We've all had 'em, those days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, ready to grouse at the first person (and every subsequent person after that) that you see. No matter what you do, nothing short of going back to bed and getting up a day later will erase this dismal mood. I did not have one of these mornings. I woke up just fine; tired, but fine. I got ready for work, and on my way, went to my doctor for a physical.
You know how sometimes you know exactly where your mood has gone wrong? I can poinpoint the exact moment. I'm not overly fond of doctors to begin with, but visiting one is not enough to turn my mood. In fact, my doctor is rather amusing. He's a low-talker and often perches himself on the edge of the paper-covered table, while I (the patient) sit in the chair. This juxtaposition makes me smile. And smile I did until he ordered the inevitable blood work. My doctor's office is in an old house, and the room where your blood is drawn is downstairs, in the basement. Dark-ish, cold, and reminiscent of a dungeon. And every dungeon has a torturer. This dungeon is no different. The Phlebotomist/Sadist at my doctor's office is unlike any I've ever seen. She was in rare form this morning.
P/S was listening to a talk radio station when I tentatively came down the steps. She was facing away from the stairs, and didn't bother to turn around when she heard me. "Sit in the chair. Roll up your arm-sleeve." Just what you'd expect from someone who gets their yayas from inflicting pain on others. She continued to work on whatever she was doing while I sat there shivering with my "arm-sleeve" rolled up. Then she turned the radio up, presumably so that she could drown out my screams as she found new and horrible ways to torture me. The man on the radio was talking to a female caller who was extremely disgruntled with her husband who "ain't even got no job."
She proceeded to put the rubber tourniquet (isn't that much too nice sounding a word for what it actually is? Shouldn't it be called something more nefarious-sounding?) on me and shoved a stress ball in my hand. "Squeeze this and make a fist. You eat anything today?" I responded that I was told not to eat or drink anything for eight hours. "Well, you dehydrated, honey. I can't find a vein. This is probably going to hurt. And it's definitely going to leave a bruise." Just what you want to hear when you're about to be jabbed with a sharp object. But at least I can say this for P/S, she didn't lie. It did hurt. She then proceeded to lean all of her 247 pounds of weight on my wound, because "it's a small vein and it needs a lot of pressure." No wonder it bruised. And there it is. The exact moment my day went south.
From there, I got to work in a surly mood. I wiled away the day getting my tasks done, but with a really bad attitude about it. Once your day has gone in the crapper, every little thing just irritates the heck out of you (me). Things that wouldn't normally even raise an eyebrow, manage to piss you (me) off. That was my day today.
When it was finally time to leave, I checked the Next Bus on the Metro website to see when to go down to the bus stop. Four minutes . . . perfect. Not too long a wait in the frigid temperatures. The fatal flaw in this plan was believing anything that Metro has to say. Ever. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the crowd of about 20 people milling about the bus stop. Never a good thing at rush hour. I waited for about ten minutes, as the sun went down and the wind whipped up, with no bus in sight. Finally a bus came by, full to popping with passengers. It didn't even bother to stop. So I decided to walk.
I was plotting my temper tantrum the entire walk home. I wasn't sure what might trigger it -- a taxi turning against the light, an oblivious cell phone walker-talker, bad lunch meat in the fridge -- but I knew it was coming. I stomped into the lobby, and opened our mailbox to salvation. The new issue of Vanity Fair had arrived. And just like that, the day that had gone wrong all day long had turned around. Because, unlike the woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed day, the somebody-ruined-my-day day can turn on a dime and turn out okay after all. Just ask my bruise.