So yesterday I drove my car to work because I was under the fond delusion that the Madman-In-Chief would show some Christmas spirit and let the government workers have a half-day off. He didn't, but that's not the point. The point is that Salt Lake City's Mayor Rocky has had all the parking meters covered up so that you can park for free for 2 hours in the city. If one is determined enough, one can park for free ALL DAY just by moving one's car every two hours. It's not really worth it for a whole day, but thinking that we might get a half-day off (we didn't, but that's not the point) and thus I would only have to move my car once, I drove my car to work. It was dark when I left; it was lighter when I arrived. I parked right by the entrance to the mall parking lot and thumbed my nose at the people who were going to pay for parking.
When I came down to move my car 3 hours later (worried a bit that I had pushed my luck too far) I didn't have a parking ticket, but I HAD left my lights on. This is something that I am known to do on a regular basis, but not something an intelligent person would do when she is already having problems with her battery. (FYI, I have had to beat my car into starting an additional two times since the original incident) I turned the lights on and tried to start my car. Nothing. I knew that this time hitting wouldn't help, so I sat there in stunned silence while I tried to think of what to do. In my malice towards those who could afford to pay for parking, I had placed myself in the worst position to get a jump start. There was no way a car could get into position without significantly blocking traffic. I knew that I would have to call my brother and get him to come all the way downtown with his magic jump-starter box thingie. I knew he really wouldn't be happy about this. In frustration, I decided to try to start the car again... and it half-started and then the battery died again. This time I railed against my own supidity and impatience. If only I had waited another few minutes maybe the magic in my battery would have stored up a little more energy and it would have started. Now it definitely wouldn't start, Iwas sure. I cried a few bitter tears for the unfairness of it all. Then out of perversity and to truly depress myself, I tried again. And this time it started.
Oh my car. I hereby take back all the mean things I have ever said about you. Including the mean things about you not being a four door. I will willingly contort myself to get the car seat in and out forever so that I can keep you by my side.
I went back to my desk to sit and wait for the email from a Certain Someone who would have the power to give all the government workers a half-day off. While it didn't come (and that's not the point) one of the lawyers in my office whom I never have much to do with and so I hadn't brought her any homemade jelly as a gift like I did to the few people I DO have something to do with came by with a very generous gift card for me that all the staff had pitched in to get. This is on top of presents the people who do work with me on a regular basis had already given me. I may not like what I do, but I have the best co-workers on the planet. Who knew lawyers could be so nice?
Oh my job. Please forgive all the mean things I have ever said about you in the fastness of the night, or the very early morning when I am stumbling around trying to get dressed in some semblance of professionalism. I will willingly complete my contract and maybe accept an extension should it be offered (and should I have no better position to go to by then).
I needed to go to the liquor store. The really sucky thing about Utah are the liquor laws. Instead of being able to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner in the grocery store like a civilized, adult member of society, we sinners in Utah are forced to trek to the State-owned outlet. The outlet that has god-awful hours and is closed on holidays, Sundays and Election days. Holidays. Meaning that if one wanted to have a drink on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the Day After Christmas, one had to fight in a gladitorial-like contest for one's alcohol within the confines of a crowded, dingy little building with a tiny parking lot (they ALL -- yes, all THREE of them -- have tiny parking lots, why make it easy to sin?). I knew the impossibility of trying to obtain hooch the day before a holdiay, but with one thing and another, I hadn't managed to get to the Alcohol Concentration Camp to pick up the bottle of wine for my parents' present before yesterday afternoon.
So, with no little trepidation, I drove to the liquor store. (this was after I was forced to use leave hours because SOMEONE refused to let govt workers have a half day off, but that's beside the point) As I had expected, the tiny parking lot was overflowing. I was forced to fish for a spot to park. After driving around slowly, I saw someone exiting and walking toward a car. I stopped and put on my blinker, ignoring the honking behind me. They were just trying to intimidate me into moving on so THEY could have the spot. Person got into their SUV and pulled out, but pulled out in such a way that I had to wait for them to get completely clear before pulling in. And an old lady in a MINIVAN pulled in from the other side. I glared at her and she smiled serenely at me. I drove on and found some parking in an abandoned lot a little bit away and walked to the store. Inside it was chaos: yelling, pushing, shoving. There were only three tellers and the lines wove throught the aisles of bottles. I knew right where I was headed and grabbed the bottle I sought (and it was on sale! $9 off!) and went to get in line. And was promptly cut off by the VERY SAME OLD WOMAN! She stole my place in line! I was so angry I felt like giving her a piece of my mind. I felt like breaking a bottle over her head. Instead, I decided to take the high road and move on. And that's when it happened. I stumbled onto the secret line. The line that was only 4 PEOPLE LONG. I asked the man at the end of it if this was really a line and he confirmed that it was. I couldn't believe it. Right that moment someone hollered "Look, that line only has 5 people in it!" and quickly the line snaked out behind me. The lesson? If I had decided to pause and respond in kind to the rude woman, I would have missed the secret line. I gave her a smug smile as I sailed out the door minutes after getting in line. She had quite a wait ahead of her.
Oh my State. Forgive all my insolence with regards to your silliness. If you hadn't insituted such silly laws, I would never have experienced such pure joy in the face of another's rudeness and well-earned instant Karma.
Kristin and I went for some Mexican fast food. At this restaurant I always order the kids' meal because it is just the right portion size. But sometimes I get flack because it's for kids, not adults. This time it was the manager taking our order and when we ordered she looked at me and asked, "is this for you?" I thought of lying and saying that we were taking it to the kid we had stashed in our car trunk, but didn't. I decided, for once, to tell the truth. "Yes," I said proudly. "Then I'll go ahead and give you the larger drink for free." She said. Wow. Telling the truth pays off!
We came home and found TWO presents on our doorstep and an unexpected Christmas bonus from my old employer (who hasn't actually employed me since the spring time, but whom I am helping to write a very large grant) in the form of a very welcome check.
I found out that I was a co-winner of the potty poem contest over at Anonymous Coward's place. Thanks, Clew, for letting me know I had tied with you.
What a great day. What wonderful lessons in consideration, generosity, patience, kindness and honesty.
What has this Holiday season taught you?