Wedding Dress Shopping with Mom, Part II

It seems that mom and I both suffer from “what-if-there’s-something-better-out-there,” which led to Round Two of the dress hunt. Now, she still has that first dress that looked the best, fit her the best, fits the wedding the best, flatters her figure the best, and, I think, makes her the most youthful. Nevertheless, she compiled a list of about eight more places to try. This time, we also didn’t have all goddamn day.

I dropped my MINI off at the body shop to get my BAKER STREET BONNET STRIPES applied. I’m sorry, did I shout? I’ll repeat myself more quietly then: Baker Street bonnet stripes. The same bonnet stripes I had on my Baker Street Edition MINI Cooper. The one that got totaled and so savagely taken away from me. Yeah, that one. Yeah, those stripes. On my British Racing Green Clubman. Sigh. When I was answered in the affirmative after asking whether I could order those, I about cried at the parts counter. I also needed a door ding taken care of – I’d gotten that while parked at my old apartment place, go figure, while I still had the In-Transits on, go figure. Fucking pissed me off.

Anyway, I dropped my car off and mom picked me up for our second dress adventure. We decided to stop at Regency first, as it’s right across the street from MINI. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why we went into Regency Court, as there is only one bridal boutique and it only has wedding gowns. There was a place called Tilly’s (I think) that had a whole bunch of matronly evening gowns and a few matronly women working there. No one greeted us, even when I smiled and waved at one of them, it took about fifteen minutes for anyone to come over to us, and at that point, I was already inching out the door. You know what, for having such boring, gawdy, and downright hideous clothing, you sure are pretentious old bats.

Whatever. I had to look at something beautiful after that, so I dragged mom into the bridal boutique. I gushed over the gowns while mom talked to the woman at the counter. She asked who was getting married and we told her. I continued to gush over the gowns as I said, well, having even a potential boyfriend at this point would at least warrant me being in here. I’m not sure how it started, but all of a sudden, I was catching every other word this woman was saying: “My son…. single… says all his friends are married… he wants to get married so badly… wants kids… wants a house… wants a dog… he’s 34… civil engineer…” With each descriptor, I felt my ovaries contract. “Is 26 too young for him?” I asked, hopefully. “Oh, I’m sure not!” She replied cheerfully. Mom, doing her duty, said jokingly, “Maybe you should leave your number, Nina” “hahaha” we all laughed.

But seriously. My ring finger was burning.

After maybe one additional comment about how PERHAPS THERE SHOULD BE SOME ACTUAL MATCHMAKING IN PROGRESS, we kind of just went about the conversation and then eventually left.

I almost asked if her son had an English accent, because that’s my biggest requirement, obviously. I’m sure he doesn’t, so I can’t be too disappointed. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering why this mother didn’t feel me out for her son. I mean, isn’t that what mothers do? She seems like the good-naturedly-meddling type. So meddle already.

But maybe there’s something about me she didn’t like. I was charming, made her laugh; sure, I might have been looking at wedding dresses when I don’t even have a boyfriend, but it sounds like this dude is ready to tie the knot.

Then again, she did say something odd. She said something about telling him, “well, maybe you’re not husband material” or some shit. Slightly strange, even in jest, to mention.

I don’t know.

It was an emotional moment.

Then we had more emotional moments at a couple bridal shops – their 10s are more like 6s, so of course that made mom feel like shit. “I’d just have to cut the tag out.” Finally, I got her into a taffeta number that cinched up in the back (I’d just watched Pride & Prejudice, so I was in the mood to sew up a corset). It fit her like a glove, as it would, and if it wasn’t so hot/dressy, I’d have gone with that one for her.

The fact remained that the very first dress, the dress I bought her, was the one.

Trust your instincts.

Perhaps the same should be acknowledged regarding the non-meddling mother.

When Shit Goes to Hell In a Handbasket But Just Fucking Survives Anyhow

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That is absolutely accurate.

I think I left off last time with Jo’s flight being delayed until who knows when. Or 620pm. I then proceeded to have too much Moscato on an empty stomach and just stay up late. I figured I’d wake up at 2pm, I’d have an hour to get ready and get a Starbucks and hit the road. Awesome.

Then I woke up. I grabbed my phone and the first thing I did was pull up the United Airlines app to check Jo’s flight. Before I could do anything, mom was calling. I answered and in a very strange voice, she told me that something happened and it was going to upset me. Or could. I can’t remember. It did. But whatever.

Dad had been arrested at 630am. So, probably, shortly after I actually went to sleep. All I really said was, ‘WHAT?’ and then listened to how my mom’s day had gone from about 830am until then. Apparently, there was a warrant out for his arrest because he left the country a year ago and wasn’t supposed to. Awesome. What, did the warrant fall behind the new guy’s desk or something? A year ago? Jesus.

She said that we would be doing court at 9am the next morning and Conor was going to get money for bail today while I drive to Kansas City to pick up Jo. I honestly don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but I do remember mom telling me that she needed a hug before I went. I got up, got ready, went to Starbucks for both of us, and also brought her some Advil before I took off.

