I’m not winning

Today is just one of those days.

It started with an 8 am appointment at the dealership to get the third brake light on Myrtle replaced so that my car alarm will stop sporadically going off when it rains and short-circuit the trunk locking mechanism.

On the way out to check in the car, the attendant asked if I’d already paid for the part.

“No. I wish.”

After he walked out the door, the other attendant said, “You should have said yes. He wouldn’t have known.”

“I couldn’t. I need the karma points today. And this will probably be the least of my expenses today.”

I went to Starbucks to wait for my car. When I drink coffee, it is usually lattes. I drank straight espresso when I was in Italy (sometimes with a shot of brandy). But today, I decided to go with a cappuccino because it had fewer calories than a latte. The cashier asked me a question and I stood there unable to answer.

After my brain couldn’t process the question, I finally asked, “What do you mean?”

She explained that it was differing amounts of foam. I said I’d do the regular. Then she said, “They lay me to confuse you early in the morning before you have your coffee.” I laughed. Little does she know, I don’t drink coffee left-handed in the mornings.

My car was ready, so back home I went. Before going inside, I called the surgeon’s office to see if they could take us early since the car repair didn’t take all the time I’d allotted. They couldn’t, which was too bad because I couldn’t feed Perl and I didn’t want to spend an hour waiting with a hungry dog.

I spent the time cleaning. I was going to try to work but I couldn’t focus. Vacuuming seemed the best I could do. Then I changed my clothes so that if the vet was hot and single, I’d be ready. Then off we went. Perl was nervous before we even got to the car. I was trying to hide it but obviously didn’t do a good job.

The surgeon was cute, but eventually managed to work his girlfriend/wife into the conversation. We’d been joking about getting me some Valium. He told me about a guy who’d tried the stuff they give to the dogs. The first pill didn’t do much, so he took two more and was literally floored. He couldn’t move his body for twelve hours. I took the warning and said if just stick to good bottles of wine instead. That is when he said, “We” when talking about drinking some wine the other night. So I brought the conversation back to my dog’s injury.

Yes, it is a torn ligament in the knee. Yes, she should have surgery. There were two options for surgery. I chose the basic stabilization option rather the one that would take an extra hour, require cutting part of the bone, and would leave a big metal bar in her leg. We did talk about more conservative methods, and I’d thought about trying to let it heal on its own, but that would take eight weeks of not running or jumping. And at the end of that time she might still need surgery and another eight week recovery.

He said he had time in his schedule that afternoon. I decided that was better than taking her home and bringing her back. She still hadn’t stopped shaking after an hour.

Rip off the bandaid.

I paid the bill and left my dog.

I drove by work to pick up my weekly box of fruits and veggies. There was a sign for a blood drive that I’d wanted to go to. I decided that if I could find a parking space, then I could go to the blood drive. As I drive to the end of the first row, a guy pointed to the car he was about to get into. I smiled and waved and took his spot.

There was a problem though. I hadn’t consumed anything except the coffee and it was already 12:45. So I went to lunch at the caffe.

It was packed as always. More so because it was sprinkling outside. I found a free table, but felt guilty taking it for myself, so I tried to invite two women to join me. They were waiting for friends, so my table wasn’t big enough for them.

A few moments later, a nice looking guy asked if he could join me. Yes, please do!

We started chatting. Cute, British, travelled. I noticed the wedding ring, so I didn’t try to hard. We had a good conversation. Then I said adieu and headed for the blood drive.

Something seemed wrong. Like I was forgetting my computer or a bag or a package. Just my imagination.

Then I realized I wasn’t jingling. I always jingle at work.

No badge.

I retraced my steps back to the table. My lunch companion had been replaced by an Asian couple. I asked if they’d seen a badge.

“Yes! We gave it to the guy who was sitting here. He said he knew you and would get it back to you.”

“Oh! Thank you!” You just gave my badge to a stranger whom I just met less than half an hour ago. But at least he knows what I’m wearing today. And the blood drive I’m going to is in his building. Maybe he will find me there. But I can’t get into his building. Actually, I can’t get out of the quad. Well, I guess I could go this way.

Then my phone rang. He was waiting for me in the main building. I caught up with him there and we walked over to the blood drive. I said adieu again and went in search of some karma points.

The questioning part went well. I learned that all the foreign countries I’m hoping to go to in the next year are safe for me to continue giving blood.

The blood letting part didn’t go quite as well. The nurse put on a full, clear plastic face mask. I’d never seen anyone do that before. Turned out to be foreshadowing. When the nurse put the needle in my arm, blood exploded out. She told me not to look. There was blood splatter all over my arm and some on her.

“I told you not to look.”

“I was curious.”

She cleaned up some of it. I started pumping, but very gently for fear of another geyser. I swore blood was leaking out everywhere, but I was no longer looking.

They put that nurse on break and gave me a new nurse who cleaned up the mess after I’d finished my blood letting. “Eight minutes on a small needle. Pretty quick!” she said.

“I felt like it would never end!” I think I was anxious to get the blood cleaned up. As far as I knew, there was a puddle collecting under the arm rest.

I decided that I was allowed to eat a cookie even though it wasn’t on my diet. I wasn’t even close to passing out, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

While waiting, I planned out the dinner menu.

They gave me a grocery bag that I used immediately for my fruit and veggie delivery. I stopped by the grocery store to pick up the remaining items. Something about not lofting heavy things after giving blood made me carry my groceries around the store, including a bag of potatoes and a half gallon of milk.

While wandering aimlessly through the store, the surgeon called to let me know that pre-op had gone well and he was about to take Perl into the operating room. I wished him luck. I really wanted to say, “You’d better be good at this,” but felt that would be detrimental.

I got home and it was weird not to have a dog to walk. She wasn’t jumping around the house. She wasn’t whining. She didn’t run to the door when the doorbell rang.

Princess K came over for dinner. We had roasted beet salad as well as sautéed celeriac and chard. I also pulled out some leftover squash soup and the Schweddy Balls with pesto. An eclectic group of veggies.

I was grateful to have Princess K there to keep me occupied while Perl was gone.

After she left, I actually went out on a date. Just a beer at a local pub. It went well, but he was a little too pushy about wanting to come over to “cuddle”. I don’t let anyone know where I live after a first or second date. And he was offended that I didn’t believe he is such a standup guy. Truth is, I don’t really want to date a guy who is willing to go home with a strange girl after one drink. I’ll admit to a couple one night stands, but they were never complete strangers. I want to be able to find the other person in case something goes horribly wrong.

So, I went home alone. For the best. I needed some sleep. It had been a very long day.

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