Last week, I had one of those kinds of days that was just rotten in every way. I started the days feeling cranky and irritated from insomnia. In spite of being tired, however, I went to the gym as usual, because going to the gym usually puts me in a better mood – sleep or no sleep. However a series of things transpired that morning at the gym that left me not just cranky and irritated, but sore to boot.

Feeling exceedingly irritated already, at the early hour of 9:30 am, I then went home to find a nasty and offensive email in my inbox from a ~ how shall I say? ~ business acquaintance, which soured my mood even more.

The day pretty much just spiraled downhill from there, because after I got home and showered, I had to go to the grocery store. It could be put off no longer.

Words cannot express the degree to which I loathe the grocery store. (Unless it is Whole Foods, which really, is more of a pleasure cruise than true grocery shopping.) I hate the whole process of grocery shopping, from the shopping to the check out, to the unloading on the other end. All of it. Painful.

Wanting to be done with the process as quickly as I could, I blindly chose the shortest line I could find, and began unloading my (extremely full) cart onto the conveyor belt, carefully grouping like items together (such as boxed and/or canned goods), and strategically placing all the frozen foods at the complete opposite end from my produce (remaining ever hopeful that one day, grocery baggers everywhere will realize these two categories are not intended to be bag-mates). This is how I roll at the grocery store; don’t judge me.

Then, just as I was pulling the last few items from my cart, I looked down the lane I was in and realized with horror the colossal mistake I had just made. In my haste, I ended up in the checkout aisle with the grocery bagger who is arguably the slowest, most incompetent bagger in the history of all grocery baggers who have ever existed, everywhere. I wanted to weep.

I watched as my efforts at organizing my items went to naught….as he stood there, just staring at all my goods as they piled up into one big jumbled heap before him. He touched his chin a couple of times as he muttered “let’s see now, let’s see….”  as he tried to assess what to put where. Gah! All the pieces to this grocery store puzzle had been nicely laid out for him, in a concise and logical fashion, but now, the pieces were all a mixed up mess. I watched as he fumbled with my bags (I bring my own), and felt the need to comment ~ slowly! ~ on each one’s color, shape and size.

I fought hard to tamp down the frustration that was bubbling up inside me. I looked on with angst, as he placed my one, lone jicama in a plastic store bag all by itself, when it easily could have fit in ANY of the other bags I had brought, especially the GIANT, blue IKEA one that ultimately went completely unused, as he somehow managed to bury it underneath two of my other bags, and subsequently, all the remaining plastic store bags he felt the need to use. It was maddening. But, when I saw him place my delicate, painstakingly selected, ripe-but-not-over-ripe avocado on top of a bag of frozen green beans, I more or less lost my will to live.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I started just cramming all my goods into any available space I could find, just so I could get the hell out of there. There was no longer any point in trying to put like with like anymore; all hope was lost by now, as was my patience.

At about 4 o’clock that day, I was ready to put on my pajamas and call it a day.

Fortunately I had not yet done so, however, because right about that same time, my doorbell rang. And when I opened the door, there stood my friend Mary, holding up a tin of 23 different kinds of homemade cookies that she herself had made. Her annual cookie delivery is one of the holiday traditions I most look forward to every year, and her timing this year could not have been more spot on.

She probably doesn’t know it, because I haven’t had a chance to talk to her much since the day she dropped by, but those cookies were the absolute highlight of that day. And I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure that the cookie delivery was about a week early this year, making it’s timing rather uncanny. It’s funny how the universe operates sometimes, no?