Once in the car, and once before I’d left, actually, I had a mini-breakdown. Or in any case, a what-the-actual-fuck-is-going-on-and-I’m-really-goddamn-sick-of-2014-already-if-I’m-entirely-honest moment. Well, two moments.

I turned my music up and did as Paul McCartney told me to do: ‘step on the gas and wipe that tear away.’

The drive was uneventful. Got to KC unscathed and I will say that MCI is a super easy airport to get to, as well as maneuver parking-wise. I parked right across from the door and as I walked in, I saw a Canadian-English-looking gal with a pink bag and called out to the Canuck. Of course, it was like no time had passed since London/Bristol.

She had had a hell of a day already, too – been up since midnight CST and at the airport sitting around for hours and hours while her canceled/cancelled (ahem) flight turned into one now flying into Cleveland and then finally into KC. Thank God for beer and Starbucks and all that good stuff.

I lightheartedly told Jo that we’d have to spend a bit of her first night running to Conor’s to get the bail money (and dad’s clothes, since they didn’t let him change out of his pajamas or grab a coat.. um, it’s fucking winter) and then to mom’s to introduce Jo and work out a plan for morning. Oh yeah, then we’d have to spend her first morning here with her sleeping in and putzing around my apartment while mom and I went to court, posted bail, and waited for dad to be released.

I was pissed. I mean, the timing seemed obnoxious and totally against me/us. It would have been very easy to say that this trip never should have happened due to all the hangups, but very quickly, we realized that Jo was totally meant to be here through all of this because, well, A: I would need a Brit around to make sure my upper lip remained stiff and B: I’d just need a distraction.

Luckily, Jo was totally knackered, so she passed out and I got into bed with my laptop. I really couldn’t sleep. I really didn’t want to sleep. I just couldn’t believe this shit was sort of happening… again. I mean, sure, it’s been over ten years. It was literally laughable that we could say, ‘well, at least we know what we’re doing this time.’

You know, I’ve always been a bit afraid of it. Talking about it. Being asked about it (which never happens, but I’m para). So what? I have a convicted felon in the family. Yep. And he’s my dad and I love him. End of.

Well, not really; I’m nowhere near done with this bitch.

Anyway. Thankfully, my buddy Nicole was online and has similar sleeping habits. Since I didn’t want to go to sleep (I had to be up early and I’m always nervous I’ll sleep through my alarm when there’s important shit to do), we watched the last couple Sherlock episodes that we’d left off a while back. But mainly, and most helpfully, I was offered another distraction. (Thank you, Nicole).

After some Sherlock, a tub of hummus, and some baby carrots, I figured I should try to get at least a couple hours of sleep. It was past 5am at this point and I had to be up at 7am so that we could get to the correctional facility downtown which I had no idea even existed by 830am. I think I fell asleep singing the guitar solo from ‘Let It Be’ in my head because nothing says ‘it’ll be alright’ like George Harrison’s masterful licks in ‘Let It Be.’

I wish I could say I woke up to the sound of music, but actually, I woke up hot and sweaty, what seemed like, every twenty minutes. And then to my three or four alarms that I’d set. (Told you, para).

I took a bit longer than planned trying to get ready. What does one wear to her dad’s bond announcement, amIrite?

Was supposed to meet mom at her apartment so we could follow each other downtown. Of course, there was a disabled vehicle in the middle goddamn lane of Dodge Street about right where I needed to make a move to get Starbucks. I texted mom and asked if she could just put some coffee in a thermos for me before I FTFO. She said, yes.

Of course, due to the car in the middle of the road, traffic had slowed to about 10mph. Finally, after everyone behind me got to move into another lane (what the hell is with that, by the way? That is not courteous), I was able to take the 144th Street exit and head toward mom’s. Then that traffic was shitty. So I took Blondo. Mom said, and I will swear in court that she said, meet me at the HyVee on 132nd and Blondo.

There is no HyVee on 132nd and Blondo.

I thought, well, maybe it’s like, just past the intersection. Nope. 120th and Blondo? Nope. Shit. I pulled into some random business parking lot on 117th and Blondo before I got any further and called mom. She told me to go back to 132nd and DODGE where the HYVEE is. FFS. At this point, I had just about lost it.

FINALLY, we met up at the HyVee. On 132nd and Dodge. And I got a coffee and a protein bar. We figured Dodge Expressway to I-80 was the way to go, and we slowly made it onto Dodge. Miraculously, traffic had totally opened up because I think at this point it was just past 8am. I-80 was also totally fine and we stumbled upon the correctional facility with ten minutes to spare.

Somehow.

We even had parking spots right across from the door.

Somehow.

We get inside and this woman is kind of waiting in the vestibule where some lockers are. She said that we’d need to put all of our stuff in the lockers, except for our IDs. She was there to visit an inmate and she was very helpful. We checked in and a very nice officer told us that she’d take us up about five minutes to 9am.

