Nicki and the terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day

I had the night sweats again so I woke up with my sheets sticking to me and my foot was asleep and my mouth tasted like I slept with a dead squirrel inside it and Sadie was yelling from her bedroom “Mama! Ma-maaaa! Miiiiilk! I want milk” and as I sat up in my bed I realized my head was pounding and I thought to myself

it’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

As I walked into the bathroom to take a pee I stubbed my toe on Sadie’s stepstool and hopped around on one foot cursing while Sadie stood in the hallway yelling like a drill sergeant for her milk. Most days she is a little ray of morning sunshine but I could tell today was not going to be one of those days.

So we go downstairs and I get her a snack and try to make coffee but I left the creamer on the counter for a whole day and night so now it’s no good and so I put milk in it but I really don’t like it like that but oh well if I don’t have caffeine I might die. But then I’m messing around on Facebook while Sadie watches cartoons and while I’m not paying attention she drinks like half my coffee so now she’s in a bad mood and filled with terrible energy. Meanwhile I have zero energy and I’m looking around at the messy house that I’m constantly meaning to organize and out the windows at the frozen world outside and I realize I give zero fucks about accomplishing anything today because it’s pretty obvious that

it is a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

Now I know this is the point where I could have said attitude is everything and put good energy out there and good things will happen and it’s all about perspective and maybe I could just pray to Jesus but in case you haven’t noticed that’s not really me and sometimes it’s fun to just revel in your own depression so I just wasted time until it was time to get ready for work. And by waste time I mean stalk people I hate on Facebook while avoiding phone calls from people I actually like.

So as usual I didn’t give myself enough time to get ready and the shower water ran cold because my house is old and I’m pretty sure that instead of using shampoo and conditioner I used conditioner twice because my hair felt like an oiled pelt after I dried it. And I had a pimple in my forehead wrinkle which made me muse for a while about how sad it is that I am at an age where I have acne AND wrinkles. And as I was getting dressed I realized I am skinny fat from eating too many baked goods and where is my ass? I guess it’s hibernating for the winter because I can’t find it anywhere so I put on a long tunic and leggings to hide my lack of ass and couldn’t find my favorite necklace and my boots are covered in black snow sludge but fuck it I’m late.

But I had to stop for gas because of course I’m on empty because I have poor planning skills and even though I’m running late I stopped at The Coat Factory to see if I could find a new winter coat because I have a gift card and my parka is ripped up the back and looks very not professional. But even though they are called the fucking Coat Factory all they have are summer dresses, pink and yellow and blue, all hanging there mocking me because it is 7 degrees outside. I finally find one coat that is my size but it is a floor length faux fur with giant golden buttons and I’m sorry but that is just not happening. So I left and went to get a drive-thru burger and fries because I need something to make me happy in this

terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

But of course there is a traffic jam on the expressway because humanity is horrible so I sit there listening to NPR and some awful girl is talking about a support group she started so that incredibly rich young people can get together and talk about how hard it is to be incredibly rich and then the news comes on and they are talking about the NSA and privacy issues and I start thinking about all those google searches I did this week about brony porn and adult babies and I get nervous but not too nervous because I spilled gasoline on my boots and I think I’m kind of high.

So I pull up to work only 10 minutes late and find a spot only 3 blocks away so I go inside and clock in and eat my cold fries and burger with soggy bun. And they bought me a new serrated knife to cut lemon and lime slices with and I’m really excited because my old one was really dull and I was always afraid I’d cut my finger off so I slice a few lemons and it’s like cutting butter and I yell out to my coworker Nick “hey look how sharp my new knife is” and promptly slice my finger open. And it’s one of those little cuts that bleeds like crazy so I go in the kitchen to get a bandaid and the chef tells me we don’t have any bandaids and I’m like we’re a restaurant how do we not have any bandaids? And he’s all well we had a huge box of bandaids but they fell into a vat of oil. So I finally use a tampon from my purse to stanch the blood and after about an hour I realize that no one is coming into the restaurant because it’s a polar vortex and apparently people would rather stay home and eat pizza than venture out for fancy food and drinks. So they let me go home because it’s clear that I am in the midst of a

terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

And it takes forever to get home in the traffic because humanity is horrible and I stop at the grocery store to buy some fish sticks and everyone in the world is at the grocery store because god knows if we get an inch of snow everyone is confined to their homes indefinitely. But finally I get home and my head is still pounding and when I go upstairs to put my PJs on I realize my lousy pug took a shit in my bedroom and I think about beating him but even when you’re having a bad day violence is never the answer. And I don’t have clean PJs because I didn’t finish the laundry so I put on mismatched sweats and go downstairs and cuddle with Sadie who at least is being much nicer now.

