This too shall pass

I spent much of the weekend licking my wounds, except it was figurative, of course, which was a good thing, because if I’d been trying to LITERALLY lick anything on my body I might’ve screwed up my neck more than it was already screwed up.

[Typical conversation with my chiropractor over the last few days:
Her: Does this hurt?
Her: But does it hurt MORE?
Me: Maybe. Can you make it hurt LESS? Or could you maybe just KILL ME?]

So my neck was hurting and my ego was hurting and my everything-is-going-to-be-fine meter was freaking out and I figured I would just sulk for a few days and then come back and tell you a funny story about the dog, because HEY! Everyone loves funny stories about the dog!

It was such a good plan, too.

So let’s just get this out of the way, first: Late Friday afternoon, I was laid off from one of my jobs. Near as I can tell, the earth is still rotating and it didn’t cause my bank accounts to immediately zero out, or anything like that, but nevertheless the suckitude, it doth ascend verily unto 11 and beyond, if you catch my drift.

And it has nothing to do with ME, and it doesn’t appear that I could’ve done anything to prevent this from happening, so that should be comforting, but right now, it isn’t. I’ve lost jobs before. Or contracts have ended. Whatever. This one hit me particularly hard for a variety of reasons I don’t really feel like getting into, and let me also just say that AS MUCH AS I LOVE THIS CLIENT… okay, nevermind. Redacted! Let’s just say I DO NOT LIKE IT, SAM I AM.

As if “what I like” in this situation matters one whit. I know.

So I took my borked neck and my injured pride and my various other baggage and decided to have a quiet weekend feeling sorry for myself. I mean, that just seemed logical.

My neck is (slowly) improving and on Saturday Chickadee went up to the next level of The Geektastic Wonder also known as Science Fair and nabbed herself another blue ribbon and thus an invitation to move up yet another level, and so it was looking like devoting my time and energy self-pity was going to be kind of dumb, actually.

Yesterday I continued working on Clearing Out My Old Desk because hey, I have all this extra time now, right, and I should Be Productive and Get My Office In Shape, and then I spent a chunk of the day out thrifting with a friend (that always cheers me up, even at our local crappy Goodwill which has a pervasive smell of feet), and I did laundry and I vacuumed and by the time the kids were tucked into bed I was feeling Almost Normal.

It’s all going to be fine, I said to Otto. On to the next! It’s okay! I’m grateful for the experience and this is making room for the next adventure! I need to stretch my wings, really. I’ll spend some time deciding what I really want to pursue! Otto agreed and to celebrate—because we are all kinds of wild and crazy—we decided to pop some popcorn and watch TV. Woo!

Of course, we were having a big storm yesterday, and the lights kept flickering, so we were joking that we’d have to watch television EXTRA FAST in case we ended up losing power. So Otto was setting up the popcorn maker and I was with him in the kitchen, and we were chatting, but I asked him to hang on a sec because I heard the dog making a racket in the family room.

I’ll confess, a tiny part of my brain thought, “Here it is! The cherry on top of my amazing resilience in the face of adversity—now I’m going to get that funny dog story I’ve been wanting all weekend.”

[If you have a dog, or if you know dogs, you know that even the most slug-like dog sometimes gets what we refer to as “the zoomies.” It can last just a minute or half an hour, but it’s a giant burst of totally GOOFY energy where the dog zooms around like she’s on crack. In Licorice’s case, if she gets a really good bout of zoomies going, she doesn’t even need us to play with her… she’ll toss her toys for herself and then run after them with zeal.]

So I heard this sort of WHAP WHAP WHAP WHAP coming from the family room and I figured Licorice was getting her zoomies on, and was possibly smacking some beloved toy or other against the couch, or SOMETHING… I mean, I was having trouble identifying the noise, but I was SURE it would be something really good.

I walked into the family room and turned the light on, ready to behold my darling dog doing something hilarious.

Except that Licorice was curled up on the couch, doing nothing.


Wait. What the…?


Everything went into slow motion, and it felt like it took an hour for me to figure it out, even though it probably took four seconds, max, and then another second after that for me to start swearing loudly and calling for Otto.

