Conspiracy Theory

Do you ever have one of those days when you feel the entire universe is conspiring against you? Well, I do. And Tuesday was one of them.

It started out like any other – with me hitting snooze far too many times and then shooting out of bed in a panic when I realized how late it was.

I had gone to bed with every intention of getting an early start. It’s Progress, after all. A time of year when all Evening Sun reporters start exhibiting signs of undue stress and fatigue from the pressure of our looming deadline. Sure that date is still more than a week away, but panic levels have already started to rise. The eyes are a dead giveaway. And, no, I don’t mean the twitch. I’m referring to that hollow, haunted look brought on by sleepless nights, caffeine overdose and copious quantities of self doubt.

So, yes, I went to bed early on Monday night, taking care to set not one, but two alarms. But, alas, it was all for naught. Because I forfeited the precious time I could have gained for the empty promise of a few more moments in the land of nod. That’s right, I fell prey to that evil tempter, the snooze button.

All was not lost, I reminded myself, as I trundled myself off to the shower. I had yet to pull my trump card. You see, I’d actually had the foresight to iron my clothes the night before. Not having to make any important wardrobe decision – or do any ironing – was sure to save an extra 15 minutes or more. Oh yeah.

I was still gloating about that fact 20 minutes later when, having completed my morning ablutions, I moved to the “caffeinating” portion of my routine. Only to be foiled again, this time by the Hot Shot, the antiquated kitchen appliance on which I rely to heat the water for my morning tea. Yes, I’d already purchased a replacement for the aging appliance. In fact, I did so a year ago. But seriously, it waited until that precise moment to breathe its last tired little breath. And yes, 48 hours later, I’m still bitter.

I did get my morning tea, and managed to get dressed without further incident. Until it came to that critical moment when I reached for my shoes. Much to my despair, the pair of brown leather dress shoes with the two-inch heels which were the perfect compliment to my chosen outfit weren’t in my closet. Nor were they in the “mud” room or any of the other places they could conceivably be.

After an increasingly frantic and entirely futile search which once again set back my morning timetable, I gritted my teeth and did the unthinkable.

I asked my mother.

Even as I queried her on the whereabouts of the aforementioned pair of shoes, I knew it was a decision I might live to regret. Her morning routine is, after all, considered sacrosanct, and any interruption could lead to the loss of life or limb. (Now you know where I get it from.)

“Did you check in the back bedroom?” she asked, and none too nicely, I might add.

Why the heck would they be there, I thought to myself. After all, it had been months since I’d had reason to set in the spare room in question, other than to occasionally vacuum.

Yet there they were, along with several other pairs of shoes I hadn’t even realized I was missing, on a shoe tree I’d never seen before. I might have thought it was something straight out of “The Elves and the Shoemaker” if I didn’t know my parents better. You see, they have a habit of relocating things without saying a word. Then they get offended when you ask. If, that is, they don’t deny touching it outright. And boy, make one little remark about the Black Hole of Calcutta, and they’ll bite your head off.

This habit of theirs has become a bone of contention, of late. Ever since my favorite winter hat disappeared about a month ago. I have no doubt I’ll find it someday. Right where either my mother or father parents put it.

Sure, they continue to deny they played any role in its disappearance, but they can’t pull the wool – or, in this case, fleece – over my eyes that easily. I’ll wear them down eventually.

(I should perhaps note a recent development in the Case of the Missing Hat. Yesterday evening, a hat nearly identical in color and style was discovered in the lost and found of a book lending establishment I frequent. Although some feel this automatically vindicates those previously accused with the crime of hat-theft, a thorough investigation into its authenticity will be required before allegations are dropped. It may, after all, be merely a red herring, intended to throw me off the scent.)

But let us return to the topic at hand. Where was I ... oh, yes.

By the time I finally made it out the door Tuesday morning, I knew all hope of getting to work early was gone. And as I gazed at the glowing numerals on my car radio, I realized I actually might be late.

But then I remembered the clock was fast. Somewhere around 30 minutes fast. And suddenly, things didn’t seem so bad anymore. Perhaps it wasn’t the universe conspiring against me after all.

It’s made me give careful consideration to another theory. Once which calls into question that whole “caffeinating” portion of my morning routine.

That, however, is most assuredly not something I’m willing to contemplate too much this time of year. Not with the specter of Progress looming over the ES newsroom. A resolution for another year, perhaps.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunmelissa.

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