Monday, January 03, 2011

a monumentally bad day.

Let me start this post by saying that I don't need any, "Oh, golly, that sounds awful. Are you okay?" responses. This day was just so ridiculous from top to bottom that I feel the need to share it with the world (or the nine people who read this blog.) Besides, maybe if something bad happened in your day it won't seem so bad when you add it to the stack of mishaps that happened in Ouiser-land today. Or maybe you'll say, "Ouiser, you fool. Listen to what happened to me and be grateful that your life is awesome." And for the record, I've even managed to find a silver lining in this day...which I'll share at the end.

To begin.

Yesterday on the way home from church there was a fairly overwhelming smell of something burning in my car. (This is the same POS Saturn that's been taken in for service three times since Thanksgiving.) When we got home, M investigated all the parts of the car that might be on fire and nothing was even hot, so we assumed it was a fluke.

Now on to today, which was scheduled to be the last day of M's Christmas vacation. I say "scheduled to be" because his boss emailed him on Saturday asking him to go to a Metro Nashville RFP meeting this afternoon. While he tried to get out of it, he couldn't, so the last day of vacation wasn't really going to be a day of vacation. We were determined to make the best of it, though, and we really wanted to go see the Impressionist exhibit at The Frist. So the plan was that we would go to Nashville, eat lunch, go to the museum, and S and I would take M to his 30-minute meeting. We borrowed a portable DVD player so S could watch a movie while M met with other people that got conned out of vacation time.

We're also planning to trade the aforementioned POS Saturn for a Honda Pilot, and there was one that we were thinking of looking at and potentially buying today. So we thought that if S was hanging in there, we might head to the dealership to look at the Honda this afternoon.

Off we went.

It was only 10:45 when we got to Nashville, and S wanted her typical chickenandfriesandasprite so we thought that Buffalo Wild Wings would work. Anyway, at about 10:43 it occurred to me that it was slightly early for lunch, and hey! maybe that smell in my car had something to do with the fact that I was 1500 miles overdue for an oil change. Since we were on a road that I was certain would have plenty of oil change places, we decided to get the oil change before lunch...especially since there was a chance we'd want to trade the Saturn later in the afternoon. We passed a Firestone, and M ran in to ask of they could get our oil changed quickly.

"Yeah, man, right away."

Yeah, right. We unloaded S and headed into the waiting area. We emerged one hour and twenty minutes later. I am not exaggerating even a little bit. One hour and twenty minutes is an eternity when you're pregnant and sitting in a Firestone waiting area with a three-year-old. It seems even longer when Fox News is what's on the telly. So, time check. It's 12:10 by the time we leave Firestone. We head back to Buffalo Wild Wings. Our experience with the dumbest people ever to work in a Firestone was followed by an experience with the dumbest server in the history of the restaurant industry.

Por ejemplo:
"I need the children's chicken tender meal with a Sprite for her, please."
"What kind of dipping sauce would you like with that?"
"Oh, no dipping sauce for her, please."
"Do you want some ranch or something for her to dip her chicken in?"
What I wanted to say: "No. That's what I meant when I said no dipping sauce."
What I said: "No thank you." And I might have kicked M under the table.

Also, let's not forget that we were at Buffalo Wild Wings. This was not a great culinary experience. At least the Cherry Coke was good. Anyway, it was five after one when we stood up to leave. We were about ten minutes from the museum, which we were going to have to leave at 2 in order for M to get to his meeting. We discussed it and decided that M could leave us at the museum because S can play for hours at ArtQuest at the museum, and she is easily entertained for twenty minutes or so in the gift shop. Plus there's a cafe. With cake. We'd be fine as long as his meeting was really only going to be about half an hour.

That was the modified plan...for M to leave us. But then we arrived at The Frist. And there with us? The entire population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area for Nashville. Seriously, there were people everywhere. I don't know why there were so many people there, but they were there in force. S had no interest in any paintings except for one Renoir that held her attention for nine seconds and two of Degas dancers that she looked at for a total of half an eyeblink. She just wanted ArtQuest. Upstairs we headed. The half of the MSA that wasn't in the Impressionist exhibit was there. S couldn't really participate in any of the activities she wanted to participate in because there were so many people. We couldn't visit the Gift Shop because it was closed for inventory. We decided to leave with M after all, and we placated S with a promise of ice cream if she cooperated.