And I was going to write a blog post about the time I met a serial killer on Craigslist but I just don’t feel like it and instead I watch Netflix and I marvel that they have literally thousands of options but most of them are stupid like Cupcake Boss and Extreme Treehouses. So I finally watch some documentary about ancient ruins but I’m not really paying attention because Sadie is telling me a long drawn-out story about fish that is more interesting anyway. And Joe is being pretty quiet because he is having a bad day too I think but I don’t ask because I’m having my me time and besides I’m the only one allowed to have a

terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

So finally it’s bedtime and Joe has to cuddle with Sadie until she falls asleep because she’s a daddy’s girl like that and as I’m brushing my teeth I hear a knock at the front door and it’s a man asking if he can borrow a cup of sugar but before I can answer he grabs me and throws me in the back of his stinky van and drives me to this shack in the middle of the woods to be his bitch for ever and ever.

Ok so that last part wasn’t true but I do think about things like that to try and put things into perspective because that would definitely be worse than the day I had. But it doesn’t really work because even though logically I realize my life is better than someone’s who gets raped every day and even though I’m not on death row or a quadriplegic or work in a button factory for a living and all my problems are minor first world problems they’re my problems, dammit, and I can feel sorry for myself if I want to.

So I climb in my big cozy bed and prop up some pillows to rest against and listen to the quiet nighttime sounds of dogs snoring and the furnace clicking on and the wind whistling outside and finally my mind quiets and I feel at peace and read a book until I fall asleep and it is, by far, the absolute best part of this

terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.



  • My days tend to be more like “if you give a mouse a cookie”
    By the way, night sweats, zits and wrinkles together? Early menopause, or menta-lpause as my husband likes to say?

  • Hi Nikki, I discovered your blog when that Bearded Hipster column came my way. BTW I’m a logger with a big mountain beard down Jackson County way, thanks for smacking those little frauds around, ;-). I have days like the one you wrote of here too, generally the next one is better. Generally.

  • I read this on my phone the other day and couldn’t comment because it left me curled up in a fetal position on the bathroom floor. Every once in a while I’d try to unlock my phone but the passcode was just too much. I know these days, minus the child, unless you count me as both the adult and the child.

    PS I loved this Alexander No Good Very Bad Day book when I was a kid. I think it shaped my entire perspective on life.

  • Nicki,
    Reading about your bad day actually makes me feel better about my own trials and tribulations.
    Ironic, isn’t it?
    At least writing is cathartic and while the end result isn’t as satisfying as having Joe throw you around your bedroom like a naked piñata, at least you’ve made me smile before I embark upon what is sure to be a hellish Sunday morning check-out blitz. That’s gotta count for something, right?

    Oh well, there’s always a tomorrow, Nicki.
    Be well and next time , go for the naked piñata thing. Works every time.
    The Hook.

  • Ahhhh the horrible day. There are days when you’re having a horrible day and you need/want someone to come along and lift you out of it. Then there are the days that are horrible and you just say oh yeah? Let’s just see how terrible this day can REALLY get. C’mon! Gimme your worst and woe betide the silly person who tries to cheer me up or remind me it’s a first-world problem cause I’m in a shitty mood, having a shitty day, and I’m revelling in it!!

    I think at this point we avid readers need to challenge you. You write too damn well and everything is awesome. I say you need a challenge … may I suggest your next post be about .. I dunno.. battery shopping, or light bulb replacement 😛

    • Mine is pretty mundane too. If you actually examine the facts of my story, I laid around all day and went to work for an hour or two, then laid around some more. Tough life.

  • It’s was a an awesome, rambling very funny, very good blog post, and some times I think bad days happen to create great things like your story.

  • Sorry you had a bad day and hope the next one is/was better! My son can’t talk yet so instead, on his less than shiny days, he just screams. And scream. And screams. Glass-breaking, piercing screams. Until I almost lose my mind.

    • Oh, that’s the worst. Sadie was never colicky. But now that she talks she sure has a lot to say. Most of the time it’s hysterical. But sometimes she’s just plain mean. Apples and trees, right?

  • Nicki, breathe and watch this every time you feel the on-set of bad days’s grip coming to get ya –
    I didn’t make that video but I just love it. It reminds me that it is just a bad and we all have them. No point letting it become a bad week, or month, or worse, a bad life. Breathe, let go.
    If that doesn’t work, break open a beer and chill 😉

    • Thanks, Shirley! That’s awesome. I’ve recently started doing Nadia Sodhana (alternate nostril breathing) when I’m in the car because I have terrible road rage. Of course, I forget to do it when I need it most. Baby steps.

