Did you ever have one of those days? Days that make you want to scream, in utter frustration. A day when you can't do anything right and everything goes wrong.
Of course, we all have such. To some of us, these days happens more frequently. It is sort of like having a big black rain cloud over your head that won't go away. Almost like living in Syracuse or Watertown, New York, with lake effect snow, which never ends. I hear about that all the time from my father.
I recently had by 52nd birthday. The day started out all right. I slept late, until 10 am, as I didn't work that day. Had a nice breakfast and was all set to relax when my daughters got up. Melissa only had a piece of fruit for breakfast. Michelle got in one of her moods and had nothing; she went back to her room.
Everything was fine until the two evil forces of girl-dom collided. Melissa went into Michelle's room. Yelling, screaming and fighting ensued.
I was not in the mood for this on my birthday! I told them they were in their own rooms, for the rest of the day. No television, either; possibly no food, but that was a joke.
My wife and I were going out for dinner tonight, so I'm wondering what I do with the girls. Do I ask Grandma and Grandpa to come over and watch them, or leave them to their own devices at home? Do I keep them locked up in their rooms, and just slide some food under their doors?
I let my wife make that decision.
I remember my 21st birthday. I was still living at home with my mother in Plainview, NY, also on Long Island. I was expecting something, anything in the way of a party or some sort of celebration.
Do you know what I got? A box of Dunkin' Donuts, and that's only because another friend of my mother's brought it over! I don't even think I got a birthday present that year.
When I was working at WGLI-AM in Babylon, New York, one of the shows I hosted was New Years Eve 1979 into 1980. I couldn't find a date, one to keep me company. All my friends had real plans. No one wanted to hang out at the station.
A friend of mine from New York Tech, Bruce, came by for visit with his girlfriend, Beth. At midnight, as I'm playing the sound effects and announcing the New Year, I see a reflection in the glass. It's Beth coming up behind me and, nestling her rather substantial chest upon my neck.
Anyone listening heard a loud "ooooooooo" come out of my mouth. If you heard that, you now know what it was. Bruce and Beth left shortly after that and I was again alone.
Here's another example of a bad day. I had tickets to see Stevie Ray Vaughn at the Jones Beach Theatre on August 26, 1990. I couldn't find anyone to go with me, and ended up selling the tickets at the theatre that night. It was his last show, the next day he died in a plane crash.
Let's get even more personal. I was very close to my mother's father, Herman. We had a very special relationship, as I was his first grandchild. When he and my grandmother lived in Brooklyn, New York, we always visited back and forth. When they moved to Florida, we saw them once or twice a year.
In 1994, Herman became very sick with congestive heart failure and was in the hospital when my mother called with the news. How quickly can I come to Florida? I told her that I would try my best. "Please call me from the hospital," I said, "the next time you're there." I could at least talk to him, and worst case, say goodbye.
Mom calls the next day, and starts crying. She put Herman on the phone, who can hardly talk. He starts crying. I manage to get out to him that I loved him, and that I'll miss him. I start crying. My mother gets on the phone, and once again tells me to get to Florida as soon as I can. I call my wife and have her start calling the airlines for flights.
I call one of the bosses and work, and tell him what's going on. I tell him that he has to get someone down to the store now, as I can't stay. I'm distraught, not to be there. I also tell him that tomorrow I will mostly likely have to leave for Florida, and to have someone in the store with me. He agrees; not that he has a choice.
My uncle calls me the next day at work; Grandpa just passed away. This is about 3 pm and I'm booked on an 8 pm flight to Florida.
I'm in a daze the entire time. At the funeral, I broke down. As much as I wanted to speak, about Herman, I couldn't. To this day, thinking about these events brings emotions and tears to the forefront.
One of the worst days ever was when I had to put my first cat, Domino to sleep. She had suffered from cancer for the past few months. Domino had three operations. This time, there was no saving her.
Domino was a cat among cats. She was warm, loving and so friendly. Wherever I was, she was as well. On my lap watching TV, laying in my arms in bed sleeping. She was like a furry little child that required little and gave back lots of love. If you are a pet owner, you know about what I write.
On 12 December 2001, I went to the vet with my mother in law to put Domino to sleep. I could not have done it alone, and Liz was there for support. December 12 is also my wife's birthday, so we can never forget that date.
I brought Domino in the exam room, and laid her down on the table. She looked at me with those big green eyes, and I started to cry, as I am now, into her soft fur. She quickly and quietly passed away. We had her cremated, and her ashes buried in the garden.
Sometimes when I'm alone in the basement, I'll see a black blur out of the corner of my eye. I know it's not Daphne, our current cat. I know it is Domino; she is still here with me.
When you think about some of your worst days ever, always know that others are right there with you. Forget about the global and national issues. I'm talking about personal issues we each endure.
Still, life always gets better.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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