We each nervously used the restroom – not nervously, as in, we were nervous to use it.. but.. you know, nerves – and then it was time to go. There were only a few of us that were led back. We passed a few banks of computer screens hooked up to telephones. Apparently, when you visit an inmate, you don’t sit with glass between you – you essentially Skype while he or she remains on some other floor entirely. Super strange, but surprisingly high-tech, I think; and film/tv needs to get with the times. Nebraska has. 

(Speaking of Nebraska – WHAT A FILM).

We’re led to this room that has three rows of seats facing a wall with plexiglass windows. The windows look into the court room. The courtroom was normal-looking, but had bulky-ass plastic benches for the inmates. The judge looked jovial, so I took that as a good sign.

They switched on a speaker so that we could hear what was going on in the room, and much to our surprise, dad was called up first. Mom grabbed my hand.

I was leaning forward in the seat, like I was waiting for Jeremy Clarkson to tell me my lap time. I was trying so hard not to be nervous, and it was strangely easy in the end, because I didn’t even feel like I was watching reality happening in front of my eyes. It was almost like cognitive dissonance. I shouldn’t be here. What am I doing here? This isn’t where I’d spend my morning. Shouldn’t I be watching Law and Order to see a courtroom?

Oh, we were told not to wave at the inmates. Like, how inappropriate would that have been.

I think dad was up in front of the judge for sixty seconds or fewer. It reminded me of when I went to small-claims and had to plead guilty to speeding and get a lecture from the State of Nebraska representative. Yeah, yeah, okay, cool, just tell me what to pay and where to pay and let me get the hell out of this weirdness.

The judge said his bond was $25-sharp intake of breath-hundred, which meant his bail was $250. I actually had to stifle a laugh. Chump change, fool. (I’ll just say, we were incredibly over-prepared).

The very nice officer told us that we could go back to the lobby and meet with dad’s attorney. We were shocked that it was over already, not that we really cared to stick around, and ran down the hall back to the lobby. The attorney said that there’s a hearing in a few weeks and it’ll hopefully just get the kibosh. So incredibly stupid, the whole thing. Even the acting prosecutor fumbled around with what to do with the whole thing.

The other nice cop at the desk told us that we could pay the bond in about an hour, so we set off for Starbucks. (Holy shit, I think I really need to take stock in this company). I impressed some guy by doing the Omaha World Herald crossword in about three minutes. Maybe shorter than that, who knows. ‘Omaha’ was one of the answers. Also, mom’s and my horoscopes were creepily fitting.

Dad called mom while we were there. I got to talk to him and asked him if he was trying to show me up after my stint as an international fugitive. He said he was and that he was even going to start a blog about it. I was like, are you fucking kidding me? You’re going to show me up by blogging, too? He said he’d probably write his book before me, too. But I could be his ghostwriter. Sigh. Yeah, whatever.

We went back and found the cashier desk. Super nice dude working it. Mom asked him very politely if he had any idea about when we could expect to pick dad up after we’d paid. He said, anywhere from two to four hours usually. He left the desk to make a copy and then upon returning, he said, ‘you know, it’s lunch time, I wouldn’t be surprised if they came back and just took care of it and he was out by 1230pm.’ It was about 1015am at the time and I thought that was pretty damn good.

Mom had to go back to work, so I decided to stick around the downtown area, or at least eastern half of Omaha. I met Conor and got dad’s house key (I wasn’t sure if he was allowed to take anything, so I didn’t know if he had a key to get back into his place after Conor made sure it was secure the day before), I stopped by QT and got dad some Lipton peach tea, a Snickers, and two Salted Nut Rolls (his fav). I figured the food was similar to what I had in the detention center in London: not bad; not good, though.

I needed to stop by the bank for Conor and there happened to be one on 35th and Farnam, which would keep me in the general vicinity just in case. As soon as I parked, mom called and said dad was being processed and would be out soon. I quickly did my banking, or Conor’s rather, and headed back for the correctional facility.

I found a parking spot right across from the door, grabbed dad’s coat, and headed inside. I sat down on the bench in the vestibule, and soon a couple women came in. They started to walk into the main lobby and I said, ladies, you’ll actually have to put everything in these lockers, but keep your IDs out. They asked me if I worked there and I said, no, just had to deal with this shit once already, so I figured I’d save them the trouble of going back and forth or setting off the metal detector. Once they were sorted, dad appeared in the lobby.

As he came through the doors, one of the ladies said, well, thanks for the help, otherwise I’d have totally screwed this up. Dad said, hey, now, don’t say that – you are a smart person and you will do great. Again, trying to show me up. For God’s sake, already.

I felt like I was just picking him up from school or something. We just immediately started talking about what had gone on and the people he met and how nice everyone was (besides the asshole half of the good-cop-bad-cop routine he got the morning before), and then I gave him his goody bag and we set off for his house.

He seriously had written down about two pages worth of thoughts. He was totes serious about writing a blog. Actually, wait, I think he was more talking about journaling because then when I said, well, I could set you up a WordPress, he was like, ‘oh I think I’ll just use Word.’ What? That’s not online, dad. But I think he might actually post it. I’ll link it, if he does.

The funniest bit was that I did exactly the same thing while I was holed up in London. It was comforting to write. It was also something to do. Scarily alike, we two.

