The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

by Anisha Hopkinson on October 13, 2017

One of my favourite stories of all time is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. If you haven’t read it, you really should! This post is written with thankfulness to Judith Viorst, the author of Alexander’s bad day, who taught me many years ago that, “Some days are like that”.

The Very Bad Day

We lost power last night and it was so hot without the fan I couldn’t sleep. Then my neighbour’s rooster decided to take advantage of the fan-less quiet night and crow under my window till dawn. I definitely couldn’t sleep. This morning my clothes on the line still weren’t dry so I had to wear damp underwear and I could tell it was going to be, as Judith Viorst says, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast my husband ate weet-bix and my son ate coco puffs and I picked the cornflakes and there were ants in my cornflakes. My powdered milk was lumpy even though I used a whisk.

I think I’ll move back to Florida.

On the way to the market my son kicked off his flip flop and it fell into the ditch. I tried to be nice and get it out, but the ditch is a sewer and I couldn’t reach his shoe with a stick and it made me gag. I cried and yelled at him for kicking off his shoe and he cried and yelled at me for being a mean mom.

Before heading out to teach kindergarten co-op I forgot to make coffee and so forgot to bring craft supplies. Instead of an educational activity to finish off the lesson I sent the kids to the playground for 45 minutes because who can remember craft supplies with no coffee?

When I got home I checked e-mail and saw a message from another missionary mom. I’d told her I was tired and it’s hard to parent and home school my son overseas and she said she was pregnant and homeschooling three children when she was overseas. Yeah well that’s nice for you, I thought. And even though Jesus says to love your enemies I hated her for being able to do what I can’t. I’m pretty sure Jesus wasn’t talking about other missionary moms.

I think I’ll move back to Florida.

For lunch I ate tofu and rice for the 186th time in a row. My food was dry so I added hot sauce, but I added too much and it burned my mouth and made my eyes water.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

After lunch we called for an update on our visa renewals and after months of waiting and promises that today would be the day we were told to try again tomorrow.

Yeah well tomorrow I’ll be in Florida.

This afternoon the neighbours threw a party and parked motorcycles in front of our house and blocked the gate. I couldn’t open the gate. I hate the neighbours.

For dinner I ate tofu and rice for the 187th time in a row because the cargo planes are down for maintenance and the shops ran out of flour and chicken.

In the evening the power went out during my shower and I had to stand in the pitch black hoping there was still fuel in the generator so I didn’t have to go to sleep with shampoo in my hair. My husband said there was no fuel so I had to rinse as best I could with the water still in the pipes. I cried in the dark. I hate the dark.

When I went to bed the rooster crowed beneath my window. I really hate that rooster.

It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

But Judith Viorst is right, “Some days are like that.”

Even in Florida.

***
On the very bad days, humour and writing keep me from packing my bags and moving back to Florida. Have you had a very bad day recently? Write your own in the comments and share it with us.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Anisha Hopkinson

Anisha was born to Chilean and Texan parents, first tasted missions in Mexico, fell in love with an Englishman in Africa, and now lives in Indonesia. She journals about cross-cultural life, helping people, and loving Jesus on www.namasayamommy.blogspot.com
  • Elizabeth Trotter

    First I laughed, and then I cried! I laughed first at the title, because we have been having these kinds of days lately, and I even told one of my children who was having a particularly bad day about this book. Then I read your whole post and laughed some more, because it was so cleverly written. But then I cried, because it hit just a little too close to home.

    Bravo Anisha!

  • Nicole Baldonado

    Thank you for making such annoying, frustrating moments in missionary life so comical and relatable! Loved it!

  • Mandy Carpenter

    Love this! Sometimes,you can either laugh or cry for sure, and laughing is so much more fun! 🙂 Especially when I can relate to all too much of this!

  • Erin

    Thank you for writing this! I’ve been having a terrible, horrible, no good two weeks. This post helped me to laugh and find some humor in my own situation. Thank you 🙂

  • MsLorretty

    I am laughing with you and crying with you and wow… you are my missionary mama hero! You should get a gold sticky star AND a cape! Bless it all!

  • Oh the angst life brings. The wonderful thing is how we can look back on these days (that are sure to happen) with humor. Thank you for this post.

  • Cherie Igielski

    I loved this so much! I laughed because it’s SO TRUE. Thank you for sharing.

  • Selena McCoy Carpenter

    Love, love this. Now living in (relative) comfort in Nairobi, but your post brought back many memories of a small village in Haiti. Thanks for the laughter.

  • Jenna Harvey

    This was my favorite book growing up and then my favorite book to share with my kindergarten students in the States. Now living overseas, this post was relatable to the Nth degree. I both laughed and cried. A good reminder that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days exist no matter what corner of the globe you reside.

Previous post:

Next post: