Have you ever had one of those days? You know, a day when nothing seems to go right? Now, far be it from your old pal Jean to be a Gloomy Gloria who likes to saddle others with her problems, but it's unhealthy to keep things bottled up, and I just have to get the memory of this terrible day off my chest! So please bear with me as I divulge my grade-A, number-one Day From Hell!
It all happened last Monday. (Naturally!) Before going to work, I dropped by The Onion office to pick up my fan mail. Unfortunately, I had none. But just as I was about to leave, I felt a sharp tap on my shoulder. It was my editor, and before I could say a word, he jumped down my throat! Apparently, he hated the column I'd recently submitted to him, which was about those cute emoticon smiley-faces people put on their e-mail messages. They are just sooo precious, but try telling my grumpy editor that! He said those "silly" emoticons have been around for years, and that every feature columnist in America has written about them before.
Then, Mean Mr. Editor had the nerve to say that my last few columns have been "hackwork" and that I was "losing my touch," and ordered me to rewrite my emoticon column, or he'd permanently replace "A Room Of Jean's Own" with "Cleaning Q&A." (Geez, whatta grouch!)
Now, that by itself would have made my day lousy enough, but brace yourself—there's more! I arrived at SouthCentral Insurance, punched in and took my seat at my workplace. All the while, I had this funny feeling. Do you ever sense that someone is watching you? Or, more to the point, glaring at you? I get that feeling a lot. But this time, I felt the evil eye from practically every co-worker! Then, it dawned on me.
We have this weekly thing at work called "Blue Monday," where we all take turns bringing in treats. (It's called "Blue Monday" because, of course, who doesn't feel blue on a Monday?) Everyone in the office looks forward to it so much, woe befall the poor sap who manages to forget to bring in something when it's her turn! Well, Jeanketeers, guess who that poor sap was this time!
Boy, talk about getting the cold shoulder. Only in my case, it was more like the cold shoulder, back, neck, head and everything else! I mean, what was this, National Be Mean To Jean Day? First my editor, now my whole office! Boy, I couldn't wait to leave work that day.
But believe it or not, part three of my lousy day was still to come!
After work, I needed to go to the Pamida to pick up a few items. As I walked into the store, I noticed a sign advertising a big discount on women's cotton panties. Ever the bargain hunter, I made a beeline to the intimates department and started searching for my size. Unfortunately, the only panties I could find in my size were these sleazy-looking purple ones with red hearts all over them. (I can only imagine what hubby Rick would say about those!)
I couldn't find a clerk on the floor, so I went up to the service counter. The moment I laid eyes on the girl working there, I should have smelled trouble. She was one of those surly, stuck-up teenage girls who thinks that just because she's thin and pretty, she can get away with anything. She was sitting there reading a fashion magazine, and even though I was standing right in front of her, she pretended not to notice me. Finally, she looked up at me, but didn't say a word. Not a single, "May I help you?" or anything.
I asked her if the women's panties for sale on the racks were the only ones available, or did they have extra sizes and colors in the storeroom. For a few seconds, she just looked at me without saying anything. Then she asked for my size.
"Oh, does that mean you do have extra ones in back?" I asked.
"I don't know," she answered. "What's your size?"
Now, this is hardly the type of thing you want to tell a snotty girl like her. I should have just dropped the matter right there, but like a dope, I told her: XXL Queen. "Do you have any?" I asked.
The girl audibly snorted. "I hope not," she said.
I heard some snickers behind me. I turned around and saw a pair of cashiers not exactly concealing the fact that they found our little exchange very amusing. So I said that this is not the type of service I've come to expect from Pamida. Smirking, the girl replied, "And what type of service do you expect?"
Boy, was I steamed! I gave the girl a dirty look, stormed to the customer comment box, and grabbed a card. I was really going to give them a piece of my mind. But to my chagrin, the pen hanging next to the box had run out of ink, and I didn't have a pen in my purse. Going back to the service counter and asking for a pen would have been too embarrassing after all that had happened, so I just left.
You know, I admit that old Jean is not always the brightest bulb on the tree. I screw up at work a lot, I spend a lot of money on things I don't need and, let's face it, I could stand to lose a little weight. (When they coined the phrase "Nobody's perfect," they probably had me in mind!) But I've always prided myself on my easygoing nature and my humorous outlook on life. It's gotten me through some tough times.
But sometimes, even the most easygoing person snaps.
When I got home from the Pamida, I was so enraged from the day's events, I marched straight into the kitchen and grabbed a steak knife. Then I headed for the bedroom, where I began to repeatedly and methodically stab my plush Snoopy doll until it was an unrecognizable mass of synthetic fiber content. But I wasn't through yet. I picked up the miniature rocking chair I'd been saving in case hubby Rick and I ever had a baby and threw it against the wall, smashing it and leaving a pretty nasty dent in the plaster, to boot.
You should have seen hubby Rick's face when he got home. But he didn't get mad at me. In fact, he looked a little awestruck.
"Whoa, Jean," Rick said. "You finally did it. You snapped. I was starting to think you might never get around to it, but you've finally cracked up."
Well, for once in my life, I didn't have a clever retort. Instead, I just sat there and kept reading my McCall's. And you know what? It felt good to say nothing!
I mean, we're all allowed to go a little bonkers every now and then, right?
After all, why be normal? :)