I would hope that this is wickedly obvious, but I had to introduce a note of levity. This whole situation was completely unexpected, totally jarring, wildly frustrating, and hilariously simple to handle. God wasn’t just on our side, He seemed to be hovering and bumping into us. I can’t really explain the calm I felt after a while. Sure, I might have slipped into a bit of bargaining with the big guy at one point, but it just had to be alright. That was it. It just had to be.

Without further ado: the emotions.

I recently wrote about a quote that I repeat constantly or that holds a lot of meaning to me, and I wrote about ‘everything happens for a reason.’ There were so many reasons for the past two days’ events, I couldn’t even begin to list them. The lessons I learned, we learned; the faith, the trust, the total surrender of the whole thing. It was completely out of our control, like everything else, and we knew that. Jo was here to help me and distract me; hell, I think to help mom and dad, too. She’s been a total babe about everything. Welcome to Nebraska.

Another thing that demands discussion is the love between my divorced-and-happily-engaged/married-to-other-people parents. And no, I don’t mean the in-love kind.

It took extreme courage and trust for my dad to call my mom at a time like this. He didn’t want to call either of us and burden us, and although he’ll say he could have probably called his mentor, there really wasn’t anyone else he could have called. She dealt with it before and she had no responsibility or obligation to deal with it now, but dad knew that he could ask her and that she would handle everything. She could have easily hung up and said, sorry, I can’t; just like she could have walked away over ten years ago and said the same thing. That wouldn’t have been the easy way out either time, because that’s not the person she is. She stands up and fights for what she believes and she will take care of us and protect us until the end. She’ll even do the same for her ex-husband. Which speaks really fucking loudly about her character.

And dad, even in a confusing and likely very frightening time, was able to turn to his ex-wife. She and dad had a good marriage for 25 years. Sure, there was shit, and sure, it ended in a civil, mutually-decided divorce. But there is an understanding and love between the two of them that completely floors me. It has been such a lesson for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more touched by an expression of compassion.

I’m unequivocally proud to be their daughter.

It’s odd, it’s still on the day (to me, anyway), and it feels like none of it really happened. I was struggling last night and tonight I’m not. Things really upset in the blink of an eye, but I tell you what, that feeling of serenity isn’t gone. It was with me from the moment we stepped into the correctional facility this morning. I pray that it stays with me. Because, I really can’t be bothered right now. And it’s wonderful.

Healing

I met with the appraiser on Friday and he told me my MINI was totaled. I had expected that, of course. He was really nice and actually knows the bodyshop guy who’s taken care of my car before. He said he was going to put a rush on the review and I should be hearing something within a few days. Then I can have my car towed away.

I said to dad how pissed off I was about the car. He tried, in his way, to tell me not to be so upset about material things because they’re fleeting in this life. I completely understand that, and I wouldn’t have given a shit if my couches burnt to the ground or if my desk cracked in two. Well, okay, I’d give a shit because it would be an annoyance and I’d have to replace them; however, my MINI is a bit different. In any case, I had hurt feelings.

On the way home, as I approached my exit, I realized I didn’t want to stop. So, I kept on. I continued on Highway 6, onto 275 West, through Fremont, and onto Highway 30. I drove until I hit Columbus, Nebraska – about an hour and fifteen minutes away. I stopped at a laundromat/convenience store called Dickie Doodles and got an iced coffee, took photos of a 1959-ish Stageway Airport Limo, and, much calmer, headed home the same way I came.

The drive was so incredibly needed, I don’t even know how to express it. I had my music up, I sang poorly, I shed a few tears, and by the time I got to Columbus, I had exhausted all the negative energy I’d unknowingly kept pent up. Driving has always been a comfort to me, so there was nothing smarter for me to do after the accident.

I was even shocked at my calmness on two occasions during the trip: Once, I was trying to pass a semi with attached trailer going a few under the speed limit, and for the life of me, I couldn’t see around it. Finally, I thought I had a clear, so I kicked the alright-so-far Mazda 2 into passing gear and got about halfway past the trailer when I realized there was no way in hell I’d make it before this oncoming car smashed into me. I had to abort the mission and regrettably get back behind the semi. No problem.

The next instance was on my way home from Columbus, Highway 30 splits into a four-lane just outside of town. I was behind a car who was staying right as the split happened, so I stayed left as to stay in the passing lane. Up ahead I see a pickup coming toward me in my lane. Yeah, in oncoming traffic, and yeah, right for me. I simply moved over into the ‘slow lane’ and watched the truck go by, apparently completely unaware that it was driving on the wrong side of the road.

I wondered, then, if there is a hit out for me. First the accident, now this pickup. I’ll gladly stay off the highways for a while, if that’s the case.

