(This is in part a reprint of my “Wednesday Whine” submitted to Phantom Scribbler’s contest, but it includes corrections as well as a second chapter about what happened after I came home.)
Yesterday I drove The Princess to music camp on a beautiful college campus near Primevally Deep Lake. As soon as we got there and unpacked her stuff into the 96 degree heat that makes us wilty and miserable, we both became…unpleasant.
First her cousin, Dutch Girl, ran to greet us and said, “They put another girl in our room!” The two of them began to whine about how the camp people were trying to keep them apart, which considering that they will be sharing essentially one half of a small room for the next three days is ridiculous. Then we went to sign in and proceeded to have to wait…and wait…and wait…because the only adult who could receive The Princess’s medication had disappeared.
Now they have only an hour for Registration, because then they have the college pool for an hour, so even though they list Registration as happening from 1 to 2, what they really mean is that you need to be unpacked and in your bathing suit and at the door of the Athletic Building by 2. Fascists.
Finally the woman reappeared and we were able to carry The Princess’s things to her room, where to her dismay, she will be sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Can’t we get a partial refund? The other girls all have beds!! WAAHHH! Then the mother who is the counselor for their group came in and put me on a guilt trip for being late, which we weren’t since we arrived at 1:40, which is well within the limits of 1 to 2. Let’s just call her Sadsack Mom. (Dutch Girl’s mother, my beloved sister-in-law of the first marriage, who we will call Resourceful Mom, designated her “frumpy.”) Sadsack Mom is going on about how we need to get to the pool, and I just looked at her and snappishly said, “You seem tense!!!”
(Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’s rubber, I’m glue.)
Anyway, she finally departed, leaving a Junior Counselor behind to shepherd them to the pool. We got the bed made, if you can call putting clean sheets and a nice quilt on a MATTRESS ON THE FLOOR MAKING A BED–wow, that felt good–and then I unpacked her things and was looking for the new bathing suit we just bought that morning, and we realized that after she tried it on and showed me how cute it was with its boy cut bottoms with a little pocket with a button on the back (which totally embarassed #2 Son so that he had to leave the room), she went to her room and, yes, you guessed it, LEFT IT AT HOME!!! Okay, she had another one in the suitcase, but I’m not going to let that ruin my whining.
I finally got back into my air-conditioned car (which jo(e) says ruins my whole rant) and started home. I remembered that if I went back a different way I could stop in Nearby College Town and pick up the rugs we left for cleaning two months ago, an important thing to do since they sent me a postcard threatening a storage charge, darn them.
On the way there, I took a wrong turn. Okay, eventually I got there, but still, I took the wrong road. Then when I got there, I whipped out my debit card to pay the bill, $121.60, and the guy said, “We only take cash or checks.”
I get out my checkbook; no checks.
I look in my wallet: $14.00.
I ask if there’s an ATM machine anywhere nearby? They direct me to the Irving Station, not far away, but it’s backtracking and I will have to turn left onto a busy road to get there. I pull out to the road’s edge and find a truck with a big trailer has parked on the shoulder to my right, so I can’t see the traffic coming from the direction into which I need to merge. There are huge trucks whizzing by. Finally, cursing (yes, really!) I turn right and look for a place to cross traffic and turn back the other way. The first good opportunity? The parking lot of the Carpet Barn. At this point I’m thinking new rugs might be a good idea.
Then I get to the Irving and go to the ATM. I decide to withdraw $140. I press “yes” and agree to pay the fee of $1.95 to get MY MONEY OUT OF THE BANK!!! The options come up: 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, Other. I press Other. The screen says, “Choose any multiple of 20 up to $100.” Oh.My.God. I have $14, and I can get $100, and that leaves me $7.60 short to bail my property out of rug jail. The good news is, the machine allows the second transaction. The bad news is, I HAVE TO PAY ANOTHER $1.95!!!!
Then when I got home, in order to return the rug to Pure Luck’s office, we need to clean the floor. His office is in our Sun Room (have I mentioned that this was my favorite room, a really beautiful sunroom from which you can see into living room and dining room, a room that really gets sun, a room where I used to read and hang out with the kids, my favorite spot in the house by far, which I gave to him so he could have a space the kids didn’t come into and out of all the time?), and it’s where the dogs spend a lot of time, and it is covered with the dirt and hair they leave behind. Also dust. I begin sweeping. He says this would be easier with the vacuum cleaner. I remind him that someone moved the vacuum cleaner attachments when we were cleaning up for The Princess’ birthday party, and now they all claim they can’t remember where. (This, needless to say, is a sore subject. My vacuum cleaner is a Kirby with one of those carpet shampoo attachments, which would have come in handy when Molly Dog was sick a few weeks ago and threw up not once, but twice, on the only wall-to-wall in our house, the boys’ attic bedroom.) While we were cleaning, we found under the coffee table three things he swore I had never given him: his insurance card, his prescription card and his AAA card, covered with, well, I don’t know if you could call it dust, exactly, I think it was more like a fine layer of silt.
It was hot.
I was cranky.
When I had finished this work, I went to my laptop. My husband was in his air-conditioned office (we keep it cool for the dogs), and my sons were in their air-conditioned bedroom. I…was at the kitchen table, keeping “cool” under the ceiling fan. It was not really cool under the ceiling fan.
Things didn’t really improve until after dark, when #2 Son and I ventured out to 7-11 for ice cream. Then I felt better. The ice cream was vanilla with Oreos. Is there any mood it won’t cure?