Friday, November 9, 2012

How Murphy Tried to Hijack Our Girls' Vacation

Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

It was a lovely, sunny Monday, and Ellie and I were all packed up and ready to hit the road to Davis, Oklahoma, with three wonderful girl friends (and one Boy Toddler) who I'll call Sweet, Spirited and Adventurous.

It all started with it being "that time of the month."  Forgive me if that's TMI, but it really does make a difference, which all women - and any men who have spent time around a woman - know. I was desperately trying not to grump around the house, instead repelling my sour mood by baking chocolate cake, eating the chocolate chips as I went, concocting homemade wheat bread, and enjoying my baby's giggles.

Sweet, Spirited and Adventurous were on their way to my apartment, since we were going to split our group into two separate vehicles, my Lexus (aka Pretty Car) included. Just before they arrived, I checked on the wheat bread only to discover it hadn't risen. Instead it had remained a dense, rectangular brick that might or might not be fit for consumption. I bagged and packed it anyway (Ha-hah, you were my lab rats, Sweet, Spirited and Adventurous!).

Moments later, the girls arrived. That's when Spirited realized that she had left Boy Toddler's high chair at home. After she departed to retrieve it, I recalled that I owned a high chair, and she could've just borrowed it. By that time, though, she was already well on her way back to her house.

I later learned that as Spirited was driving away from her house with Boy Toddler's  high chair, she got a phone call from her younger sister. "There's a big box of food here," Younger Sister explained. "Did you mean to take that with you?"

Indeed, Spirited had meant to take it - it contained the ingredients we would need for dinner. She drove back to the house once more and retrieved the food, then rendezvoused with the rest of us at my apartment.

Finally, we were ready to go - Spirited, Boy Toddler and Adventurous loaded into one car, and Sweet, Ellie and I in the other. I turned the keys in Pretty Car's ignition, and that's when Murphy sowed chaos.

All the warning lights - oil, oil temp, engine and battery - blinked on on my instrument panel, and the car would not back out. I pressed down the gas fairly hard to make it reverse at all, and when I began to move, the steering wheel decided to go all ghost-y on me and forcefully lock into forward position, and then the car stopped moving altogether. After stopping and starting the car several times, I decided to put my money on the bet that we probably weren't going to be able to take Pretty Car after all.

Sweet got on the phone with Spirited and Adventurous, who had already started down Lindsey Street for the highway. Meanwhile, I was trying to call Chris over and over without success. As I dialed my dad instead, with Sweet still on the phone trying to explain what was going on, Ellie - who was sticking her little fingers as far inside her mouth as she could manage - scratched the inside of her mouth very hard and burst into loud, pained squalls.  So Sweet jumped out of the car to get and comfort Ellie, whose mouth was bleeding, while I talked to my dad and tried to get my dying car out of the middle of the parking lot.

Fortunately, Sweet's car was still available for use, so she and Adventurous decided to go to Sweet's apartment to get it. Spirited stayed with Ellie and I. I was so frazzled that I decided it might be nice to have a delicious Starbucks drink to lift my spirits, but just when I was about to ask Spirited if she wanted to get one...I remembered I didn't have a car (yeah, yeah, First World problems).

A few minutes later, Spirited gets a call from Sweet. She had just arrived at her apartment and realized that she had left her purse with her car keys behind at my apartment. At this point, Spirited and I looked at each other and started cracking up, because otherwise we might well have cried.

Sweet arrived back, picked up her keys, and she and Adventurous went once again to her apartment to get the car. And I am happy to announce they made it back with no snafus, and we were able to toss the bags and strap the babies into the new vehicle and go.

The rest of the vacation went great, except for the part where I decided to free-climb some rocks and take the path of most resistance back down, whence I got stuck on a ledge with the next good foothold ten feet below me... Besides that, our stay in a lakeside house near Turner Falls was peaceful, gorgeous and refreshing. We shared many great conversations and late-night laughs. Furthermore, my car is now repaired and back at home.

I guess Murphy may have his days, but someone much bigger and much kinder has my life. In the end, the dear reader, it's much easier to see how he has it under control after all.

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