We’ve all had those days. You know, when one minor mishap after another occurs. Nothing major like an “OOPS” or a “D.U.H.,” not tantrum worthy, just annoying enough to call for a sigh of resignation. I call them “Sigh” days and they come around a little too often to suit me. Being of a “certain age” as the Victorians would have said, I’m no longer overly patient.
In fact, I’ve created a sliding scale of “Sigh” days, indicating the degree of annoyance to be reached over each event. They range from:
Mild Sigh – you’re boiling eggs, you forget them and end up with ping pong balls.
Next would be Semi-medium Sigh – you’re trying to peel a boiled egg that was too fresh.
Medium Sigh – you crack the third egg for a meringue and the yolk breaks over the bowl.
Semi-deep Sigh – the last egg in the refrigerator, the one you were planning to have for breakfast, drops on your bare toes.
And Deep Sigh – you’re preparing a super-special, need-to-impress cake, you pop it into the oven and the eggs are still on the counter.
One of my recent Sigh days went sort of like this:
I overslept, Mild Sigh. Forgot to put on my shower cap, Semi-medium Sigh. Burned the toast, Medium Sigh. Dropped the egg I intended to scramble, see number four above, Semi-deep Sigh. Ready to leave on a shopping trip, car low on gas, barely get to the station, Deep Sigh. Shop for groceries, Deep,Deep Sigh verging on a tantrum tosser.
I stumbled out of the market carrying 5 (or was it 6?) overflowing plastic bags, car keys at the ready. The sheaf of papers the cashier gave me: receipt, change, coupons, contest entries, whatever promos are being advertised, are all gripped tightly in my teeth. The bags kept slipping, naturally, and I tried to rearrange them, thinking “get a grip,” Sigh. As I approached my car, the keys dropped, Medium Sigh. I’m afraid the bag hanging precariously from my left pinky may be the one with my favorite wine in it. It seemed to be the slipperiest and sure enough, it’s the one that falls with a slushy smack just as I execute a wobbly deep knee bend and grab the keys. Deep Sigh.
“Please, please, please not the wine.” “Oh, thank you, thank you.” It was just the eggs and two beefsteak tomatoes. If I have enough cheesecloth I can strain the shells out, keeping the smashed tomatoes; then with a little Romano, some herbs and a few other odds and ends I’ll have the beginning of the world’s biggest omelet.
The wine bottle was still intact, the bag still hanging from somewhere, somehow, by one loop, Deep Sigh of relief. I got the bags safely stored in the trunk, including the sloshy one full of future omelet, which I tied tightly. I tucked the wine securely next to me on the console and away I went.
A block from home I needed to slam on the brakes when an elderly neighbor rocketed out of his driveway in his 1979 PACER. The bag with my wine in it rolled off onto the floor but I didn’t hear a crunch, nor did I smell Pinot Grigio. Another Deep Sigh, relief again. I arrived home, grabbed up the bags, headed for the door and dropped the keys for the second time. Semi-Deep Sigh. Grabbing the bag of wine with my teeth (the bunch of receipts, coupons, etc. having blown out into the yard by now), I got the keys picked up by some kind of gymnastic move I could never do again, got my purchases inside and stowed away, tucking the wine safely in the refrigerator. A-A-H, Deep, Deep Sigh, again relief.
I realized the broken eggs and tomatoes were a total loss. Who would eat a 12 egg omelet, anyway? Out they went. I fixed myself a quick lunch, not the egg salad sandwich I’d been looking forward to, of course. I tidied up and decided to check my phone messages. First one: carpet cleaners. Sigh, delete. Second one: roofers. Sigh, delete.
Third one: my oldest brother. He’s having a “Sigh” day too. Those things do run in families, you know. He spends his days in a lift chair, wheelchair close for necessary side trips. The lift chair deposits him upright in the middle of his living room and he’s off in his wheelchair to use the facilities. Today, just as he returned to the living room the power went off. He sat for 40 minutes, staring at his lift chair as it stood at attention waiting for his return. Even now, his sighs are deep and profound. I fake sympathy but my sighs sound gurgly and garbly as I try not to laugh.
I finished up with the phone calls and decided to relax with a movie I’d taped earlier. MY power was off! Deep Sigh. I opted for a long walk in the sunshine to relieve some frustration, reaching the point of no return just as the skies opened up with a cloudburst. No time for sighing, I break a personal best on the run home, hair and clothes sopping wet, Crocs squirting water out of every hole.
I headed for a warm bath; no power, no water heater, no warm water, no bath. Medium Sigh. Anyway, by now It was time to prepare dinner; with a non-functioning electric stove, forget it! I spooned a can of cold soup into a bowl; at least I could enjoy a glass of wine with it. I reached into the fridge (which was warming fast), grabbed for my bottle of wine and watched in horror as it slowly rolled forward off the bottom shelf, seemingly in slo-mo. My reactions didn’t react and it picked up speed, hitting the floor with a loud crash and a huge splash. Deep, Deep Sigh, almost another tantrum-tosser.
By the time I got the mess cleaned up, it was almost dark outside. What a long evening this was turning out to be. I lit a fat, waxy candle, leaned back and thought dark thoughts about deep, dark things. Approaching old age, I find myself pondering the most peculiar problems. Why does the word “flickering” have to be used every single time a lighted candle is mentioned? Is it because that is the only word that really describes the action? Don’t people have any more imagination than that? There must be dozens of other words that are more descriptive. How strange that I can’t think of a single one. This must be how cliches are created.
My brain is too weary to cope. I fall on my bed. Just as I drop off into a badly needed sleep, every light in the house comes on.
Deep, Profoundly Deep Sigh.