I thought the top moment of the day would be the moment I realized that my husband's tall truck wasn't going to fit under the bumperguard of the parking ramp. The one that said "Maximum height 6'3". The same one that had just bent his antenna into the shape of a banana. "Crap!" I thought. I won't fit and I'm only 2' away from being wedged under level six of the Community College parking ramp. "Crap!" I thought again. "That means I have to back up! Crap!" As I looked around I realized I was literally between some rock (OK, concrete) and a hard place (more concrete) I had just rounded a corner in his big red truck, right before I drove it under the bumperguard.
It had already been a long day and I had just about had my fill of lovely adventures. Actually I was in 'numb' mode. Sometimes my life gets away from me and it gets so unbelievably convoluted that I can't even afford to get upset. I have to just put my head down and continue to move forward. This would be one of those days.
So I rammed that gear shaft (OK, that makes me giggle- it sounds naughty)into reverse and backed that baby (er, if by baby I mean baby elephant) right into a vacant spot that was really meant for a compact. "Bite me"- I said mentally to anyone who might have a comment. I've earned that spot and compact is relative. That truck is small compared to a semi- so bite me.
Once the bumper hit the concrete behind me I knew I was parked just as efficiently as I could be. I put one hand into the handle on the ceiling and lowered myself down. This would be a good time to mention that I'm 5'-3" and this truck is built for a man, a manly man! I can attest to this by the ritual I go through every time I have to drive the truck. I start by putting one leg up over my ear to reach the floorboards and grab the steering wheel and hoist myself in. Its graceful, believe me. Then I adjust the seat by use of the handle under the seat which quickly propels me (again, I might be carrying a few extra pounds but this truck is made for a manly man and my weight doesn't really slow that seat down) forward and rams my knees right into the steering column. After I swear a few times in pain and angst as I remember that I swore that would never happen again- I put the truck into reverse to get out of the drive. Then the truck stalls because I can't look over my shoulder and keep my foot extended far enough to keep the clutch in. More swearing and less looking behind me as I back up. That's how my driving experience starts out in "Big Red" "the truck built for a man".
Well, howdy, why am I driving the big red truck? Maybe because after my in-laws drove away with my kids that morning I discovered I had a dead battery in my car. Looking around for a solution I found I had to choose between attempting to jump the battery or (yeah, me and battery cables? Seen a few too many horror movies where people get electrocuted and their eyeballs popped out- sorry for the graphics but that explains why I chose...) to drive the big red truck to work. The truck won. By the end of the day I would say the truck was definitely the winner.
I strode across the parking lot of the college ('strode' because I just got out of a big red truck like the kind cowboys would drive) Well..okay it was more like a crippled run with a lot of dodging around because I was looking for mud puddles.
What? Yep, that's what I said. See, I had a problem. My boots (ankle high, not cow girl) were covered in mud. Clay, to be precise, thick wet clumpy clay. Inches of clay, mounds of clay, clumps of clay. I could not enter a building like this. I can take a lot of funny looks but...I was not up for leaving parcels of dirt on the floor as my boots dried. This was a predicament that should be easily solved this rainy spring. I found two puddles but wouldn't you know it- they were not the usual deep ponds I had spent the winter jumping over in effort to keep my feet dry. No- of course not, as today I would have gladly frolicked like a newborn duckling even with the college students looking on. But I tried. And I did get a comment or two. Again- numb- go ahead, make your comments, people, I don't know you, you don't know me so therefor- no witnesses. Plus, I'm 40-something, you are 20-something, bite me.
I know, you are confused- why so much mud on my pretty little feet? I hesitate to go into it all, it makes me tired. Maybe first I should tell you that to solve the problem I ducked into the ladies room (hmm, not such lady like behaviour coming up here..) and hoisted my feet up into the sink and washed clay down their sink. It was not the kindest thing I have ever done but again- no witnesses, no crime. God, by now my poor inner thighs had had more exercise than they had since I was a newly-wed.
Then, I very calmly made my way down the hall and joined my class already in progress and looked around at my fellow classmates and thought- yeah, go ahead, tell me your problems, children. I've got a clay covered boot with your name on it. By then, I really just wanted to plop my butt down and interrupt the teacher and say "Can we just talk about my day for a few minutes and then we can do this other computer stuff?"
Oh, the clay...where did it come from? The driveway,of course! Or the place where the driveway will be once it stops raining and they put one in. Not at my house, at the job site. The job site where I put the dimensions down on the floor for the cabinets that we'll be installing. The big expensive house we're working on with the really ornery builders. Except that one of the dimensions I put down was wrong. And, I discovered that this very morning that I drove the big red truck in to work. And, it was an important dimension. Electric would be run according to that dimension.
It was a long day. I had decided not to tell my boss because I could fix it right? As of now it was just a mark on the floor- completely fixable. But it made me nervous as I waited for the day to end so that I could run over to the job site and fix 'the problem'. I did my best to remain calm but I think I may have twitched a few times in angst.
When I got to the job site I fell out of the truck and started down the drive. I didn't get far before I realized there was another problem. Soft, squishy, wet clay was everywhere. Thick, oozing clay lay between me and solving the problem. "Crap!" I said but I was not deterred. I sized up the situation and located the highest points and set out. I kid you not- my feet sunk into the clay up to my ankles. It struck me that I was on a deserted jobsite out in the country side- no other houses in the development and no one- not one single person knew that I was there. So, if I became stuck in the quicksand-like mud I might just be there until the morning when the construction crew drove up. I realized this was not the smartest idea I had ever had. But on with it! I hopped, jumped and tiptoed my way up to garage. Whew! I was in. That trek was something right out of a Indiana Jones movie.
I'd like to say that I solved "the problem" but...I didn't. Even though there was a roof on the structure we'd had monsoon like rains that weekend that had come down practically sideways and in through the windows. My markers wouldn't work on the subfloor. I had no pencil. I had no spray paint. The incorrect dimension would have to remain. "Crap!" I said. All that jumping and hopping through mud for nothing. And now I'd have to do it again before I would arrive safely at the big red truck. "Crap!" I said because it seemed to fit the moment.
So to put all the pieces of the puzzle together- the day started with a dead battery causing me to choose to drive (well, I claim to be the driver but I never really feel like I'm in charge when I'm behind the wheel of that thing) the big red truck. Not long after starting the work day I discovered my treacherous error and decided to quietly fix it rather than divulge my ineptness causing an eight hour day of angst and twitching as I tried to maintain a calm exterior. After work I drove the big red truck with much gusto to the job site where I quickly remembered why I am a designer who draws houses and not a builder who actually physically builds houses. After my thwarted attempt to make 'the problem' disappear I again pretended to drive that big honkin' truck to the community college and almost- almost ripped the top off of it in the parking ramp. Then I perpetrated a future drain blockage in the women's bathroom of the community college.
Yep, that's the day in the life of an interior designer. Anyone signing up for design school today?