Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

someone up there must not like me

Someone is playing a harmonica in my house.  I’m not allowed to talk about this person anymore, so I can’t say who.  But I will say this…it’s bad enough that I live in the south, do I have to feel like I’m in Deliverance too?  After the day I’ve had, it doesn’t seem that far off.

It is entirely possible that I’m easily irritated tonight.  I’m going to blame PMS, because it’s just easier that way, but honestly I don’t think anything could have savaged this day.  PMS or no PMS.  The only bright spot in my black hole of a day is that I don’t have to work tomorrow. 

But in a cruel twist of fate, the weather this weekend is supposed to be the worst in months.  They are predicting severe storms and possible tornadoes.  That would be a fitting end to my week if I was swept up into a gigantic cyclone and carried off to be the witch in someone’s fairy tale.  And don’t forget, the girls have prom tomorrow night.  So if it rains, I will never hear the end of it.  Because everyone knows it will be my fault if the weather is not perfect.  I should have prepared better.  And we all know how good I am at preparing. 

Not.

I don’t know how I could have prepared for today.  It started out fine.  I actually got up after the second time my alarm went off and was ready twenty minutes early.  I even had time to eat breakfast before leaving—something I never have time for.  I would have been early to work too, if I hadn’t taken time to burn CD’s for the bank.  We needed soothing music.

Friday is arguably the worst day to be a banker.  Today was doubly bad.  Not only was it a Friday, it was also the last day of the month.  Add to that the fact that the pollen count was soaring and my eye was twitching uncontrollably all day.  Thankfully I had eaten breakfast because I had to drive my daughter to school during my lunch break, so I didn’t have time for lunch.  I managed to grab something and quickly scarf down a few bites before going back to work, but I was hungry for the rest of the day—and Friday at the bank is an extra long day.  Even chocolate didn’t help.  And believe me I tried. 

I dug through my purse looking for medicine to relieve my headache and found a peanut M&M that had fallen in there at some point—I have no idea when—so of course I ate it.  The euphoria was short lived.  I had a line of customers waiting to see me and a “to do” pile that was several days deep.  I also had a son pacing in the lobby with a look on his face that spoke volumes.  I was not going to like what he had to say, and he was irritated to have to wait his turn to say it. 

“I need your keys.” He told me when he finally managed to get into my office. 

“Why?” I questioned as I tried to look out the window to see if his car was in the parking lot. 

“Only the driver side window will go down and it’s hot.  I’ll sweat to death if I have to drive my car.”  Which really means, “You can sweat to death, Mom, I have things to do with my life, and you’ve lived a good long time already.”  Oh sure, he tried to sugar coat it, but I can translate their language.  I got the message loud and clear. 

“I need my car.” I argued.  It was a pathetic argument, because I was stuck at the bank until six-thirty, and he knew it. 

“What do you need?  I’ll get it for you.” His argument was much better thought out than mine.  Lucky for me, I think fast and I remembered his initial argument. 

“You need to toggle the button to unlock the other windows.  You don’t need my car.”  I said with a sly grin.  He wasn’t impressed with my brilliance and he stormed out of the bank to unlock his windows and drive off without my car or my sunroof or my air conditioning that only halfway works. 

He was back after only a few minutes time.  “I need your keys.” He said again.  Like he was trying to Jedi mind trick me or something and just completely start over with his argument. 

Two could play at this game. “Why?” I asked again, exasperated—eye twitching like some crazy person. 

“I have a flat tire.” He played his final card and I could feel my face fall.  Had he let the air out just to use my sunroof?  “It wasn’t flat when I left home, and it wasn’t flat when I got here, but it’s flat now.  I don’t have time to fix it.  I need to go to work.” 

Out played again!

I don’t remember much about the rest of my work day.  I was too keyed up thinking about how I was supposed to get home on a flat tire.  Luckily, I didn’t have to worry for long.  One of my male coworkers took pity on me and offered to change my tire.  I think he was trying to make up for a snarky comment he made earlier in the day about my driving my daughter to school three days a week—like I’m supposed to stop being a parent when I walk through the doors of the bank every day. 

I let him fix my tire, not because I wanted to give him a chance to redeem himself, but because I don’t change tires and my husband would not be home for over an hour…and I had an appointment to sing at the House of Brews again.  They even put my name up on the electronic marquis outside the building. 

Important tip: Always make sure you have air in the spare before getting a flat tire.

I wish someone had warned me that I would need that tip earlier.  The spare wasn’t completely flat, it had more air than the regular tire, but I would need to stop at the gas station for air before driving the mile and a half home.  I was within walking distance to the gas station, so I wasn’t too irritated.  I could put air in a tire.  I’d done that many times. 

I wish someone had told me that the gas station had taken the air compressor out several months ago.  That would have been a valuable piece of information.  But since no one shared that tidbit with me, I had to drive home on a semi-soft donut spare that left a black line trailing behind me the entire way home.  I got out of the car in my driveway and said almost every bad word I knew, and a few I made up specifically for this occasion. 

I wasn’t going anywhere. 

In a quick recap: I had gotten up early this morning, eaten breakfast before eight-thirty, had a few stale chicken tenders for lunch, and a lint covered peanut M&M for desert.  I had spoken with dozens of customers, many of whom wanted to share with me their distaste for my bank because THEY don’t know how to balance their checkbooks and spent money THEY didn’t have and were angry because they incurred fees for that privilege.  I had listened to a coworker refer to me as a “bus driver” because I care enough to take my child to school to ensure she has a good education.  I gave my perfectly fine automobile to my son in exchange for his tire-less, hotbox, that didn’t even have a usable spare.  I had a muscle tic in my eyelid that made me look like I was some deranged lunatic who had just escaped from the asylum.  And on a beautiful Friday evening when I had someplace to be, I had no way to get there.  Oh and yeah, I had a bad case of PMS.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re wondering how I managed to stay off the roof of my house to write tonight’s blog.  Well, my story has a happy ending.

As it turns out, I’m a pretty damn good singer, so when the House of Brews found out that I was stranded they sent someone to come get me.  So, after a few hours singing on the deck in front of a crowd, my faith in the world has been restored.  Well, mostly anyway.  My eye is still twitching.  But I have a cranberry wine cooler, and after a few more I probably won’t care. 

Until the next time…I’ll be sleeping in!

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.