Some days just have a way of building up a lot of little disappointments into major annoyance and possibly uncontrollable violence. The idea of a "sneaky hate spiral" is something I read about on another, much better blog: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html. Well, there go all of my page views.
My biggest problem, I suppose, is that I never get to the uncontrollable violence stage because I always wonder if I really ought to be upset or not. And then I figure I might as well be rational and that if those disappointments really were important, I wouldn't have to think about it.
The other day was one of those days. It started out so innocently. I had gotten lab papers at my 22nd week doctor appointment to go take a glucose tolerance test (which tests for gestational diabetes) sometime during my 25th week of pregnancy. I promptly put those lab papers on a table and didn't look at them again until the evening before I planned to get the test done at the nearby lab.
The lab papers included a small set of instructions on what to do to prepare for the test. Don't eat or drink for 3 hours beforehand, don't eat ALL OF THE CARBS in the days leading up to the test - that sort of thing. At the bottom of the paper it said "we suggest calling the lab and making an appointment for both the 1 hour and 3 hour glucose tolerance test."
Well, hm. I definitely didn't get that far in my reading when I first got the paperwork. It was about eight pm, so I tentatively looked up appointment information on the lab's website - according to the online scheduling, they were booked solid until next month. I was worried but then I saw that the lab's website said that an appointment wasn't necessary.
So I pushed the conflicting information out of mind and figured I'd just call in the morning and see how awfully I'd messed up the testing schedule. All night, Wilford Brimley kept popping into my dreams, warning me about the complications of "diabetus." I slept somewhat fitfully.
Upon waking the next morning, I found myself running all sorts of contingency plans in my head. I thought about how I had already gotten time off of work for this morning and wondered if I could switch my time off to Friday if I just went into work today. My supervisor was nice - she'd understand, right? But what if I couldn't test until next week? My monthly doctor's appointment was next Friday and I had no clue how long test results take to arrive.
The lab opened at seven according to the website, so I called them at promptly seven. It turns out the number the lab's website listed no longer connected to the lab and a recorded message instructed me to call an 800 number instead.
I called the 800 number and the woman who answered the phone told me as long as I go in before eleven, it shouldn't be an issue to just walk in. So the phone call was a little roundabout but I got my information. Crisis averted.
Smiley drove me to the lab since I had inadvertently fasted for about 12 hours and was feeling tired and hungry and not at all drive-y. Now that I didn't need to worry about whether I could do the test today, I started worrying about the next item on my list - whether or not the drink would be disgusting and whether or not I would throw up orange drink everywhere.
There was nothing exciting about that part. The orange drink, in fact, was not disgusting and simply tasted like a thick, syrupy version of orange pop (it had 50 grams of glucose, which I believe is about double the sugar). I was able to drink it in the required five minutes and although my stomach toyed briefly with the idea of making me nauseous, it welcomed the glucose and prepared it for my brain. My brain was thankful.
There was nothing exciting about the next part either - I had to sit for an hour before I could get my blood drawn. Oh wait, there was something exciting. At about fifty minutes into the wait, my phone started ringing. I didn't recognize the number and the person left a voicemail that consisted of them hanging up. I shrugged and then my phone started ringing again. Still didn't recognize the number, so I didn't pick up. I don't know who had my phone number before me, but a lot of debt collected called the number regarding that person's supposed debt and I was in no mood to explain to a debt collector that I was not, in fact, the person they wanted and I didn't even know whoever it is and stop calling me.
But the another voice mail was left, so I listened to it - and mentally smacked myself for not answering the call.
On the voicemail, my supervisor's voice came through. She said that she was calling because she had me down to arrive at work at 7:30am that morning and it was now past 8:30am and she was just making sure that everything was alright because this was completely unlike me.
I scowled. Of course it was completely unlike me because I had emailed her to ask for the time off last week. I remembered her return email and wondered if I had asked for the wrong day off.
But, no need to panic. I had a few minutes before they called me to draw my blood. I could call her back and explain the situation and it would all be good.
Except, wait. I called the number back and then remembered that the number displayed on my phone was the generic phone line that showed up on caller ID when anyone in my department dialed out.
Ok, still no need to panic. I'd just look up her number in my contact list.