Now that I’m mostly past the grief and anger part of post-accident recovery, I have come to a few conclusions:

My beloved 2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Baker Street Limited Edition is lost. Unrecoverable. More importantly, irreplaceable. Sure, I could look for one in the US or even order another from Oxford, but I decided that I don’t want to do any of that. It was my perfect little gem of a car and one just like it won’t make me feel quite like this one did. Does, when I think of it. I went ’round dad’s Saturday to clean out the poor girl and after dad apologized, in his way, for hurting my feelings (he handed me ceramic owl salt and pepper shakers, saying, “I don’t give two hoots about your car, but I do give two hoots about you”), I told him that as extreme as this may sound, I liken getting a replica of my car to getting another Border Collie after we had to put Frisbee to sleep. There will never be another Frisbee no matter how many dogs I own in my lifetime, similar to how there will never be another Baker Street.

Like I said, it may sound extreme, but that should put into perspective how much that car meant means to me. It was one of a kind, to me; a one-off. So it’ll be my Only One.

Dad understood after that.

Because I feel that way and because I have come to the conclusion that not only would it be difficult to replace it, but that I don’t want to replace it, I’m going to get something different entirely.

Well, still a MINI, of course; how could I possibly own anything else?

But, I’m thinking a MINI Clubman. I know I was mostly alone in that I loved the barn doors, but I’m used to being the solitary member of many clubs (ahem, John Watson’s Mournstache in Sherlock Season Three). It’s different enough, it’s still MINI-sized, but has more cargo space, and it has some fantastic customizations (which are paramount, in my opinion). So when the time comes, a Clubman it is.

In other news, I may have found the house. I know I’ve gone on about whether or not I should buy a house when I hope to be moving soon, but who the hell knows when that’ll be. Plus, if I do end up having to move shortly after buying this house, it’s a good enough re-sale/rental opportunity, that it would almost be stupid not to buy it. I’m tired of renting, it’s getting pointless to rent, and my neighbors are annoying AF. Not much cop, this renting lark.

This house is seriously perfect for me. I know the owner, she designed it and built it herself five years ago, she turned the third bedroom upstairs into a closet – hello; and it’s seriously two minutes from my apartment, so it would be the easiest move ever.

Mom, dad, and Conor are going to come look at it tomorrow. Conor might love it enough that he’d rent it if I had to move. I think I need to do this. It’ll be a tax write-off, it’ll build equity; I’m not sure why I’m trying to convince anyone because I’m completely convinced, anyway.

I have a feeling I’m going to get into this house and then get a job offer simply because I love the house. I wouldn’t complain. Much.

It’s Been A Funny Sort of Day

The day started off well enough. Woke up, had some breakfast, decided to get a facial and luckily, got an appointment within the hour. The facial was amazing, totally relaxing. Then I got home and just couldn’t get comfortable. Come to think about it, I couldn’t get comfortable in bed the night before. Just a sense of uncomfortability. Yep. Just made that one up.

Not wanting my evening to continue that way, I thought I’d invite dad over to watch The Fifth Estate – he needed a dose of Cumberbatch. He gave me some flack about always having to come out to my place and why don’t I come over there so he can fix me some smoked bbq ribs. Fine, whatever. 

I finished watching Dallas Buyer’s Club and got ready to go. Didn’t do my hair or makeup ’cause I didn’t care. For some reason, I just really didn’t want to go.

On the drive there – which is a straight shot east down Dodge and then a straight shot south on 120th – I had a stomach ache and just an all over unsettling feeling. Crossing Center Street, just a few blocks from dad’s house, I noticed a black car weaving in and out of traffic ahead of me and thought, that asshole’s going to hit someone. 

Dad’s driveway leads to 120th, just past a side street, so it’s always a bit of ‘I hope the person behind me sees that I’m turning but just in case I’ll do it as quickly as I can.’ 

I always check my rear view mirror as soon as I put my right blinker on – checking to see if there’s someone behind me and hoping they’ll just merge into the left lane to avoid slowing down (because it’s super annoying when someone turning holds up traffic). Then right before I turn into the driveway, I check my mirror again – checking to see if the person behind me is slowing down.

This time I noticed the person behind me was not slowing down. At the last second, I might have shouted ‘fuck’ and tried to again press on the accelerator so I could more quickly get into dad’s driveway. I thought, shit, with the snow, I’m definitely going to slide well into dad’s yard. 

Instead, I felt and heard a bam! behind me and then heard and felt another bam! on my left side. It’s not a biff and it’s not a crack, it’s just the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. I smelled the gunpowder from the side airbags deploying and I fumbled with my seatbelt release. Then I tried to open my door and couldn’t. I checked to see if it was unlocked, it was, and I tried again. It wouldn’t budge. I had a two-second panic and then somehow managed to grab my phone and get across the shifter and passenger seat and out the passenger side. I don’t really remember having any issue doing those things, so I can only imagine that I disapparated out of my car and on to the pavement.

I stood up slowly, making sure I was in tact. I looked up to see the white Ford Explorer/Expedition, one of the two, parked ten or so yards from where I was. The driver wasn’t out of the vehicle yet and I started over there. Then I thought, no, of course the driver is okay – they have a fucking SUV and they just slammed a MINI Cooper into a goddamn pole. I shakily opened up my iPhone camera and took pictures of the damage. Finally, the girl got out of the SUV and I turned to say, ‘I am so fucking pissed off at you right now.’ My car was destroyed. My darling MINI. Never mind the bodily harm I sustained.

