Flat Tires and Fruit Platters

My chiropractor checked out my tires, of some questionably foreign make, and gave me directions to the nearest gas station with a working air pump machine. Of course the three nearest ones are known for having fritzy air machines, when I need something as free and available as air it would be in short supply. Even though I have an irrational fear of things that explode (specifically: plastic balloons, the refrigerated biscuits in the tube containers, and glass in the oven or holding a candle) my two tires, flatter than a pre-pubescent girl’s chest, were the only things standing between me and my loving boyfriend and the delicious dinner.

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This past Saturday was two things: Valentine’s Day, and freaking cold. I was working early in the morning at the Chiropractor’s office I’ve been working at on and off since I was 14 and hefty. I was embraced by patience I’ve known since my first day back in 2004 and greeted by new patients who are not yet accustomed to my energetic level and peppy presence in the office. My greetings ranged from “Oh my goodness! Look who’s here!” to “Is that your Chrysler out front? You have two really flat front tires”. Oh joy, oh wonder, oh balls.

The day before had started with a gorgeous arrangement of pineapple, chocolate cover strawberries, and grapes in a basket with a Valentine’s Day balloon and a cuddly teddy bear, and ended with sad and scary news. Since the world and I are usually on different pages, it makes sense that this particular morning proved to be a continuation of road blocks starting with flat tires. Instead of succumbing to the frustrations, I had decided to put a positive spin on this one, literally. Think circular. Yesterday started with delicious fruits (which contrary to some people’s beliefs are a food, as are veggies), and tonight for our casual, but romantic Valentine’s day dinner Matthew, is bringing us penne vodka, a small pie half eggplant and half broccoli, and enough garlic knots to permeate a McMansion with the overpowering aroma of garlic. Even though there were definitely scary and sad moments in between, food was the bread to the bad days sandwich, and let’s face it, life without yummy food would be life without sex: sad, lonely, and short lived.

My chiropractor checked out my tires, of some questionably foreign make, and gave me directions to the nearest gas station with a working air pump machine. Of course the three nearest ones are known for having fritzy air machines, when I need something as free and available as air it would be in short supply.  Even though I have an irrational fear of things that explode (specifically: plastic balloons, the refrigerated biscuits in the tube containers, and glass in the oven or holding a candle) my two tires, flatter than a pre-pubescent girl’s chest, were the only things standing between me and my loving boyfriend and the delicious dinner.  Nothing, food included, can make me feel as safe and as happy as a hug from someone as loving as my man, so no weather forecast or flat tires would be standing in my way. Besides, if I can change a blown tire all by myself, how hard can it be to fill a tire up with air?

I arrived at the gas station to find getting my tank filled with gas more complicated than filling a tire up with air… making sure that it’s the gas tank that opens and not the trunk is a pretty big deal. It certainly takes a lot more precision and concentration that pushing a nozzle into a tube and removing it when the machine beeps.  At this point I’m feeling confident that I’ll be able to beat this impending snow and get on the road at a reasonable time. Since I promised Matthew some of the fruit from my Valentine’s Day gift, I had to remember to bring it with me. Additionally I have to remember to bring the gifts for Matthew’s sister-in-law’s sprinkle, which is a toned down baby shower for the second or third pregnancy, as well as the gift I purchased for him for Valentine’s Day. In the midst of running around my house in my bra and pants trying to pick out a shirt, pack, and assemble and group the several billion items I need to not forget to bring I realized that the probability of me making it out the door on time and in one trip were getting less and less likely.

Being terribly stubborn, I am not one to make multiple trips, as such I did everything in my power to make this a one trip schlep from my second floor condo down to my car. I had managed to get all three baby outfits, the diapers, the sleeper, the spoons, the giant Valentine’s Day card, the smaller sentimental Valentine’s Day card, the giftwrapped personalized handcuffs, and the heart shaped box of peanut butter chocolates into one giant glittery bag, while also cramming all of my clothes, bath products, and computer in to my overnight bag. Everything was packed up and ready to leave my house, everything except the freaking fruit. Foil wrapped in two plates, sitting in the top of a cardboard box meant for paper supplies, the fruit sat on the top shelf of my refrigerator. How was I going two overstuffed bags, a purse, and a box of fruit in one trip?

The answer is quite simple, I wasn’t. With the temperatures being what they have been lately, I was able to justify making this a two tripper by heating up my car after bringing half the crap down. The other half would wait until I was ready to leave and lock-up, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had remember to take my house keys off my key ring sitting in my car. Now, instead of having a two tripper, I brought my purse and damned box of fruit to the car, only to haul my ass back upstairs to lock the door. All I could think of from not just calling Matthew and telling him he’d see me next week was the romantic, fattening dinner he had planned for me. I sacked up, and headed back down the stairs and got in to my car, at least it wasn’t snowing yet.

Ten minutes later I’m pulling on to the Garden State Parkway, a toll road for those not familiar with the parkway, when I reach into my bra and realize I don’t have my toll money. Since I’m apparently one of the few people left who have not decided to make their lives easier, I still pay tolls in cash and change. To avoid having to scavenger for monies while in the toll line, I keep my cash in my bra, or if I’m using change (usually designated for trips home from Matthew’s) keep it in the cup holder. I was headed down though so the toll money should have been in the left cup of my bra, but it wasn’t. It was nowhere to be found… if my attitude for not making more than one trip to/from the house/car is bad, than my attitude about turning around is horrendous. If I realize that I have to pee after I’ve left my house and locked one of my two door locks, then it’s too late to go back in to use the bathroom – even if I’m about to drive an hour away. Instead, I will hold it like a fat kid holding on to the last piece of chocolate; it’s a life or death situation, and neither the fat kid nor I will surrender.

It’s okay though. I have an emergency $20 in my purse, and all I wanted to do was make it safely to his house with the baby gifts, the Valentine’s Day gifts, and the fruit before I started to snow. I must have blinked in frustration because the next things my eyes see are snowflakes barreling toward my windshield. If I was in a normal car my next move would’ve been to turn on the defrost and wipers, but since I am in Linus, my 14 year old car, whose defrost doesn’t work, I clean the windshield with the windshield fluid, fill my lungs up with air, and scream as loud as I can while keeping my eyes open. The screaming didn’t do much for easing my frustration, but the corresponding arm movement must have scared the driver in front of me, because they moved over a lane freeing up space for me to speed into the flakes of death that will eventually mix with the windshield cleaner and cover my windshield in a white frost. I repeat the menu for our sexy, Italian dinner for the rest of the fifty minute drive to my boyfriend’s house while continuing to be the only person using windshield fluid to clear the way for a long, snowy drive.

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