Do you know what sounds like WHAP WHAP WHAP WHAP?

It turns out that’s what it sounds like when it starts raining INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. True story! Yep, that’s the sound it makes as water spurts from the ceiling and lands on your precious hardwood floor that you’re not, you know, supposed to get wet.

See, I’d forgotten that if I got over the whole wallowing thing too quickly, the universe would bitchslap me with a reminder of why things actually really suck. Because we’re perfectly fine without that job of mine, financially, sure, and what are the chances that it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix the roof and the resultant water damage? I’m sure that’s totally CHEAP!

In conclusion, if you need me, I’ll be under my desk.

I’m bringing my markers. Today I’m working on a pretty sign that says WILL WORK FOR ROOF SHINGLES.


  1. Stacy

    I’m so sorry! I hope your floors are ok. I love reading your blog and I think you’re a great writer, but alas, since I’m a SAHM, I don’t have any money to pay you. Hope everything gets better soon.

  2. Angela

    I do use your afilliate links!!! I know that helps by the pennies but yeah that is totally a sucktastic weekend. Good luck with the roof.

  3. ChrisinNY

    Oh, this reminds me of an acquaintance of mine who got up one morning just after Christmas and was puttering around her kitchen. She heard a family member upstairs in the shower, and another one with the water running in the basement shower. Oh wait- her house doesn’t have a shower in the basement…..

  4. laura

    I have this sort of sympathy response I give to family and friends when things get a littly bumpy. Something on the order of sometimes it seems as if a black cloud hovers over your house. Too close to the truth for this to be any consolation to you.
    How about if I just send you some mental sunshine, you’ve got sunscreen, right?

  5. JennyM

    Hey, you know what sounds like “Psst! Psst! Psst!” — Rain falling on your gas logs that aren’t supposed to get wet!

    Blecch. Let’s just pretend like the weekend never happened.

    (Congrats to the Geektastic Wonder!)

  6. Cathy

    On the bright side, Chickie could end up like my best friend – she won International Science Fair three times in high school (I am not making this up) and got crazy scholarships from all kinds of corporations and government agencies. So hey, that’s less money spent in the future, right? Something to look forward to.

    And don’t worry, my friend was always a procrastinator with her projects, too. That’s just universal.

  7. Lynette

    My suggestion is chocolate– lots and lots of it! I hope things look sunnier soon.

  8. Lori N

    I’m going to up Lynette’s suggestion and recommend some of that Bacon Chocolate you posted about eons ago. If ever there was a situation that called for both bacon & chocolate it would be now.

    Hang in there! (and congrats to Chickie!)

  9. Jenn

    Don’t have a dog but my kid gets the zoomies. I’ll have to remember that term.

    Sorry about your roof. And walls. And floors.

  10. Aimee

    Gah! Sorry about the inside rain. That doth indeed suck. Verily.

    When our cats get the Zoomies I call it Dodging Dinosaurs, which comes from some book about a cat I read years ago wherein the author opined that cats, when they do that, are dodging invisible dinosaurs. It explains a lot.

  11. RuthWells

    Oh crap. When it rains, it pours.

    Hold on, probably shouldn’t use rain metaphors. Ummmmmmm…. Yeah, I got nothin’.

  12. Summer

    This is the perfect excuse I needed to do more online shopping through your WantNot links. I’ve already been to Amazon once this morning to buy a water filter for my refrigerator, now what else do I need? Hmmmm….

  13. Jean

    Water. We can’t live without it and we hate it when it’s not where it’s supposed to be. Your roof, my basement floor.

    Funny how that dog was able to get herself back up on the couch all innocent-like after having chewed that hole in the roof. Stupid dogs.

    My sympathies and wishes for an ultra speedy and ultra inexpensive repair.

    After a WantNot post on how to find a good roofer, perhaps you could do another on how to find a good sump pump installer?

  14. Megan

    Oh! Oh! And know what sounds like, “swish” *ominous silence* “gurgle” *longer ominous silence* “GUSH!!” – 10 points if you said Backed Up Toilet. Extra five if you guessed, EVERY Household Toilet Simultaneously Backed Up and a shiny gold star if you intuited Plumber Man Dissecting Entire House Drain Line in Front Yard and Finding THREE ENTS WORTH OF TREE ROOTS. Yay!!

