You start your day on a series of positive notes:
- There’s no fighting over the frosted flakes for breakfast because the boys have to be at the football field early for practice. So they eat donuts right out of the box (no dirty dishes and a couple of hours to myself – SCORE!).
- The cake you are making comes out perfectly. And this time you remember to put the cap back on the caramel topping before you shake it up.
- You begin fantasizing about that closet organizing system you are going to get for your master bedroom, pantry and laundry room with a recently secured financial windfall.
The day continues to be a thrill, as you visit your parent’s house for a family dinner. Your sister Diane is in town from Canada with her family for their annual summer visit. Your sister Nancy is in town, having secured a brief break from her busy and unpredictible schedule as a flight attendant, based out of Chicago. And your baby sister Sue is also there with her two kids. You partake in a fajita dinner and spend some quality time catching up with your far-flung sisters.
And the cousins take a charming group grandchild photo:
At 7:30pm, the family — you, the husband, kids and the dog — hop into the minivan for the 3 hour trek home. You put on the station featuring Retro Saturday Night, musically take yourself to Funkytown and smile as you think….damn, that was a really good day.
Until about 45 minutes into the trip. When you hear something weird. You figure it’s just the hot rod next to you with the supersize muffler that doesn’t really muffle much of anything. But as Speed Racer leaves you behind, you realize that sound is coming from your minivan. The noise keeps getting slightly louder. And your blood pressure keeps getting slightly higher.
Another half hour into the trip, you stop at the usual halfway point — a Wawa gas and food oasis. Perhaps a bit of a break will be just what the minivan needs.
Once back on the road, it’s clear that the noise has not gotten better. Unless you define “better” as louder, more cringe-inducing and ten times harder to ignore. Twenty minutes later you pull into another service station/fast food oasis. Even though not one “check engine” or “oil pressure” light has flashed on and the car’s engine temp is normal, the intensive shaking now makes it impossible to pilot the minivan home safely.
A call placed to AAA ensures you will be rescued for
a $200 towing fee the 45 minute drive to your mechanic’s shop to drop off the van. Another call placed to a good friend ensures you will be picked up at the mechanic’s and taken home.
Your boys will watched excitedly as the car is loaded on to the flatbed tow truck:
Your dog will look at you with a pleading expression, masking the fact that she is really angry about having to stay in the van and will probably piss all over everything during the ride to the mechanic’s shop:
The excitement of getting to ride in the big tow truck will quickly wear off on your boys. They are exhausted from the combination of football practice, a three hour car ride to the grandparent’s house, and playing with their cousins. Not to mention a bit of irritation because you wouldn’t buy them a Frosty from the Wendy’s connected to the gas station where the car crapped out because you “have to save every penny for the tow job”.
Your oldest will fall asleep right away:
and your youngest will twist himself into a pretzel just before he passes out:
When you finally walk in your front door, you’ll realize “hey this was a very good day” because:
- your dog didn’t piss on anything even though she had to ride in the minivan, on the flatbed, all by herself
- you got the first three miles of the towing for free because you have AAA. And the rest of the trip only cost you $4 per mile
- your friend who picked you up from the mechanic’s was awake and sober on a Saturday at midnight
- you have the financial windfall to either fix the van or put a down payment on a new car
- your closets weren’t really in need of organizing anyway