I’m Pessimistically Optimistic

Dealing with what the Gods of Fate have in store for me is simply a matter of perspective.

After a sleepless night of cleaning up after a very sick dog (who is fine now), Monday didn't start out well.

Like the early morning downpour.

Sure, the Pessimist would have seen it as a dreary start to the day.
The Optimist in me realized it could have been worse... it could have been snow.

Then when I parked at work, I grabbed my purse, briefcase and lunch: leftover Evil Jungle Noodle Salad from the previous night's birthday celebration. Unfortunately I hadn't realized it had tipped over, drained all its dressing out of the foam container into the plastic bag, and proceeded to pour in a steady stream out a surprisingly large hole onto my lap.

Well, the Pessimist would have freaked out.
The Optimist? She was just thankful she had put on black jeans that day.

After yanking all available Kleenex out of the box to sop up the sticky mess, I headed out of the parkade and across the street to work. Because it was still raining, I decided to take the shorter route to the side door of the hospital. Which, after hurdling many puddles and landing in a few choice mudholes, I discovered was locked due to all the construction (and hence, the mud) outside.

The Pessimist? "Sure! It figures!"
The Optimist? "Well, at least the rain will clean my salad-dressing-soaked pants."

Once I slopped through the storm around to the far entrance, I made it up to my office, where I found a fish in my aquarium had passed. Oh, I had expected it; it was not doing well last week...

But the Pessimist would have seen it as just one more bad omen.
The Optimist? She had a hard time with this one. At least the poor thing wasn't suffering anymore.

What else could go wrong?

Well, at 10:30 I was tricked into going to the Conference Room where all the office staff had gathered to sing me Happy Birthday, give me flowers, a great big hilarious card and a huge cake.

The Pessimist would have said "Who wants chocolate cake at 10:30 in the morning?"

And after the day she had endured so far, the teary-eyed Optimist screamed "I DO!"

29 People would rather be commenting:

Swubird said...


What an hilarious story. Some days are just like that, and we all have them. The problem is that we never know when we're going to have them.

One time a long time ago I had to give a presentation before a large governmental body. It was important. I donned my best suit, white shirt, power tie, shaved, combed my hair and took off for the meeting. A few minutes before my talk I had poured myself a cup of coffee and stepped outside onto a small patio to think. Meanwhile, someone closed the patio door. Then, as I absent mindfully walked back into the building I crashed into the door and spilled the coffee all over myself. Five minutes until speech time - I was toast! We all have those days.

Great post. Have a very nice day, and remember...

Happy trails.

AshPup said...

There's nothing like cake at breakfast time to turn a bad day around. I hope the day picked up post-chocolate injection!

PG said...

yay for glass half fullness!

Tara R. said...

Happy, happy Birthday! I just had one myself on Saturday. I hope you got corner piece of cake, with lots of flower-shaped icing.

Bruce Johnson said...

Pessimists are frowning in their coffin, Optimists are laughing at the frowning corpse at the wake. Optomists live longer, it has been proven.

Happy Birthday....binge on the cake!

Babs (Beetle) said...

I'd say the optimist won then :O)

What a start to the day though. I think the salad dressing all down my jeans would test anybody's optimism!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

My wife and I are members of the Optimists Club here in St. Cloud. It's an organization that raises money for youth programs. So we know all about being optimistic! We also know that chocolate cake is welcome ANY time of the day!

Happy Birthday Maureen... hope you had a GREAT day!

MYM said...


omg..that's weird because I always say I'm a "pessimist/optimist" but I like the way you say it better! ahaha!

Our half empty glasses are half full, obviously.

MYM said...


clicked enter too soon.

Carol said...

Happy Birthday to the P. and the O.! Neither one of whom, despite it all, got P.O.'d!

I think I'll go have some cake.

Anonymous said...

This post sure was was funny - in a nerdy sort of way !

Dare a pessimist say no to chocolate cake ? Can that be ?!

Cupcake Blonde said...

Never say no to chocolate cake! It solves all ails and you needed it today. Those flowers by the way are gorgeous and would have brightened my day as well!

Pandora Wilde said...

Happy Birthday!! I just had one myself the end of September.

Sorry I couldn't get you any Depp loveliness--but the Optimist can say that means I didn't get any for myself either, right? I wound up up to my ass in alligators the last few weeks and I'm still shaking off the last few little alligatorets (? is it even a word?) from the legs of my favorite sweat pants.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes - I know those days too! I laughed and cringed at the salad story! LOL!

Chocolate cake = good!!! Always good. Always. ;)

Let me know if you want me to tell you how to euthanise a fish painlessly and humanely, should you need it for the future. Something I've had to do, sadly.

Anonymous said...

A very optimistic birthday to you! Have a half-full glass of champagne and some of that lovely birthday salad.

Irene said...