      • Baby steps, indeed! I have terrible road rage too – every time I get in and out of the car, I have this “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” thing going on. Will look into Nadia Sodhana breathing technique. Thanks so much, Nicki! 🙂

  • Yeah those days suck the only difference is at the end of my terrible horrible no good very bad days i don’t get to lay down and go to sleep i have four boys and one of them is yelling for something around the clock i hope tomorrow is better for you

  • What is up with stores displaying Spring clothing already when it’s negative 50 out!??? I went into TJMaxx today to get a sweater but I was blinded by the invasion of pastel easter colors hanging on the racks. WTF? 🙂

    • It is super fucked. Like last AUGUST when I went to buy a bathing suit and couldn’t find one because the stores were filled with sweaters….

      Seriously, who is so organized that they buy their wardrobes months in advance?

      • There are no winter boots or coats to be found in So MD, despite it being 7 fucking degrees outside with random snow (causes widespread panic) and negative wind chills. The fuck, Target? What’s with the bikinis already?? It’s not EVEN FEBRUARY YET.

        I just wanted a pair of boots so I could walk outside without slipping and busting my ass. None to be found, not even on the internets.

        I ordered the puggle a coat, so she’d stop mournfully freezing at me every time we go outside, paid overnight shipping for it, and when it got here today? It would fit on a motherfucking horse. It dwarfed her. Auugh!

        I may be having my very own horrible bad day over here, come to think of it.

  • This is not a blog post. It’s a short story. And it’s delightful. Bad days make for great writing, apparently. (But hope tomorrow is kinder…)

    • Bad days make for better writing than good ones. I have difficulty articulating happiness.

      Today was good. See, that’s all I got.

  • I officially love you and your grumpy ass post. Just sayin’. P.s. I also loved that book growing up!! Keep your chin up, spring will be here before you know it.

    • You’re so sweet. I’m glad my grumpiness didn’t grouch you out.

      Will spring be here before I know it? I’ll wait and see what the groundhog says.

  • Yeah, sometimes those days just get to you, eh. I find that 3 coffees one after the other take the edge off a bit.
    And those cut fingers bleed like fuck, that’s true. Hope you didn’t bleed out too much!

    • I try not to over-energize myself when I’m feeling evil because I might be motivated enough to do something about it.

      That cut bled for hours. I’m bad with knives.

  • Ha! I’ve got a few people on my Facebook feed that I actively root against. Glad to know I’m not the only petty and vindictive one out there.

  • Shit – we just had the same day. I’m posting mine right now.
    Only mine was a whole week. And not at all as well written.

  • You’re cool because you’re angry. Great writing in this post, I loved it. My day was worse, almost 40 hours up straight in the office, and hallucinating by the end… actually, that part was okay.

  • You think your day sucked? I read some sick post about a bunch of heterosexual men who collect My Little Pony dolls. What the fuck?

  • So glad that guy at the door didn’t kidnap you because if I don’t get to read that Craigslist story I will have a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day — no matter which day you don’t post it on.

    I’m not sure if my meaning came across precisely. I mean that I’m glad you’re not dead or holding up today’s newspaper to show us all that you are alive at least for today.

    I myself am having a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day. So thanks for making me laugh. With you, of course.

  • I am glad I took my ativan before reading that.

    I ruined a pair of gloves trying to get gas on the way home last night. Because 10 degrees in the dark is much more fun than it would have been getting gas in the light…and still 10 degrees.

    • Ativan makes me feel like I’m underwater. Not in a good way.

      I have ruined 3 pairs of gloves this winter. Spring can’t come soon enough.

  • This sounds like one of those days where you need to wear your big ass sword across your back. Ya’ know, just in case someone didn’t get the memo: “‘STAY OUTTA MY WAY!” Might help with the lemons too.

  • Wasting time stalking people I hate on Facebook and ignoring calls from people I like . . . hey that sounds a bit like my routine. Except I was reading Seventeen magazine online late last night for my post which is why I’m barely awake right now. I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but my eldest used to scream “JUUUUUUUUUUUUICE!” constantly. Now the kids are thirteen and nine, and I have to drag them out of bed, and half the time they drag me into bed and then it is really, really hard to go to work. And just taking them to school through morning traffic can make a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day before I even get to work.

    I love that book, by the way.

    • I loved that book too! Alexander was such a crabby little shit.

      Sadie turns 3 in a few weeks. She is an only child, so she has a bit of a God complex.

      • Ha! Oh, yeah, I get the God complex. My eldest was four before her little sister came (swear I was using the b.c.) and has always been a bit of a princess, except without the pink and frills. I love her name too! That’s cute, and actually a real name as opposed to Lyndzzie or Hashtag.

