Don’t get me wrong: I’m not pointing fingers or naming names, but… Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of cautionary road block, warning me that I was violently careening towards the edge of a certain cliff? You know the road block of which I’m speaking: one that says, “Warning: you are swiftly approaching the point of no return. Strongly advised to TURN. BACK. NOW.”
Because sometimes I feel so deeply entrenched in my crazy, that I wonder if there was, in fact, a road sign somewhere that I completely missed along the way.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a carpool line, waiting to pick up kids in a… “nice neighborhood,” shall we say? Observations: there is a Porsche in front of me, an Escalade and BMW to my left, and a Mercedes behind me.
… And I’m driving Shelley, everyone’s favorite Ford Taurus.
LET THE RECORD SHOW: I have no problem with Shellster McGellster (yes, her side mirror is a little shattered, currently, because we were assaulted by a cement pillar in the parking garage at church yesterday. Did you hear that, Ma and BD? CHURCH.) But Shell McGell parked between a BMW and Escalade in high school; bring it on.
Wait. That’s not entirely true: it was, in fact, the Cruiser, that was parked between these two seemingly superior cars. Should I have felt less-than, in my 99$ car, those 2 sememesters? My answer to that question was a Big Lebowski bumper sticker, that is still on the car today, that reads It don’t matter to Jesus.
The biggest problem is that I’m shedding like an animal right now, so naturally I’ve cracked my windows to dispose of the hair, so it doesn’t linger in the car. Except the wind is socially awkward today. No seriously – North, South, East, West – what are you today, Zephyr? MAKE UP YOUR MIND. So I think it’s blowing one way, I dispose of the hair, and it blows back in the car. This is not unlike the time we went to have a tea party at Sumner Morgan’s house in 6th grade and the boys near the front of the bus were hawking huge ones out the bus window. Chubby Grace thought she saw an opportune moment to stick her head out the window and get some air, amidst the loogie-firing, when she thought she was in the clear. (Why, Chubby, why?!) She did so at the exact moment that J. Mocxygemba fired a huge one out the window.
…You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to know that the laws of Physics flew the loogie from Mocxy’s mouth to Chubby’s forehead, just like Chubby's hair was flying back in the window right now, over ten years later. This is 100% true. However off topic it may be.
So yes, I’m worried that these well-manicured moms think there’s a lunatic in the carpool line, who keeps reaching her fingers out the window, inexplicably.
Fortunately no one alerted the carpool gestapo that Big Foot was shedding in the vehicle lane and we made it home safely.
This family I’m working for is moving, so I told the mom I’d pick up some boxes over the weekend. Keep in mind, she suggested UHaul and said she was happy to reimburse me- this sweet woman doesn’t fall into the same category of my Well-Bred Street Rat kin.
I proceeded to unload the boxes I’d procured and when she got home, she told me the boxes were just what she’d been looking for and asked me where I’d found them.
…I hadn’t planned an answer to that question.
Throughout the day, I’d been shoving it to the recesses of my mind, and every time it floated to the surface, singing, “Graaaaace. You should figure out an answer to that question so you don’t expose the “Street Rat” half of your brand name,” it would get dunked back under, to be dealt with later.
Well “later” suddenly became “now that I was staring the question in the face.”
Should I lie, and say something like, “Oh my boyfriend just moved, so he had all these boxes…” (Ok I’m fairly certain she knows I don’t have a boyfriend, not to mention the “well bred” half of me was fighting for control, turning cartwheels with her “HONESTY: IT’S THE BEST POLICY” jersey on, that reads: “#12 INTEGRITY” on the back.
I blurted out the truth, “Oh, you know… one of my favorite local street shopping haunts… down the road from us, there’s this Nursing Home that is a Treasure Trove most Monday Mornings… Do you need a crate? I snagged one of those, too – thought it might be useful…”
Her eyes widened before she burst out laughing, as I continued, “Why go to UHaul when these babies were just piled next to the dumpster? Sure, it might be awkward that your cutlery will be in a box that reads “Vinyl Powder Free Gloves,” but the price was right!”
“Oh your poor parents. If only they knew, right?”
Ah. Clearly she wasn’t completely tuned into the Street Rat part of me, just yet.
“Oh the Eagle Scout in my father would be proud. My Mom would probably just want to make sure that there weren’t germs of old dead people…” (Or is it “dead old people”?) I actually cut myself off at “germs,” Well-Bred Grace winning out in her insistence that we refrain from discussing deceased geriatrics.
When I relayed this story to my mom the next day, she said, “So you didn’t tell her that you actually learned the art of Dumpster Diving from your father? Didn’t show her the Christmas tree video?” TRUE story: I took a video on my cell phone when I was 15, of Big Daddy wrestling the lights off a tree at the Christmas Tree Graveyard. We use them on the tree. To this day.
This wasn’t supposed to be my car. These weren’t supposed to be my boxes, but this is definitely my life right now.