Before you get all judgy about the fact that I promised to post everyday and then went and...didn't post yesterday...I have to tell you something important. I didn't post yesterday, because I WAS BUSY HAVING A LIFE! No. Don't take that the wrong way. I'm not trying to imply you don't have a life. What I'm trying to imply is that I don't usually have a life, but that yesterday I DID!
Okay, so here's what happened. On Tuesday afternoon, I finally worked up the courage to ask my jerk-of-a-boss for a day off. I have not have one since the end of May. I've needed one since approximately the first week of June, when he got all buttmuncherish. So, I girded my lions (or something less... vaguely dirty) and asked for Thursday off to go to the State Fair with Sister because it will be $2 Thursday, but only if you get there between 12:00 and 2:00 pm (usual price is $11). Here's how the conversation went:
Me: (hesitantly poking the beast) "Hey, Boss? I have a quick question for you."
Boss: "Quick? I have time; it doesn't have to be quick..."
Me: (incredulous at this display of magnanimity) "Well, the question itself is short, but the time it takes really depends on how long your answer is. So... May I have Thursday off to go the Fair with my sister?"
Boss: "Is [Coworker] going to be here?"
Coworker: "I'll be here."
Boss: "Then yes."
Me: (effervescent with joy, but trying to play it cool) "Wow! Thanks! I really appreciate that!" So cool, right?
Boss: (suddenly shifting into nit-picky voice, but still wearing his magnanimous face) "That was a quick question. I think we need another one. Give me a longer question."
Me: (knowing I will instantly regret this) "Well... I would like to take two days off at the end of September to go to a church retreat. I went last year. Umm... Right after you hired me?"
Boss: (remembering the world revolves around him) "Well, what am I doing at the end of September? Am I even in town?"
Me: (checking his calendar and hoping I don't need to worry about making observations) "You'll be at Big Conference In The Next Town Over."
Boss: "You should go to Big Conference In The Next Town Over, too."
Me: (feeling the conversation slipping from my fingertips)"Umm... I wasn't invited... I don't think anyone in my staff classification is allowed to go..." Seriously? Are you kidding me with this?
Coworker: (supremely unhelpful) Actually, we were invited, but we have to pay for it ourselves. Unless we volunteer to help register people or something... They haven't asked for volunteers yet, though. Thaaaaaanks....
Boss: "Well, then you should volunteer to register people or something... Hey, [Coworker], have we talked about Completely Inane and Entirely Off-Topic Subject yet? Because I think we should." Mouth gaping, I am left at a loss as to whether I get the time off or not as they move onto other things.
So... You know. I got Thursday off, but I may or may not be attending Big Conference In The Next Town Over that has nothing to do with my job and may come out of my paycheck instead of the church conference I'm trying to go to. So... Yeah. That.
Anyway. I still got Thursday off. So Sister and I made all kinds of plans. Wednesday night, after Youth Group (aka Hooligans Anonymous), we were going to go see Crazy Stupid Love at the local movie theater with our free movie passes that we've been trying to use for weeks. We went to the grocery store right before to stock up on cheaper-than-the-movie-theater snacks and smuggle them in with Sister's large bag (yes, we do this often). The grocery store took longer than we thought it would, but we still got there about three minutes before the start time listed on the theater's website. And found out they'd removed the movie the day before and forgot to change the listings, because... Who the hell knows why? The three seventeen-year-old "experts" running the place had no answers.
Angry, we decided to take our enormous amounts of candy and go home to watch something on our own TV. We stopped by Taco Bell on the way home, because... Who the hell knows why? We were hungry, decided candy wasn't enough, and Taco Bell is good angry food, I guess. We pay at the first window. We pull up to the second. The guy leans out the window. Like ridiculously OUT OF THE WINDOW. And then says, "We just ran out of beef. It'll be like.. a half hour or so..." Sister says, "Seriously? Are you kidding me?" The guys shrugs and says, "Sorry." Sister (at that point fed up with ALL customer service in general) grabs her credit card and says, "Then can I a refu---" Dude interrupts her and says, "Nah. Just kidding! Your food'll be out in a sec." Sister gives him what for, because. Well, we all know why, right? Because he's an idiot and could have said "yes" to her "are you kidding me?" but didn't, and also HE GOT BETWEEN US AND OUR TACO BELL. I didn't have to explain this, right?
Properly chastened ("Uhhh... Sorry. That's just something we... do. Like as a joke? Sorry?"), the dude hands us our tacos and we go home, where we proceed to watch several episodes of Grey's Anatomy, stuff ourselves with junk food, and try not to fume about our ruined plans. We stay up until at least one in the morning, since I don't have to work the next day (yay!). I sleep in, which is amazing. We take our time getting ready for the Fair, alternating getting ready activities with episodes of Law & Order SVU and eating leftover candy for breakfast. Best morning ever!
