Today was the kind of day where I came home an had to massage my jaw because it was aching from clenching it for hours. I hate days like these. I knew as soon as my feet touched the floor that I should probably spare the public and not mingle amongst them because of my foul mood. My entire walk to school I tried snapping myself out of it, but I knew it was over the moment I silently seethed as the barista at my local coffee shop took my order, took my money, and then didn't come back for 25 MINUTES with my coffee. There was a man standing next to me as I paced the floor in demonstrative annoyance, his eyes warily flicking over me and my rigid composure. I was a bit sweaty. I was late, and I was acting like an ogre.
Not my best moment, unfortunately.
It was downhill from there. My coffee exploded on me in class. It started raining on my way to my internship, and I was wearing summer clothes. When I finally made it to the office, soaked to the bone, I realized I needed to step out again to pick up a package. I stopped in to my friend's office on the way out and asked to use her umbrella for the long walk. She sheepishly smiled at me and procured a child's dalmatian umbrella, complete with two floppy dog ears and a bright red tongue that was hanging off the front. "I grabbed this from my niece this morning. It has a hole in it, but we can just duct tape it up and it will do the trick!"
So there I was, 20 minutes later at a busy intersection with flip flops on, soaking wet, and awkwardly bending under a giant cartoon dog's flimsy shield. Do you think I felt grateful that I was at least protected from the pounding rain? Well, I did, actually- but not as grateful as I should have been.
I whipped out my cellphone and dialed my Mother. "Let me just tell you exactly what I look like right now." I said the second she picked up the phone. "I am soaked. I am under a leaky dog umbrella. I think I HAVE SNOT RUNNING DOWN MY FACE, but I am not quite sure. It could be anything at this point, really." Of course she broke into peals of laughter, and demanded a blow-by-blow detailed description of the giant dog ears that were bending under the weight of the rain. A block later I was feeling better. So I called a friend and shared it with her as well.
I absolutely needed to laugh about my day because it was so fucking ridiculous. And I knew I needed to snap out of it because the only reason the day was so bad was because I decided it would be the second I opened my eyes. Of course, battling the desire to drag the shitty day out turned into a constant one. I bristled when I was doing laundry and saw someone was just having their crap hang out in a washing machine, rendering one only usable. My microwave beeped innocently 3 times to signal that dinner was done and I wanted to toss it out the window. HOW DARE YOU BEEP WHEN I AM TYPING. YOU ARE SO RUDE, MICROWAVE. Seconds before Brett and I chatted on the phone I had to remind myself that it was not his fault that it rained today or that we had bought a microwave together that beeped. I actually had to say these things to myself. You know why? Because it is so easy to be angry. To blame. To point fingers and take a simple off day and blow it entirely out of proportion.
Bad days when I lived with my husband were very different. I remember one day I stomped in the door, jumped into the shower, and probably brattily did not offer a kiss or a decent "hello." When I was finishing up a note slipped under the bathroom door. All it said was, "Drink This. I'll make dinner." I opened the door to find a very full glass of wine resting on the floor.
He didn't get into my face and call me out for being a world class jerk, but he did remind me that there are other people in my life and my general moods affect them. It's okay to be selfish once and awhile, but there is really no excuse for being an asshole.
I sat on the floor in my pink bathrobe and slowly sipped the wine. And then I got up, ate dinner with my husband, and did the dishes as a thank you. And I kissed him hello.
Living alone creates an environment where you can stew in your own juices forever if you don't snap the fuck out of it. So you have to get creative. You have to call your Mom as you are under a dog umbrella fishing your floating flip flop out of a storm drain. You have to laugh about it all. (But maybe after shedding a few frustrated tears.)
I am not letting the day get the best of me. Maybe I do have to write a paper tonight on a book that I (ahem) have not finished. Maybe no one is leaving me notes under the door with a glass of wine, (I'd probably call the cops if someone did,) However, I am fully capable of creating my own happy. It doesn't have to come from anyone else. At least not this time.
I guess this "wife experiment" is paying off.
It helps that the fucking microwave is now unplugged.