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My birthday was Tuesday. Monday night I received a call about a job interview, so I scheduled it for Tuesday morning. It was the only birthday present I was expecting on my birthday, so I thought that was a nice little present to myself. I was up nights at that point (I guess I still am), but it was at 9 am, so I figured, hey, I’ll go to the interview, then come home and go to bed. Howard Tayler (www.schlockmercenary.com) and I planned on going out to eat that day, and I had a date that night, so I planned on getting to bed about 10:30 am, sleep until 3:30, get up, meet Howard, then head up to my date.
All in all, a good plan.
I took a little nap that night because I’d only had about 4 hours sleep the night before. Woke up at 6am after two hours. Enough to get me by.
Left at 8 am. It’s about a 40 minute drive, but I’ve never done it at 8am and I didn’t know how bad rush hour would be. I knew it was TERRIBLE coming back in the evening.
Pulling out onto the main road, lights flashed behind me. Evidently I saw my opportunity to merge with traffic and didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign, then merged in front of a sheriff. The stop put me about 15 minutes behind, but I thought I still had time.
Then, about a half a mile away from the interview, I blew my right front tire. Pulling over, I realized that when my key bent we made four copies from the bent key, but none of them opened all the locks on my car. The one I had on my keyring opened only the driver’s side door, and I didn’t think any of them had opened the trunk. It was 8:55. Cursing, I called my mother to see if she was willing to go find the other keys, then come meet me. Then I threw out a thumb and caught a ride going to a building one away from the building where I was interviewed.
I got there at 8:59. I went to the bathroom after checking in the the receptionist. As I walked out of the bathroom, I heard her telling the interviewer that I had just arrived. I told him about my trip and he seemed impressed that I still made it on time. Whew.
I didn’t feel like calling my mother back during the interview. I thought that would be a bad move, so I waited until it was over. She doesn’t have a cell phone so she couldn’t really leave until we knew I would be ready to go. So I settled in and read a book on my iPod while I waited for her to do the 45 minutes or so of driving.
It was then I realized there was no way I could go out with Howard. If I did NOTHING else, it would be 1 pm before I got to bed. I’d have to be awake by 5:30 to get to my date on time (it was 50 minutes away . . . everything is 45 minutes away from my house), which meant 4 and a half hours sleep at the most, and we all know you never get to bed immediately upon getting home. So I called Howard and rescheduled, mad at my day for another thing going wrong.
My mother found me and one of the keys opened my trunk (and the other doors, BTW). She’s never changed a tire herself, and she had a hip replacement surgery that’s set an upper limit on her applying force to anything, so she sat in the car and watched.
Then I had to change a tire. I have had two rear-impact car accidents that have damaged my lower back. I can think of NOTHING more painful, that I have actually done, than changing a tire. I was literally on the verge of tears from the agony by the time I was done. My mother came out toward the end and found that there was something she could do. Every time the wrench fell off a lug it was an excruciating processes for me to move from the position where I could turn the lugs to a position where I could reset the wrench, and then another excruciating move back. She just stood next to me and reset the wrench when it slid off. When my back finally gave out completely and I just couldn’t possibly be in position one moment longer, I said I needed a break. She turned the jack twice at that point (it was basically finger loose) and pulled it out. I hadn’t realized I was basically done.
I called a couple tire places on the way because you usually save about 30-50 dollars if you call in a head of time. Tire places will often cut you a deal if you’re shopping different places by phone (they want you to come in), but they give you their normal prices if you walk in the door. I found a decent deal and drove there.
By the time I got home, I could barely move from the pain. I ate dinner, went to sleep, woke up after 4 hours, and went on my date. Saw Clash of the Titans. The author did some interesting things with that movie that I don’t think anyone but I noticed. Then I came home, napped, and Called the day dead.
It seemed like a bad day. Let’s list the bad:
1) Got pulled over on the way to a job interview.
2) Blew a tire on the way to the same interview.
3) Didn’t have a way to get into my trunk to fix the tire.
4) Had to wait a long time for a ride.
5) Had to cancel the only thing anyone was planning on doing for ME on my birthday (Dinner with Howard).
6) Had to make my mother drive out to save me.
7) Had to change a tire.
8) Had to buy a tire when I’m unemployed, using up the money I’d intended to spend on myself for my birthday present.
9) Had to go on a date with 4 hours sleep.
But I’d like to point out:
1) Didn’t GET a ticket despite being pulled over.
2) Blew the tire in a high traffic area instead of in the middle of nowhere on my fifty minute drive to my date.
3) Still made it to the interview.
4) Interview went well enough that I’m cautiously optimistic.
5) Got picked up by the first car when hitchhiking. (That has NEVER happened to me before. People NEVER pick me up. I’m large and sometimes I frighten people).
6) Found out I DID have a key that opened all the locks.
7) Had a pleasant date.
So I still didn’t get much in the way of any birthday presents (my mother produced a pair of dockers for my interview that she told me after the fact would be my birthday present . . . she’d bought them months or even years ago) I call the day an interesting series of good luck rather than bad. Let’s call that a win.
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