Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Falling Apart and Picking Up Again; or, The Redemptive Power of Books and Carbs

Some days are just meant to be spent in bed.

This morning was bad. A big rush in the morning to get all my 'chores' done before 9 am when the delivery window started for the new fridge (our fridge was breaking down). I half-assed my way through the morning and then sat around at home for two hours while the delivery people did not come. Finally they came at 11:30; I was not pleased.

Then, the new fridge is somehow much smaller on the inside than the last one. This is extremely upsetting, since we barely have any groceries right now and they're literally crammed in there. Plus, I had to immediately run out to get an extension cord because there are no f-ing three-prong outlets in the kitchen (the old fridge was so old it didn't have a grounded plug!). So that was extremely annoying.

Once I realized how very smaller the fridge was, I just sort of fell apart. I really love our new apartment but so many things were left undone or sort of badly done before we've moved in, and I've put in considerable effort making things 'right' and this was just the last straw. I was so angry that I actually threw down the cord to the fridge and slammed the door as I went out to the steps to have a good cry. (flair for the dramatic? Who, me?)

I called the landlady and left a message, and then Terri saw how upset I was and ALSO called her. She called us back and is, I guess, going to come see the fridge and we'll see what can be done. (edited to add: I just talked to her; we are going to have a different fridge. In fact, I will go with her to pick it out. Thanks again, Universe. And to Terri, for watching out for me)

In the meantime, I was so upset and had no books that I wanted to read, so I took myself to the library.

Which was closed, until January 2nd.

That was it. Driving through Oakland on a blindingly sunny day, crying like a little child (cry, cry, stop, sniffle, then start crying all over again), I found my way to Dark Carnival, a local wonderful science fiction/fantasy bookstore. I asked the guy at the desk for two recommendations. Looking him in the eye, I said, "I would like two books. One that is scary. -- (pause) -- No really, I mean very scary. And the other, something sort of Charles de Lint-y."

The rumpled, taciturn man led me without a word to some random section and handed me two books. In The Woods and The Land of Laughs. They both sound excellent. I bought them. (I hate buying new books because I read them so quickly but hey, sometimes it's gotta be done)

Then I went next door to fancy grocery and bought some new tea (I am a tea addict) and some amazing crusty olive bread.

I had to munch some olive bread on the way home. Instantly, miraculously, my mood lifted.

Funny how new books and carbs can do that for you.

Anyway. So now I'm home, my cheeks burning from crying all morning, but I have a belly full of tea and bread and two new books that sound amazing just waiting to be opened. I think I will start one of them Right Now. As Neil Gaiman said (on the back cover of Land Of Laughs), "...for anyone who has ever believed that a favorite book could be a safe place to go when things get hard."

Now that could be my life motto, right there.


Anonymous said...

So happy you were able to turn around a cruddy day!



Eva said...

*hugs* I hate days like that-I'm so glad you bought yourself a couple new books to cheer yourself up. :)

Tammie said...

ok..i've been lurking over your blog for a few weeks and i must say how much i love it. i've liked all your moving related posts and i love all the book stuff. i never felt motivated to comment though until just now.

three years ago my husband and i bought our house--a fixer upper in the STRONGEST possible sense of the term. three days after closing (which was also christmas eve) our fridge died. this was the first of many moments when i just lost it. the house was a mess and we had so much work as it was....i went into my crappy bathroom and slammed a can of hairspray against the wall so hard that it made a hole.

i know what you're going through and i feel your pain.

the following year, my gas stove died two days before thanksgiving when i had a pumpkin pie in the oven. sigh. whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

i'm really f-ing strong.

take deep breaths. enjoy your tea.
it will get better. and if it doesnt, just know you aren't alone. ;)

p.s. im adding The Terror to my to-read list.

stefanie said...

Sorry your day began so badly. I am glad that it turned around and I am looking forward to hearing about your books. I've gotten some great recommendations from Dark Carnival off their website. You are so lucky to be able to go there in person!

Shea said...

Hi you. Um. Yeah. I can imagine the whoooooole thing. xo, me

Daphne said...

Lara: Thanks! It was a cruddy day.

Eva: The books definitely helped. I am loving In The Woods right now.

Tammie: That's an excellent story. I'm really f-ing strong now too. I'm so glad you are reading! It helps to know that. And you should totally read The Terror.

Stefanie: It's a dangerous store. I could spend a LOT of time and money in there. If you're ever in the area, let me know and we'll do a book trip!

Shea: Totally. I know you can!