  • you owe me a xanax. That freaking blog post gave me an anxiety attack just trying to read it with all of its runonsentences and jesus h christ I didn’t have time to take a fuckin breath but i did laugh at your pug shitting in your room because my dog once shit in my bed with me sleeping in it and it woke me up but not my husband because apparently he can handle the smell of shit while he’s sleeping and I can not and that was a terrible horrible no good very bad day. =)

    • I know I don’t usually use run on sentences when I write but I was trying to echo the style of the original children’s book and also show the sort of anxiety of my mental state and the lack of organizational skills of any kind and I’m sorry your dog shit in your bed that sounds awful and I don’t take Xanax but I would send you some pot but I might get in trouble and that would be

      A terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

      • I have more than one run-on sentence post, because that’s how my brain works. And I’m an English major. You want awful, wait until Sadie is in school. Dropping kids off at school is THE HORROR. Stupid parents everywhere. With cars.

  • That made me tired. And cranky. And I’m glad I don’t have to go out with people. You deserved a nice long good sleep after your terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day.

  • I don’t want to freak you out or sound really stalkerish and creepy but…I fucking love you. And this week I also experienced the horror that is a pimple IN a motherfucking wrinkle. Unbelievable.

    • I know, right? How is that even possible? And you don’t sound stalker at all! Who wouldn’t want compliments after a day like that?

  • The only thing that could have made that day worse is Legos. Or that is, the act of stepping on them. And First World problems aside, we’re all entitled to just feel like shit sometimes. We’re entitled to shitty days, whether we want them or not, and we’re entitled to complain about them. The entitlement comes along with being a mom. It’s a perk, really. Keep your head up and don’t let anyone borrow sugar. If anything, you’ll be contributing to their terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

    • Stepping on Legos is the worst. Except for stepping in pug shit. Or Sadie shit. Wow. I step in a lot of not awesome stuff.

      Thanks for your nice words.

      • Or stepping on the trail of shit left by your kid when they step in shit and don’t realize it…There should be a new baby book written. Oh the Things You Will Step In, Step On, and Step Around.

  • I’m exhausted and pissy just reading about your terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day. Hey, we all have ’em, right? Lucky you, I bet you get to hear about other peoples’ terrible, horrible, no good very bad days at work quite a bit as well.

  • What time did your sweet princess rouse you? Someone should have sat you down prior to your pregnancy and had a little talk about what to expect. Mine are older than yours but I’m not going to say ANYTHING because I don’t want to spoil any of the SURPRISES in store for you. Hint: You’re going to look back on that stubbed toe with fond longing.

    One morning, right after I got out of bed, I grabbed a bottle of what I thought were eye drops but was, in fact, ear drops. It burned like molten lava resting on my cornea. It woke my ass up, that’s for sure. The bottles are the exact same shape.

    This is the second knife-slicing post I read today. An epidemic. I hope you didn’t bleed on the lemons. And I hope you’re okay.

    Nice almost O. Henry ending.

    • I didn’t bleed on the lemons but I noticed later that I did leave blood smears all over the groceries when I put them away.

      Why would I look back on a stubbed toe with longing?

      • Because she is going to break your heart and that really smarts. Your going to look back and think, “Remember the good old days when all she could instigate was a stubbed toe?” I took my 12-Year Old to basketball this morning. She’s not very good and she knows it. She’s a bench warmer. You could see the hurt in her face. It crushes my spirit when I see it. I’d trade that for seven days of stubbed toes.

        • Well, why play basketball then if it doesn’t make her feel good about herself? Surely there’s something else she could do. I’m saying this just because my dad pushed me hard into sports and I wasn’t very athletic, small for my age, and clumsy to boot. Now he says he wishes he didn’t do that and that they should have let me do my ballet and acting classes like I wanted.

          • I’m torn because she wants to do it and wants to get better but at what cost? And what if she improves? Wouldn’t that be an excellent lesson in perseverance? I don’t want her thinking she should bail out on something if she it doesn’t come naturally and requires some work. But I don’t want her crushed, either. It’s hard to know what to do. I’m not the World’s Finest Parent. I’m flying without a manual.

            • Dude, I feel you. Please know I wasn’t criticizing, just giving a little perspective from my own personal history. If she wants to do it, let her keep at it. Just make sure she’s not doing it to please you. My dad didn’t realize I wasn’t enjoying myself until YEARS later.

              • I didn’t take it as a criticism at all. My skin’s a lot thicker than that. The problem with figuring out their motivations is that you don’t sort everything out until it’s too late. And as Bukowski pointed out, there’s nothing worse than too late.

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