Even Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days Can Be OK


Some days are like that. Even in Australia. ~Judith Viorst

I owe a debt of gratitude to my good friend Lisa for re-introducing me to Judith Viorst’s classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It’s one of those books I vaguely remembered from childhood: a kid experiences the mother of all bad days and, in charming pen and ink illustrations, goes through a 7-year-old version of hell. I love Alexander because he’s real. All of us have one of these days from time to time. It so happens I had one today.

Some days just carry the scent of impending doom, like a lone Red Sox fan sitting in Yankee Stadium. From the minute I woke up I knew something was wrong. On the hunt for a bowl of Froot Loops in the kitchen, my nose led me right to it. Underneath the sink were at least two inches of standing, fetid water and what remained of several boxes of mac and cheese. Needless to say, I never quite wanted my own personal swamp in the kitchen. That was what I got.

This also happened to be the day, of all days, on which my monthly cramps began. Ah, yes, the joys of being female. I felt about ready to cry, though I normally don’t.

However, instead of stomping around and screaming like a wounded yak the way I really wanted to, I decided the best course of action was to try and fix the drain problem myself. Since I didn’t graduate from the Mario Brothers School of Plumbing, my best guess was to try and tighten. Bad mistake. More water. This was turning into my own Florida Everglades very rapidly. No screaming yet, but I was getting close.

I decided to at least try and get to work, thinking my plumbing might wait until later. When I started the car, nothing happened save for a sound reminiscent of a heavy smoker trying to clear her chest. It was all I could do not to facepalm right then and there. “Hey, not only am I going to get saddled with a plumbing bill I can’t afford right now, but a new starter.” Just perfect. I’m staring at a potential $1K bill…and it’s not even 9 AM yet.

Of course, this happens to be a work day, which means I have to call my supervisor and try to explain my tricky predicaments. It’s not as if I’m sick, or taking care of a sick child, or even a sick pet. This is just life getting in the way for a single person who owns instead of rents. When stuff breaks, I have to rely on myself to get ‘r done. Thankfully I do have an understanding boss, so that turned out to be the least of my worries.

Then, before any histrionics could commence, I stopped and realized something. Several somethings. I was facing a crisis, actually two crises, with maturity and non-Aspieness. Instead of panicking, I calmly called AAA to get my car started and to the shop for what turned out to be a new battery instead of a starter (about $700 saved). As for my own stretch of marshland, a call to a very professional and courteous local plumbing company took care of that problem. It wasn’t exactly cheap, but they had a $50 off on Thursdays coupon which certainly helped. Crises averted, and I made it to work only three hours behind schedule.

So here I am at the end of my own personal Terrible Day. I’m alive, I’m dry, well-fed, and comparatively rested. Most importantly, I’m sane. Bad situations don’t have to sink me for a whole day and they don’t have to cause meltdowns. In fact, I’m grateful that neither of my emergencies turned out to be major. $280 is a lot more reasonable than $1,000 or more.

Maybe they do have days like this in Australia (where, as a literal Aspie child, I was always convinced the populace walked around upside down.) If they do, I hope they use some of them as teachable moments.

Have you had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Did anything good come out of it?

Coming very soon: The opening round of our Fictional Character Hunger Games! Eight tributes…only one can survive. May the odds be ever in your favor!

As always, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to click “Like” and subscribe to avoid any future Terrible, Horrible Days!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 2, 2012.

8 Responses to “Even Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days Can Be OK”

  1. Thank you for reminding me about that book…I used to love that one as a kid! I need to go find it for my kids!

  2. I remember this one and quite a few other children’s books I read when I was a kid. I always like “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs”, the illustrations always fascinated me.

  3. I have those days from time to time. I’m old enough now to realize that no amount of screaming or crying or sulking will make things any better, so I muddle through and hope for a better one the next day.

    Traditionally, i’ve tried to get my day’s most annoying tasks done first, leaving the easier jobs for later.

    I have an Aspie nephew, who did not deal so well with some of life’s inequities or unexpected issues. On one particularly unfairness of life, I took him aside before he could melt down and told him in no uncertain terms that “this too shall pass”. The rest of that week, it was like our little secret mantra. Fortunately, I’ve gotten half way decent at taking some of my own advice by now.

  4. You *know* I love this. πŸ™‚

  5. Love how you incorporated the image from Star Wars. πŸ™‚ I’ve had more than one day where everything seems to go wrong, and not giving in to meltdowns is tough. I applaud you in the meltdowns averted.

    Always,
    Allie.

  6. Just remember to keep your head and think it through next time!
    (Oh, and maybe get a plumbing book.)

    Glad it all turned out to be manageable, and sounds like you handled it all well!

  7. I’ve actually spent the last few days trying to figure out which terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I should share. Now that I’ve decided, I realise it’s far too long to include in the comments here. So stay tuned for a post dedicated to the answer on my blog tomorrow!

  8. […] Mad Heather of Prawn and Quartered had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. She blogged about it and posed the […]

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