Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Somewhere, a Deity Laughed. Loudly.
Yesterday morning, it finally got cold here in the Deep South. Morning temperatures were cold enough to require that I go out and let my car start warming up before I actually had to sit in it to drive anywhere. Somehow, it's ok for me to be cold when I run outside half dressed at 6 AM (it's still dark, so no one can really tell if wearing a robe or just an oddly flowing dress), but Heaven FORBID I be even a little chilly once I'm fully dressed and sitting six inches from the heater vents in my car. Wish a scarf wrapped around my neck. And gloves on. And a cup of coffee in my hand. Spoiled, a bit, hmmm? So yesterday I ran outside, no coat for my arms, no pantyhose on my legs, just a skirt and shirt that did nothing to hide the fact that my skin was pruning (the plucked chicken look is VERY good on me), jumped in my car, cranked the heat knob all the way up and turned the key...and nothing happened. No click, no clank, no "I'm-going-to-die-now-so-goodbye-til-you-figure-out-what's-wrong-with-me". Just...nothing. And that's when I noticed that the overhead light was barely on. Usually, it's almost blinding in the pre-dawn time, and it wakes me up almost as much as the extra-strong Colombian blend that I brew for myself. It might have even been flickering. As was the light on the dash that lets you know a door is open. And the drivers door had swung shut behind me - as it does every time I get in the stupid car when I don't pull up enough in our driveway. I had left a door open...and I hadn't driven the car in almost two days. My battery was beyond dead. It had decomposed and become engine manure. Fast-forward to me running in the house, surprising my husband by making actual words come out my mouth. For my mother's sake, I won't repeat what I think I said. Most of it would get me fined if I said it on national television. Hubby spent 20 minutes looking for his jumper cables, before we figured out they were probably a casualty in the divorce. How we went four years without noticing that... I race to Wal-mart in his Big Ole' Truck- sans makeup, which when combined with the look of utter fury on my face scared a couple of people and three stray dogs into the next county. I bought the most expensive jumper cables they had (somehow spending lots of money made sense at the time) and raced back home. Hubby takes over the manly part of the duties - meaning he went outside in the cold while I sat inside on the couch cursing at myself quietly to the cats - and hooked my car up to his Big Ole' Truck. He tiptoed back in the house, swerving in a wide arc around the couch, and we waited about 15 minutes. At which point he went outside and came back in and told me in an "I-Know-I-May-die-For-This" voice that I needed a new battery, and so I would have to take the Big Ole' Truck to work. In the rain. And now I was going to be 45 minutes late leaving, which meant that I would be in rush-hour hell once I got to Montgomery. I like driving Big Ole' Trucks as much as the next gal - more, if the next gal happens to be my best friend - but Hubby's is not an automatic, and I hate driving in rush hour in a stick shift. And it doesn't handle rain well. Not to mention I would have to move all my necessities - makeup, hands-free cell phone stuff, my lunch, my coffee cup. But not my CD's because the Big Ole' Truck has no CD player or Tape Deck. It's like I'm living in the 20's when I drive that thing. So I cursed some more while hubby called a friend to hitch a ride to work and told me to pick up a battery on the way home. Fast-forward to 4:30 PM (work was no more crazy than usual - which means I only had to visit the happy place deep in my mind two or three times to keep from strangling my boss.) I walked outside, mentally preparing myself to deal with afternoon rush hour traffic. Getting off base takes twenty minutes of mostly stopped stop-and-go traffic, because the main gate is closed to outgoing traffic right now. The Interstate is a mess because they're widening it right at the busiest part of the whole thing in Montgomery. And as I walked outside, deciding if the emergency mantra was warranted, something hit my head. and my shoulders. And it was cold. Sleet. And that's when I looked up at the sky and said, very quietly, "You Win. But I have more wine at home than I can drink in one night, and nothing is going to keep me from it." That thought sustained me through the next hour and a half. People in Alabama DO NOT know how to drive when anything resembling winter precipitation happens. And I was in a Big Ole' Truck that reacts to anything close to ice with shudders and brakes that suddenly decide they need a vacation. I made it home in one piece, with a new battery in the front seat beside me. Hubby gets home thirty minutes later, and "gets ready" to change my battery. This included some grunting and other male noises while he pulled out the tool set that has instruments in it that neither one of us can find a use for. But we have them in case we ever need them! We're Prepared for anything, we are. He goes outside to begin the process while I start heating up some homemade French Onion Soup and chopping up veggies for a salad. He came inside to get gloves at one point (later I found out that the windchill was 24 degrees at the time), and I offered my beautiful turquoise Magic Scarf, which he refused using words like "ridiculous". I guess being wrapped in turquoise fru-fru would make changing a battery in freezing temperatures somewhat less manly. Whatever. I didn't care, because the first thing I had done when I got home was open a bottle of red wine. And I was self-medicating as quickly as possible. If I'm going to drop over $100 in one day, I DON'T want it to be on parts of a car that I not only don't look at on a regular basis, but that get dirty and gross. An HOUR - and two more glasses of wine later (it would have been three glasses, but I did have to handle the womanly role in this tragedy - hold the flashlight), we were done. We were eating and drinking and watching Star Trek. Because that's how we celebrate a job well done in our house. By drinking too much and watching geeky shows on TV. We live the high life.