Little Debby and the Fairly Bad Day

What a day.  It started this morning as I backed down our snowy, icy driveway right into a 2-foot tall wall of  rock hard ice.  The tailpipe on my car disappeared into the crust.  I had managed to avoid it all week, but I wasn’t paying attention today and plowed right into it.  My car couldn’t go backward and wouldn’t go forward.  Spinning tires, black smoke, and an engine screaming, “No! No! No! No! No!”.  I rocked the car back and forth, just like Dad taught me.  I cajoled, I pleaded, I bribed (“I’ll give you a higher octane and shine your tires, pretty please?”).  Not an inch.  That’s when I got out of the car and screamed a four-letter word very loudly.  It’s a wonder I didn’t start an avalanche.  It’s also why I was standing in the snow and ice facing the sky and apologizing to Jesus for cursing Mother Nature.

So back up the hill to the garage I trudged.  I knew the snow shovel wouldn’t even scratch the icy surface, so I grabbed the big gun – the heavy shovel with the pointy tip.  I scraped the ice in front of all four tires, got in and rocked the car again and then gunned the engine.  Nothing.  I went back into the house, growled at Ginger, grabbed a box of table salt, and spread that on the ice in front of the tires.  Still nothing.  Ginger came out with a jug of cat litter and I tried that.  No go.  Then Ginger came down the driveway carrying sheets of roofing tile leftover from when our roof was replaced last year.  I got some more and we laid them down in front of all four tires.  I tried the car again and it moved forward a couple of feet.  We re-laid the sheets and I made it almost to the top of the drive.  Free, at last!  Hallelujah!  I thanked Ginger 50 bazillion times, backed down the driveway, and headed for work.

What a crappy morning, I thought.  What can I do to make this awful start to the day better?  I know!  I’ll take in donuts for everybody at work!  But…. no…. in a somber moment I thought, “this is a private sorrow”.   🙂  BREAKFAST FOR DEBBY!!!  Woohoo!!  Taters!  Yes!  Hash browns!  I love potatoes almost as much as I love bacon, so you know it’s a lot.  I pulled into a McDonald’s drive-thru and this chirpy voice said, “Good afternoon!” and I got the giggles.  The voice started laughing and blurted out, “Good morning, what I can I get you today?” and then she–the voice–got the giggles, too.  So I put on my own chirpy voice and asked for three hash browns and a medium Diet Coke.  I was feeling pretty darn happy.

Then it happened.

“Our Diet Coke machine isn’t working.  Could I get you a sweet tea or something else?”  A sweet tea?!!  A SWEET TEA???!!!  In the name of all that’s holy, how can a sweet tea ever, EVER substitute for a Diet Coke?  I need my diet cola every morning like a coffee addict needs java!  The day was getting worse, not better!  I sadly told her no, that I would just take the hash browns.  After I got the food, I said to myself, “I am not going to work until I get my Diet Coke, doggonit!”  So I drove down the road to the next McDonald’s and instead of a medium, I got a large with extra ice.  I showed this day who was the boss, by golly!

By then, I was all pumped and ready to tackle the day.  When I pulled into the parking lot, I had to park way out at the end of the huge lot because I was late and all the good spots were taken.  Grumble, grumble.  I got to my desk and made the mistake of opening office e-mail.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m a technical writer.  I write manuals that tell how to use the software packages that are designed and developed by my co-workers.  We work under heavy deadlines.  If something goes wrong in design or development or another area and there’s a delay, then we’re all delayed.  My work gets finished at the very end, a week before we turn everything over for distribution and publication.  Our original date for turnover was next Monday.  There were delays in another area, so I was already too close to the deadline.  Then, I opened an e-mail this morning saying a problem was found during product testing that was being fixed and I would have to make changes to two manuals that I already had ready to go to distribution.  The curse of the day continued.

Then, at lunchtime, things suddenly got better.  I had seven manuals that I had to finish and get ready for publication.  I had four of them done by 11:30.  I had a tasty lunch at Taco Bell and caught up on three days of newspapers that I hadn’t read yet.  I even found a parking spot right by the side door when I went back to work.  The sun was shining.  The sky was a beautiful shade of blue.  Little squirrels walked beside me, bluebirds perched on my shoulder, and everyone who saw me applauded and gave me money.  Okay, I lied about that last part, but it was still a great day.  I finished the other three manuals, wrote and submitted my status report for the week, filled out my time sheet, and set my out of office message for tomorrow.  I was heading into a three day weekend and everything was marvelous!

Until the drive home…..

I headed down Sharon Road past the entrance ramp to southbound I-75.  Then, the traffic stopped.  I mean, it dead stopped.  No one was going anywhere in the direction I was headed.  I couldn’t see past the humongous truck in front of me.  I didn’t know and still don’t know what was stopping us.  I finally reached an intersection where I could get off the road and turn around to go the other way.  I got back on Sharon Road and stopped for a red light at the intersection where vehicles get off the interstate.  Just before the light turned green, a very long and large semi came halfway off the exit ramp and stopped right across my lane.  The light turned green and the truck driver got out and started walking around the truck.  What the heck?!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was finally able to cross through the intersection in an empty oncoming lane and I blew my car horn every inch of the way.  By then, the driver was back in the cab and showing me both of his middle fingers.  So I blew my horn in multiple blasts and stuck my tongue out at him!  Yes, folks, I’m five years old, and IT FELT REALLY GOOD.  The man could have gotten several of us injured or killed and HE was giving ME the finger.

The rest of the drive home was uneventful and this evening has been great.  I got some heartwarming news about two people that I love very much.  Ginger and I had dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant and she treated.  I’ll be watching the Olympics as soon as I finish this post, and I don’t have to work tomorrow.  With so many really terrible, horrible things that go on in the world every day, how can I complain about my petty annoyance of a day?  Because my therapist told me that someone else’s worse pain or sorrow has nothing to do with how significant my pain or sorrow is to me.  It’s all relative.  That’s the grownup answer.  The answer from this five-year-old is that it just really pissed me off!

Good night, everyone, and have a better tomorrow!