Wondering how to waste three precious hours of your life? You came to the right place.
My daughter is attending sixth grade at a new (for us) school this year. A 5th thru 8th grade middle school with new and longer hours to adjust to. Wednesdays are supposed to be minimum days, when she gets out at 1:30 instead of 3:30.
Due to our being out of state last week, I had to reschedule her orthodontic appointment to this week. I made it Wednesday so I wouldn’t have to take her out of school.
This is a magnet school and very few kids live close. Most take the bus or get picked up. I’m having to adjust to extra traffic at drop off and pick up times. So to find a place to park within a mile, I must arrive at least twenty minutes before school lets out.
I arrive at 1:10 to no traffic. Hot dog! I find shade—imperative in triple digit weather. And I wait. It occurs to me that no one else is arriving. O-kay. So I hoof it to the office wherein I find out only some Wednesdays are minimum days. Didn’t you get the new parent pack? No? Well, here you go.
To make our 2:30 ortho appointment, I must take her out of school an hour and fifteen minutes early. ON THE THIRD DAY OF SCHOOL. It also means I must now kill an hour. O-kay. But first I must sit in the car and ponder this curious foul up. I cannot move on until I’ve placed blame. How is it that I thought every Wednesday is minimum day? Who told me? Five minutes of deep thought pass and nothing. Was it my older daughter’s school? Did they have a Wednesday min. day? Hmmm. Not far enough in the past for me to remember, besides, I worked back then. She went to an afterschool program. I picked her up at 6pm no matter what time she got out. I go back further, way back, to when I was in elementary school and lo and behold, I remember getting out at 1:30 every Wednesday. Mystery solved. Blame is mine, right? Wrong. It’s the school’s fault for planting the seed (clears throat).
I kill time at a nearby Walgreens to buy Kleenex for the dry heat-related nosebleed I just got—did I mention I was wearing a white shirt?—and where I find Bark Off, a device to use on my neighbor’s yapping dog (the kind of dog that yaps so consistently, so long, so loud, that humane solutions such as Bark Off don’t seem to do justice to the death and dismemberment fantasy I maintain—did I mention I was PMSing?). Then I buy a coke for my troubles.
From there I go to the gas station. I swipe my card and it says I’ve encountered technical difficulties (how did it know?). I try again. And again. Did I mention this is one of the hottest days this summer? 107! So I *kick the pump and leave. (*PMS and caffeine don’t mix)
I pick up child who complains I pulled her out of class as her math teacher was explaining how to do the homework, which confirms why I never schedule appointments that take her out of school, and, of course, I blame the school.
We go to ortho wherein we discover our appointment is not this Wednesday, but next. Of course. (Who? Who? Whose fault? [everybody knows it’s always someone else’s fault] Can’t think. Head spinning. Eye twitching.) Is the next Wednesday still good? they ask. Si, I reply. (Now I’m speaking in tongues. Or is it Spanish?)
But it isn’t still good. I think the proper Spanish reply would have been ‘no”. After we leave, I realize I would have to take her out of school again because that next Wednesday doesn’t fall on one of the some Wednesdays that are minimum.
We salvage the trip by going to Target to buy two more uniform shirts. I had planned to buy the last two we needed at school so she could have two with the school logo. Not. They had no more small, just xl or xxl or xxxl. So I find the only shade parking at Target and appease myself that my luck must be changing. The parking happens to be closest to the garden dept. So we arrive in front of the garden dept to a closed gate. Locked.
Did I mention it is 107 degrees?
Maybe they figured no one would be dumb enough to do gardening on this hot day, or maybe the employee is suffering a heat stroke. All I want is a short cut to the AC, but no. Now we must walk a mile in the hot desert sun to the main entrance. It is so hot I can see it—fire, brimstone. I see mirages too—a closer entrance. But what I don’t see once inside are uniforms—sold out. (eye twitching faster.) On the hike back to the car, I notice they re-opened the garden dept.
We then leave skid marks drive out of the way to Wal*Mart. Have I ever told you of my aversion to Wal*Mart? No? Another day. Anyhoo, the only shade spot I find covers two parking spaces and a truck is parked in the middle of both. I crowd my car next to his (I say “his” because of the derogatory-to-females bumper stickers he so proudly displays) and park much closer than would otherwise had he taken up only one space—his arrogance backfired, hahahaha. Will there be a confrontation later? Maybe, but in my state it will more likely be a fight to the death—not mine.
We trudge a mile in the hot desert sun that is so hot I see it, and mirages too, because no one else in Fresno holds the repugnance to Wal*Mart that I do, and they are all here buying the last of the uniforms. There is none left. NONE, I tell you.
Laundry, I say to her. I will do laundry mid week. Shirts-a-plenty. Right? Normally this is where I’d say wrong, but my face is red, my eyes bulge, the temples in my forehead throb, so she says O-kay—did I tell you she’s smart?
Finally we get home and my bad day is done. I want to go to bed so I can get an early start on tomorrow.
Update: I stubbed broke my toe on the sprinkler head. Who put it there?
Authors note: Blame (for everything) is laid on a Hawaiian adventure vacation taken the week prior. A blog post is forthcoming on said adventure vacation when I’m not PMSing (I’m afraid I’m too much my real self during this time, and to protect myself from further embarrassment exposure, I must refrain).