And she did cooperate. She was as good as gold while M was in his meeting. She was even cute. She watched Singin' in the Rain and laughed her head off because she thinks that movie is hysterical. When M got back to the car after what really was (miraculously) only a half hour meeting, we decided that she was happy enough that we could go look at the car. When we got to the dealership she was downright giddy about the Pilot we were looking at. She says we have to have it for Baby T. She was awesome. Until she realized that we weren't actually going to buy the car today. And actually we might have...except that it would've taken too long and it had already been a long day for her. So, we headed to Sweet CeCe's for FroYo deliciousness. Things were going just fine. You could tell that all three of us were tired, but we were fine. We left downtown Franklin and headed home.

Then the big bad battery light came on. I looked up what that particular light meant and was greeted with the following,"If the battery indicator light comes on while you're driving, there is something wrong with either your battery or the charging system. Cease using auxiliary power devices like the radio or cooling system and have your vehicle serviced immediately. Also, you're screwed." I might've made that last part up. As the only place that can service my POS Saturn was pretty close to where we were, I called. They told me we'd be fine, to go on home...besides no one was there who could look at the car until tomorrow anyway. I was supposed to see if the light was still on in the morning. About fifteen minutes later we were broken down on the side of the highway in the middleoffriggin'nowhere, a little place known as Fairview to those of you in the know. S was in tears because without power, there was no DVD. I was almost in tears because I was so over the day. M was not crying or teary-eyed.

First call placed: my brother. "Please come rescue us." Done.

Second call placed: Walker Chevrolet. "I know you said my car would get us home, but we're stranded in Fairview. Now what? How do I get my car to you?"

Third call placed: GM/Chevrolet Roadside Assistance. After a few minutes of "Press one if you're in America. Press two if you're not an alien. Press three if you like Sweet CeCe's. Please enter your VIN number and blood type," I heard, "We are connecting you to an agent." Then my call got dropped. I nearly screamed.

M called them back, and eventually we were rescued by my darling brother. For all I know, my car is still sitting on the side of the highway, but I'm hoping the tow company found it. If not, I hope some arsonist found it. Or a common thief. Because, seriously, as soon as it's fixed, I'm trading it. No more fooling around. I'm sick of it.

So, here's the silver lining. We were all together. If we'd made it home, the car would've died tomorrow. And tomorrow, S and I are driving to Franklin for my sister's birthday dinner...and S and I might've been stranded in the middle of nowhere alone, which is just the kind of thing that ends up on America's Most Wanted or at least in a Friday the 13th movie. We had M with us, and that made it better. Because frankly, I am pregnant and hormonal and it's cold outside and I forgot to take a coat with me today. It would suck to deal with that alone. In the dark. In a small town where Deliverance is probably rented regularly.

That's really all I've got to say. I'm exhausted, and I'm going to find something to take the place of the gallon of wine I wish I could drink. Maybe there's some slightly fermented apple juice in the back of the fridge. Slightly fermented is probably safe for the baby, right?


feather nester said...

Wow, so this was a REALLY GOOD DAY for us to ask to stay at your place, huh? ;) *hugs*

Paper Bird and Little Fairy said...

I am SO glad you all made it home safe, thank God for Marc! See ya tomorrow!


Scarlet Lily said...

Good silver lining, I was thinking the same thing as I was reading it: Thank GOD M was there!

Also, very suspenseful... I kept saying to myself: the oil change is gonna sink the ship!! No, the meeting! The meeting is gonna do them in! etc.

Leslie said...

Dang! That's a whole lot to deal with. I wish I could take you all out for fro-yo (and slightly fermented apple juice for the adults...)


Strongmama said...

Well there were at least three sucky things that happened, so I guess the other silver lining is that you're all set for awhile now!

I'm very glad you weren't stranded alone on the side of the road too.

die Frau said...

What a crummy experience! But yes, sometimes crummy experiences are best spent together.