I’ve often been told that I have this ability, whether good or bad, of making my life into an odd, complicated story that seems somewhat implausible. Things just happen to me. I know these things also happen to other people, but for some reason, when it is me and I retell the story, I’m usually told, “It’s just you, K.”
For a while now, nothing odd has happened. My life has been pretty level. I’ve had no strange interactions with people, places, or things. Everything has seemed somewhat normal. Until Thursday.
Even the events since Thursday really haven’t been all that unrealistic. Just things to make me feel like me again. I’ve been in this weird funk for a while, and I think it was because strange things weren’t happening. I remember now that I have to make them happen. They don’t just come about on their own.
Thursday morning, I almost forgot my cell phone when I took the dogs for a walk. At the point in the walk where we were turning around to come home, I slipped off the edge of the sidewalk and twisted my ankle. I thought, “This is why I bring my cell phone.” Then I realized it was 7:30am, I couldn’t think of anyone who would be awake that early, and it wasn’t bad enough for an ambulance, so I walked it off.
That evening, I was sitting outside of In’n'Out Burger waiting for a friend. A guy pulled up in a mini cooper. I decided that a guy driving a mini cooper was better than a guy driving a beetle. I smiled a little just before he got to the door. Then he turned around and went back to his car. He got something out of the front seat and came back. Just as he was about to go in, I said, “Oh good. I was afraid I’d scared you away.” I was impressed that he quickly replied, “No, just the opposite. You are the reason I came back.” It was really cute. Then my friend showed up, we went inside. My friend was curious as to why this guy waiting for his food was looking at us funny. Dear In’n'Out Burger Guy, thank you. You made me smile! =)
Friday I had a lovely evening with my friends. They came over and cooked. Why is it that I feel like an outcast in my own kitchen. I’ve come to realize that my friends have bonded more with my stove than I have. I’m not even sure that I’ve turned it on yet. A friend used to joke that his mom makes the best reservations in town. I haven’t succeeded at that either. You guys are awesome. You come with food, good cheer, and a dash of ridicule. I couldn’t ask for more. Well, other than to think you might be awake at 7:30 in the morning the next time I fall down and can’t get up. ;-)
So that brings us to Saturday. I ran three miles this morning. Walked the dog through a farmers market. At the end, found the sign that read, “No Smoking, No Pets.” Good thing they didn’t have to write, “No smoking pets.” Meine Schwester and I went to Santa Cruz and found another wonderful place to let the dogs run free. Or as she says, “Free-ball it.” Arrived home starving and ate leftovers from Friday night. Just as I was finishing, a friend asked if I’d like to join him for dinner. Rather than say no, I went and had a salad. I suck at lying, so I had to admit I’d already eaten, but didn’t want that to stop us from going out.
After dinner, we decided it would be a nice night to play mini golf. We drove in separate cars. On the way to my car, I smiled as I passed three well dressed guys in the alley. I had forgotten that smiling opens the invitation to begin a conversation. I was then invited to go with them to the club they were headed to. Dear Club Guys, thank you for the offer. I am flattered!
At the mini golf place I tried the normal parking lot, but it was full, so I drove around the block to the lot in the back. It was full too, so I pulled out into the street and turned immediately into the parking lot of the nursery next door. I turned the corner a little too tight and scraped the curb with my front passenger side wheel. It didn’t sound good. I parked and went to look at it. It looked fine, but the hissing sound wasn’t pleasant. So I backed the car into a spot where it would be easy to change the tire later. I found my friend and we decided to ignore the situation and play mini golf and air hockey before dealing with the tire. I do wonder if he thought I was exaggerating about the tire…
Well, I lost at mini golf (not by much) and then I lost at air hockey (by a lot). I swear I’m pretty good at air hockey. At least I won a lot the last time I was there. And then we played this odd game where you play music. It was really cool, but I was confused because the buttons are setup like a keyboard, but are too far apart and too big for my size hands. If it had been regular piano key sizes, I wonder if I would have done better. Probably not, but I can wish. I finally decided that I had ignored my tire long enough and it was time to do something about it.
Lesson number 1: If you are going to call AAA, try calling _before_ you play mini golf. I was convinced that I was going to change the tire myself. I may not have won at mini golf, air hockey, or big-key piano, but I was going to succeed at something tonight. So I didn’t really want to call AAA. We got the tire and all the tools out of the trunk and got to work. Somewhere along the way, we decided to call AAA just in case we failed. AAA’s hold music played in the background for the duration of the test.
Lesson number 2: If you are going to break something, let the owner of the car do it. This was actually figured out before anything happened. I did manage to break a plastic cover that goes over the lug nuts.
Lesson number 3: Loosen the lug nuts before jacking up the car. For some reason, I had forgotten this from the day in New Jersey that I decided to rotate all my tires using a jack and a spare. It didn’t take too long before I remembered. Just the tire starting to spin once did it.
Lesson number 4: When all else fails, read the instructions. This didn’t really help much, but it did remind me to set the emergency brake, which was already set. After all the warnings, I got bored of the instructions. Might have been better if they were more like Lego instructions. My friend suggested that everything should be color coded. That would have been nice.
Lesson number 5: Laugh. Seriously, there isn’t much else to do. I had a blast spending an hour at midnight changing a tire. Would any of you have expected less from me? My hands got filthy, my car is a mess, and I’ll have to buy a new tire, but I feel accomplished. I changed my tire! Dear Tire-Changing Friend, thank you for your support! Thank you for letting me do most of it and helping when I needed it. My ego is fairly unbruised–all except the part where I made the tire flat to begin with. It would have taken a lot longer without you and wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. Thank you! =)
Like I said, none of the stories are really out of the ordinary. Typical for me, really, but I feel so much more normal. Now all I have to do is to come up with some overly elaborate plan and sucker some unsuspecting people to help me with it….