04 August 2008

What a Way to Start the Day

I kind of count on Sundays being nice, relaxing or at least manageable. Yesterday sort of let me down.

I got up early to start my rush of a day. Sort laundry, make tea, grab books, get gas, haul ass to the laundromat so I could get my three loads done in relative peace and quiet. What is it they say about the best laid plans?

First, there was a line at the cheap gas gas station I use. Why the world needed to fuel up at 8:30 on a Sunday morning, I have no idea. While I was waiting, I realized I had left my travel cup full of my green tea soy latte on my coffee table and had to go back to get it. I sang a chorus of F-Words on my way back. I met each and every red light on my way to the laundromat but finally saw a ray of hopeful light when I nabbed a coveted parking space. There are only six spaces in the back lot there, so, when you get one, you feel almost blessed.

In spite of the open spaces, there was a full house within. I had to place my loads of wash in different sections and even use an oversized washer to get my shizzle done. The girl using the back row moved over to let me squeeze in my whites and colors. She seemed nice and as tired as I was in that If I put a smile on my face, maybe no one will notice my eyelids are half-staff kind of way. I broke my $10 bill into a pile of quarters and went about my set up. I'm a bit methodical about my laundry. The black load was on its own, so I left the Woolite Dark on top of its machine. I took out the All Free and Clear, the Clorox 2 for the colors, the Clorox Ultra Care for the whites, Downey for all then fed the back two machines their quarters and began to dole out their soaps. After I put the bleach in the whites I heard, "No! That's my machine!" The nice girl sharing the back row with me ran over and started trying to open the machine or find a way to stop it. "Please, don't tell me you put bleach in it," she said. My stomach sank. I did. But it was the good kind. The gentle kind. Not like that really mattered. I just wanted to look on the bright side. I profusely apologized and told her I would pay for whatever I damaged (please, God, don't let it be Prada). She said it was a furry hoodie that she got in Miami to the tune of fifty bucks. I again apologized and said that I would pay for it and hoped she could get a replacement online. My heart pounded, my stomach churned. Nothing sucks more than ruined clothes. Like the time I loaned out my favorite wool cardigan and my cheap friend put it in the wash instead of taking it to the cleaners. It wasn't terribly expensive, but it wasn't replaceable either. I apologized once more, she laughed and said it was okay. Our whites were right next to each other. Easy mistake at such an early hour. She, too, thought coming in earlier would make for an easier day. We introduced each other, and I went back to doing my own laundry. The last of my bleach was used on her whites. I thought I had everything so perfectly mapped out. So not the case.

I used the in-house ATM (something I avoid truly believing they scam your account, nab your PIN and rob you when you least expect it) and took the $50 in cash over to her. She was kind enough to say, "Let's just wait and see how it turns out." It turned out fine. The gentle bleach lived up to its name. I gave her my card, just in case, and handed her a twenty. "Thanks for being so nice about this," I told her. The least I could do was buy her a round of drinks for starting off her day in such a way.

I scurried home with my freshly folded laundry and got ready for a birthday lunch, for which I still had to buy the birthday present. I knew exactly what I had wanted to get my friend: two folding chairs for the balcony of his new apartment. Cost Plus is the mecca of folding chairs. But not yesterday. August seems to be turnover month. Out with the old in preparation for the new models. The two teak chairs out front were for display only. I could pick up the boxed ones on Tuesday. With pleading eyes, I told the manager of my desperate need. He took pity on me and let me buy them. The cashier had hawk eyes and noticed one had a crack in a slat on the seat. Bugger. One chair and one gift card to go, then over to Hollywood. Ugh.

I hate going anywhere with crap parking. Granted, I hate going anywhere east of Sepulveda period, but especially where traffic and parking are both bitches. But this was for one of my dearest friends. For that, I suck it up. It was an easy drive over (shocker), but once you get to Hollywood Boulevard, there's no way to go the near speed limit, and pedestrians like to test the jaywalking laws. Tourists. One lap around two long blocks and a non-metered space opened up. Miracle! I thanked the parking gods for that gift and carried the bow-tied chair into the restaurant, on time but out of breath (I tend to hold it in traffic and parking space quests).

While I like a good burrito as much as the next person, I generally don't crave one for my first meal. And there really isn't a healthy way to eat Mexican cuisine. There's no way one can skip the chips just sitting on the table as your stomach growls with only the remnants of a green tea soy latte sitting in it. No. And then all you are left with is a carb coma. The rest of the to-do list just isn't going to get done.

I did my best to fight it, but fell asleep at six peeyem. I woke up at ten with a Damn. I wish I could be the person who can make due with a twenty minute catnap. Nope. It was after two ayem when I went to bed only to toss and turn, but somehow I woke up with my six-thirty alarm. Miracle again! I actually made it to the gym, did my hour on the treadmill and started my workday feeling like I had already accomplished something. I sat at my desk happy and hopeful. I just wanted a simple day. An easy day. Go gracefully into the new week. Then I felt the cramps. A day early. Great. Breakfast with a Midol chaser. So not the way I had wanted to start the day.

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