Sunday, August 09, 2009

Not in Maine -- Yet

So, you read yesterday's blog post and thought I was headed to Maine today. Funny thing: that's what I thought, too, but here I am, still in PA. You see we planned on going to Maine but, apparently, our car had other ideas. I guess it just wasn't up for that 11-hour drive today, didn't fancy the idea of arriving at a cottage with which it's not real familiar, on a side of Mt. Desert Island we've barely explored, around midnight -- the witching hour.

The car is sulking, so we decided the best thing to do was to drink martinis, order a pizza, let the car cry itself to sleep, and start out tomorrow morning. I must say, I wasn't very nice to it earlier, so it has every right to be upset, but really. What a time to roll over a huge nail and get a flat tire. And I mean flat.

Especially when I was so proud of myself. There Bob was, at church all morning. Here I was at home, finishing up last minute details before we left. I decided I'd surprise him by doing a superb job of loading everything in the car (something he'd fully expected to do himself). And superb it was! I even managed to carry that particularly big, heavy box full of food and other necessities out to the car by myself. I wedged everything in so that nothing could move around. It was better than a Tetris game board.

Then, it happened. I walked out the door to cross the parking lot over to the church office to make a photocopy of something we needed to mail before we left. And what did I see? A tire, glued to the pavement, in that beleaguering way that only a flat tire can do.

You would be proud of me: I didn't burst into tears (which is what twentysomething me once did when I walked out of my apartment one Saturday morning, car loaded, to head from Connecticut down to North Carolina and discovered I'd left my interior light on, and the car battery was dead). I calmly made that journey across the parking lot. I smiled and laughed and engaged in proper "pastor's wife small talk" with those who were climbing into their cars after the service. I made the photocopy. Then I announced to Bob, while he was hurrying out of his robe,

"We have a slight problem."

In a rare moment of prescience, is response was,

"What? Do we have a flat?"

Yes, we had a flat. In the Bible Belt. On Sunday. (I know. You don't think of Pennsylvania as the Bible Belt, but I promise you, it is.) Bob managed to get the spare on (with the help of one of our wonderful parishioners), ruining, of course, my brilliant packing job in order to get to the spare, and 3 1/2 hours later, from whence did he return with the tire repaired? Dare I even tell you? It was the only place around that was available for such repairs on Sunday. Still, I am so ashamed! Wal-Mart.

Stupid, stupid, stupid car! It deserves to be sulking. It deserves to be riddled with bullets and taken to the junkyard. However, if it manages to get us to Maine in one piece tomorrow, it will be forgiven. Meanwhile, I think I hear a second martini calling me...


litlove said...

Oh the best laid plans! I'm sort of relieved you had the flat in your own driveway, rather than halfway to Maine, but still, what a nuisance. I'll have everything crossed for a flawlessly getaway tomorrow.

Susan said...

Congratulations on not crying, Em! I'm afraid I would have! I still have the terrible habit of crying if the bus is more than 15 mins late....then I get all mad and I look terrible when the bus finally arrives! You managed to keep your cool in front of your parishioners deserve some chocolate celebration on top of the martini!

and here's a toast *clank of glasses* that you get out of town tomorrow!

ZoesMom said...

That is highly annoying. Cars are a giant pain. And being forced to to W--mart is awful too.

I hope today got you off to a much better, perhaps slightly hungover start to your vacation!

Stefanie said...

Oh no! Give yourself a pat on the back for showing such restraint though. It being Tuesday already, I am certain you are comfortably ensconced at the cottage enjoying a good book!

Courtney said...

Oh, boo, hiss! As someone who just recently experienced both a blown clutch AND a flat tire, different cars, same DAY, I empathize! A flat tire can be extremely frustrating. Have a WONDERFUL vacation and I look forward to hearing all about the new job (woot! woot!) when you return!