Do you remember the children's story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well, I lived that day excepted it lasted a whole week. There was no one big event that made last week bad, just a million little things that snowballed into a crappy week: forgot my trusty coffee cup every day, had a leaky to-go coffee cup which I discovered in the middle of a meeting with lots of higher-up employees, stayed late every day, missed all my gym classes because of staying late, painfully tore a fingernail, rolled my ankle running for the bus for the one gym class I thought I might make, left my wallet at home. Again, a million little things that separately would mean nothing.
On Wednesday, a conversation with a co-worker lead to a discussion about my time in Tanzania, and she asked the question I've been asked a million times: "would you go back?" I gave the same answer I've given a million times: "in a heartbeat." But then she added an extra question - why haven't you? - and I had no good answer for her. I started to question why I hadn't gone back or why I hadn't done more to ensure that I would go back. On top of all the other annoyances, the question of why aren't you back in Tanzania right now? started running through my head. And all these things just really started to harsh my buzz, man.
That is how I found myself, Friday night, alone at my parent's, overreacting to a bobbin issue with my mom's sewing machine.
My mom has a new machine and I have still not mastered the art of replacing the bobbin and having it catch. I have tried and tried and tried, and always end up having to get my mom to do it. Except she wasn't home that evening and in my rising frustration, I removed not only the bobbin, but the entire bobbin casing and it fell apart in my hands. I searched the instructions and amazingly, there was nothing - NOTHING! - about how to put the bobbin casing back together. I fumed. I cannot be the only person who has accidentally removed and destroyed the bobbin casing! That's when I got up from my chair and started leaping around the room, waving my fists and swearing violence on the machine as if I was Basil Fawlty assaulting his car. I'm sure if I a tree branch had been laying nearby, I would have used it to beat the machine.
I was defeated by a bobbin. To be honest, it was depressing and a little humiliating.
I woke up Saturday morning still in a funk. Everything I planned to do that day took longer than normal: trip to the grocery store, cleaning the house, baking the Raspberry Meringue Pie, getting ready for my night out. If I estimated something would take an hour, it took an hour and a half. This was really not helping with the funk and I half-wished I could cancel my plans for the evening but I knew there was no weaselling out the party.
That night, I was having a serious pity party as I arrived for the Downton Abbey Dinner in a dress that was decidedly not Edwardian thanks to the Battle of the Bobbin. Since the Downton Abbey Dinner party had first been proposed in January, I planned to make an Edwardian dress for the event. At the end of the day, however, it really didn't matter to anyone else that my dress wasn't period appropriate. We sat in Julie's sunny backyard, sipped 'Carson Approved Beverages', munched on various dishes from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook (and a few that weren't from there) and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
I needed that. Sunday morning came around and things just looked better. Sometimes a night with friends is exactly what you need.