There's nothing but drama here at toddlerspit. We're lighting ourselves on fire, dropping ourselves on our heads, driving sixty miles on the freeway with four flat tires.
Well, flat-ish, anyway.
A couple of days back we were all in the clunky old Subaru and Eric mentions that the car is driving a "little squirrelly." This is a pretty mild statement, really. This car has been a "little squirrelly" since we bought it used a few years back. But Eric saying this should have set off alarm bells, and here's why: Eric is a chronic understater. He is probably the kindest, most loyal, most wonderful (and best looking) man I have ever met, but he is definitely not effusive. Far from it. His favorite responses are "yeah," "fine," and "alright."
As in, "How's your hamburger, Eric?"
As in, "I just spent an hour getting ready for this party--do I look okay?"
It could be the best hamburger the man has ever eaten, and you'd never know it. I could look like Jessica Alba, and he'd never tell. Understaters anonymous, I nominate you a new President: my husband Eric.
So for Eric to say the Soob is a "little squirrelly" is the equivalent of any other human being saying, "Holy shit! This mother is about to run us right off the road! We shouldn't drive it until it's been completely rebuilt from the ground up!" Right. Alarm bells.
However, because I should probably be President of "bad listeners" anonymous, I didn't follow up on the squirrelly comment. Which meant that today, on my way to work (which is 30 miles away in the town of Golden), I discovered that the car wasn't really, uh, staying on the road. No, strike that. It was really on the road, as in, all over the road.
As in, it felt like the steering wheel and the tires weren't really attached.
We pay good money for an AAA membership. I own a cell phone with lots of free minutes. There are ten thousand car dealerships on the way from Denver to Golden. Did I pull over and call AAA? No. I forgot my cell phone today (if you know how anal I am, you know that I almost never do this. But I did today). Did I pull over to a gas station or a dealership? Yes. Twice. But there were long lines at both and I don't know how to put air in my tires, so I freaked out and got back on the road, doing a whiny half-cry the whole way there because I was sure I was going to kill myself, leaving my children motherless, or kill someone else, leaving someone else's children motherless.
And also because I only had three hours to work before I had to turn around and pick Nolie up, and this was going to eat up my whole half workday. But for some reason, I could not think clearly enough to figure out what to do, except get back on the road and keep driving. I am not usually stupid, or a wimp. But today I was both. I was so freaked out by the time I got to work that I ate a whole package of Newman's Own Chocolate Chip Cookies and bought a sweatshirt in the school's bookstore. Because when I'm freaked out, I eat! I shop! Look out--if bird flu ever hits here or global warming ratchets up or a Republican President gets elected again, I will get so fat Maury Povitch will need to come and cut me out of my house. He'll be able to use the chainsaw I will have purchased from the Home Shopping Network. Pull off the road? Nah. Eat three pizzas and six dozen doughnuts and max out the credit card? Perfect response to a crisis.
I did finally pull the car into the Ford dealership in Golden, which wanted $600 to put on four new tires and do an alignment. They put air back in the tires and I drove it home. I DROVE IT HOME, PEOPLE! I am a menace, and should be locked up and put away.
But not before driving to the polling station, to try to vote the Democrats back into office. Can I tell you that this did not decrease my stress levels any? There was at least a one-hour wait at the polls, and the "computers" kept going down. The only reason I'm not still at the polls is because Nolie threw the loudest fit I have ever seen a child have, people in line started to freak out, and to avoid a riot, the poll workers took pity on me and moved me to the front of the line.
Which was a blessing, except of course that all the sweet old ladies who were the poll workers wanted to "help" me with the baby. "Is she on the breast?" one wanted to know as she crowded into the tiny voting booth with me. "Here, I'll help," she said, patting Nolie's back and pulling at my shirt.
"Thanks," I said. "I think I've got it."
Where is that extra large package of Harry and David truffles I bought last night? Can I make it to the Gap before I have to pick Addie up from preschool? Because I'm not even sure my vote got counted: the polling workers were shouting "The computers are down, the computers are down!" while I was pushing my "cast your vote" button. And hey, if we ain't got democracy, at least we got capitalism. And I'm ready to vote.