  15. Burgh Baby

    Right about now I want to make a crack about those buckets of money being useful for catching the water, but I’ll go with just saying that’s some serious suck piled on suck. I hope the roof ends up being an easier fix than expected. Or, that it just doesn’t rain for the next five years. I’m sure that would work.

  16. Sally

    Oh lord, you have my sympathies! Exactly the same sequence of terrible things happened to me in October. Ask me if I’ve got a) a new permanent job or b) a fixed house yet. Go on, ask me. I DARE YOU.
    What do you mean, I’m being unhelpful?

  17. Katherine

    I didn’t lose a job this weekend (probably because I don’t have one to start with) and my roof isn’t leaking, but my walls and slab is. Yeah, fun. For the 5th or 6th (I’ve lost count) time since the big GA floods in Sept, I had water in both my basement and my garage. I think I know what we need to do to stop the basement flooding – but it has to be DRY to fix it and that isn’t happening. The garage, though, the water seems to be coming up through the floor. I have NO CLUE how to fix that other than for us to go back to drought conditions.

    I hope either your roof fix is cheap (or that they can find old hail damage and the insurance will cover it).

  18. parodie

    Oh my. What a crap-storm. I’m so sorry.

  19. Hip Mom's Guide

    Oh, that is a total bummer. Really. How in the heck you bucked up to tell us and make us laugh, I have no idea. If it were me, though, I’d make sure I had a good store of nice cold diet pepsi under my desk.

  20. Half Assed Kitchen

    When I was growing up we lived with several leaks. My parents put pots and pans underneath them. So, a rain storm always meant the sound of hard drops like pennies clanking into metal. Relaxing.

    Sorry about your client. It’s suckola to lose them.

  21. k's grandma

    Under the old desk? Or under the new desk? You know, so I will know where to find you and all. With chocolate? Without the calories of course, and probably with magic powers that will speed up your metabolism and heal your neck. Just because.

  22. Kelly

    I think Otto needs to find you something shiny to distract you…

  23. Tracy

    Jeez, when it rains it pours, huh? But the Saints are going to the Super Bowl. Hell is freezing over so don’t worry about finances, leaks or anything….it doesn’t matter! Smile because you can. Come can do it! Geaux Saints!!!!!

  24. annette

    I’m sorry. That is all I’ve got :).

  25. BethR

    Oh, Mir! Hugs and a strong shoulder heading your way.

    We always called them the “Ten O’clock Crazies” in my family. It’s when you’re in the basement and wondering how on earth ONE cat can sound like an entire herd of buffalo, galumphing around the house.

  26. meghann

    Last time I heard a mysterious noise in the other room, it turned out that the 5 lbs can of fruit cocktail (that my husband had bought for some unknown reason) had exploded in the kitchen. Literally.

  27. natasha the exile on Mom Street

    Dude. That bites.

    And I TOTALLY! named! that! sound!

    It is, unfortunately, one that I’ve become intimately familiar with. Rain in the house is just never a festive way to end the weekend.

  28. Jen

    Oh, I have nothing for you but sympathy and hugs. It seems that many of my friends (and us, really) are having craptastic starts to 2010. Here’s hoping Mercury comes out of retrograde or whatever else is wrong rights itself quickly!

  29. Jodi

    Sounds like your new year is starting out like ours. We had three of our THREE vehicles die within a week of each other. I am sorry that your roof is leaking. Here is hoping it is a cheap and easy fix!

  30. Nancy

    I hope you don’t have the water curse! I had 3 water incidents in 2009 with car, basement and broken ice maker. All are fixed now without too much money, now I am just making petitions to the water gods.
    I was laid off my job last spring. really sucks no matter how or why. I saw Up in the Air last night. I thought it might be painful, considering the topic, but it was kind of uplifting. I recommend it to you in your current state. And George Clooney ain’t too bad for eye candy!

