There are those of you who tease me in a semi-snarky way about never making a misstep. Of projecting the illusion of a perfect life.
This post is for you.
Sunday started out like a cream puff of perfection if a day can be such a thing. (Don’t get mad. Keep reading, it’s gonna go south fast.)
After the brutal heat of the past week, the morning dawned clear and cool. The sky was so blue it hurt my eyes.
My coffee was perfectly creamed, my bed head only mildly Einsteinian, and even though we’d splurged on some fried food the night before, the little white shorts I’d found in the back corner of a bottom drawer fit like a glove. Okay, so maybe as tight as the OJ glove—but fuck it—I didn’t have to wear my Spanx (I have a no weekend rule with them) and even then the velcro stayed closed—so I’m calling it a win.
After spending an hour watching Sunday morning politics I put my head in the oven to stop the madness but nothing happened so I had another idea—food numbing. I texted my friend the “Hike Nazi” about meeting me for breakfast after she was finished hiking (any cardio in temps over 68 degrees is unacceptable to me)—and she agreed.
On my way up the hill, I could see that the temp had already climbed up into the eighties so I made a pact with myself. After breakfast, I would complete all tasks before noon that required being outside. I had to water the plants in the back and run to the market. Then I would spend the rest of my alone time (Raphael and the whiney brown dog had left early for a car show) watching movies in our den which for some unexplainable reason gets as cold as a meat locker when we run the AC.
Say what you will, at least I know myself and the fact that this older 2.0 version of me has a very low heat tolerance, ask anyone. I am a delicate flower and I no longer have the stamina for triple digit heat.
Up at the top of Beverly Glen is a little deli my friend frequents so we met there and that is when she introduced me to Mrs. Harrison.
I’m in love with Mrs. Harrison.
I want to lick her all over.
Mrs. Harrison is a scrambled egg and cheese sandwich on rye bread (always get the rye) that completely erased any memory I had of Trump, Mitch McConnell or that miserable snake woman, KellyAnne Conway.
Life was good.
(Insert sound effect of a needle scratching across a record or the air being let out of a balloon.)
When I went to pay for my Mrs. Harrison I noticed that my debit card was missing from my wallet. No big deal I thought, it’s probably at home or in the car or…somewhere other than my wallet. Nevertheless, I had like seven dollars on me and when I pulled out the pockets of my tiny white shorts to check for change—moths flew out. In other words, my friend paid for breakfast.
On my way down the hill, I forgot about it completely because Prince was on the radio. Right? I mean, Prince!
Anyway, when I got home I immediately went online to check and make sure that some culprit hadn’t absconded with the gigantic balance in my checking account. My health insurance payment gets taken out automatically this week (I’m never sure exactly what day) and I could picture the money being gone and the insurance company ordering the hospital to put my uterus back in!
I could also picture the crooks hacking their way into my account and then experiencing emotional schiophenia—hysterical laughter, followed by unexpected feelings of pity, and then rage at the colossal waste of their time. Minutes later I see them throwing my card out the window of their car into the dry brush on Mulholland.
After I was assured that my vast fortune was intact and that there had been no activity since Thursday, I felt bad about my boring life and the sad fact that I hadn’t been anywhere or done anything that cost money in three days— then I breathed an enormous sigh of relief and started wracking my brain while I watered my plants.
Where was my fucking debit card?
I don’t normally loose things. I misplace them, that’s different. It’s one of the quirks that makes me delightful.
You know that sinking feeling that grips you in the guts when you can’t find your wallet or your credit card goes missing? I had that. The dreaded gut grab.
I mentally retraced my steps (there weren’t many so it didn’t take long), called a couple of places, struck out, and finally decided I’d cancel the card and then just let it go. But alas, in the supermarket, I appeared to anyone watching to have a nasty case of Tourette’s. I’d walk halfway down an aisle, stop, think of a potential debit card scenario, yell “Shit!” or Fuck it!” when I’d realize that it wasn’t a viable solution—then keep walking.
In other words, I was mildly obsessed.
I bagged my milk and frozen stuff together at the self check-out putting everything in a “cooler” bag and made my way back out into the one-hundred-degree heat. By the time I got to the car I was a mumbling, twitchy, sweaty mess. Since I only brought my car keys (which this high-tech vehicle only has to smell to open and start) and my wallet with me, I threw them in the bag with the groceries and then watched in horror as the back hatch of the station wagon clicked shut…and locked.
With the keys inside.
Not surprisingly this had happened to me once before and the experience was burned into my memory. In a frenzy I had called Raphael, whose response was, “How can that happen?” and “What can I do from here?”
For some reason, the doors won’t lock if the keys are in the front of the car but I have it on good authority that the car can’t sense them all the way in the back—in a bag (or at least that’s what the internet says).
That’s when I went full Tourette’s. I ran around the car trying every door, meanwhile cursing a blue streak. It was like a scene out of Saving Private Ryan—f-bombs landing everywhere!
Nooooooo! It was so hot I could feel the skin on my shoulders sizzling. I didn’t even have my phone with me to call Raphael so he could say the same thing and offer the same solution. Finally, I threw my hands up in the air in surrender. I knew what must be done.
I started the one-mile walk home in my stupidly small white shorts and flimsy black flip-flops wondering why it felt like August in the Sahara Desert and why in god’s name I was dressed like a seventeen-year-old.
Looking at the big picture the whole thing was kinda funny. I mean, I was so wrapped up in the debit debacle and that energy got so much momentum going that it distracted me enough to make me do something I swore I’d never do again!
The lock and walk.
Then it happened. I was actually chuckling a little bit when it did. I hadn’t even made it fifty-feet when I experienced the mother of all fails. The fucking flip-flop fail.
My flip-flop chose that exact moment to fall apart causing my bare right foot to hit the superheated black top, scalding it in an instant. Imagine being barefoot on hot sand or walking across hot coals. Yeah, like that!
“Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck!” I yelled, hopping backward on one foot in the middle of the parking lot while awkwardly bending over like some ridiculous French fried Flamingo to pick the thing up, fix it, and nonchalantly walk away. “There’s nothing to see here!” I yelled in my head . But I had to admit…there was.
Soldier on. Keep walking. Three steps later it flew off again! Foot burned. Fucks flying.
Always a quick study, I hopped over to some shade to asess the situation and that’s when I started laughing because,
A: I was shit out of options. I knew I’d have to hop on one foot the entire mile home or just burn the shit out of my foot and deal with it.
B: Once momentum gets going in a downward spiral you’d better figure out a way to change its course—or else. (Or else your clothes start on fire and your shoes explode.)
C: I’m sure I looked beyond ridiculous! A sweat-drenched fifty-nine-year-old woman in tiny white shorts, one flip-flop, and a scarlet red right foot, hopping down a busy street. I mean, I can’t even!
Holding the irreparably broken flip-flop in hand, I hobbled home praying the entire way for Raphael to be there so
I could beat him with it, he could hug me, kiss my blistered foot, and give me a ride back to my melty groceries. He wasn’t, and I couldn’t walk on my right foot it was so burned, so I grabbed better shoes (ouch), and the spare key, jumped into his big van, and drove myself back to the scene of the crime.
I figured we could do the car dance later.
I was gone all of five minutes but when I got home he was there—wondering how one person was driving two cars. He figured the van had been stolen. As I told him the story he shook his head (because he knows I’m Lucy Ricardo) and gave my foot tons of sympathy.
Wait!… Is anybody still worried about the debit card?…ha! exactly!