With my upcoming new book release, I realize that I have left some blogs in draft form. I am excited to say that the new book, Private Property, published on January 12th and I am back focused on my other 'responsibilities'. So, here is the first blog that should have gone out in December:
Deciding we'd spend a relaxing holiday season at home without any guests, I eagerly wrapped and packed up all the gifts we needed to send out. Waiting dangerously close to the last minute, I looked up the nearest UPS Store and fought my way through the downtown traffic to locate it. As with most downtown areas, all parking spots were angled and metered and making it ever more difficult for me to find a spot. The wind had picked up in preparation of an upcoming winter storm and I had too many packages to juggle to attempt to park across the street or down the block.
I circled the block once, twice, and on my third lap, at the very last minute a patron exited the store. I flicked on my blinker, slowed to a stop and glanced at the clock. 5:30pm. Awesome. I'd be home before the man.
I pulled in the prime spot just to the left of the storefront and fought the blustery wind to the trunk of my car. The traffic had backed up as the light turned red and I noticed the bored drivers glancing my way. I looked in at the seven boxes packed in my car. Hmmm. How best to get them out and in to the store? Well, I'd have to do what I could.
I hefted one large box and two small ones in to my arms, tucking a wrapped cylinder and small container up under my chin. My purse took that most inopportune moment to jerkily slide down my arm and get entangled between the crook of my elbow and a sharp corner of the big box. I hitched and lurched, jerking my shoulder in odd movements to attempt to dislodge it. I tried using my elbow to close the trunk lid but my damnable purse got in the way.
Finally freeing the stupid bag and allowing it to dangle somewhere on my trapped forearm, I leaned the packages up against the passenger door, securing them with my body, as I reached out to close the trunk. The first swipe was a near miss, my fingertips grazing the metal. The second swipe didn't have enough force behind it and left the trunk lid popping back open as if to laugh at me. In growing impatience, I took a swing at the thing and smiled in satisfaction at the audible click confirming it closed.
But my win was short lived as the packages dislodged and began sliding down the door with an odd, irritating sound much like dragging a half-wet cloth across a dry window. Rrrreeeerrrrrreeeeeee. I squatted in quick reaction, trying my best to keep the boxes from spilling out across the pavement, my butt almost touching the ground. Saved from having to pick them up, I realized I was in the precarious position of having to pull myself out of a deep squat with nothing but the balls of my feet. Damn.
Back in an upright position, and sorely out of breath from the exertion, I moved between the cars towards the sidewalk. Having forgotten about the bag still awkwardly dangling from my arm, I was not prepared for the severe jerk as my body was wrenched to the side and my elbow collided painfully with the side-view mirror. My purse had once again executed its well-planned attack and now sat wrapped around the friggin' mirror taunting me.
Precious seconds passed as I finagled the thing off my car and freed myself to pursue forward movement once again. Up on the sidewalk, over to the door and...locked. I tried again with the two fingers I had available to pull the handle. Nope. Locked. I looked up. The storefront grate was pulled down around the shipping counter. The lights were dimmed. Are you serious?! I thought in complete exasperation. It was only the busiest time of the year for shipping and I had practically done myself in just to get the damned first load of boxes safely out of my car!
Not to be defeated, I turned and trudged back, against the biting wind. I stepped off the curb, hitched the heavy packages up, lost my balance and slammed my hip in to the car. Ouch. Double Damn. I had already decided that I wouldn't brave the trunk again, and opened the passenger car door. Only I opened it from the wrong side. It bounced in to me and then slammed shut. I shuffled past and tried again. As I swung the door open, the packages began to fall and I pitched forward in an effort to have them land on the seat and not the ground.
Thankfully, I won the skirmish. Standing up and smiling, I straightened my shirt and turned, to look in to the faces of all the people staring at me in their idling cars. The smile faded from my lips. Damn. Damn. Damn. I thought to myself, if I had been watching that episode play out, I would have been torn between hysterical laughter and embarrassment for the poor bloke. And then it hit me - Damn. It's me. And that's exactly what these people were doing.