Although I started to say, "This hasn't been the greatest week of my life..." to paraphrase a country song..."That's life." And nothing more.
The mean kid next door beat up my kid. Happens. The house phone has been out since the 17th and they came and fixed it and...didn't. Happens. I spent ten hours in the cardiac unit of the ER Tuesday because two doctors and I thought I was having a heart attack. I wasn't but it FELT like it. I didn't have a blood clot in my lungs, either (second diagnosis.) Happens. The Big Boy's birthday was said Tuesday and...we didn't have a celebration. Happens.
And then yesterday, the straw broke the camel's back and I lost it and...everything got put into perspective.
The Nice Kid and I had dentist appointments but she has a summer babysitting job with no back-up, so The Not Nice Kid and I went instead. Lovely visit, lovely report, everything went well which was really soothing to my jangled nerves. We left and TNNK was STARVING, which is her skinny ass's normal state 90% of her waking hours. Absolutely famished. We drove through Burger King, her new fix, and spent NINE DOLLARS on a SNACK, and then headed to the grocery store.
She had apple fries, and when we parked she announced she was staying in the car. It's HOT in Alabama in the summertime, and if she stayed in the car that would mean I'd have to leave it running and hurry through the store and...I didn't want to. So I made her get out of the car and she's standing beside it wailing that she wants to stay in the car and she hates the stupid grocery store and I always let The Nice Kid stay in the car and...I folded. JUST SHUT UP. Just shut the hell up and you can stay. Put her back in, started the car and left STRICT instructions: DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. You will set off the alarm. I'll be as quick as I can but...DO NOT LEAVE THIS CAR UNLOCKED.
A few minutes later I get tackled from behind with a bear hug and there she is, ready to help shop. When I asked..."Did you lock the car?" she assured me that she had. All is well. We shopped. Fresh cherries. Good strawberries. Silver dollar pancakes...40 for $1.29. Sliced smoked cheese. Fresh mozzarella. Smiled at everyone, laughed with the people shopping with us, talked to strangers. This is small town America.
Got our stuff paid for, pushed the cart out of the store and JUST as I'm nearing the car and fishing for my remote I realize...that car is running. As in, THE ENGINE IS RUNNING IN MY CAR.
And it's locked.
Now, I've been driving this make of car for 22 years and I have never locked the keys in it YET because IT CANNOT BE DONE. Impossible. But there sat my car, in the 100 degree parking lot, with the engine running and since there's a key in the ignition? The remote doesn't work.
And I absolutely positively completely LOST IT.
A few minutes later I called my sister, who should have been on her way home from work, and sure enough she was a block away. She offered to come get me, let me take her to the Mexican restaurant and take her car to my house to get my extra keys but OH YEAH...different post...in the madness getting me to the hospital Tuesday my kids lost TWO OF THE THREE SETS OF KEYS to my car. No lie.
She drove to the grocery store and there we stood...calling every locksmith in the phonebook (HER phone book because MY phone book was LOCKED IN MY CAR) and no one could get there within 35 minutes. It was hot, real hot, and this is Alabama and I knew the car had already been running for over half an hour and the tank was full and...can cars blow up? Do we know? Didn't want to find out.
A strange man came over and offered to help but we explained...can't be done. Clicked on everything...I'd been trying to get the trunk open because my car? It's Swedish and it has this opening in the middle of the back seat for ski poles and I WAS GOING TO CRAM THE NOT NICE KID'S ASS THROUGH THAT OPENING so that she could unlock the car. Trunk wouldn't open. Lucky for her.
Finally, I realized that in this sort of situation? You need a friend. So I called the guy who changes my oil. In tears. And when I heard his voice, I lost it again. Took him 10 seconds to assess the situation and he said...I've got guys on the way. I had my sister put TNNK in her car and told them...I don't want to lay eyes on you again until there is a cold margarita with MY NAME and a FLOATER sitting in front of me. They left.
Here's where it got funny. The guy who had offered to help? Came back over to the car. Nice looking man, plain, hardworking, in-shape guy. Explained that he had...that thing you stick down in the door?...in his other truck. Wondered if we could try this or try that. I laughed and thanked him and explained that there was help on the way and then he said...
"I noticed you in the grocery store. The way you moved and laughed. I thought,"Now there's someone who's enjoying her life'."
I stood there for a minute before I realized...this guy is hitting on me. Me. The mom. The OLD mom (I'm 53...they're 29, 14 and nine). The mom who hasn't had on decent makeup in 20 years because every time she buys something? A kid takes it. The mom who wears baggy linen the color of peanut butter and snot. The mom who can feed 40 people on 30 minutes notice.
He was hitting on me.
When it hit me? I burst out laughing. Not softly and politely chuckling but sick-of-this-week's-shit belly laughing. I laughed and I laughed and I took his arm to explain and...lost it again. I stood in that parking lot and laughed out every single ounce of the entire week's CRAP. And then I thanked him and smiled and...lost it again. I laughed until I couldn't BREATHE.
A few minutes later two guys, with 17 teeth between them, pulled up beside my car. THAN YOU GOD, for rednecks. Good, honest, talented, uneducated rednecks who can do ANYTHING. The boy had a screwdriver and a coat hanger...five seconds, tops. He didn't even have to fish around and he shaped that noose with one look at the lock. Five seconds and he was in. In.
I asked if he knew where I lived? He laughed. "Only legal, ma'am. Only legal."
The margarita was really good and really cold and my sister had told the story before I got there and it was really special. And God made me laugh on one of the worst weeks of my life.
It doesn't get any better than that.