I remember once telling a friend as she stood outside the bowling alley, sobbing, that sometimes we have bad days. Sometimes those bad days just happen to land on our birthday.
It was a pretty terrible day. The short of it is that I should have been on the road, making my way home from the St. Louis area by 3pm on Sunday. But 30 miles from the origin of my drive there was a loud splashing sound and I was convinced my car was about to give birth because liquid was all over the road. And the smell of coolant took over the car. I pulled over on the side of a country highway and called my dad–as any girl instinctively does. Many phone calls, a tow truck ride, the discovery that no one does any work on a Sunday, and hours later I was back to the retreat site–exactly where I’d left from. Luckily the Sisters were happy to see me and even saved me some fried chicken from lunch.
I spent the next day at the auto repair shop from 7:30-2:30. Being the bag lady I am I pulled out my laptop and did some research and survived off of my apples and the free coffee. There was no such thing as wireless internet. At lunch time they let me have some of the pizza the office staff had ordered in. By 2:30 they took $333 (a fitting number, don’t you think?) and I was on my way.
Frustrated. Tired. And unhappy about having spent my birthday in the middle of nowhere.
On the upside, the people that assisted me went to great lengths to make me comfortable, providing me with a place to stay, food, rides, and mechanical advice–the many many people that got me back on the road where of great value. Not to mention that is was 75 degrees in St. Louis on Sunday (it did, however, snow on Monday). The other positive about being in not-Chicago is that they seem to charge you a reasonable rate for auto related expenses, though anything seems excessive when you weren’t expecting your heater coil to break.
The day ended in too much wine and the comfort of my mom and dad and your phone calls.
I’m over it now.