I recently had an unsettling day. No, it was a spectacularly disappointing and embarrassing day.

This day came on top of days and days of bad news about Japan. Heartbreaking news. Unfathomable destruction.

This day came on top of sad news from a friend.

This day. It was the cherry on my shitty, low-fat, froyo sundae.

You’ve had days like these. Do not – I repeat, Do Not – tell me if you haven’t. We won’t be able to be friends anymore and that would lead to another ugly, downward spiral for me. To protect my sanity, please play along. Tell me you understand what it’s like to be up to your eyeballs in disappointing, upsetting, unsettling news.

But life goes on, and so do we. Just how we do it is a mystery.

Oh, wait. I was so impressed with my poetry until I remembered that those are the lyrics to the Empty Nest theme song.*

Apropos words, though, yes?

Life does go on, so we have to figure out how to get back on the train without wanting to throw ourselves from it.

My gifts to you, friends, are some proven strategies for what I like to call the Wallow, Rinse, Repeat, But Don’t Repeat Again Because Your Hair is Not That Dirty and Your Life Is Not That Bad, So Now It’s Time to Get Up and Move On process.

You can employ these individually if you wish, or in any combination and order. I mean, for crying out loud, the last thing you need is one more person telling you that your way is not quite good enough. Am I right? So there are no rules here; merely suggestions.

Bad Day Pants

  • Make your loved ones tolerate the Bad Day Pants. Do not apologize for pairing your pants with a shapeless, over-sized Turkey Trot tee shirt. Or for the way the horizontal stripes make your ass look three times its normal size.
  • Create a list of unreasonable demands and watch your husband scurry to meet your requests. Husbands will do anything to make the tears stop. Here are some suggested demands:
    • A McD’s shamrock shake for dinner, but not from the McD’s close to your house. You just know the manager there is not properly overseeing shake production. Your shamrock shake must come from the less convenient McD’s a few miles down the road.
    • Ask him to watch a Nanny marathon with you. Not just sit there while you watch, but really pay attention. Explain that you need someone with whom to discuss the nuances of the show. That Niles the butler, he is a stitch, isn’t he?
    • Open his search engine to a reflexology tutorial. Put your feet in his lap. Wiggle your toes and sigh heavily until he figures out the amazing mind-body connection located in our feet.
    • (This is also a great time to get him to agree to kitchen and bath remodels. Anything to make the tears stop, remember?)
  • This may seem like a duh, but I can’t highly enough recommend infomercial shopping. A lighted craft paper slicer, complete with 85 different blades, is enough to turn around any bad day.
  • I forgot – you need something to wash down your milkshake. And, uh, the fries. What? You know how milkshakes kind of coat your mouth with sugar? The best remedy is alcohol (another duh, but here comes the advice, stick with me, people). Nobody in your state needs to have delicate stemware in her hand, so drink straight from the vessel. Through a bendy straw.
  • Move from the infomercials to catalogs. You know all those catalogs that show up at your home unbidden, because seven years ago you ordered something from the parent company’s now defunct linen outlet? Those catalogs are chock full of amazing things that you need. I just love the reusable coffee cups that look exactly like disposable, paper coffee cups. Oh, those are so clever.

Finally, when you’ve maxed out the credit card and drained your box of wine, you’ll be ready. Ready to cry on the shoulder (or inbox or phone line) of someone who loves you even when, after six straight hours of crying jags, you resemble Mickey Rourke.

Sob, whine and moan, why, why, why?

Then allow your loved one to build you back up a bit. Wipe the tears. Pull yourself together, and for heaven’s sake take off those pants.

Move on, because you owe it those you love.

You owe it to yourself.

I wonder…

:: What’s your bad day strategy?

*Yet another TV theme song cluttering my brain.