She was very young and apologetic. I dialed 911 and my MINI, bless its heart, tried to put the call through its speakers via Bluetooth. Took me a few tries to change the audio source before the dispatcher picked up. I described the scene, asked the girl if she was hurt, she said no, thankfully, so we didn’t need medical. 

Oh, my car. The pole hit parallel, and flush, to the edge of my driver’s door. If I would have hit a few inches into the door, I am sure that my window would have shattered and I could have hit my head on the pole and my arm would have been crushed. The back window and windshield did shatter. I noticed later that there were large chunks of glass in my driver’s side floorboards. None in my hair or coat, amazingly. The – well, here are the initial photos, anyway: Image

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After taking the photos, I grabbed my brand new purse and noticed what was left of my Starbucks had gotten all over it. Now that I had something else to focus my anger on, I went inside dad’s house while he tried to convince the girl to come in (it was cold as fuck). I put my purse down on dad’s couch and ripped off my Gryffindor scarf to try to clean it off. Being leather/vinyl, and me being over-determined, it cleaned very easily. 

She finally came inside and I remember hearing her say, “no, she’s an adult” – referring to me. I think anyone who knows me would not refer to me as an adult. I don’t even refer to myself as an adult. I still see the same 18 year old when I look in the mirror. Never mind that being seven years ago. Ahem. Thinking that was silly, I heard dad then tell her to take a breath and calm down. This is also when I learned her name. Apparently, during my purse focus, my dad, bless him, had been a human being and asked her name. I looked up and found a trembling kid standing in the doorway. I went up to her and gave her a hug.

The cop showed up, we got everyone sat down. Dad did his thing and offered her food, water, pop, whatever. He offered me a beer, knowing the girl wasn’t old enough to drink. I figured that should wait until after the cop leaves. He asked us some questions, got our information, and filled out the report. He was very nice and what stuck out to me was the entirely patient way he ‘uh-huh’d us when we both started our phone numbers with the area code.

After that, I got very frustrated. I tried my best to engage her in conversation and joke around with her, I can’t imagine how scared and traumatized she was. Dad was doing his best to embarrass me and joke around with her to make her feel better. The girl said her mother is an ER doctor/nurse and, as her mother should be proud of her for, she urged me to get checked out even though I refused. When the cop was finished with the report, I told him I’d like to have a quick check after all. At that point, the adrenaline was starting to wear off and I was really starting to feel it in my arm. I knew nothing was broken, and I didn’t think doctors would be able to do much for me besides prescribe me – at the time, incredibly desired – pain meds. 

He said he could just have the squad check me out in the ambulance and I could refuse transport. Having never been to a hospital for an emergency or even anything other than a physical, it wasn’t the place I wanted to spend my night. The cop assured me that he’d call a fire truck, too, because he was sure the guys would relish the opportunity to do something. I said, yes, anything with lights and sirens, channeling my inner Ed from Shaun of the Dead. I asked the cop if the firemen would be calendar firemen or just firemen firemen, channeling my inner cougar of a mom. He said he couldn’t guarantee – sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.

I got my wish: soon there was an Omaha Fire Department fire engine and an ambulance outside the house with their lights on. A very cute fireman got out of the engine and started up toward the door. I made sure to be the one answering the door, even in my no-hair/no-makeup done state, and tried to ramp up my charm. The cute one asked my name and then stepped toward me. He reached out and took my wrist, very Sherlock-like. I looked up at him and said, it’s elevated. Wit and charm, that’s what I’ve got.

It was elevated. A few other firemen and paramedics had stepped inside now and were all looking me over from head to toe. I wish it was because I was hot and not because they were doing their jobs, looking for sticky-out bones and blood. 

They walked me out to the ambulance and I took a seat. One paramedic put that little clothespin on my finger while another asked me questions for a sheet: name, age, address, etc. A fireman stepped on and asked, did you need her pulse? as the paramedic who administered the clothespin was putting on a blood pressure cuff. So then I had the one guy holding his fingers to my left wrist, while the other was taking my blood pressure on the right arm. I don’t even remember it going stiff – the cuff, ahem – I was too busy correcting the spelling of my last name to the one filling out the sheet. The fireman taking my pulse said, yeah, F-R-I-I-S. Thanks, buddy.

It was a whirlwind of not-much-happening and soon they were telling me I’d be sore as fuck, my words, tomorrow and to use an ice pack, do I have an ice pack? No. So I got one. One helped me down off the rig and then I was walking back into dad’s house. I noticed the girl was gone. Her brother’s fiancée had come to see her since her mom was working. 

The cop, however, was still there. He gave me my license/reg/ins back and handed me a sheet with the girl’s information on it (for insurance). Dad further embarrassed me, so I told the cop to learn from this situation and not embarrass his daughters. I asked if I could leave my beaten MINI on dad’s property, since it’s private and off the road. He offered to put crime scene tape around it and I pleaded with him to please do so. (He didn’t, much to my dismay). He said he’ll probably be inundated with calls about the busted car in someone’s yard and I told him to tell the callers you’re just ignoring it until it goes away. (Doubt he did that, much to my dismay).

