Thursday, January 28, 2010

Opposite Day

I woke up this morning and something occurred to me. Every day I run around picking up, sweeping, making lists, keeping busy. At the end of each day I’m worn out and tired. Am I really getting so much done each day? Doesn’t seem like it. I decided I need what my friend Deena refers to as a Mental Health day. I didn’t exactly go about it the same way she does but I decided to take the day off from lists and rushing. I decided to chill.

(It didn’t help that soon after this decision I was told to do the same by a woman I asked to stop sending Friend Requests to my child and sending hearts, hugs, angels, etc. to my husband. Shocking. Who tells someone to “chill out” when they say Enough to things like that?)

So anyway, it was a stretch to begin with. The Dell man showed up yesterday to fix my laptop and after finding a stripped screw from the last Dell man’s work, decided it had to be sent off and I needed to be without it for a week or more. This makes me very angry because we paid for this at-home service for a reason. We already have the desktop computer in the basement dismantled and in the process of being fixed. This leaves us with only one laptop between the older kids and I during the day. Homeschooling online got that much more fun. And my poor naked hard drive sits here holding way too many important things and I have visions of Josh getting hold of it and using it as a hockey puck. Or a Frisbee. Or maybe putting it in the toaster. I don’t know. He’s awfully creative.

When I thought of doing things a little differently, “The Opposite” episode of Seinfeld came to mind. Remember that one? George decides that every decision he’s ever made is wrong and that his life is the complete opposite of what it should be. He shares this with Jerry who tells him that if all his decisions are wrong, the opposite must be right. So he decides to order the opposite of his regular lunch and winds up meeting a woman because of it. He decides to be honest about being unemployed and living with his folks and she willingly agrees to go out with him. My life isn’t the opposite of where it should be but I figured I’d give it a try.

I had an errand to run this morning but as soon as I started the van I saw that stupid brake light indicator and remembered that Michael still hadn’t replaced it. When??? I thought for a minute and realized there wouldn’t be time for a few days. Frustrated, I drove to Kennewick, constantly looking the in the rear view mirror, hoping I wouldn’t be spotted. I didn’t need another run in with the law, right? So. Opposite Day. I thought about it and figured that if my first inclination was to mentally whine and complain, the opposite would be to pull out the manual in the glove compartment and look up Brake Light; Replacement. In the parking lot of Barnes and Noble I did just that and immediately was confused by the diagram and several steps of instructions. Darn. I drove home and decided to give it a shot anyway. I asked Sierra to come out and tell me which side was burned out. With Phillips and flathead in hand, I followed the directions. I drove down the street to an auto parts store, bought a set of lights, and replaced the old bulb with a new one. Sierra ran out as I drove past on my way to pick up the kindergarteners. She gave me the thumbs up when I tapped the brakes. Yay me.

In the afternoon I could hear commotion in the backyard. Clearly there was something going down between the kids. My first inclination was to let them sort it out themselves. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Sierra was out there so I figured it was fine. But it’s Opposite Day so I went out to see what the big deal was. Oh. One of Sam’s friends wanted Sierra’s sword that Grandpa made and she wanted to put it away before it was broken or someone was skewered. Howling ensued. Normally my instincts would have been correct; Sierra could handle this. Today, however, was not Normally. What do I see directly beyond our yard (just past the Oddfellow’s parking lot) but a funeral in progress. Mourners in black, military presence, flag-drapped coffin exiting a white hearse. Uh oh. Time to shut this down. Once again, Opposite Day is working.

Later in the afternoon I drove in with the kids after school and noticed Tia driving home at the same time. Normally I would wave, head in and fold some clothes or find some other chore that needs doing. Instead I walked down and talked for awhile. Score #3 for Opposite Day. The laundry can wait till tomorrow.

Finally, I promised the kids McDonald’s for dinner because Michael had a business dinner (“heavy hors d'oeuvres”, actually. Whatever that means) so I ran out to pick up some burgers. Normally I would go through the drive-thru because Obviously, but as I only had the very old Honda that stalls and gasps for air when stopped for any length of time, I decided to walk in. Awesome decision. As I walked up to order, I noticed a man in business attire standing back observing. He was a consult with corporate. Suddenly I was treated like I’d NEVER been treated before at this (or any) McDonald’s. Two people helped me and laughed light-heartedly as I ordered chocolate milks with all 5 meals. I heard someone refer to the guy as an “Insultant” and I whispered that I was sorry; it must be hard being observed like that. One woman smiled and whispered, “It’s kind of horrible”. The two helping me bagged up everything and then put it all in a larger bag. They asked if they could carry it to the car for me. It was so strange! And Awesome.

So, in conclusion, I clearly have horrible instincts!

1 comment:

  1. Did you let them carry it to the car for you? Opposite day right? They probably needed the fresh air and the time away from the constant observer. I will have to try opposite day every now and then. Another great idea!

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