We head to the Fair around noon. I have a free parking pass, but I'm not sure if it's valid. It is! Success! We get to the gate. It is not $2 Thursday. Failure! Apparently that was only last week. The newspaper's website had it wrong. We're beginning to doubt the truth in anything we read online (Which? About time, am I right?). We pay full price, which is not that bad, but still. We shrug it off and head into the Fair.
I love the Fair. We've been going since we moved to this town before I was two years old. I used to love the rides. And the rigged games that lure you in with awesome prizes and flashing lights. Then it was the shops with all the cheap crap that seems cool at the Fair, but what do you do with a four-foot-tall inflatable Scooby-Doo once you get it home? As I grew up, I realized the best part of the Fair is the food.
We pretty much eat our way up and down the paths. Sure, we look at the animals and the farm produce, the crafts and photography. We peruse the artsy shops and watch the street performers. But we really go for the food. Once we've eaten all the favorites (aka made ourselves sick on carbs, grease, and sugar), it's time to go home. This year, that took abut four hours. By the way, we had this whole plan to photograph all the things we ate for me to post and blog about. But we kept forgetting and eating them and then remembering and none of you want to see photos of sad empty paper plates and smudged napkins, right? The first time we forgot, we actually went up to someone who had just ordered what we had already eaten and asked if we could photograph it. They thought we were crazy, but agreed. Then we forgot to photograph anything else, so you get this post instead...
At 5:00 pm, our friend's band was playing a set at one of the venues, so we stopped to see them. They rocked, as usual. We were sitting at one of the sticky, beer-stained picnic tables and Sister pulled out her iPhone, you know, as you do. And noticed that the last Harry Potter was playing at 6:25 pm at a theater about 45 minutes away. That was enough to send us racing to the parking lot to continue ELISE'S DAY OFF EXTRAVAGANZA!
This time, the movie was ACTUALLY playing. We go there with about five minutes to spare. Sister still had a little bit of her candy in her giant bag, which she graciously shared with me. Neither of us needed the extra calories (Fair food smorgasbord, remember?), but we sure enjoyed it! And we enjoyed the movie, too! We're kind of book purists, so I wasn't sure it would ever live up to our imaginations, but it was worth the drive and $10, so take that as you will. I won't say anything else, for those of you waiting to rent it.
After the movie, we realized we were only about 20 minutes form the airport. No, we didn't hop a plane to an exotic location (I wish!). I only had ONE DAY off, remember? But the airport is the only place within 100 miles of our house that serves good frozen yogurt. It's not one of the name brands, but it's kind of like Pinkberry or Cherry on Top. And it's my favorite EVER! So Sister used more of her precious gas to drive us over there, completely the opposite direction from home. Because SHE'S THE BEST SISTER EVER! And we ate our weight in frozen yogurt. Which is exactly what we needed. Because we were starving.*
As if this was not already the perfect day (just to recap: no Jerk Boss or Vindictive Coworker, Sister all to myself, sleeping in, the Fair, lots of food, great band, Harry Potter, candy, and frozen yogurt), Sister detoured on the way home and stopped at BARNES & NOBLE! That's like my favorite store ever. A store full of brand new books and squashy armchairs? Where's bad? I bought two new books with a coupon from Sister and we finally headed home. It was the best end to Elise's Day Off Extravaganza.
You guys, I had no idea how badly I needed a good day. I mean, I've known for two months that I hate my job, that I'm bored and miserable and abused, that I need a change, and that I'm running out of steam. But until I combined all my favorite things on one day, I had no IDEA how long it had been since I had had a good day. Not a non-bad day, where nothing sucky happened. But an actual Good Day, defined by good things happening instead of by an absence of bad things happening. They were all pretty simple things. Okay, so kind of expensive by the end of the day, but still simple. But they reminded me how good my days CAN BE.
So, let's get down to business: the participation portion of this post (I try to pull you guys in when I can. Have you noticed?). I partly wrote this post to tell you all about my awesome day. Not to make you jealous or anything... Of course not... You know, to SHARE my JOY. Gosh. You doubt my motives? Anyway, I also wrote it to encourage you all to take a day for yourself every once in a while. Even if you're not in a bad situation like I am. Even if you think you're already having good days. Sometimes, being intentional about joy, about relationships, about goodness? Sometimes, it's good for the soul. And you doubted my motives... This was all for you! Well, most of it. Okay. A tiny bit of it... But still.
So tell me all about what makes you happy. What is a perfect day? Describe it to me. Have you had one recently? Tell me all about it. Need one as badly as I did? Dream some dreams in the comments. Make plans. Then go do it. You'll thank me later.
Just beware that taking a Thursday off before a three day weekend makes it REALLY hard to come back to work on Friday morning. Also, that much food may make you sick... Just a Fair warning (heh...).
*Please see this as the sarcasm intended and don't tell me about how the average American does not EVEN KNOW what "starvation" is, because... Hello? I was 300 lbs once. I understand that we/I have issues with food and that there are ACTUAL STARVING CHILDREN in the world. We're all clear on that, so don't go on a Social Justice rant in my comments. Mmmkay? Thanks.