I shook his hand and he left.

The food I’d come over for in the first place no longer sounded appetizing. Dad made sure I was still okay and we hung out while I called insurance. It was literally the last thing I wanted to fuck with after all of that, but I knew I’d feel better having gotten it out of the way. The rep asked me if there was any damage to the pole. I wanted to laugh in her face. Like, drive to wherever her office is, ask for her to come to the waiting room, and then literally laugh in her face. I just said, um, I don’t know, I didn’t check.

After that, dad said I could take his truck since he wasn’t going to be working the next day. When I was ready, he went out and started it and helped me clean out some things from my car. After that, he called my mom to see if she’d come sit with me for a while. She would. We thanked God that I was still alive and I was ready to go home. 

Pulling out onto 120th Street wasn’t really something I wanted to do. I realized about four blocks away from dad’s that I was going about 25mph. I looked up into his rear view mirror and saw headlights approaching. I looked away and sped up toward home. 

Couldn’t get to sleep until after 3am. Thought I’d be exhausted, but I wasn’t. I was out of breath, talking too much, another adrenaline spike. Mom suggested that I eat some protein, so I had five sunny-side-up eggs. Dad’s urban chicken eggs. They were fantastic. 

I thought back over how I reacted to the crash and felt bad about what I’d said to the girl. I was angry and in shock and I could tell she was completely upset, and I yelled at her before I asked her if she was okay. I found her number on the accident report and texted her an apology. She said not to worry about it and she’s glad I’m okay. I told her I’m glad we’re both okay – it could have been so much worse.

I woke up early today, knowing I’d be getting a call from the insurance agent assigned to my claim. Sitting up in bed was tough. All of a sudden, it felt like I’d done a massive workout the day before. My legs were achy and stiff, my abs ached, my neck was sore and stiff, my left arm was sore and I could tell the bruises were worse before looking at them. It was like I ran a marathon and then fell down a flight of stairs to cross the finish line.

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Getting darker…

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Not entirely sure how I even got this on the inside of my elbow – smashed against my ribs, most likely.

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From the door/airbag, I reckon.

Besides a constant physical reminder, every time I think about my car, I get choked up. I know it sounds silly, but I truly love my car. It was brand-fucking-new, ordered and sent from Oxford just for me; limited edition Baker Street edition with special interior design and exterior color/bonnet stripes; sat for three months while I was in London; never, ever had a problem with it; I looked at the odometer on my way to dad’s, actually, and it read 8800 miles. It’s just a year old. I’ve had it a year. It’s fucking stunning and it’s perfect and it’s me and now it’s demolished. 

I don’t know the totaling process, but even if it’s not totaled, I can’t imagine it would be safe to drive after repair. Not with the extent of the damage. I tortured myself last night by going on the MINI website to see if they even had my car anymore. Didn’t see it on the website. Well, it’s limited edition, so I guess I should have expected as much. I don’t know. I’ll see if MINI of Omaha can find one for me. Somewhere. Anywhere. If not.. oh. I didn’t want to have to get another MINI. I wanted this one to get me through 300,000 miles. 

My heart’s broken. My bones are fine, but my heart’s broken. Just like my dear car. 

Before I get any more emotional… I went to dad’s today so that I could get into a rental car. The crash, cloaked in soft snow and darkness last night, looks even more awful in the garish light of day.

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The incredible side-airbags.

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Impressed with the mostly-clean glass break.

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Well, no wonder I couldn’t get my driver’s side door open. I think even an inch more to the front would have shattered my glass.

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Pulled apart at the seams, it seems.

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Did that pole take a fucking welding class beforehand?

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How far the pole got. And an excuse to showcase my fantastic gloves.

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Bits and pieces.

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Standing at the car, looking into the yard. Can see bits of glass as well.

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Oh hey, my back window’s tint. Including some of the glass. (and those fabulous gloves, again).

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Wonky.

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Gosh, you know, I’ve got two trashbags full of clothes for the Goodwill in there.

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The cop gave me the red bit that goes in the silver bit. As a souvenir >.>

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I see my donut is alright.

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Well, shit, snow got in there.

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I’ll have you notice, that key is to the TARDIS. Might need to drive that for a while, to be honest.

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Well-parked.

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What does that face say to you?

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Thank you, you wonderful, marvelous, magnificent, superb, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, fantastic, tremendous, stupendous, sensational, incredibly, brilliant little bull dog of a car. And thank you to the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. 

The appraiser will be around in the next couple days. Then it’ll have to be towed to MINI of Omaha. Then I’ll have to figure out the next step. As I grudgingly think about my next car, there’s no doubt at all: MINI Cooper. 

As completely shitty as this situation is, not just for me, but for the girl who hit me, I’m totally thankful for a great number of things: each of us was able to walk away, we were literally at my dad’s house so we had shelter from the cold, we also had my dad – ever the host – offering us food and drink, we had time to calm down and even laugh a bit. I would hate to think what it would have been like for her, well, for either of us, really, to have had this happen A: with someone less than apologetic/cooperative/etc, and B: out on the road where it wasn’t safe to sit/stand/otherwise. Again, as completely shitty as it was, it really was as good as it could be. Because we’re both okay, and cars/bumpers can be replaced, this is just more of an inconvenience than anything else.

