A long time ago I read a short story, in which a young man goes to stay the night at an out of the way inn. The bed in his room is an old-fashioned four-poster with an elaborate canopy. He has a hard time getting to sleep, and as he lies there, half asleep, he starts to think that the room is getting smaller. The ceiling seems to be getting closer and closer. He thinks he is imagining things, until suddenly he comes fully awake with a start to realize that the canopy of the bed really is descending towards him, and he rolls off the bed just in time to escape being suffocated. The canopy isn’t just pretty fabric, as it appears, but a huge piece of wood, heavily padded. The owners of the inn were actually serial killers who lowered it gently during the night, suffocating whoever was sleeping in the bed, in order to steal the traveler’s belongings.
Some days that’s how I feel, like the sky is lowering down on my, like Doom is coming. Most of the time it’s irrational. I know that there’s no rhyme or reason to it. I also know that if I just hold on until tomorrow, likely the Doom feeling will be gone, and things will be alright. Still, it doesn’t make for a very nice day. And today is one of those days. A Doom Day.
It didn’t start out so badly. I actually got up pretty much on time, which was awesome considering that I needed to get up super early to drive out to Xenia to get fitted for the uniforms I’m going to have to wear at my new job. I had it marked in my calendar that the fittings were yesterday and today, and since yesterday was full up with various Christmas at work related things, today was the only day that would work. Only when I got out to Xenia, there were no uniform fitters there. Not a fabric swatch or sample in site. I had never gotten the actual letter about uniform fittings (my boss had just told me that I would need to go and the days), so the other support person and I started searching for a copy of this letter to find out where the fittings actually were happening. We never did find the letter, but from some information my boss had put on her calendar, we discovered that the fittings were actually going on at the new hospital, in Beavercreek. So I grabbed some coffee from the cafeteria, and got back into my car to go to Beavercreek. When I got there, however, the HR trailer was locked, and the lights were out. When I went to inquire in the Administrative trailer next door, they told me that the fittings had been Monday and Tuesday, not Tuesday and Wednesday. So I was completely out of luck. And now late for my other job.
To add insult to injury, later that day I decided to see if the company we’ll be ordering the uniforms from has a website, so maybe I could at least look at the options. I discovered that they did, and that not only are the clothes not thrilling, but they’re really expensive. Over $100 for a polyester blazer. $100 for a skirt. Like that. There are two tops we’re allowed to choose. One costs $39.99, and the other costs $58.99. When I totaled up what it would cost me to buy four tops, two skirts, one blazer, and one pair of pants, it comes to over $600. And this is without the optional cardigan sweater which I anticipate would be the real workhorse of my wardrobe. That would add another $50. Now maybe to some of you these prices don’t seem all that alarming, but when you’ve been shopping at thrift stores, it makes you feel the need for a strong cup of tea and a little lie down. And, yes, we’re expected to buy all this ourselves, though the company plans to pay for them upfront, and then get their money back through payroll deduction. So maybe it won’t be quite so much of an economic blow. Still, that’s more than I’ve spent on clothes in the past three or four years combined, including two bridesmaid dresses.
That wasn’t the end of the Doom either. There was also a long conversation with a dear friend who is in the middle of a situation that’s actively horrible, the kind of thing where no one gets to walk away a winner. Oh, and I happened to spend a little time this morning making a list of all the knitting commissions/obligations I need to finish, and then a list of all the gifts I want to make. I never even got around to the list of things I’d like to someday make for myself, and already the list makes me want to hyperventilate a little every time I look at it. Plus Christmas somehow snuck up on me and is now only a week and a half away. And…