What makes a bad day?
Clearly, death of a loved one makes the list, so let’s just go past the major, life-changing bad days and go straight to everyday run-of-the-mill bad days that years later you can look back and laugh about. Ha. Ha. Heh.
Many years ago, a very famous actor was considering running for governor of California. No, not that one. This was before the word Governator entered my lexicon. (Hint: It was Warren Beatty). It was my first day in a new office and Warren Beatty called looking to talk to a hot shot political reporter and when I went to tell him that there was a call for him, hot shot political reporter waved me away because he was on the phone with someone Very Important. That guy was a bit of a diva. Anyway, I went back to the phone, told Warren Beatty that Hot Shot Reporter couldn’t take his call, then when I went to transfer him to voicemail, I hung up on him.
I hung up on Warren Beatty. On my first day at a new job.
That was a bad day.
I think Warren may have been having a bad day, too, because apparently he had just tried to call the Washington D.C. branch of our organization to talk to a national big deal political reporter, but was put on hold indefinitely, so that’s how he ended up in my incompetent hands.
More recently, I had a bad birthday, which sucked extra hard. It was one of those birthdays with a zero attached (Hint: I am not saying which one). I had raging PMS, a big deadline at work, I jumped an age category on most surveys to a range that should include my mother, not me. At one point, I walked into the copy room and stepped on a piece of paper and my foot shot out in front of me. My first thought: “Good Lord, don’t break a hip.”
Then, the kicker. My husband forgot my birthday. So I didn’t get any presents.
“But you said you didn’t want a birthday party,” my husband said. “I thought that meant you didn’t want presents, either.”
“Why would you think that? Of course I want presents. Presents make everything better.”
And that’s how I ended up with a Kindle.
Wait, how did I get here? Oh, right, bad days.
This topic came to mind because I’m writing a novella that starts with my heroine having a bad day. As she sits in a holding cell at the county courthouse (never a sign of a good day), she compares this to other bad days:
This was possibly the worst day of her life, Lindsey thought. Worse than the time she got pulled over on the way to her brother’s wedding and had to do a sobriety test on the side of the road while wearing a bridesmaids dress.
Worse than the time she accidentally gave her boss a peanut-laced cookie and he swelled up like a parade float and had to be revived by paramedics in the middle of the newsroom.
Even worse than the time she went out on a date with that lawyer who talked about his job all night, even though she was clearly trying to hear what that sleazy lobbyist was promising the mayor, and then didn’t ever call her again, even though the kissing portion of their date was fairly spectacular. Objectively speaking, she had to admit that it was a terrible date. She probably wouldn’t have called her, if their situations were reversed. Except for that part in the car. That was definitely worth a phone call.
She didn’t expect to see Ben Gillespie ever again, but especially not under these circumstances. Not locked in a cell, waiting to face an angry judge.
I have to say, it was really fun to come up with other people’s bad days. So, have you had a bad day recently? What happened to make it so bad? Fender-bender? Ripped pants? Trip going up stairs? Flat tire? And how long did it take you to laugh about it?