Inexplicable, But There

(Maybe it’s because it’s that pink and red, roses, hearts, and lurve time of year, but…)

It’s interesting what I notice when I lose myself in thought.

For example, I sometimes think to myself, “what am I going to do if I don’t find someone who meets all of my wants and needs?” I believe I’ve mentioned the fact that I’m entirely fine with waiting however long it takes to find just that; however, in weaker moments, I do wonder.

But when I think that, it’s never thought or felt devastatingly. It’s never thought in despair or depressingly. It’s never thought that way because I know, with the utmost certainty, that I will find that perfect person for me.

Somehow, in this funny little brain of mine, I know. I can’t say in what else I have such calm or knowing. Maybe only my faith in a higher power predominates the unshakeable faith in knowing absolutely that I will find my perfect person and I will be able to give the endless amounts of love inside me, and greater still, I will feel that love in return. 

I know this above all else.

It’s unfailing, this feeling. It’s incredible and unbelievably comforting. And based off of nothing at all.

Reinforcement

I don’t always read my horoscope, but when I do…

Scorpio
“As the month opens, the many home decisions you need to make will be on your mind, thanks to the new moon that just appeared on January 30th. Whether the focus is a new space, new decor, or a new roommate, you won’t have much time to sort it out, as Uranus, a planet of unexpected events, will partner with this moon. Further, by the full moon on the 14th [of February], career will take center stage, with your profile set to rise when Mars, one of Scorpio’s rulers, works hard for you behind the scenes. With so much professional excitement, your real Valentine’s Day may have to come later in the month, when you see your best romantic developments at the 28th’s new moon…”
– ELLE Magazine, February 2014

So. Interestingly or not, like I’ve been moaning about, I’ve got all of these decisions to make regarding where I live: am I going to bite the bullet and get a place here? am I going to continue to rent my apartment? will I be looking for a place in New York or elsewhere? What the hell am I supposed to do?

I’m hoping the “unexpected events” will mean a job interview/offer, and therefore, unexpected traveling. I’ll be in Toronto over the 28th, when I’m apparently supposed to meet a love interest. Who the hell knows about that.

HOWEVER, I seem to be happening upon quite a few things lately that are reinforcing my intuition and encouraging me to stay close to the path I’m on. 

As they said in Sherlock ‘The Sign of Three’:
Mycroft: What do we say about coincidence?
Sherlock: The universe is rarely so lazy.

Raise the Surveillance Status to ‘Active’

I wrote about Sherlock last night and how much I love everything about the show. Last night, I also talked my dad into watching an episode with me.

He came over today to watch Sherlock. I couldn’t decide where exactly to start. I told him that as much as I’d love to start with Season Three, just because it really has been exceptional so far, I should probably start with A Study In Pink. He went on a diatribe about how he wasn’t going to get into a television show, he doesn’t watch television, it doesn’t matter where we start. I knew he would act this way, which is why I was torn over which episode to show him.

After some internal debate, and after asking a friend, I decided on ASiP – to introduce him to the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman version of the characters. Plus, it really is a brilliant episode. 

Upon first seeing Martin, he exclaimed, “Hey! That’s the hobbit!” He was already laughing during the press conference when Sherlock was texting everyone, “Wrong.” Just a few minutes later and he’s already saying, sheepishly, “Okay, I think I could get into this.” 

After Sherlock invited John to live with him, dad said, “That’s how they met?! This is too good for TV.” When Sherlock ran off, leaving John at the crime scene with the Pink Lady, dad admitted his man crush on Martin Freeman: “He can say more by not saying anything.” Yes, dad; the fandom is very much aware of Martin’s expertise.

He laughed, he asked questions, he was rather enthralled. 

When Mycroft said, “Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson” and they walked off in slow motion to the theme, dad and I looked at each other, and he reached over to shake my hand. I couldn’t contain my smugness.

“This show… is awesome. You bitch. You’re like a drug pusher. How do you expect me to walk away from this show without needing to watch more?”

And, much like at the end of a successful drug deal, we shook hands again.

As he got up to leave (I have an errand to run), he said, “God. Pretty soon I’m going to have Sherlock shit all over my house! My chickens will be wearing little black coats!”

I told him I didn’t have anything going on tonight after my errand, so we made plans for him to come back over and watch The Blind Banker. I told him not to Google any spoilers.

 

Growing up, watching movies with my dad was essentially one of my favorite past-times. It’s because of him that I have such a passion for film and television. It’s because of him that I know what Airplane! is, and Spaceballs, unlike so many of my friends. It’s because of him pointing out different things or wondering out loud why the director shot the scene a certain way or how the score is in a certain scene that I do those things. 

So, being able to introduce him to Sherlock, a show that manages to be the brightest light shining in a world full of torches, is an immense pleasure. The fact that he loved it, well. 

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