Just one of those days . . .

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. 

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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8 Responses to Just one of those days . . .

  1. balroop2013 says:

    I agree with Karen…it’s the way we look at days. All can’t be wonderful. Look at the positive aspects and count your blessings Joe. 🙂 You have a lovely wife to bring your wallet wherever you want!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bruce Pfeffer says:

    Don’t despair. You’re not losing it. People our age are members of a generation that care about responsibilities, relationships and doing good in our every interaction. Consequently, we are the target of choice for the wrath of inanimate objects. It only takes one vicarious book to instigate it’s mates to hide from view. In the case of the DVR, it was waiting for the perfect moment to strike. The depths of its depravity cannot be underestimated, nor can it’s technology. In your case, it had the audacity to alter the date for the game. As for the traffic, you have to look closer. I have personally observed an inordinate number of motor vehicles traveling east on Azle Ave in Lake Worth, TX. Unfortunately, I find myself at the mercy of the unending flow of traffic because I frequent the Starbucks and Panera’s that sit adjacent in a small island in that flow. My wife and I even drove westbound to see the source. Nothing! Few homes, a few farms, no other major highways to account for the travelers. One possibility is “vehicular genesis”, the creation of cars and their drivers, somewhere along that road. The other involves an alien invasion. You know, where their appearance is altered to look Human. If I spot the mothership, it would validate that theory. The assisted living facility is a reminder that the impish inanimates that prey on you personally, are only trying to recharge their life force. Unfortunately they are your possessions, and cannot feed off anyone else. They are trans dimensional creatures, and visit other versions of you in many parallel universes. In our younger days, there are so many viable versions of us, that we hardly notice. Sadly, fewer and fewer of us are available as we get older. So the elderly should expect to have more frequent run ins, as you experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now why didn’t a any of that occur to me? Your cogent explanation makes perfect sense. Thanks so much for shedding some light on what is obviously a common human condition. You might not want to answer any phone calls in the foreseeable future – especially if you don’t recognize the phone number. 😈


  3. allenrizzi says:

    Actually, it sounds like a stellar day compared to most of our here in Italy lately. The high point of our week was to watch “Top Gun” on TV in German. Gott, was für ein schrecklicher Mist!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On the positive side, two things in your day made all the rest trivial. God gave you the sunshine to make you smile at just how much aging does change our mode of life. When we can smile at our own self, we see God’s love shine in our eyes. The most precious moment of your day was listening to what it was like to live without complete freedom. We are so naive in the United States! We definitely take freedom for granted because the generations of individuals living now, in the good old USA, have always had it. I would have loved to have been there and listened to her heart-warming recall at 92 years of age of just how lucky we are to have lived such privileged lives. Your day was perfect for the sunshine to your Soul and love from a 92-year-old for your heart. Age changes our physical processes of life, but nothing changes our ability to receive love and to give it. A beautiful day of being humbled in so many ways, as God continues to bless you! Did you find the books? I’d be happy to send you another copy of mine!! In the peace and love of friendship to you always!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right! I really did enjoy her presentation. She was amazingly animated and enthusiastic. I did NOT find the books (I really am puzzled), but no need to send another. I do appreciate the offer, however. 🙂 You are a sweetie.

      Liked by 1 person

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