I woke up in a bad mood this morning, which isn’t uncommon because waking up invariably leads to leaving bed, which is my favorite place in the world.
When I left my apartment I was prepared to be bitter and unfriendly for, among other reasons, having to wake up, it being Tuesday, it being January, having no money and having to go to work. Then I thought: “Maybe my day will go better if I just force myself to be in a good mood. Maybe it will spread to others, like sunshine, and then everyone will be happy.” So I played “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” on my iPod and walked to the subway.
And you know what? It was actually working. For the entire day, I made pretend I was in a good mood, talking to coworkers, sending cheery emails to people I haven’t spoken to in a while, even calling my mom just to say “What’s up?”
But then I went to the bathroom and as I am washing my hands another guy walks in. He steps up to a urinal and, just as I’m walking out he says, “You know, you could at least flush.”
Immediately I am confused. One, because I did flush. But two, because who in the history of public bathrooms has done this? (Three, because just hearing a grown man stranger say the word “flush” to you is disarming.) I reply, “I did.” He says, “What’s this?” pointing to a urinal full of pee. I say, “I used that one,” pointing to a different, flushed urinal. It is here, with me literally standing accused in a bathroom by a man pointing at a urinal full of pee, that I finally think, “Today probably wasn’t as good as I made it out to be.”
So thanks McGruff, for ruining my good mood. Not just for me, but for everyone. You can be the one to explain to Kathy in accounting why I never replied to her forward about a hug being worth a thousand smiles. Not today, Kathy. Not today . . .