Nope, I'm not talking about the local weather. Nope, not about the not-so-local weather. Remember that expression "when it rains, it pours"? Yeah, we're having thunderstorms today.
Let's start with how today was supposed to go. The kids are still at their Grandparents' house and loving every minute of it. Luke and I just took the past 4 days doing whatever we wanted (um, within budget, that is) and it was stupendous. We set aside today, tomorrow and early Friday to be hyper-productive while the kids are still gone. Luke was going to work 2 full days, and spend the rest of the time on a marathon-paper-writing-binge with the hopes of getting a solid first draft of his first section. That accomplishment would bring much joy and satisfaction and encouragement to both of us. I was planning on getting a hair cut that I needed about 2 months ago, and cashing in on an awesome deal for a massage that I spent the last of my Christmas money on. Then I was going to go to Bible study tonight and spend the next two days catching up on things that are hard to do with kids around (delivering donations of clothes we don't need anymore, organizing the file cabinet, etc). We expected it to be as awesome as the past few days have been---in a very different, but equally satisfying way.
Then I woke up this morning. The clock told me that it was an hour after the time that Luke had set his alarm for. I immediately woke Luke up, announcing the time, and he jump out of bed. And screamed. And then spent the next half hour nursing a (presumably) pulled muscle in his back.
In hindsight, we should have just crawled back into bed right then and there. Oh, how silly of us for thinking things would improve.
He eventually made it to work (very late) and even manged to get a few things done, but he is in a lot of pain right now. He's certainly not in a condition to abuse his body and stay up all night fervently working on a paper. So, yeah, I guess that whole "let's be encouraged by getting a big chunk of the paper done" was merely an exciting daydream. Awesome.
Meanwhile, the craziness and tardiness of the morning forced me to cancel my hair cut. It's rescheduled for tomorrow, but I've given up on optimism at the moment. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not planning to make it through writing this blog post without dumping water on my laptop or something. You think I am being overly dramatic, but you haven't heard about the rest of the day yet.
So I go to my massage. Did I mention I paid the last of my Christmas money on this? And then used my valuable kid-free time to actually go and get it? And, ya know, it's a 90-minute professional full-body massage. There are a lot of reasons for me to have very high expectations. Right?
I should have been worried when the masseuse was waiting outside the bathroom door for me. Um, awkward. Or I should have thought twice about my expectations when she couldn't get the fitted sheet to stay on the table. Or maybe the self-conscious conversation that she kept making should have been a hint. But no, I was still optimistic at that point in the day, so I missed all of those clues.
I began being a little concerned when I simultaneously noticed two things: 1) the hip-hop music from outside the room was as loud as the soothing instrumental stuff she had playing from the boom-box on the floor, and 2) when she was massaging my hand, she meticulously got every finger, but completely ignored the palm. Despite my momentary doubts, optimism prevailed. Ok, so it isn't going to be utterly perfect, I thought to myself, but at least it will be a massage. I'll just enjoy what I can of it. Mistake number......um......I've lost count.
By about halfway through, I realized that I was wondering how much longer it would be. Not in the "I could lay here forever" sort of way, but in the "I've got better things to do" sort of way. There were points (like my feet) where I realized that Luke can (and does!) give MUCH better massages. Then the fitted sheet came off again and was curled around my toes and when I pointed it out, she asked if it was ok to just leave it that way. Um. No. After awhile I noticed that my neck was uncomfortable and I was getting a headache. I tried to change positions to make it better. The hip hop music was still blending with the instrumental stuff. When will this thing be over?!?!
It did finally end, and as I was getting dressed afterwards, I noticed that they had set the clock in the room ten minutes ahead of my cell phone. Up until that point I was still trying to stay positive about them and assume the best: they are merely unprofessional (the music, the sheets, etc) and the masseuse is simply not that good at her trade. But the clock was the final straw. Now they are intentionally trying to cheat their customers. For a moment, I considered not tipping her at all.
So I left there disgruntled and with a headache and hopped on the highway to find a coffeeshop to sit in while I prepared for Bible study and waited for it to start. The optimism returned. Oh how foolish of me.
Traffic hit a bottleneck and I was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me. That's a fairly normal occurrence for that road. What isn't normal is that my brake pedal felt like there was a brick sitting under it. I succeeded in slowing down enough to avoid an accident, but now I found myself on a busy highway in a big city with stop-and-go traffic and no brakes (nor any shoulder to stop in even if I could manage to stop).
Somehow I made it to an exit ramp and was able stop and make some phone calls. From those conversations I figured out that there was a good mechanic about 2 miles away on streets that I knew well, and that the brakes were there (if I pushed hard enough, and with enough stopping time). I decided to drive to the mechanic with my flashers on. I don't know why a pedestrian would dart in front of a car with their flashers on, but that woman is lucky to be alive.
I made it to the mechanic with nothing more than a few heart-stopping situations and a very sore ankle (did I mention I sprained it a few weeks ago? It's pretty much ok now, unless I use it too much---like braking in city traffic with no power brakes).
So now I am dehydrated from the crappy massage (I didn't stay to drink the water that I should have because I was so annoyed) and I have a tension headache from the crappy massage and I am pretty emotionally drained from the crazy car stuff. And you are all thinking that this story is over. NOPE.
So I walked (on the now-hurting-again sprained ankle) to find somewhere to sit and calm down (facebook, of course) and get some water and a snack. As I am walking, my knee starts hurting. This knee acts up sometimes (and has done so for years), but I know what triggers it and can avoid those things or be prepared for the pain, so it's usually not a big deal. But I recall that as she was massaging my knee it hurt. Awesome. Now my knee is screwed up. I shouldn't have left her a tip. Are you keeping track of this? My right ankle is sprained and my left knee is screwed up, and my car broke down. I can't figure out which side to limp on.
I hobble past a few Starbucks because I don't really feel like a hot chocolate and that's the only thing I like from there. I settle on a bagel shop because they told me the wifi from the hotel next to them works in their restaurant. Liars.
As I finish this and consider whether I should go to Bible study tonight (I could theoretically get there and home on the train, but do I really want to? And I'm not at all prepared), or just go home, I notice that the wind has picked up and the sky is dark and I recall that they said there were supposed to be severe thunderstorms this afternoon and I haven't seen those yet. I guess they are arriving now, right when I plan to limp to the train to go somewhere.
So maybe this post was about real thunderstorms after all. Didn't I tell you something else was going to go wrong? I guess the sky is going to spill water on my computer for me. And here I was thinking I had been so careful with it.