This creature of habit is still reeling from the shock of a day full of out-of-the-ordinary-cycle-of-things events. Absolutely nothing earth-shattering (or even all that interesting) occurred today, but it was the little things that got me all discombobulated.
Things like leaving the house at 7:00 this morning, and not 7:45 or 8:00 like I usually do. And driving my car, not taking the bus. Stopping in Crystal City to get cash for parking from the ATM and to deposit a check, then realizing I had no pen to endorse said check, and asking the mild-faced guy in front of me in line for the ATM whether he might possibly have one (to which he replied, removing one iPod headphone from his ear and looking somewhat sheepish, “I’m afraid I don’t think I do,” which even at 7:15 a.m. struck me as being an odd way of phrasing it, but at least he was pleasant), so my entire detour into Crystal City became an exercise in futility. I could’ve gotten cash from 7/11…
Then the parking lot I planned on using for the day because it costs $6.00 if you’re in by 7:50 (I thought) ACTUALLY cost $7.00 because you have to be in by 7:00 to pay $6.00.
I went to Mass at 8 because I had a hair appointment at lunchtime. Which was great (I made it to Mass!) but also unusual since I almost always go at noon. And then afterward, when I stayed for a brief visit, I couldn’t focus on my prayers at all because my silence was peppered by the constant noise of some man up at the front of the church who decided his prayers needed to be said out loud. And by that I mean…loud. I am clearly not very good at praying, since his noise distracted me. A lot. I’m still distracted by it, clearly.
At lunchtime I decided not to take the address OR the phone number of the hair salon with me when I left the office with only 12 minutes to spare. (It takes 15 minutes to get there by metro.) Of course I realized when I got out of the metro station that I had NO idea where the place was. Or how to reach them. And I was already 5 minutes late, and wearing my work shoes (high heels) because I’m vain and didn’t like to wear my too-long pants with flats, especially when going to a hair salon where everybody will judge you for what you’ve got on your body. Yes, I am admitting this out loud. So I limped my way from G Street to F Street, then back up toward H Street, then back to G Street until at last I found it, 20 minutes late for my appointment and muttering all sorts of dour things to myself like a crazy lady. The receptionist with the painful-looking lip piercing completely ignored me, so I stood there feeling silly and shunned and LATE, and my feet hurt, but fortunately the stylist was very forgiving, and it all turned out all right in the end.
Back at the office I realized I had nothing for lunch, because I’d actually eaten what was supposed to be lunch for breakfast. Because I’m trying to save money (or really, I’m finally having to acknowledge that I simply don’t have any), I opted out of buying lunch. So I was forced to resort to a cup of ramen noodles, and all I could think the whole time I ate it was: “Does MSG kill a person within one week or two?” I’ll keep you all posted.
Because my lunch break ended up being quite a bit longer than expected, and because I had somewhere to be in DC later anyway, I stayed at work long past working hours. It’s always spooky to be one of the last out of the office. I emerged on the world thinking it was a lot later than it was. Then I hit up the Barnes and Noble at Union Station in search of the book that was to be the topic of discussion of the meeting I was attending this evening. Of course I’ve never read the book and won’t be prepared to participate. And of course it’s my first time and these people won’t know me from Eve and will consider me the biggest flake. And of course the book store doesn’t actually have the book. (The little man with the falsetto voice and the large ear piercing practically sang at me, “I seem to be out of that one, ma’am, but I’d be happy to order it for you.”)
I was going to be quite early for my event, so stopped and grabbed dinner. From Quiznos. A tip: never go to Quiznos before attending an event where you don’t know anyone. Quiznos has nothing on the menu that isn’t chock full of onions. I have nothing more to say except that my hands and my car both reek.
And I got a stain on one of my pant legs.
After I parked, I panicked before going in to the event because I thought I’d lost my car key. Mercifully, a false alarm, but in my excitement I turned on the car light to search for it. Having found the key, I closed and locked the car and went into the event. At the end of the discussion (nearly an hour later), one girl who’d come in a little late raised her hand and said, “Oh, by the way, there’s a car outside with the interior lights on…” and I felt my stomach drop. When she said, “It’s a bright blue Honda…” I wanted to sink through the floor. Instead I sheepishly raised my hand and said, “Oops, that’s mine…”
The event took place in a Dominican convent with wooden floors. I was still wearing those gosh-darn heels, and I click-clacked from room to room, painfully aware of my own noise level in the otherwise quiet house. Everyone else must’ve gotten the memo about soft-soled shoes. And then at the end the brothers tried to usher us out quietly (because it was after Compline and they’re supposed to be in silence), and I like a total goof am trying to ask one of them a question…
Just one goofy little thing after another. And while part of me wanted to shake my fist at the heavens, the other part just has to laugh. It’s good to be a little “off” sometimes, I guess. Keeps me humble. Reminds me that I’m not above looking foolish, that I’m not in control of everything, that I don’t have it all figured out and lined up in perfect order even though I like to think I do. It’s all okay. Ha ha ha ha ha.
But seriously, tomorrow…I’m coming home after work and watching a movie.