Today is my sort-of day off. I’ve arranged my schedule so I work six nights a week, but I have off Saturdays, all day Sunday (until 9 p.m.) and except for an hour on Monday mornings, the rest of Mondays off (until 9 p.m.). All told, I work forty hours a week, except when I work a little more.
After a very busy weekend (soccer game, Halloween preparations–including carving three pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and costume-creating–and trick-or-treating . . . followed by church on Sunday, followed by a nap and a trip to the movies with the two youngest kids) I climbed into my husband’s red Cadillac to lollygag and gallivant.
First stop? 7-11 for a refill of my Super Big Gulp. It only costs a dollar and eight cents for about as much Diet Coke as you can drink in one afternoon. The sun was shining, the red and yellow leaves fluttering in a light breeze. Blue sky, open road, and three hours to myself. I was like Thelma and Louise without the killing and the thievery and the scary scene in the parking lot. And the scarves and the convertible. Other than that, exactly like them.
And then, as I drove on a quiet road, my Super Big Gulp took a look around and decided to leap to certain death. I gasped and tried to grasp the enormous cup, but it had jumped head first and emptied itself on the driver’s side floorboard, narrowly missing my Chuck Taylors, but splashing on my socks.
I drove straight to a Dollar Store with only my toes touching the accelerator . . . my left foot was propped above the swamp of Diet Coke and I held the heel of my right foot out of the icy liquid.
I purchased two rolls of paper towels and spent a good thirty-minutes sopping up the spill. As I did so, I realized that the only good that could come of such a catastrophe would be a recounting of the event in 140 characters on Twitter. And so, as soon as my feet stopped squishing on the mat, I grabbed my iPhone and typed a message with one finger.
My Twitter message also posts on Facebook and within minutes, Facebook commenters shared their own catastrophes until I was quite full of mirth which turns out to be even better than being full of Diet Coke. Almost.
I headed to Taco Time for my favorite soft taco. I realized that I had very little time before I needed to pick up my daughter. I headed toward Goodwill to browse the bookshelves, but as I drove, I saw that I would not have enough time. Instead, I pulled into the local German convenience store to pick up the hard-to-find dark chocolate I like to keep in my purse. Then I hurried to the school. I knew I’d be about ten minutes early, but I carry a novel around in my purse and planned to read. (Jodi Picoult, if you must know.)
I pulled my car into the back parking lot of the school and noticed the children were at recess. I could see my daughter’s blond curls across the playground. I watched the kids for a few minutes, pondered the strangeness of the late recess. After all, it was 3:15 p.m., only ten minutes from dismissal.
And then it hit me.
I grabbed my iPhone and checked the time: 2:15 p.m. No one had told the red Cadillac that Daylight Savings Time had come to an end. Alas. It was 3:15 p.m. in the Cadillac, but 2:15 p.m. everywhere else (in this time zone, anyway).)
So I drove home and started a project (searching desperately for my 2007 photographs–which were mixed up with the 2008 photographs and you really do not want to know what a complicated mess I’ve made of my photographs).
Forty minutes later, back to the school to pick up my daughter.
Perhaps it’s a good thing I don’t get out into the world very often. I clearly cannot handle it.
At least I did not shoot a man dead and have to run from the law and drive off a cliff.
That’s me, always looking on the bright side.