  31. Springsteen fan

    If it makes you feel better, here’s my all-purpose Make You Feel Better Than Me story in a nutshell. You could have just lost your great-grandmother’s diamond ring in a stall in a rest stop on the NJ Turnpike. AFTER you had words w/the nasty “matron” who proudly locked 5 of the 10 available stalls from my little girl who had to go badly. I’m sure she is just holding on to it for a few weeks because she’s really going to turn it into the lost and found eventually, right? Right? Sigh. Mercury, Retrograde, yeah, that’s it. At least it’s not a Holocaust ring like in “The Hangover,” but he did eventually get that back.

  32. Nelson's Mama

    Sorry for the sucky weekend!

    Would love mail you some “local product” to help soothe your wounds – but the USPS frowns on that.

  33. Sheila

    Ugh. That’s all I’ve got. Just ugh.

  34. Heather

    Eeeep! That sucks, hon. Sorry.
    I just read this:
    And so I am somewhat compelled to remind you to be grateful that you have a roof … but then I’m, feeling like I want to whine about going to University and trying to park on campus – poor me with my car and opportunity for education!
    We’re all just a bunch of ungrateful bums ;) And OUR problems are just and it’s hard not to feel like they’re overwhelming!

  35. Mare

    This may not seem like a comforting statement, but it can always get worse. You have the intelligence, knowledge, and strength (despite the neck pain) to handle it. The “they”, that nobody likes, says that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’d like to kill they too.

    I was going to put a personal inspirational story here, but you know, you have a solid marriage. You have a strong family. You have good health with temporary discomfort. You have new things that show your success. You have so many blessings that sometimes the Universe has to remind you to be grateful for what you have instead of the problems. Man, I suck at advice.

    How about if I just wish you a speedy, full recovery? Maybe add in some windfall for the roof and floors? Maybe add in a fantastic job opportunity right around the corner? Yeah, that’s better.

  36. Katie in MA

    Oh. NO! I was going to make a funny crack about whether that crazy chick from over at Want Not canned you, but ummm…maybe this isn’t the time?

    You can have all the shingles the wind keeps blowing off my house. I won’t even make you work for them.

  37. Anna

    I’m sorry, Mir. It seems like it must be really, incredibly bad because this is about the worst I’ve “heard” you. Although, that could be colored by my own crap going on.

    But, YAY for Chickadee!

  38. Kate @ And Then I Was a Mom

    Oh, man. This is a spate of bad luck. But! It will get better. And also: If not for all these misfortunes, you might have been hard-pressed to find occasion to use “verily,” “borked,” and “whit” all in one post.

    I remain impressed.

  39. mom, again, again

    My weekend went like this: diet going well. Brother calls. The brother married to the one sister in law, of four, that I love, like and don’t want to ever go away. They are divorcing.

    I drowned my sorrows in M&M’s.

  40. Chuck

    Life sucks sometimes…my mother got suddenly admitted to the hospital this morning and my day has been a whirlwind since then. My sister flew down from Chicago and is staying at the hospital overnight. However, I did discover I can do a quick clean of my place in 30 minutes or less, which I accomplished before going to the airport (thought she was sleeping here originally, although she probably still will stay here tomorrow.) And Mom seems to be doing better so they think it’s nothing serious and they will be able to discharge her in the morning. Still, sometimes life just takes you for a spin in the rinse cycle and you just have to hang on. Good luck with everything, Mir!

  41. Nicki

    Well, crap. Just crap. So sorry. And while I know that it will pass and life will improve once more, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take a minute to wallow in how sucktastic it is at the moment.

    Sending virtual hugs your way so that you can virtually feel better.

  42. Brigitte

    You made me have to run and check my basement, which loves to flood when we have heavy downpours on frozen ground. But, lucky me, I guess it’s not my turn today . . . yet.

    How do you make even disasters funny? You’ve always wanted a koi pond in the living room, right?

  43. Pats

    My dog gets something, don’t know if you’d call it the zoomies. He will be sitting there minding his own business and suddenly acts like someone pinched him. Goes shooting across the room like the hounds of hell are after him. We finally figured out that he does this only when he’s farted. Apparently that frightens him.

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