I went away last weekend for overnight. This was my first time ever being away from the children. Ever. The oldest one is almost eight. I would never have gone except that we were going to go to Toronto for a few nights during March Break before I realised that it was going to be Fashion Week and that we would have been better off to avoid the city entirely with the children. Instead we went to Quebec, and oh the glorious gays we saw will have to be saved for another time.
So The Dilf suggested that I go on my own so that I would be able to do some shopping and actually be able to try things on without the kids hiding in the clothes racks or trying to molest the mannequins. To have a break and be able to spend some time with my sister on my own. There may also have been some mention of going wild on Sephora. *cough*
Oh, I had big plans. I was going to drive to Toronto and my sister and I were going to shop like mad, maybe call up Di and see if she wanted to go for a drink... perhaps go to a gay bar in full drag-queen make-up. You know, the usual.
On Friday morning I did all the usual mom and wife stuff, chores and lunch making and whatever. I drove the oldest two kids to school and was getting kind of misty-eyed when they just bolted from the car like they usually do. I needed lovin's!!! Some acknowledgement that their world was not going to be the same without me there! Then I drove south to the barbershop in Belleville with the baby, met up with Dilf who was getting a haircut and handed the baby off to him, trying not to cry and thereby upset the child. The people at the stop lights must have thought that Dilf and I were quite a spectacle, with me clinging to him and Harry like it was the last time I was going to see them.
So I get on the expressway, and I'm right on schedule. The traffic was slow, and I was settling in for the rest of my 2 hour drive, blasting some music, singing as if I were on American Idol (ahem, the early episodes of the season...) when all of a sudden my car starts jerking and shaking and it's all I can do to keep the damned thing on the road.
I had just passed an off-ramp but when I looked, there were two hitchhikers standing just past it. One had a mullet and one was dressed like a thug, so I thought that of course they're either murderers or giant losers and there was no way I was getting out of the car anywhere near them! Then I couldn't pull over because there were two bridges in a row and it wasn't wide enough... so I finally get over to the side, shaken and stirred and completely freaking out. Locked all the doors immediately and hoped that the hitchhikers weren't coming over to my car to slaughter me or worse. Worse!
When I calmed down a little, I climbed over onto the passenger side and got out. My freaking back tire on that side was in shreds. Not just any kind of ordinary blown tire, it was in pieces. Panic! I rushed back into the car and locked the doors against the murderer/hitchhikers, and called my daddy. Why did I call my daddy in such a moment? Most people would call their mommy I suppose, if they were about to fall off the edge of reason, but I don't have that option and my daddy would be six million times better at calming me down than my mother would have been. But my dad was at my mother's house!!! After 8 years of divorce, she finally moved out of the house we grew up in and he was helping her move to a city that is far, far away.
So then I called Dilfy, which I felt bad about because poor baby Harry would have been in the car for hours if they were to come get me. Vibrating with panic, I called him and he said he's come get me. Sweet relief! Apparently he keeps a full sized tire in my trunk and not some dinky spare for just such an occasion! Then he called back and said, "Where are you right now?".
I said, "In the car".
"You need to get out and walk to the nearest exit just in case someone smashes into your car". Arghhh!!!
Why do people bungee jump and go skydiving? All they have to do is take a walk on the freeway. Seriously! The terror! The unholy terror! As if it wasn't bad enough, I had to cross two high bridges over water, which have virtually no shoulder, then I had to walk past the murderous hitchhikers!!! So I get out of the car. Remember that I can't lock it because my dad used my car the weekend previous and LOST my KEYS. I left the passenger side door open but locked the others, hoping that the murderous hitchhikers would not change my tire then hotwire my car.
A thought struck me as I was preparing to leave the vehicle. I started putting on my coat and things started looking up.
*Damn, girl, this is a great trench! At least you look fabulous, walking down the highway like this. It would have looked better with the shoes you'd meant to bring, though. Those Betsey booties. Wait, be thankful that you forgot your hot shoes and left to go to the city in you Uggs by accident!*
I fucking nearly flew down the highway to get to the exit, but then when I spotted the murderers I forced myself to slow my pace so that I could have that short burst of stamina left over for when I had to elude them when they came after me. Except that they didn't. They just said, "Hello" and I said it back. They seemed to sense that hot young females don't like to spark up conversations on the freeway. Then I picked up my speed again, stopping only to pick up a two dollar coin that I found half-submerged in the dirt on the shoulder. Lucky!
I ended up making it to the Harvey's, which was a hell of a lot longer to walk to than it looked like when I was driving. I was shaking so much that I'm sure the people in there must have thought that I had deliriumtremens or some shiz. I didn't know what to do, so I thought I'd better eat something. I ordered up an Angus burger, onion rings and Pepsi, and sat down to eat it. Part way through, I realised that it was 11 am. I'm not used to that junk even on a good day, at a better time. I was making myself sick, but I kept stuffing it down. Emotionally eating. Immediately I felt the urge to throw it all up. When I became aware of this feeling, it was not so hard just to stop and say, "Watch it girl, you don't want to go down that road again." I threw the stuff out, reminding myself that the starving children in the world would not have had a chance to finish that particular meal anyway. Made mental note to donate some money to kiva.org to make up for the waste.
*What to do now? Still shaking. Walk. You need to walk. Just keep walking. Walk until he gets here. Do some walking meditation. "I can't do walking meditation in a parking lot. I'll look like an idiot. I won't be able to concentrate." You will. You can. Do it.*
So I did. I had trouble concentrating, but it was easier to calm myself down and just brrrreeeaaathhhhe. After about half an hour of this, while keeping an eye on a policeman that was keeping an eye on me, and I'm sure it was not just because I'm *rojocaliente*, but because I looked like some sort of shady character, (though not as shady as a murderous hitchhiker), Dilf finally arrived.
I have never felt so thankful in all my life. Salvation! *Is this what people feel like when they find Jesus?* I took the baby into Harvey's and fed him a hot dog while Dilf went to check out my car. Amazingly, the food didn't have the same effect on me as it did before. I just felt guilt for having to feed the baby undesirable parts from unknown animals, surrounded by bread that has less nutritional value than sawdust. But that's just me.
When Dilf came back, he drove me to my car and then we both proceeded to the next exit and pumped up my tires at a gas station. Apparently they were all pathetically low. Apparently everyone has low tires in the spring and people are always popping tires at that time because no one knows that they need to pump them up. (So pump those bitches up, people.)
He then sent me on my way to Toronto again, but not before a wonderful conversation.
I said, "I was thinking the entire time about what this was teaching me, and I realised that..."
"That you have the best man in the world?"
"Yes! Because who else would drive for an hour and a half to change their woman's tire?!! Who else would encourage me to continue on? And that..."
"That you need to learn how to do these things for yourself?"
"Yes! Because I also felt really ashamed that I didn't know, and that I had to rely on a man to fix my problem. And that..."
"That you're lucky that so many people care about you?" (My Dad and sister were phoning to check on me) "And that if a flat tire is your only problem..."
"Then I have a lot to be thankful for."
"Yes, we do".
"And I found a twonie on the road!"
"Well now, that's lucky".
And I am.
*Disclaimer: Of course, I know that all hitchhikers and/or mulleted and/or thuggish looking people are not murderers, but you try getting a neurotic person in that kind of a state and then present them with a mullet-thug. You'll see what happens!*