Sunday, August 13, 2017

Murphy's Law, My Life

I hate running errands, plain and simple. If there's anything I can do online that simplifies errand running, then I am the master of the keyboard. But, for those occasions when I actually have to get dressed and exit my sanctuary, I stall as long as humanly possible, before locking up the puppy and setting foot outside. Like Gizmo I shriek "Bright light! Bright light!" as I struggle to get my sunglasses in place. I think in a past life I was an agoraphobic hermit with photosensitivity and a vampire complex. Or possibly a gremlin. 

This past Friday, my errand du jour was getting the Tundra's emissions tested, and getting the new tag. Pretty simple, right? Maybe 2 miles up the road, done and done, back home again. Easy peasy. Excuse me while I snicker at your naivete! For most people, this would be a forgettable outing, done quickly and efficiently with nary a thought. For me? Oh hell no! It turned into a nearly three hour ordeal. Oh, I know what you're thinking--emissions place was run over, tag office crammed full of number yanking people crammed together like sweaty sardines in a can whose eyes flick from their number, to the next served neon sign to the clock on the wall, ending with an impatient sigh. Would you believe I never made it that far?

Murphy's Law has taken up residence in my life, refusing to back down or allow one thing to go without a hitch, even something as ordinary and mundane as emissions testing and tag getting. Okay, here's how my Friday went, and bear in mind I stalled until nearly 3:30, and was only going to do emissions that day. After running through the routine--locking up puppy, grabbing keys, iPod in check--I head out the door, promising Crash and Maggie I will be home shortly. I get in the truck, start 'er up, and realize I've forgotten my cell phone. Ever since I dropped it and shattered the back--thank God not the screen--I keep it in a wallet case that is too big to fit in the purse pocket where my phone typically goes, hence the forgetting it. But seriously, what genius decided to make the back of a cell phone glass? Who actually thought that was an advancement in technology? And why don't they tell you this when you get the phone? Samsung, you've lost points in my book over this ridiculousness! I prefer my phones to be durable plastic or metal or hell, even rubber, something that won't shatter so easily when one is whacking the hand that is holding the phone to stop a mosquito from sucking one's blood...yes, I know. Murphy's Law. Don't judge me!

Anyway, I shut off the truck, head on up to get my phone and realize...I have no house key. 

That line has to stand alone for proper emphasis. I have no phone, and no house key. I check the sliding door on the deck, but no, this is one time I lock the damn door, of course, because that's Murphy's Law. At this point I don't know what to do. I'm a socially awkward introvert who knows I have neighbors, or at least I think I do...maybe I do, I mean I probably do, right? but I don't know them, so I can't knock on the door and speak to them, not to mention asking if I can use their phone! So I get in the truck and drive, thinking I'll still do emissions, then worry about what to do after that. A couple of cars in line, I decide to head on to my oldest son's apartment. He'll be home, I mean, what are the chances that the one time I head down there without calling/texting first he won't be home? Murphy's Law/my life, of course!

I don't see his car, nor do I see my daughter-in-law's car, so I know I'm SOL, but hey, I drove all that way, I'll give it a knock. The neighborhood watch dude is on his deck watching me, because he knows one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong, and I'm the thing in this scene. I head back to the truck with full intention of waiting a bit to see if the prodigal son returns, but I didn't want to give neighborhood watch dude cause for concern so I quickly exit. As I drive, the music is on, but my mind is busy with nervous chatter--what are you going to do? how will you get in your house? you can't even call 911 because you don't have a phone--and I seriously missed pay phones for the first time in quite a few years. We might not have had personal phone devices back in the day, but if you had pocket change aka candy money (real money for candy, not candy money you eat JSYK) then you knew if you walked a little you'd find a phone booth, and all would be well.

I'm driving up 41, outwardly calm, inwardly panicking, wondering where to stop to see if I can use a phone. I decide on Walmart, which is where the emissions testing is and right across from the tag office, because if that fails the fire station is next to the tag office, and they would have to help me. I mean, with a story like that to entertain them, why wouldn't they? 

I head to customer service, expecting them to shoot it down. The bored young man advised me I could use the phone in jury. What? I questioned. He repeated and pointed, but I'm still not getting it. Finally I see it and say "Oh, jewelry!" and head on over. Of course, Murphy's Law being so firmly attached to my life, the phone is right there, but no one is at the counter. I go back to customer service and ask if he could page someone to the counter, as I don't want to just use their phone, and I don't know what to dial out to use it. He sighs like I am just getting in the way of his fun with the other customer service guys, and sighs "Yes". I see a well known manager and ask him, he says dial 9 and then the number, so now I'm just praying the man I married answers the phone without recognizing the number. By then a jury lady had come over, but I pointed to the phone and she dutifully left, probably relieved she didn't have to actually help the 50 year old red cheeked sweating idiot at her station.

