Days of wine and ratty panties

This will definitely be TMI, but I just realized that I’m wearing perhaps the oldest pair of panties in my collection. For a pretty decent reason, one that I’m about to share.

My job is trying to kill me, slowly but surely. I would go all Norma Rae on it, but I’m not as cute as Sally Field. (My mom was; she looked like Sally Field, and my dad looks like Tom Hanks, but I digress.)

I got up this morning feeling sickish, and didn’t go to Job 1, opting to work from home, which is actually OK for Job 1 because I get a whole lot done while there. So I got up, slowly drank coffee and came alive and sat down and wrote a blog for Job 1’s website. It was actually pretty good, considering I felt like squid were attacking my guts with powerful, strangling appendages.

I was starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, I’d make it through this day, despite dropping everything I touched. I have this type of day once a week, and sometimes I just lose my shit and start yelling at my pets, then apologizing profusely, or sometimes, like I tried to do today, I talk myself down. I was proud to have that moment of Zen take over.

I even used my rainbow coffee cup of gladness, but that’s another story. I might be OCD enough to have certain coffee cups for certain days and/or moods. I might believe that said cup will bring me good fortune. I might be crazy.

So then my friend Lauren asks me if I want to go to lunch, to which I say “yay!” because a) I love Lauren and b) I love lunch. Just to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself and not have lunch money, I checked my bank balance, moving target that it is. I never have any idea how much money I have. I usually just keep cash in my wallet and hope for the best.

But today, I was also curious if I got my tax refund. So I go to my bank’s website, see that I’ve gotten my tax refund, do a small victory dance, and move about my day. “This day’s gonna turn around,” I say, silently congratulating myself. I kiss Leon on the nose and pat a cat just so they’ll feel my joy.

But then, I look further down the register : My last paycheck from Job 2 — my full-time, in-chargish job, the biggest contributor to my income — is short by about $150. Did I rationally think, “Oh, it’s probably just a screw-up because we had that blizzard where I had to use my paid time off and they accidentally docked me pay”? Of course not. I called payroll, and when they didn’t answer or return an email, it only made me crazier (and more sick to my stomach.)

My mind went into complete conspiracy theory mode. By the time I had to go to work, I was convinced that I’d been demoted and they just hadn’t told me. Or that my wages were being garnished by mafia bosses from a covert deal I made once when I was between being abducted by aliens and getting a root canal.

I could barely concentrate. I was so worked up, I was already deducting the $150 per two-week period that the Mafia Goons were going to be taking out until I retire. “I’ll have to cancel my cable, I guess,” I actually said to myself, outloud. “And I hope I didn’t use ALL that ham that people keep giving me. I’ll need it to live…”

I called my boss, the level-headed Mr. Brown, to tell him I was near a panic attack and accuse  him of turning in an incorrect  time slip when I was snowed in, and asking if they can garnish your wages without telling you first.

He talked to me in a very Don Draper-like tone, dismissing my rant, probably, as something that happens when a woman’s near her “time.” Actually, he was nice, and I felt better. But not completely.

I barely got ready for work. I put on sad clothes: The type that show no care or interest in what I’m doing. I didn’t even judiciously pick out panties. I grabbed the first ones I saw, which I believe were purchased when I was in seventh grade, in 1987. I hope I’m wrong about that. I didn’t put any care or interest into my wardrobe or makeup. I look like a hobo’s slightly better off estranged wife. I think my sweater has a hole in the armpit.

And of course, payroll kept me on tenterhooks all day, calling around 2:30 p.m. to tell me that yes, it was a problem on their end, and they even offered me a cash payout.

That doesn’t change the fact that I’m completely exhausted from my brain’s little trip down hysterical way. Or that I look like complete ass.

Oh well, at least I’ve got that money back. And I get to keep my cable. And I’m trashing these panties when I get home.

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