|For every good thing, there's a punishment.
||[Apr. 23rd, 2012|01:26 pm]
Intellectually, I know that having a fairly plain salad for lunch is the right thing to do. After all, my weekend consisted of: Chicken biscuit and fried potato lumps on Saturday morning, burger and fries Saturday afternoon, Chili-Frito pie for dinner and half a bag of artificially flavored butter popcorn as a snack throughout the day. Sunday was Chicken biscuit from another venue, no time to get a real lunch, so a pack of cheese crackers, a Hostess cupcake for lunch and then the rest of the half a bag of popcorn at various points throughout the day. And Trader Joe’s butternut squash risotto for dinner. Which wouldn’t have been bad, if I hadn’t eaten the entire bag of it. Oddly enough, my body is not issuing a general call to arms for vegetables, which is usually what happens after carb-festing. It’s cold and rainy and oh, yes, |
I DESERVE SOMETHING TASTIER than mixed greens with some cucumbers and pecans. Because yesterday…
I don’t get it. I’d had what felt like the seventh million week that was actually slightly worse (harder/crazier/impossible-ier) than the preceding week in a row, adding sleep deprivation to the bundle, needing to get up at 3am to catch an ass-crack of dawn flight to Chicago, spent the day in non-conducive to working in a kitchen shoes, doing my presentation (which would have been fine in those shoes) and assisting my colleagues with their stuff (after hour three, not so fine in those shoes. But I looked good. And I could have switched into my traveling shoes, but sign of weakness in front of the client? Not me) and then trying to get a slightly earlier flight back, which only meant that once I got the very last seat on that flight, after a half an hour of thinking, you know, instead of sitting here at this gate, waiting to see if the seatgods will smile on you, you could be in a bar, with your Kindle and a glass of wine, relaxing. But then I got to “relax” in the plane watching morons try and fit their luggage into the overhead compartments, and then finally, finally, when everyone got seated and….that’s when they found out the door wouldn’t close properly. So more “relaxing” while we waited for someone to come and fix that. Next time, my one quart zip lock bag will be filled with 3 ounce flasks. All of which got me home LATER than my original flight, thus reaffirming my natural inclination that trying to buck the plan only leads to punishment and damnation. (Hello-oo, New England, your daughter’s calling…)
So, 3am to 10:30pm, and then up again at 5am to come in and deal with the consequences of being out of the office for a day. But then, a lovely dinner, and Friday I took OFF, damn it. And enjoyed fine companionship, wandering the zoo, enjoying the weather, working in the yard, all the things I can’t seem to find the time to do anymore. And another dinner in good company, and then off to make the 16th century, which is coming along nicely.
And then it rained. Cold, hard, all day rain. So, hey, we’re so far ahead of schedule, let’s let everyone go home early. Which I am DOWN with. For starters, by 1pm, most of me was soaking wet and cold and I was fantasizing about the dry socks and shoes in my car with the way a fifteen year old boy fantasizes about the hot new geometry teacher. Plus, what, get home before 3pm, have time to do laundry, clean the house, get ready for the week? Even chill a little? And still get a good night’s sleep? Leave early enough to beat the mind-numbing crawl of Sunday evening traffic up 95? How awesome would THAT be? Squee-awesome, my friend.
Which is why I promptly locked my keys in the car.
To be fair, I did not do that on purpose. Or even semi-carelessly. It involved leaving the keys in the ignition, getting out of the car, which was parked on a bit of a sidewise incline, and then having my elbow just graze the door as the door slammed shut. Grazed it pretty much in such a way as to hit the “lock” button. And while 15 years of Saturns never created this problem, as they will automatically open the driver’s lock if the keys are in the ignition, a Ford Focus will lock that expletive up tight.
Oh, did I mention that this was the day I’d left my cell phone at home, by mistake?
Right. Of course I did. I am ever the universe’s willing accomplice when it comes to making my life harder than is necessary.
But hey, what’s Unnamed Car Rescue Plan for? And when I borrowed a phone and they said 40 minutes, I thought, oh, hey, not bad…that’ll be just about when I’ve got the whole site cleared out and I’d be leaving anyway. Of course, I had to transfer so much information, and listen to all sorts of aren’t we giving you great service scripts that I thought, okay, lady, please, just hit the “GO” button and send the guy, ‘cause you’re burning time and he’d be halfway HERE already.