"Hello Chris?" I say.
"May I ask who is calling?" he says, more suspicious than polite.
"It's your wife, Joyce."
"Why is the number different?" (thinking I wrecked the truck)
"I'm calling from Walmart. I forgot my cell phone and I don't have a house key. You need to call one of the boys and have them come to the house and let me in!"
"What's going on?" he asks.
"I just told you!"
"You broke up, I didn't hear anything after Joyce."
"I'm calling from Walmart. I forgot my cell phone and I don't have a house key. You need to call one of the boys and have them come to the house and let me in!"
(His house key is in the key dish at the house. I had removed it from his key ring so his nurse could use it to let herself in on Thursdays when it's IV treatment day, since I have to work...again, Murphy's Law fully entrenched in my life. D'oh!)
"Okay, I will call them."
"I'm going to come home and sit in the driveway and wait, I guess." Which I did. Patiently. Because what other choice did I have? 

My youngest arrived to save the day, and everything was okay in the end. The dogs were hungry, the man I married was hungry, and I guess I was too, but we survived this latest lapse in memory. I will say though that I learned a valuable lesson--when Murphy's Law is a way of life, never be too distracted that you forget your cell phone and/or your key, because that happens to be the absolute worst case scenario for a socially awkward agoraphobic introvert hermit with photosensitivity and a vampire complex. Or a gremlin. Either way, I should have just stayed home!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Life is Like

...a roller coaster
...a balloon
...a bowl of cherries
...a bicycle
...a road
...a cash register
...a party
...a camera
...a book
...a movie
...a grindstone
...toilet paper--either you're on a roll, or you're taking shit from some asshole

So many life is like comparisons, from philosophic to funny, all meaningful in their own way. Perhaps one of the most iconic life is like saying was quoted by a literary idiot savant named Forrest Gump, as told to him by his humble yet venerable mama, and it goes a lil somethin' like this: "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." Hell, you could make one up using just about anything, as long as your analogy makes sense.

Life is like a chameleon, always changing to suit where you are and what you're doing.

Life is like a unicorn, mythical, magical, an epic adventure.

Life is like eye drops, the more you use them, the clearer things are.

Well, not my best work, but for early morning on my day off skimming the top of my head and using what I'm seeing on my computer table, not too shabby (just FYI, I don't have a chameleon on my computer table. That one just sprung up on its own. Because I like chameleons. JSYK (just so you know)).

One time when my oldest son was very young, he seemed to have an answer for everything. So I said to him jokingly, "Well, since you know everything, what's the meaning of life?" A question we all have asked at some point, an answer that is probably different for everyone.  After a very brief pause, he answered, "It's everything that you do." That has stuck with me over all these years, because out of the mouths of babes comes the truth. It IS everything that we do--if you do good, your life is good, if you do bad, your life is bad. Very philosophical. Life is like so many things, it means so many things, and to some, it means very little.

So while I could spend the day reading life is like analogies and spend even longer applying them to my life, which, right now, is like a slow moving trolley through the less scenic parts of hell, I have my own life is like that I live by--in fact, I can apply this reasoning to just about everything--from loading a dishwasher, to packing a suitcase, to organizing a cabinet, to figuring out how to handle all the crap that's going wrong right now. The life is like analogy that I swear by is simply this:

Life is like a game of Tetris--you have to work hard to make all the pieces fit together without allowing them to build up, so you can win the game and get high score instead of game over, man. (quit rolling your eyes, that's rude!)

Seriously, though, think about it. Life is balance, it's  cohesion, it's a grand puzzle where all the pieces fit together or it just doesn't work. You wanna see puppies in a basket, a barn in the countryside, hell, you wanna see where's Waldo? You have to work at it! You have to fit all the pieces together or you'll never see the picture...and it can be a beautiful picture, man. But like anything else, it takes concentration, dedication, devotion, patience, and skill. It also takes a sense of humor, strong will, and love. Because life is like love, it can bring you to new heights or send you crashing to the ground. They both take balance. This coming from a 50 year old who nearly falls over when she's walking, right? Balance takes skill. Anyone who thinks they can skate through life is...well, filthy rich. But most of us don't skate through life without having to change the wheels every now and again. 

Tetris. My all-time favorite puzzle game. My favorite life is like analogy. Whenever I am confronted with difficulty, when things just don't work,  when they just won't click, I think of Tetris--and I keep on shifting things around until they fit together. Thank you, Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov. Without your contribution to the 80's gaming world, I would not have my life is like. I shudder to think where I would be. Because honestly, and I'm keepin' it real here, people, if MY life was like a box of chocolates it would be empty...and I'd be fat. JSYK.