Maureen, be an optimist if you wish, but be a careful optimist so your luck doesn't run out. Handle your salads more gently in the future, because the thought of you walking around with salad dressing on your pants is giving me the shivers.

How awful, did it have a lot of oil in it? Oh, yuck, I'm sitting here with my legs tightly crossed in total disgust. I think spilling liquid food on yourself is just about the worst thing that can happen of small things that can go wrong. Wet, sticky, liquidy, yuck...

How was the chocolate cake, was it great? I love anything made with chocolate. The more, the better.

Maureen said...

Swubird: Oh, gad... now I have to worry about coffee before my presentation too. Thanks for the heads up. Yikes!

Ashley: It certainly did; the sugar rush really kicks in quick when you haven't eaten anything else yet.

PG: Absoposolutely.

Tara: I DID get the end! The part with all the chocolate shavings... mmmm. Happy Belated Birthday to you too!

Bruce: HA! Yes, I must say I am an Optimist, sometimes TOO much of one, that is.

Babs: Yes, that wasn't pretty. I was literally sitting in the car swearing. I couldn't believe the stream of liquid! It was like a movie or something... geesh.

Jeff: Oh, I am not surprised at all that Charli and you are Optimists... you are good people. As for the birthday, yes, it was better than Monday, that's for sure!

Drowsey: Well said. I try to always look on the bright side. Sometimes it's harder than others, but I try. And thanks!

Carol: LOL... PO'd. Well, I WAS PO'd when the salad spilled and my fish died.

Jaffer: It's funny. There are a few in the office that complain we should have these things in the afternoon; but it's hard to round everyone up then. But do they pass on cake in the morning? Um, NO!

Vegas Princess: Oh, I never say no to chocoloate, unless it's white chocolate, which isn't really chocolate anyway. The flowers were awesome!

Pand0ra Wilde: Aw, thanks for remembering my Johnny OCD. Alligators? Alligatorets??? Holy crap. I need to go visit your blog for the full story... that just sounds creepy!!!!

Jay: Well, luckily, the poor thing was already gone when I got in. I have four aquariums; I hate it when I see them getting sick and there is nothing I can do. Does your method involve a flush?

Be.Bart: Ooh, champagne and salad. Now THAT sounds almost as good as chocolate!

Irene: I shall be more careful in the future, that's for sure. The salad had everything from chicken, noodles, avacados, mango, nuts, sprouts, etc. in it so the dressing was likewise sweet and sticky. Gah. The cake, on the otherhand, was lovely. Chocolately and covered with chocolate shavings. Mmmmmm. ;)

JoJo said...

Great stuff!!! And a happy birthday to you too!!!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...


You never cease to amaze me with your creativity..and how similar your days can be to mine.

Happy belated birthday to you and I hope you had lots of chocolate cake to wash down that bitter beginning of a day.

Day Dreamer said...

I'm late!

Happy Birthday!!


Janet said...

Awwww...how sweet! Your no-good-very-bad-day turned out ok after all!

Hmmm...this is not the first post I've read on your blog about food spilled in your lap at work. Recurring theme? :-)

Maureen said...

JoJo: Thank you! Even with the downs, the ups more than made up for a very nice BDay.

Johnny's Mommy: Aw, thank you. And my condolences that your days are similar to mine! ;)

Day Dreamer: Never too late for some cheer! Thank you!

Janet: I am expanding my repetoire; this time I spilled on my lap IN THE CAR. (Wow, that even rhymed!)

Sarah Coggins said...

What a day! And that was only to 10:30? I hope it made an abrupt turn toward the better after the yummy cake and pretty flowers. :)

Ed & Jeanne said...

Funny story. I'll bet the pessimest reached up and dumped the cake right into your lap again...just for fun.

dlyn said...

My first stop on your blog I think - great story and Happy Birthday!

JD at I Do Things said...

Oh, boy. The Optimist had a tough day, didn't she? At least she got some chocolate cake. Favorite line: "Well, at least the rain will clean my salad-dressing-soaked pants."

How often do you get to say that?

JD at I Do Things

JoJo said...

I left you an award on my blog, under today's post.

Kathy said...

Aw, Maureen! What a nice way to end an oh so crappy day. I'm a firm believer in The Power of Cake. Have you considered wearing a full-body bib in the future? Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

"Jay: Well, luckily, the poor thing was already gone when I got in. I have four aquariums; I hate it when I see them getting sick and there is nothing I can do. Does your method involve a flush?"

No, it involves oil of cloves and a smallish tub of water. The oil of cloves acts like an anaesthetic and sends the fish peacefully to sleep. I have had to do this and can tell you from experience that the fish shows no signs of stress at all, but just drifts off. If you want to be absolutely sure they're dead before flushing, you can then pop them in a freezer bag and freeze them solid while they're asleep. But they do need to be well asleep before you do that.

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