Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Charging and Re-charging

Okay. Last week? Sucked. (My dad would want me to say that it was "less than desirable.")

I'm pretty comfortable acknowledging that my life is, well, idiosyncratic. I'm clumsier than most. Weird things happen to me. I lose stuff. I budget for minor catastrophes, disasters, parking tickets (if I'm doing a story of a sensitive nature, and a subject is just opening up, I'm not going to leave to feed the meter. I'm just not.). I know how to change a tire. I take my medications. I entertain the rest of you with my stories. Fine.

Sometimes, though, the strain of being me brings me, literally, to my knees. Last Saturday night, after dealing with a Jackass Hockey Coach who made me stand behind the glass for the first two periods and covering a high school fundraising dance, (which, you know- DOOM!- that goes without saying), but add to that driving to the wrong damn town first because of a reporter's mistake on the photo request and having to drive back THROUGH THE TRECHEROUS WIND AND SNOW to the stupid dance only to shoot fast, blow my deadline anyway, AND THEN as I opened the door to my car, where I was going to sit with my laptop and transmit the pictures back to the paper while glomming off someone's wireless connection, THE WIND BLEW OPEN THE CAR DOOR, hitting me in the head with its pointy, pointy edge.

OW. Ow. Ow! Joel was waiting for me at the apartment while I got home two hours later (the snow, you know), and I literally crawled up the final stairs of my three story walk-up ON MY HANDS AND KNEES.

Now, the coach and the dance and the door thing are all par for the course for me. Fine, fine. But earlier in the week, I also had to go to traffic court, in part to fight the citation I got for having a dirty license plate. Yup. Who gets fined for that? Me, dammit! ME! The judge waived the charge. Okay.

Also, I got my car back from the body shop. I paid my $1000 deductible, because the police never found the punk who hit it and ran away in November. I didn't love paying the $1,000, but I do love my body man. His five sons all play lacrosse, so I see him all the time. (Oh, and *their* coach? Not a jackass.)

As I climbed into my shiny, pretty car in the parking lot of Ultimate Collision Center and turned the key, the car went, "Click." And I went, "What? Sorry, car, you're supposed to go, 'VrrvvrVOOM' when I start you. What is this click of which you speak?" I try again.
Car: "Click."
Me: "Huh?"
Car: "Click."
Me: Wha-? Why? What now?!?!
Car: "VrrVrrVOOM "
Me; "Thank you. Jesus, what was that all about? (This was a rhetorical question; I don't call my car 'Jesus.')
Car: You're welcome.... "PING!"

That would be the sound of the "check engine" light going on, and yes, the whooshing sound you here now is my money flying far, far away. New starter. New OVR pump. New $.99 turn signal bulb which did not solve the turn signal's fast clickyclickyclicky issue after all. Gonna have to replace the turn signal arm mechanism. Bye, money! Bye, now! BUH-bye! Bye!

Then I lost my cell phone. I wasn't worried. It was a $40 phone from Best Buy. As it turns out it was only $40 because I signed a special, happy, two-year contract. The phone retails for $179. Great. FAN-tastic. I buy a cheaper phone for $119. I talk to my sister. Turns out she just bought a new phone, so I can have her "old" (it's a camera flip-phone) one. Nice! Circuit City says I can return the $119 phone I bought the day before still looks like it just came out of the box. Yes, please!

Amanda waves her magic fairygodlawyer wand and gets the old phone (driven by courier, probably, I don't wanna know) on the next FedEx flight. It shows up the next day. I run to Circuit City with the package and my 26-hour-old phone before I can drop it or scratch it or do some shit to it that will make it unreturnable.

I run into Circuit City. I wait for 40 minutes for my turn. Twenty minutes before the store closes, I'm up. I start to return the phone I bought and authorize Amanda's old phone, but I can't find the credit card I used THE DAY BEFORE to buy it. My friendly sales associate Jamal starts trying to figure out how to cut me a check so I don't end up with $119 ($136 with tax) worth of store credit.

Then, I remember! It might be in my car! I had it out when I was making calls because (wait for it, wait for it) Geico never authorized the direct-pay for the rental car I had while my car was at the body shop, you know, before the new starter and stuff. I had the credit card out while I was straightening that out.

I run to the car! I'm gonna find the card! BUT! I can't find the car! No, wait, it's on the next level of the parking garage. I RUN up the stairs that smell like pee! Woo! Car! And... GOD, I hate being like this.... I can't find my keys. Not in my pockets, not in the FedEx package, not in my purse. Must be locked in the car. SOMEONE PLEASE KILL ME. I call Joel and leave him a message wondering how on Earth I'm going to explain where he can find my spare car key. The spare key that I have a sinking suspicion in my camera bag. Yes, that would be the camera bag that is LOCKED IN THE CAR.

Fuck it. I figure I'll get the cell phone thing straightened out, then I'll use it to call AAA. I run back to Circuit City to see how Jamal is doing with the cut-me-a-check-instead-of-store-credit issue. It's not going well. I lay my forehead down on the counter. (This is before I had my purple bruise from the pointy, pointy edge of the car door). As I breathe deeply in the most cleansing, calming way I can manage and open my eyes, I look down and see my keys! They are wedged in the crack between the display case and the fluorescent light that illuminates the pretty sample phones! I fish out my keys. Jamal is excited for me. I love Jamal.

I run to the car! I find the credit card in my day planner! I run back to the store! Jamal tells me he's so happy I found the credit card because he was going to have to issue store credit after all. I tell him I'm happy, too, because if he hadn't issued me a check for that money, I would have leapt over the Verizon counter and committed suicide with his stapler. He cracks up, and we take turns imagining how one could do so. I grab the stapler and mime stapling my wrists. I only do it half-heartedly, because the way my week was going, I was scared I'd actually hurt myself. He mimes stapling his neck, but nothing bad happens, because he is not me. He even waives the $20 fee that Verizon usually charges customers who want to authorize spare phones from their generous sisters.

Of course, when I got home, I realized that my work cell phone is no longer charging because of a bent pin inside the charge-y place. THEN I cried.

But anyway, I spent the weekend trying to recharge my "spirit batteries," as Oprah would say. I have to thank Joel for helping me with various projects around the house; because of him, the pets are entertained, the apartment is clean, the dishes are all washed, the laundry is all done, the fridge is full, and I can start this new week laughing about the last one.


shannon said...

I hope you have a much better week this week!

Cindy W said...

Oh sweetie... Wow. That sucks. I have a tendency to fall down at inopportune moments, but I think overall you win.

I agree with Shannon, I hope this week is better for you.

Judy Gaul said...

You are the winner! I love the spin you put on the down side of life! But sometimes it all just sucks---oops--I mean it's less than desirable! I think it runs in our family--yesterday Dad took checks to the bank (Susquehanna) to make a deposit, took out $1,000 in 10 $100 bills to drive directly to the second bank to deposit. (Fulton) Guess what? One was counterfeit! And so it goes....it's a genetic thing, Ange!

Jackie said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your day!!! Poor thing. I can relate in certain ways....had a Murphy's Law kinda day Tuesday and by the end of the night, Rob and I were just walking around praying for the day to be over! Hope today is better............