November 20, 2007

Car Wash Special

There are moments in our lives that you stop and think, "I should have definitely experienced this before now." It's hard to imagine that in thirteen years of driving, I could have a completely new experience.

I was driving last week when I heard a commercial on the radio for a car wash special. (My car had been used as target practice the day before by every feces-ridden bird within a five mile radius of our house.) I wasn't too far from the car wash, so I thought I'd swing by.

I pulled up to the car wash and an attendant with hair as straggly and fluffy as the wheel detailer took my payment. ($3.95! What a bargain!) He stood in front of the car and motioned for me to drive in. I preceded in, paying special attention to lining up my wheels. The car started to slowly move forward.

I was just inside the door when I realized that I should probably NOT be in drive. Should I be in park since the car wash chain would pull me? Or maybe neutral? Yeah, I think neutral sounded right. No, drive seemed to be working fine. Why didn't the mop-headed attendant tell me if I had to do anything? Sweating like a nervous Jeopardy contestant, I let my foot sloooowly off the gas petal, just to see what would happen. The car lunged forward about ten feet before I slammed on the brakes.

Whoops. I'll take Stupid Decisions for $600, Alex.

So there I sat in the car wash, embarrassed, concerned, and strangely amused. The fabric flappy things slapped at the car and soap covered the windows as I suddenly heard the muffled yells of the attendant. I looked back through the soapy window to see him standing near the rear and side of the car, hands cupped to his mouth, yelling something. He was trying to swat water away from his face.

Rolling down the window in a car wash has never been on my lifetime "to-do" list, but it has been checked off. I opened the window and the wet, angry strips of fabric slapped me in the face. Water sprayed in all directions and the best I could yell back was, "WHAT?"

He yelled again.

I actually considered for a split second pretending like I understood what he said. Then it dawned on me that perhaps his message would be important.

I stuck my head a little further out of the window. "HUH?"

(Just for the record, there is NO cool way to stick your head out of a window while inside a car wash.)

"PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL!" the attendant screamed. I gave him a look like heh, heh, heh, I knew that and I put it in neutral. Then I casually looked back to experience the biggest eye roll in history. I put the window up and tried to regain my composure, using some napkins to wipe my forehead.

Then I just sat there.

I thought that maybe the car attendant hated me so much at this moment that he didn't want me to go any further. Then I thought that perhaps the whole car wash karma was screwed up beyond repair. I imagined him having to shut down the whole thing to rescue my sorry, stupid ass. I could call for help with my cell phone, but could I hear anyone?

Then the car slowly moved forward. I probably waited for thirty seconds, but it seemed like hours.

Car washes are usually so quick they seem like a rip-off, but I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Up until that point, I had only driven into a car wash with a carport and put the car in park when the huge red light told me. I like big red PARK lights.

I looked into the rear-view mirror to see Katie sleeping soundly in her car seat. Luckily she had not witnessed one of her mother's all-time stupid moments, but, honestly, she probably won't have to wait long to see another.

November 19, 2007

A Guy Who Really Liked Head

I heard a theory years ago that said that we connect to people based on our past relationships in our past lives. If we hated someone in a past life, we are likely to clash with them in some form in this life. That dislike even explains how you could meet someone and instantly not like them even before you say a word to each other. The same goes for the ones we love, I imagine. Sometimes the hardest part of love is convincing yourself that your heart can be trusted.

I went out on a date with a guy in college without realizing it was a date. (I was a bit naive, okay?) We had met in a play we were doing and he and I connected, although I was never interested in him. After the play closed, he asked me if I'd like to get dinner sometime. (I know, that's a classic date, but I was naive, I tell you!) I was dating Dan at the time, but I didn't think anything of meeting Play Guy just as friends.

I walked to the restaurant and met him inside. I soon began to realize that although it had been easy to talk to him during play practice, our longer conversation was just too deep for me. He was a member of a Honors Fraternity and was very intellectual. He seemed to have a technical way of looking at everything. Humor eluded him when he'd get on a subject in which he was really interested. With Dan, every conversation I had ever had was just the right amount of intellect and levity without even trying.

As the night went on and we enjoyed some drinks, he started smiling at me and looking at me without speaking. Suddenly he asked me if a ring I was wearing on my left ring finger was an engagement ring.

"No," I said with a chuckle. "It's a garnet ring from my dad."
"Oh, thank god! You had me thinking you and Dan were engaged for a moment there."
"No, no," I said.

[Enter awkward silence here.]

"But you and Dan aren't serious, are you?"
"Well, we're not engaged, but it's serious," I explained.
"Then why are you here with me?"

He had a point, now that I think about it.

Luckily, he let the subject die. We continued to talk about various things--most of which were uninteresting to me--and then for some strange reason I mentioned my fine appreciation of the 60's band, The Monkees.

