Sometimes things don't go as planned.
Take, for example, last Wednesday night. On that cold, rainy, and windy night--probably the rainiest and windiest night ever-- I was excited to get home to my husband, the Christmas tree, our cozy abode, and above all, the Moroccan Chicken Stew that had been simmering away in the Crock Pot all day to perfection. Which I had been bragging about to my friends at work all day.
Call it karma, fate, the stars aligning funny, or just my life in general, but the evening turned out a little differently.
I was driving home on the back road that I take when it rains (because call me a grandma, but I hate driving on the highway in the rain). About two thirds of the way home, the car suddenly decided it didn't want to accelerate anymore. Like, nothing happened when I pushed the pedal. I could have gotten flustered at this point, but I calmly pulled over to a darkened golf course entrance and called for my husband to come rescue me.
At this point, it really didn't seem like the end of the world. The car had been acting funny lately, so we knew it would probably have to go in to be fixed at some point. We are lucky to have a second car to drive, so Ian was on his way. I'd call AAA, get it towed away, and be on our merry way!
So when I called AAA, only to find that neither of us were still covered under our parents (and come to think of it, I vaguely remembered my mom saying they were kicking me off. And then I remembered the AAA letter we got a few weeks ago still sitting on our kitchen table... ), I began to worry. Because this meant we were going to pay a million dollars for a tow truck.
Like a boat pulling into the pier, Ian arrived in the Grand Marquis and I informed him that we didn't have AAA. After a few moments of "I thought we were covered under your parents!" "I thought we were covered under yours!", I retreated to the running car, heels sinking into the mud the whole way, while he threw open the hood of the Toyota in typical male fashion to diagnose the problem.
It was now almost 7:30. I had left work at 6. I sat in the Marquis, blazing hot air blasting in my face, while I posted an angry Facebook status to which I received plenty of sympathizing comments (thanks, everyone!) when suddenly, like a beacon of light, a tow truck appeared out of nowhere. A burly man emerged from the truck and knocked on the window.
I rolled it down just enough so that my face didn't get pelted with raindrops, and I bombarded the poor man with gratitude and how I called AAA but we aren't covered so are we still allowed to be towed? Then he looked confused. I said "my husband is over there--talk to him" and rolled the window back up. We were saved! We were going home!
So imagine my dismay when minutes later the tow truck drove away. Without our car. I hastily dialed Ian, who was sitting in the broken car, and asked why the hell was the tow truck was driving away?!
"It was going to charge us 175 dollars!"
"But that's how much it COSTS! We're not covered!"
"Let me figure it out."
Remember how in The Sims, when the people were angry they had a red diamond hovering above their head? That was me, plus smoke coming out of my ears and darts shooting from my eyes. I was hungry, muddy, and cold. After several minutes of sitting alone in the running car, I got out and trudged to the broken car to join my husband who had just gotten off the phone with another towing company who was on their way to get the car. We could leave it there and go home! And it was cheaper!
Out we went into the rain again, trudged to the other car, and got in. I stuck the key in the ignition, but the car wouldn't turn on.
We left the damn lights on the entire time. And now the battery was dead.
This is when I lost it. I cried heaving tears, you know the kind that sound like you're laughing but you're not laughing at all and if anyone laughs with you, you'll punch them in the face? Never mind that it was that time of month, which just made the whole thing that much worse.
Luckily, we had just been given jumper cables the previous weekend by my dad when we were in PA. Out into the rain went my poor husband again, who managed to get the broken car over to where we could use its working engine to start the working car with a dead battery. While I sat in the car and worried about him getting electrocuted in the rain. Because wouldn't that just be the cherry on top?
Eventually, we got the car running, and were finally on our merry way home. At 9:00. By then, we were exhausted, soaked, and the dinner in the crock pot had been simmering away for over twelve hours, so it had pretty much turned to chicken broth-flavored mush. Yummy.
But earlier that day, we had a delivery of Greek food from George the landlady so we had a backup dinner. A stack of Christmas cards had arrived in the mail that day, and life really didn't turn out to be so bad.
The whole thing was kind of like this weekend, when I thought I would stick marshmallows in the middle of cupcakes and it would be delicious, but it turns out that they just rose to the top and hardened into a nasty sugary mess.
Lessons learned? Sometimes things go a little differently than you thought they might. Sometimes it seems like they will never get better, but eventually something will jump start and you'll be on your merry way. Sometimes cupcakes with marshmallows in the middle don't work.
And never leave something in a Crock Pot for 12 hours.