Coyote. Only when the train comes barreling out of nowhere and squashes me flat, I won’t be able to pop back up like the cartoon character.

So I sat there debating what to do as more cars from the opposite direction continued to cross over. Finally, I inched up to the tracks and looked carefully in both directions – and then blasted across like I was shot out of an ACME cannon.

As soon as I crossed the tracks (after I crossed myself, of course), I noticed a police cruiser idling by the side of the tracks. Did I assume that the officer was there to see to the safety of the drivers due to the malfunctioning lights at the train crossing? No, of course not. I assumed the officer was there to arrest me for illegally crossing the train tracks.

I didn’t stop to ask the guy if he wanted to cuff me and bring me in, though. I kept right on going and hoping for green at the next traffic light all the while looking in my rearview mirror for flashing lights. Fortunately, none appeared and I continued on my way.

By the time I finally reached the office, I had a pounding headache. Opening my desk drawer to reach for my ever-present bottle of Excedrin proved fruitless as I’d used up the last two tablets on Friday. Had I remembered over the weekend to pick up another bottle? Of course not.

So I went to CVS on my lunch break to buy another bottle. I dug through my purse for the 20% off coupon – only to discover that it had expired the day before. Figures. I hate paying retail. Well, actually, it’s Vince who hates paying retail. For anything. Doesn’t matter if there are no deals or coupons or bargains for the product – he just wants to deal. That’s a car guy for you.

But I hate paying retail when I can get something for less with a coupon. It just doesn’t make sense to me that one day I can buy something for $1.99 less than I have to pay for it the next day all because of an arbitrary expiration date.

Of course, headache trumps a buck ninety-nine in savings, so I bought the Excedrin at full price.

After numerous other little glitches in my workday, 5 o’clock arrived and I gratefully shut down my computer. I had originally planned to make a couple stops, but then decided I didn’t feel like being sociable – even if it was only to answer “Yes” to the “Plastic okay” question.

So I headed toward home, but realized that my gas tank was nearing “E” and with the way my day had gone, I figured my car would somehow suck up those last few precious drops of fuel and leave me stranded on the side of the road. So, even though I really just wanted to go home and climb into my PJs, I drove toward the gas station...where I shivered in my tank top and lightweight corduroy jacket while filling up the gas tank. Had the temperature outside ever warmed up yesterday? Of course not.

Since I was already out and numerous strangers had already had the opportunity to stare at my acne-covered, stringy-haired, splotched-shirted self, I figured what was one more stop? So I went to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials to get us through the week...

...where, naturally, I ran straight into my old college roommate, whom I’ve seen exactly once in the last twenty-seven years. Sheesh. I stood there under the bright fluorescent lights of the grocery store chatting with her, but inside I was totally rolling my eyes. I mean, couldn’t I have bumped into her when my hair was looking decent? Or my face was red bump-less? Or I had on stain-free clothing? Did I really have to see her when all three problems were going on simultaneously? Of course.

She nicely refrained from bringing up any of my fashion faux pas, although she did look rather pointedly down at the laundry and stain removal aisle. (No, I’m just kidding. She didn’t really do that.)

Anyway, like I said, it was just one of those days. But I was grateful that (a) Jinky-Jinx didn’t cause me to break an ankle, (b) I didn’t get squashed like Wile E. Coyote by an oncoming train, (c) I wasn’t issued any citations by an officer of the law, (d) my headache went away, (e) I wasn’t stranded on the side of the road and (f) my old college roommate didn’t run shrieking in the opposite direction after taking a single look at me.

So it wasn’t really all that bad a day. But, still. I was very grateful to arrive home safely, climb into my PJs and bid goodbye to Murphy’s Law Monday.

And this morning? I remembered to set the “Hair Washing Wake-up Alarm.” And it’s Tuesday.

Life is good.

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