Archived Story

Mama said there would be days like this

Published 6:28pm Saturday, July 14, 2012

The other day started just like any other day: I got up, went to the bathroom, washed my hands and brushed my teeth. But my mind was somewhere else while I was doing these everyday tasks.

While washing my hands and thinking of what I needed to accomplish, I grabbed my deodorant, which was by the hand soap, and rubbed that onto my hands as if it were the soap. I paused, but only after I had done this, long enough to register that I did not indeed have soap on my hands. OK, easy fix for my hands. I rewashed them with hand soap.

Next, I got to styling my hair for work. That went bad, too. I grabbed the room freshener, granted it is one of those chic ones that is a funny shape and size, and absent-mindedly sprayed that onto my hair. Boy, I smelled so good. Wait, what? What did I just do? “Oh, dear,” was all I could think and decided not to spray another bottle of anything in my hair. Someone might light a match, and I would go up in flames. My baseball cap fixed my hair problem and off to work I went to be creative.

I had a painting job to do this week — paint the children’s nursery with some sort of inspiring scene of children frolicking in the grass with sheep, a church, happy little clouds and trees. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, or so I thought until I mistook my cup of dirty paint water (that the brushes go in) for my coffee. ACK!

You would think I would have seen the trend here and just left and gone to bed, called the day a loss. Nope, not me. I just kept on going! I was like the Energizer bunny. Nothing was going to get me down.

I went home and made a late lunch. Peanut butter and jelly was on the menu for me. I had made an egg-salad sandwich for my husband for the following day, and then assembled my PB&J. I put a piece of peanut butter-covered bread on an egg salad-covered piece of bread. I bit into it. True to form for this day, I didn’t really figure out what I had done until it was too late. The textures together in my mouth were awful, which doesn’t even begin to touch on the taste. I swallowed hard only because I knew my mouth wouldn’t open to spit the dreadful mess out.

And last, but not least, while trying to do the dishes, I dumped an entire bowl of soapy, dirty water onto my shirt and the kitchen floor. I used the water to clean up some of the mess I had left behind while making those peanut-butter and egg-salad sandwiches.

Days like these thankfully come few and far between, and I am ever so grateful for them. I used to get so frustrated that even Lamaze breathing exercises didn’t calm me down and I would holler loud enough to lose my voice.

Age, however, has seasoned me a bit and instead of getting mad or frustrated, I laugh at myself and try to see the days’ events from a humorous standpoint. Those days are also the sign of a very over-tired woman in need of some R&R.

So, taking the cue, finally, from all the mishaps of the day, I sat down in my chair.

“OK, I hear you loud and clear. Time for a break,” I said to myself and promptly knocked over my glass of iced tea onto my white slip-covered chair. Hey, at least it’s slip covered!

Hear me laughing? Yes, it is a bit maniacal, but I am laughing!

A Yankee with a Southern soul, Gillian Pollock is a wife, mother of two ever-challenging children and director of Christian Formation at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington.

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