Did you ever have “one of those days?” You know, the kind of a day when everything goes wrong—and nothing goes right? (During WW II, they had an acronym for it: SNAFU. During the Vietnam War, they had an even better name that I won’t bother to use.) Yesterday was one for the record books.
It began innocently enough, on a positive note even; the sun, which had kept itself hidden for nearly two weeks, actually came out of hiding and shown gloriously for most of the day. In fact, it appeared as if we might actually not have any rain for the first time in recent memory. I took full advantage of the atmospheric conditions, and went for my first “daily walk” in quite some time. Ah, yes, it was going to be a great day. Not so fast, Nimrod!
I was scheduled to do a book reading at 3:00 p.m. at an assisted living facility where I had done so before. The arrangements had been made by a 90-something-year-old gentleman whom I’ve known for over 10 years. I’d had the date marked on my calendar for at least two months, with reminders set at one week and two days prior to the event. I was stoked. With great care, I selected several appropriate excerpts from a couple of my Matt Davis mysteries, selected a 16 point font, doubled spaced it for easy reading, and printed them. I even added an additional passage from a work in progress (couldn’t hurt).
And then it started.
“Honey,” I asked my wife, “have you seen my collection of autographed books? I can’t seem to find them anywhere.” (Over the last ten years, I have published, or assisted in the publication of, over two dozen books written by other authors. One of the things I always insist upon is their giving me an autographed copy as a memento of our collaberation. I like to display them at any event in which I am participating.) Becky acknowledged that she remembered seeing them somewhere, but couldn’t remember where. “I’ll help you look,” she offered.
So, for the next two hours, we searched together through the entire contents of the basement looking for them—without success. They were nowhere to be found. I pissed and I moaned (I’m very good at pissing and moaning), but still no books. No matter, I thought. I’d find them later.
As the time approached for me to leave, I gathered together a handful of business cards, a poster containing images of my books (the ones I had written), a dozen or so personalized bookmarks, and headed out the door. A glance at my Fitbit showed that I was running a bit behind. No problem, I thought. I’d just take the shortcut down Seventh Avenue and beat the traffic. No way, José. There was some sort of fire department “event” going on near the Lowes store, and cars were stacked up, one behind the other, literally for blocks.
Eventually, I pulled into the parking lot of the residence with no time to spare and rushed into the lobby carrying all of my paraphernalia. My friend was waiting there anxiously, along with the events supervisor for the facility. They both had quizzical expressions on their faces.
“Do you have an easel or something I can use to display my poster?” I asked innocently. The events coordinator replied, “That might be a problem.” She had a strange expression on her face.
I explained that I only needed the poster to be on display while I did my book reading. “Oh, you’re not reading today,” she said. I looked at my friend and then back at the woman. One of us was confused. Guess which one?
“No, no,” said my aged friend, “you’re supposed to listen to a book review (that’s what he calls a reading).” He showed me a printed handout he had prepared for the event. “See,” he said, pointing at the name of the author listed at the top. One glance told me he was correct—because it surely wasn’t my name on the handbill.
For the next hour or so, I sat patiently and listened to a 92-year-old woman speak about her experiences as a small child, living in Hitler’s Germany. And she was good! And I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t me up there speaking, and that was unfortunate. On the way home, I called Becky and asked if she’d mind if I picked up a pizza and brought it home. “Great,” she replied. “I’ll make a salad.” Things were looking up.
As I was driving home, I phoned ahead and ordered the pie (hands-free, of course). “It’ll be ready in about twenty-five minutes,” the girl said. “Great!” And then I remembered there was a Stanley Cup playoff hockey game on in the evening. Wunderbar! I looked at the clock on the dashboard and saw that I had just enough time to stop at the supermarket and pick up some snacks.
Ten minutes later, I finished scanning my several items and reached for my wallet. It was nowhere to be found. Of course. I had dressed in a hurry and forgotten to transfer it from my other pants. No matter. Undaunted, I called Becky. “Hey, honey, can you find my wallet and bring it to Ingles?” “Sure,” she replied. “I’ll see you in ten minutes.” I could almost see her smile through the phone (less than two weeks prior, the same thing had happened.) This “aging” thing is not for sissies.
Exactly ten minutes later, Becky rolled into the Ingles parking lot. I rushed outside and took the wallet from her outstretched hand. “Why don’t you pick up the pizza, while I pay for the groceries?” She agreed, and drove away. I rushed back inside and finished the transaction. We arrived home almost simultaneously and hurried into the house. As is always the case with takeout food, the pizza was almost cold by the time we ate it (nothing is worse than luke warm pizza.) But we were hungry, so we crammed the stuff down our gullets, washing it down with some much-needed beer.
“I’m going to go downstairs and watched the hockey,” I informed my wife. I grabbed the bottle of Mountain Dew and the snacks I had bought, and headed down to the friendly confines of our finished basement. The Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals would save the day. I switched on the TV and hit the button marked “Recordings.” One thing you have to understand is that I never (almost never) watch any TV show “live.” I always record them, so I can fast forward through the commercials.
I scrolled through the list. No game. I scrolled through again. Nope. Where the hell is the game? I didn’t forget to record it, did I? I scrolled again, only this time, I perused the list of “scheduled” recordings. And there it was: “Game 3, Stanley Cup Finals.” For half a second, I was confused. And then it hit me. The game was scheduled to be recorded alright—but not until the following night!
Oh well, at least I hadn’t forgotten to schedule the recording. Whew! What a relief. I’d just watch it tomorrow. Becky was upstairs, in bed, reading, so I had the TV all to myself. I scanned the list of previous recordings and found a movie that looked interesting, poured some Mountain Dew into my iced Yeti tumbler, and settled into my recliner, snacks by my side. Fuhgeddaboutit! The movie sucked!
It was just one of those days.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend, or reblog it on your own website. If you’d like to follow my blog, just click on the “follow” button at the bottom righthand corner of the page. You’ll be asked to enter your email address, and you’ll receive an email confirmation in return. I only post once per week, and I never, ever share email addresses.
To learn more about me and my writing, visit my website at: www.joeperronejr.com or my author page on Amazon.com.