Except, wait some more. A while back, Smiley had attempted to fix my broken phone screen and had rendered my phone unusable in the process. I had gotten a new phone and had, so I thought, transferred my contact list over. Well, I must have done it wrong, because her number was nowhere to be found.
This darn cell phone age! Leaving me alone in the mercy of not remembering the cell phone number. I tried to picture the list of phone numbers for my work team, but all I could remember was the first five digits that all the phone numbers shared. I couldn't for the life of me remember the last two.
What else could I do? I vaguely recalled the number "20" and started dialing the number, first ending in 25. My coworker didn't pick up. Then 24. Nothing. Then 23. More voicemail. 22 wasn't in commission. I tried 26 and one of my teammates picked up.
Feeling ridiculously stupid, I babbled on for a minute about how I thought I had requested off time but I guess I mixed it up and can you tell our supervisor that I'm fine and that I'll be to work in about an hour and that I'm sorry for calling and interrupting your work but I couldn't remember her number and -
My coworker quickly assured me she'd say something and gave me our supervisor's number.
I got back to the lab lobby just in time to be called to draw my blood. That part took less than a minute. Here's hoping I passed!
Once outside, I called my supervisor to let her know I wasn't dead or anything and that I could have sworn I had emailed her about this and that I was terribly sorry for any confusion. She said it was no big deal and that she was glad I was ok, but I still felt uneasy. I try hard to be a reliable employee and even a miscommunication feels like I'm doing something wrong.
But, there was nothing I could do until I got to work and checked my email to see if I put in the wrong date. Smiley and I decided to stop at McDonalds to grab breakfast on our way home. We were going to pass two McDonalds on the way and I asked him to stop at the one closest to our house because I typically had a better experience with the quality of food there.
If only I knew how much I was setting myself up for failure yet again.
When we got to the McDonalds, I wasn't feel very good because all I had "eaten" in the past 13 hours or so were 50 grams of glucose, so Smiley volunteered to go inside and order. I wanted the same thing I always want when we get McDonalds breakfast - an egg mcmuffin. Confident that there would be food in my near future, I hung out in a half-comatose state in the car for a few minutes.
Smiley returned with a bag and a look on his face.
"There was an issue," he says to me.
I braced myself.
"They were all out of english muffins so they had to put it on a biscuit."
I think I let out a visible sigh of relief. That wasn't a big deal! I could roll with it. I felt so darned proud of myself, not letting the little things get to me, even when I was hungry and stressed out about work. "As long as it has a real egg and not that icky egg foam that they put on some of their breakfast sandwiches! That's all that matters to me," I said.
We got home and sat down for breakfast. I pulled out the first sandwich - Smiley's bagel - and handed it to him. That's when I noticed the hash brown and a "this isn't right" went off in my head.
"Did you get a hash brown?" I asked. I knew Smiley liked them alright but it wasn't something we normally got. Still, I was hungry and I had a quiet thought that maybe they tossed one in for free due to the egg mcmuffin being on a biscuit.
I grabbed my sandwich out of the bag and instantly I knew what had happened.
They didn't give me an egg mcmuffin. There never was an egg. Or Canadian bacon. It was a sausage biscuit - which is one of my least favorite breakfast sandwiches on the menu. I started blankly at the sandwich, feeling my ability to roll with the punches crashing down around me. I was tired, hungry and hormonal.
Smiley looked at the sandwich. "I ordered an egg mcmuffin," he told me, fishing out the receipt. The receipt clearly read "sausage mcmuffin" and I shook my head.
"No, I guess that's what I get for saying that I prefer that McDonalds. That's how my life works." I quickly spun a shell of self-pity. "I hate their sausage patties. They're so greasy and disgusting. All I wanted was the egg to be an egg." I pouted, looking down at the offending sandwich.
It was one of those moments where I wondered if I had a right to be upset and maybe move into "uncontrollable violence" stage.
I sighed. It just didn't seem worth it to be upset, not when I thought about how Smiley had driven me to the lab and back and attempted to obtain a delicious breakfast for the both of us.
So, chances are you can tell for yourself that there was nothing that happened to me that was worth being terribly upset over. But at the time, it seemed awfully horrible.
I might have imagined punching a puppy once or twice, for example, but no puppies were harmed in the making of this blog post.