It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Well, maybe it wasn’t really that dramatic, but it was just one of those days.
We’ve all had them. When you have to ask is Mercury is in retrograde or if the universe is trying to settle the score for some misdeed you may have perpetrated. One of those days where you just can’t seem to win.
I had one of “those days” two Thursdays ago, and there was definitely no winning, literally or figuratively. Just lots of losing. And breaking of things. And cursing. And gas.
Picture it: Mobile, Alabama, August 23, 2018.
It was a beautiful morning. Outside, the sky was blue, and dare I say the air was even kind of crisp for an August morning in Mobile?
But inside my Midtown Mobile house, the storm clouds were gathering just above my bedroom and bathroom.
I was already running late, which is not a normal occurrence for me. Punctuality is one of my core values. That and stuffing as many carbs, usually drenched in some sort of cream sauce, down my carb hole.
As such, none of the nicer dresses hanging in my closet that I had planned to wear to the Mobile Chamber’s Annual Small Business of the Year Breakfast were fitting like I wanted.
Normally, I wouldn’t care so much, but Lagniappe was one of the finalists, along with our friends at Blue Fish and Harper Technologies, and I knew that I was going to have to go up in front of a room of people, win or lose.
After swearing off carbs forever … again, I found a dress that looked decent. It had been a while since I had worn it — definitely during a previous heavy carb phase of my life — but I only had one pair of pumps that went with it, so I had to dig through the shoe pit in the bottom of my closet to find them. Which made me run even later. But I found them, threw them on the bed by my dress of choice and sped back to my bathroom to continue getting ready.
There were problems there too. My hair wasn’t cooperating. I dropped my pressed powder into the wet sink and it broke into a million pieces, and it started sticking to the water, making it mostly impossible to salvage any of it. And I couldn’t find my “good tweezers” to pluck the random stray hairs that just show up on your face when you are a woman my age. How old is that? I think I’m 41 or 42. I know I’m not 40 — I stopped counting after that one — and I don’t think I’ve turned 43 yet. I would have to get a calculator to be sure. And who really cares.
I assessed my morning.
My hair looks like crap, my face looks like I have wet paint on it from the powder incident and I hate the dress I’m wearing, And I’m definitely going to be late.
Mother expletive. Could this morning get any worse?
Yes, why, yes it can!
As I was running through my bedroom to put on the only pair of shoes that went with the only dress that I thought looked OK, I slammed my foot into the coffee table at full speed.
F word! F word! F word! F word! F word! F word! F word! F word! F word! F word! F word!
My pinky toe was no doubt broken. It started swelling almost immediately and it hurt to even look at it.
But still, I tried to shove my foot into the pointy pumps that went with my dress.
It just wasn’t going to happen.
I found a pair of open-toed shoes I could get my foot in — they were cute but way too dressy for a breakfast event. And I was forced to wear them with an everyday dress that was way too casual for the event and the shoes.
But at this point, I just had to go with it.
My sweet husband let me lean on him like a crutch all the way to the ballroom where the breakfast was being held, which, of course, seemed like a thousand miles away from the parking garage.
Luckily, we weren’t the only ones running a little late, as everyone was still making their way in, so I let that part of my anxiety go and once I sat down at the table and didn’t have to put any weight on my bum foot, I felt much better.
Even though my pinky toe looked like a severely ‘roided-up Frito, I thought, maybe things were looking up.
But, alas, they were not.
As I was eating the egg soufflé they served and explaining to everyone at our table why I was limping in, I bit into something.
“Oh my gosh, there is a shell or something in my food,” I said. I spit it out in my napkin and tried to determine what sort of unidentified object was flying in my eggs.
I figured it out but not from my examination. As my tongue hit the back of my mouth, I felt that a filling or something had fallen out of my tooth.
Well, this is just great.
A little while later they called out the winner of the “Small Business of the Year.” And it was not Lagniappe. It was Blue Fish, who, without question, deserved the honor, as did our other fellow nominee, Harper Technologies. No one ever believes this when you say it, but it was truly an honor just to be nominated.
But we still had to walk up and accept the finalist award. By that time, my foot had gotten worse. While I think I disguised my pain pretty well on the way up to the podium and back, by the time I got back to my seat, tears were welling up in my eyes and starting to fall.
I dabbed them quickly and said, “Great, people are going to think I am crying because we didn’t win.” Hopefully, no one saw me or thought that. Because that was not the case. It was my Frito toe, people! I swear!
Later that day, my dentist worked me in and informed me it was not a filling that had fallen out but the tooth around my filling, which just happens to people my age, which as I said, I am not exactly sure of. Something about the stress fractures around the metal fillings they used to give in the olden days. I was going to have to get a crown.
So they got me all gassed up, which I can definitely say was the best part of my day. I should also add The Eagles were playing in the office, and they have never sounded so good. When you are floating around high on gas, you can “Take it Easy” with great ease.
As I sat on the couch that night with an ice pack on my foot and one side of my face still drooping from the Novocain, my husband looked at me with a mixture of pity and amusement and said, “I sure hope you have a better day tomorrow.”
Um, yeah. Me too.