"You like The Monkees?" He was beyond ecstatic. "Did you ever see Head?"

I hadn't seen that movie, although I knew what he was talking about. I couldn't believe someone so intellectual could appreciate something so...stoned and drugged out and shriek with excitement about it, too. He went on and on and perhaps it was his beer that made him seem like far too much of a Head fan, but I realized that it didn't matter what he was talking about. I certainly didn't want to be with him and I regretted wasting an evening that I could have spent with Dan.

He said he would walk me home and we headed down the street towards my apartment. I stopped at a nearby corner so he didn't get yet another wrong idea about the night.

"Kelly, I'm in love with you."

I laughed.

"No, I'm serious. I know you said you're with Dan and I respect that, but you're the kind of girl I'm looking for. I think you should stop dating him and be with me."

This was the kind of stuff that only happens in movies, yet I was standing on College Ave. wondering how I could have two guys interested in me at the same time when for years and years before I had had none.

Needless to say, I didn't choose Play Guy. I went home and called Dan and we laughed about my evening. Yes, he knew I was going out with another guy, but he later told me he didn't want to seem possessive and tell me not to go.

I asked him why he wasn't afraid I would be interested in the other guy and he simply said, "Because I love you, Kel." And he was 100% right.

November 07, 2007

I Wonder As I Wander...

I'm listening to Christmas music right now. My old co-worker and desk-sharer Jason could tell you that I enjoy it more than your average person. I would love when the crappy easy-listening station at work would start playing Christmas music around this time of year. I don't think they even waited until after Thanksgiving. I'm not sure why I love it so much. I certainly don't listen to it for the religious meaning. I enjoy the holiday for the pure joy of giving to others. Everyone seems to take a moment out of their busy lives and enjoy being with each other, and if religion is the original reason, then I applaud it. I just think Christmas music reminds me of such a pleasant time of the year and of the many happy memories I have had through the years. Dean Martin crooning takes me back to my mom and dad's kitchen, warm from Mom's baking turkey and pies, filled with inevitable laughter from one of Dad's jokes.

This year is completely different for me, in a good way. I really feel like a child again. I know this year I will not have to deal with drama from my in-laws like we did last year and all the years before. I sometimes wonder if they know the true cost of their spite and selfishness and how grateful I am for it. I am truly enjoying the holidays for the first time in nearly ten years. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas like when I was a kid. It's an amazing feeling. I am so excited!

I just got back from the store where I bought ornaments (unbreakable, of course), lights, wrapping paper, and evergreen garland. Yes, it's a bit early, but I feel lighter. I feel like a weight has been lifted and in its place a wonderful, bright-eyed child has been placed. Katie makes me excited, even if she herself can't truly understand what everything means yet. She looks at the lights and the trees and says "Ooooh" with her curled lips and I just melt.

November 06, 2007

Fair-Weather Drummer?

When I first met my husband, he was the drummer for a punk band. He left the band for numerous reasons, none of which the founding members were mature enough to accept. A lack of loyalty never played into the equation. That band would mutate over the years, but maturity and dignity obviously eludes his one-time band members. I just located this blurb on their current MySpace page:

"Founding members [X] and [X] have always worked together to create music and lyrics that make a statement. Grab the listener's attention, make a visceral connection, and never let go. While the two weathered a rotating cast of fair-weather drummers and bassists over the first few years, [my italics] they still managed to release a solid, if unrefined EP and tour extensively as a young band just learning the ropes."

Fair-weather drummer? I guess "fair-weather" means to me that he would quit the band to eventually become a wonderful husband, father, and co-worker who is liked by everyone and who truly is a talented musician. If you're a pompous self-absorbed ass, it means something different. Dan's definition? "I only play the drums when it's sunny." (He obviously takes insults better than I do.)

Somehow "grabbing the listener's attention" is a talent that has been gravely exaggerated also. What about the shows where the kids walked out because of your shitty lyrics, absurd guitar solos, and lack of stage presence?

It's really a shame. I thought you guys would have grown through the years.

November 04, 2007

Loser Said What?

An old co-worker emailed me recently and said that she read this blog and didn't realize I hated work so much. I thought about it and couldn't really remember to what she would be referring. I hated it? Have I been out of work so long I can't remember if I hated it or not? Perhaps my carefree workless days have clouded my mind with grand visions of ample pay, rainbow skies, and personal fulfillment.

In other news...
I have been spending a lot of time on MySpace lately. My friend Val told me that it's addictive and I laughed it off, but now I'm itchy and I need it. Personally I think it's mean to do such a thing as introduce me to something so powerful. At least heroin would help me be skinny. MySpace makes me feel old and dirty, and not in a good way.