You’ve all heard this expression. Maybe you’ve actually used it yourself once or twice. You know what’s interesting about it though? We say it when mostly meaningless and harmless things happen to us. You stub your toe twice in a day and after the second time you say ‘boy, that’s the kinda shit that ruins my day.’ Or maybe you say it when you get 12 red lights in a row. We never it say when it really means something. We never smash ourselves in the crotch and say ‘that’s going to ruin my day’. Even though it seems to fall into the former category of non-serious issues, that’s a somewhat realistic case where it would apply. We never hear of people getting seriously injured– or if we are seriously injured– or of our loved ones confirming that we are, in fact, completely worthless and respond by saying, ‘yep, that’s the kinda shit that ruins my day’.
Earlier today I was downtown in Santa Cruz and walked past two of the good-for-nothing street kids who wear Bob Marley t-shirts and wait for handouts or make snide comments to people with jobs. One was sitting on a bench and the other was standing facing him at his side. The one sitting bent over and tried putting out his cigarette on the leg of the bench, but just enough so that he could fire up the rest later. Apparently, too much tobacco fell out of the cigarette, rendering it garbage. He said, looking at the wasted butt, ‘man, that’s the kinda shit that ruins my day.’ I thought, ‘really? not having half a cigarette ruins your day? How lucky you must be!’ It was astounding for him to say that. I thought, ‘so, not having anywhere to live doesn’t ruin your day? Not knowing where your next meal is going to come from doesn’t ruin your day? Having no future in your current lifestyle doesn’t ruin your day?’
The only thing in his case that could ruin his day I would imagine would be for someone to give him money. Not because he didn’t earn it, but because of what could potentially happen to him depending on how he spent it. Let’s say he bought some of the cheap, pure Mexican heroin that is so popular in Santa Cruz. But let’s say that he got a batch that was too pure for him and he overdosed on it. That, my friends, would surely be something to ruin his day.