Note: This column appears in the 3/17 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/18 issue of the Peoria Times
You know how things tend to happen all at once, and you reach a point where you either break down completely or blindly plow through all newfound dilemmas with purpose? Well, I did both.
Not helping this unexpected influx of oddness was the general state of funk I found myself in over the past few weeks. Between work, family, outside projects, appointments, commitments, or whatever, I was suddenly zoned out, proceeding through life in a zombiesque state. Also, all of a sudden I have allergies. I haven’t been able to breathe for three weeks, and whenever I blow my nose I almost pass out.
It probably began when my wife came home one day and informed me her car was hit while it was parked on the street. No big deal, but still something to take care of. Thing is, nothing ever seems to proceed smoothly for us, and this led to a series of calls to various insurance companies—always a pleasant experience—and as a result my wife is now driving a small red rental clown car that is filled with cat hair and smells like an ashtray.
Around this time, our daughter set the world record for consecutive ear infections—surpassing the mark set by a 4th-century Roman boy—forcing us to reconsider having tubes placed in her ears. A minor car accident and minor potential surgery were giving me a major headache.
Then, a local crazy person followed up an interesting voice mail in which he repeatedly asked me questions—on voice mail—by coming into our office to see me in an attempt to place an ad that literally forced me to contact local authorities. When I informed him that we would not place his nonsensical yet threatening ad, he began a rant about the local library and demanded to speak to the mayor, who—this is surprising—does not work here.
At least the weekend had arrived, and that Saturday my wife and I had dinner plans with friends. Before dropping off our daughter at the sitter, we decided to go to church, and when we arrived at church it was discovered that somebody, who was me, forgot the diaper bag that contained pretty much everything we needed for her. This greatly improved my standing with my date for that evening, and our daughter helped matters immensely by acting like a lunatic in church to the point where my wife was forced to remove her from the premises.
Rock bottom occurred later that night when, after we arrived home, I decided to hop on the ol’ computer. Then I decided to take a sip of water. I failed at the latter, and water spilled all over our laptop, shutting it down.
I don’t want to say how I reacted to this occurrence because it is embarrassing, but I will say it was as close to an emotional breakdown as I have ever had. Hearing my tirade from upstairs, my wife thought someone had died.
I and the computer miraculously recovered. My funk began to wane, even if the constant flow of random events did not. The next day I watched our daughter fall off our backyard lounge chair when, instead of removing her from the chair, I told her to “get down from there,” as if she were older than 18 months, and as if she ever listens anyway. It was then I decided it was time to refocus myself. Enough was enough.
At work last week, a different crazy person came into our office nervously looking around for “a job.” After she left, the cops swarmed her outside, and the next day we discovered a crack pipe hidden in a stack of papers at our front desk. We had to call the cops to come and pick up the evidence. “This is perfect,” I thought. “I have to talk to the cops anyway about that other crazy person.” Things were starting to go my way.
Now if I could only breathe …