First, if you have a friend named Angela, a dear friend that you marvel at your good luck for knowing, and she is kind enough to line up a job interview for you through her lofty connections for a job that pays extremely well, try not to throw your back out the day of the interview. If you wake up at 6 AM and it feels like a good, regular, normal kind of day, do not be tricked into casually rolling over like you have done every day for the past 43 years without incident.
And then, when piercing demons of evil pain rip through your lower back like feverish electrical jolts of Satanic cruelty for no apparent reason, on this day of all days, interview day, try not to beg The Husband to drive you to the interview anyway.
“Are you out of your mind?” he might say, in a tone that would be best described as the opposite of calming or supportive, “You’re not going anywhere.”
And then when your unhelpful and selfish husband goes into the kitchen to make your breakfast, suppress the urge to pout and obsess about the situation.
When he returns with your latte and oatmeal and a handful of extra-strength Tylenol, don’t whine about how you will never get the job now because you yourself as a boss would not consider (not for one second) hiring someone who cancels a first job interview, even if their house burnt down. “Do you have the insurance claim paperwork or the newspaper reporter photos showing the fire as it was happening?” you would ask the prospective employee.
“Well, it’s a good thing that most people are nicer than you, because I’ll bet this Donna lady gives you another chance. Go ahead and call her right now and tell her what happened and why you can’t get over there.”
When you call Donna, refrain from mentioning the specific names of chemical substances that you are intimately acquainted with from childbirth and oral surgery, drugs with names like Vicodin and Percocet and Codeine-laced Tylenol. She might not appreciate your conspicuous familiarity with the Narcotic Family like you are familiar with the names of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
When the Voice of Donna is understanding and sympathetic (“The same thing happened to me last year, I totally get it,”) vow to yourself that you will keep her genuine kindness a secret from The Husband so he cannot gloat.
When The Husband walks back in the bedroom and inquires how the phone call went, say in a breezy yet enigmatic tone, “About like expected.”
The Husband, unfortunately, knows you, and knows precisely how to decode such a statement. “Ha! I knew it! You mean like I expected, not like you expected. She let you reschedule!”
When your friend Angela calls later to see how the job interview went, tell her you cancelled it. She will laugh, because she thinks you are joking, what with your twisted sense of humor. Explain the situation to her, and then wait for her to say soothing words of friendship balm, words like, Oh you poor thing and I will tell Donna this is not like you or finally Do you need anything?
When Angela says that last part, the part about “needing anything,” feel your face form a wicked hopped-up-on-painkillers jack-o'-lantern grin, because that is precisely what you were predicting she would say. You needed her to say that. You don’t actually consider it to be taking advantage of your seven-year-friendship to merrily chirp the one thing you really do need.
When she shows up at your house half an hour later with three bright green boxes of her daughter Mai-Lin’s leftover Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies in hand, give her $12 and marvel at your good luck at having a dear friend like Angela.
(“Mom’s On Vicodin”)