Well, after an emotional Christmas vacation dominated by the declining health and eventual death of my Grandmother, we had one last night in town. My wife and I made dinner for everyone and loaded the dishwasher. Rather than retiring to the living room for more discussion on cancer, aggressive tumors and funerals, I was recruited by my brothers’ girlfriends’ kids for playtime.
We started with ‘Monster’, which involved toy guns, toy chainsaws and wigs. There were teams—although I’m not sure which side I was on because we all seemed to be “killing” each other. Monster was followed by a very organized spy game. Here, each of the two teams hid from one another. Once one found the other, there was more killing with the same arsenal of weapons I mentioned earlier.
After about two hours of hiding, seeking, chasing and killing, everyone started to wind down. I suggested we go see how the adults were doing. They all shook their heads in disagreement. Then, Miles, 5, declared it was time for ‘Opposite Day.’ First, he looked at me and said, “I hate you.” This was followed by “I want to go home.” Soon, we all got into it and Opposite Day was in full swing.
As I struggled to come up with interesting statements that contradicted how I really felt, I began to realize how cool Opposite Day really was. I considered all the negativity I had stored away at that moment—my Grandma’s death, our long drive back to Chicago, the fact that the zipper on my favorite jacket had fallen off—and wondered if I could gain a more positive perspective if I applied Opposite Day rules to some things in my life.
Later that night, after all our goodbyes were said and the truck was partially packed, I set the alarm for 3:30 AM and looked over at my wife. “Tomorrow’s drive is going to suck.” Then, I paused, remembering it was still Opposite Day. “Hey, tomorrow we get to see the sun come up over Iowa.”
The next morning, as we chugged down the empty interstate in our ’92 Dodge, the black sky slowly turned gray, then orange and eventually the sun poked up over the horizon. About 100 miles outside of Des Moines, I decided I might keep this whole Opposite Day thing going for a while. My logic was based on a couple of conclusions. First, I’m far too lucky to justify my pessimistic attitude. Second, forcing myself to consider different perspectives seems like a great way to figure out how I really feel. So, my fellow readers, welcome to Opposite Day. I hope you hate everything I’ve written.