Areas of Unrest
5 December 1999 - Things Break
QOTD: "It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it." - Sam Levenson
Reading: Ed McBain, The Big Bad City
Listening to: The Foremen, Folk Heroes
My broken toe was just the start of things falling apart. Wednesday, I was sitting in my office talking to someone and playing with a sea slipper. The sea slipper is one of my all-time favorite toys and is essentially a soft plastic tube filled with blue water, glitter, and little hard plastic fish. I bought it for a few bucks a while back and have been playing with it almost all of my working hours since. This time, one of the fish fins burst through the soft plastic. My lap was filled with water and glitter to my utter embarassment.
All of which is a prelude to Friday's trauma. When I was leaving my building in the morning, there was a car parked just at the edge of our driveway. Illegally, as there is a fire hydrant there. There was also a guy standing on the sidewalk waving rather randomly. This guy's weird behavior had me distracted and I hit the bumper of the parked car as I pulled out. I did stop and leave a note, even though I didn't see any damage to the parked car. When I got to work, I discovered that there was a big chip torn out of the side of my car, though. Anyway, I came home to a message on my machine telling me he didn't see any damage so I should forget about it. I'm sort of obsessing that he might change his mind but he didn't leave his number and I (stupidly) didn't write down his license plate number. I will take my car to the body shop this week and, based on that, decide about calling my insurance company. Mostly I just feel dumb - I should have been paying more attention.
I was also pissed off at Robert because he hadn't replied to my email asking him about some plans for our upcoming get-together. So you can imagine that I felt terrible when I got his message today that his father had passed away Thanksgiving Day. He's been busily handling everything since his mother was way too upset to be able to. (Not surprising after 47 years of marriage - and they had started dating 5 years earlier than that, when she was only 15 years old.) I had a long phone conversation with him and tried to be as reassuring as I could. This wasn't entirely a surprise, but was more sudden than anyone expected.
One thing I realized out of all this stress this week was that I really don't feel like an adult. I'm 41 and I still feel inept at dealing with life's twists. What is scarier is that when I thought about what it would take to make me feel grown-up, the only things I could think of were getting married and/or buying a house. Or, I suppose, having a child - but that is rather unlikely at this point, and I would still prefer marriage as a prerequisite to child-bearing.
The evening was a bit better. My former boss had his annual holiday party and it was nice seeing everyone. Even if we did have to sit through his rendition of "Silver Bells" on the "farting hands." This is probably the last year of this party as he's been promoted. I also learned that their subdivision head (who used to be in my current department) is moving to Washington, D.C. at the beginning of February. Which makes me very glad that I didn't apply for his position, as it's very important to me to know who I'd be working for.
Finally, what with all the breakage this week, I feel compelled to point out that I had nothing to do with the Mars Polar Lander.
Copyright 1999 Miriam H. Nadel
Send comments to: email@example.com