Except that, of course, she lied about the 40 minutes. So, when I called an hour later, patiently explaining that yes, I was STILL in a safe place, thank you for asking, and hey, instead of spelling my name and you getting it wrong again, let’s use this handy four digit reference number, and no I don’t have my membership number, it’s locked in the CAR, and while I’m grateful that you called my cell phone with an update, let me repeat, please, I don’t have my cell phone WITH me, so calling it is doing no one any good. No, wait, what, you called my MOTHER to get my cell phone number (yes, I know, I’m nearly fifty and my parents still have me on their policy. Go ahead, YOU tell my father I’m a grown woman and can get my own damn policy, he really doesn’t have to….call me when you get THAT resolved, will you?) even though I TOLD you I do NOT have it, do not call me, just show UP because I am cold and wet and my feet have been soaked since 9am this morning and I’m considering chewing my way into the car just to get to the dry socks. And thank goodness, a friend stopped by on his way out to see if I was okay, so that I could borrow his phone to call you people back and not have to rely on the faire’s landlord’s phone.
Oh, I’m talking to Connecticut UCRP and you’re going to transfer me to Virginia to get an update? Sigh. Okay.
Yes, Virginia, I am STILL in a safe place, but I AM getting cold and my feet are WET. So, is there a checkbox for really uncomfortable? My name…no, none of you can spell my name, can we just use this reference number…it’s FOUR digits, as opposed to the 15 that make up my name, one of which you’re going to get WRONG and then we’ll have to start over. Wait, what, now you have to transfer me to the dispatch operator for an update….sigh. YES, I AM IN A SAFE PLACE. Yes, I am still waiting. No, I am NOT answering my cell phone because it’s in another STATE. Almost there? Just another 15 minutes? Sigh. Okay.
How valuable is a friend who not only stays with you to make sure you’re okay, but engages you in conversation good enough to make 45 minutes seem like fifteen? So, now I call again. And clearly the chick who answers can either sense my mood, or is having a day like mine, because you know what, she doesn’t CARE if I’m in a safe place, which is a relief really, to my New England sensibilities who are really expletive OVER being coddled and just want a solution. Because while I’m in a safe place for ME, I’m beginning to fear for those around me, because it has been nearly 3 hours and not only am I cold and wet and tired and missing out on my extra free time treat, now I’m imposing the cold, wet and missing out on extra free time on someone ELSE, who is patiently waiting with me. And putting other people to trouble on my account, because of my expletive-wittedness? Sits on me WORSE than icy-wet soaked sneakers.
Luckily for everyone’s sake, Austin from Unnamed Car Rescue Plan comes chugging down the driveway just then. And I at least get to send the honorable gentleman home to dry, warmth and relaxing. And Austin and I head down to the field where my car is. We make a little conversation and I explain we’re doing a renaissance faire here and Austin says “this is probably going to sound dorky, but I really love Renaissance Faires” and we pause for a moment and look at each other and he says “Oh. I guess that makes you sound dorkier. That’s not what I meant, m’am.” (Which is probably the only thing that kept him from dying in the next 30 minutes, as it was just adorable.)
As we drive up to my car, that’s when ol’ Austin, who’s all of about 19, says “oh, a Ford Focus. I suck at breaking into Ford Focus’s.” Especially poignant since I’ve had to explain three times to UCRP that Ford Focus is what they’re looking for. Even more poignant is when, rooting around in the cab of his truck, ol’ Austin says “Damn it. I left my lock out kit in the other truck.”
So, let me get this right: you’ve sent me someone who probably can’t do this on a good day, but now definitely can’t do it, sans proper tools and in the pouring rain? So, after about 20 minutes of trying to help him, consoling him when he begins to cry and talk about just quitting this whole job because he’s no good at it….I manage to convince him that he needs to call someone else to come in and handle this, because I’m losing what few shreds of sanity and compassion I’ve got left and considering strangling him with the hook thingy he’s been trying to use and seeing if he’s got an internal organ that might help get the damn car open.
So, back he drives me to the landlord’s building, where now I break down and take shelter inside, making painful conversation with one of the owners and one of his um, Nascar-loving, camo-wearing, colorful-colloquialism, tooth-impaired, colleagues while I wait for Andy, the lockout specialist. Who, thankfully shows up in twenty minutes, which is very close to the fifteen minutes promised…just when I was thinking “oh, they mean FOOTBALL minutes, that’s my basic misunderstanding here.”
And Andy knows what he’s doing and bam, I’m in that car in less than 8 minutes. Which gets me home…oh, about the same time I would have gotten home if we hadn’t gotten out early. And it only took about an hour in flannel pajamas before I stopped shivering.
Lessons learned: The Lutherans are right: don’t try to change the natural plan, because it will only turn out worse. And if Unamed Car Rescue Plan asks if you are in a safe place, tell them that you’re surrounded by WOLVES.