So, the Columbus Unified High School Class of 1987 recently got together to celebrate our 25th year of being out of high school. My actual plans were to not even attend the actual festivities, which in hindsight might have been a better idea for me and all involved, but I digress. My decision not to go was mostly because of color. Green that is and the fact that my bank account, due to a series of unfortunate events, has recently been void of the color. Be that as it may, several former classmates "talked me into" coming by renting a car and covering the cost of my gas to get there (I will add this was a temporary loan and that $$ is either going back to contributors or else I'm donating to the local Al-Anon groups or special olympics).
My friend Kim wired a "Money Gram" to Wal-Mart (didn't know that existed, did ya?) and all I had to do was pick up, go to Enterprise and I was on my way. Easy, peasy right? I refer you, dear readers (all two of you) to the name of this blog and remind thee that nothing comes easy to a Burch without a short trip through hell, without passing GO!
The first snag was picking up the Money Gram itself. Since the rental car required a money order, I requested cash back in that form so that I wouldn't have to make any other trips. The cashier then informed me that I would need $.60 to purchase the money order.
Damn. When I said earlier that my bank account was void of green, that also applied to my wallet - change not-withstanding; however, in digging through the nickels and pennies of my wallet - I came up short. I had only $.59; a fact that made the Wal-Mart Queen behind me, with her pedicured toes poking out of her house slippers, quite unhappy.
Luckily, HubbyD was with me and he ran out to the car to dig a sticky penny out of the console. Whew - crisis averted! Puhleeze people - Burch Luck....
The next day, before I left town for Kansas, I had to fill in for one of our professors and "teach" a class, so no casual Friday for me. I had on dress clothes, so I was already uncomfortable when I picked up the rental car at noon. I realized when I looked at it and thought my husbands beater car was in better shape that I might be in trouble, but I just shrugged and went on my way. "What could go wrong?" I probably sniped in my head.
Well, I'll tell you what went wrong. Dallas Rush Hour Traffic! It was gas:brake, gas:brake, gas:brake....sit...sit....sit, gas:brake....I was getting cut off, honked at, flipped off, and sure, I joined in a little because I was going nuts and I was having hot flashes. Traffic was literally at a stand still most of the time and the A/C was petering out, little by little.
And a vehicle with sucky air conditioning and no cruise control in 105 degree temperatures - it's not fun. Things came to a head when I told my daughter that I thought I smelled burning radiator fluid. If you have ever driven a P.O.S. - you probably know this smell quite well; if you haven't, well then:
"Some poor ass-hole's car is overheating." I said to my daughter, all the while reaching into the back seat to get a MUCH NEEDED Xanax out of my purse.
Of course, that is when the rental car's temperature gauge topped out almost immediately. I looked at my daughter and said "Oh no...I'm the poor asshole" and of course, my oh so helpful teenager quips "Oh Em Gee!" rolled her eyes and immediately started Tweeting on her iPhone. I had no choice but to get off the interstate, and amazingly enough, when you have steam coming out from under your hood people actually let you cut in front of them, so I exited quite quickly (not typical Burch Luck) and pulled into a Whataburger and called the Triple A. The nice lady from somewhere in Illinois (I know, right?) contacted a tow-truck and the nearest Enterprise, which happened to only be three blocks away. Unfortunately, they were minutes away from closing. Actually, if you look at it in "glass-half-full" terms, it was rather fortunate for us.
Enterprise sent to our rescue one over-worked, under-paid former Geological Engineer to pick us up. I know this fact, because he told me his life story in three, very agonizing minutes. I can even tell you that his son's computer screen saver is a picture of him, with his arm shoulder deep into the third stomach of a fistulated cow. Three blocks people; I learned this in just three blocks!
He was 'really thrilled' to be going beyond his job duties at 5:50 p.m. on a Friday night.
He rushed us out of there and took us back to Enterprise. Okay, so a cool thing is, they gave us a rental with a 3/4 tank of gas (the overheated P.O.S. was almost on E). The crappy thing is, he gave us the same kind of car we were already driving. It is very telling to me that Chevy no longer makes this model of vehicle.
Doh! Whatever. The color was prettier (race car red) and we were on our way without having to fill out any extra paperwork and it gave us just enough time to wait out the Dallas traffic. We drove all the way to Muskogee, Oklahoma before needing to stop and get gas.
I pulled up to the gas pumps at your friendly neighborhood "Git N Split" (which is not unlike the term I once gave to a college boyfriend, but I digress), I realized that my typically empty wallet was no longer on my person. Apparently, when someone in complete "road rage" mode reaches into the back seat to get a much needed Xanax and a wallet the same color as the interior of the vehicle falls out onto the floor and you are then "rushed" from one vehicle to another, things get left behind.
Yeah. I was not 'feeling' the wonderful weekend I was supposed to be on my way to enjoy at this point, and I called my hubby in a panic because I thought maybe I could have left my wallet in Bryan (nope) and of course, Enterprise was already closed at this point (likely snapped the lock as we walked out the door).
My wonderful daughter dug to the bottom of her purse and found seven one dollar bills and four dollars worth of loose change to add to my 'nothing'. She made sure to reluctantly give it over in a huff and tell me, in no uncertain terms, that I WOULD BE PAYING HER BACK. Well yes, princess, that's the only thing I can think of right now - a 17 year old's happiness.
Keep in mind, I'm still wearing my fancy work clothes (whatever - it was Yoga pants, but I had on heels and nobody could even tell) so I looked just great pre-paying for gas with what looked like stripper tips and pocket change while wearing my "Friday Texas A&M School logo" Polo. As I'm pumping the $11.00 worth of gas, my daughter rolls down her window, with a brief comment about how she had to manually do so, and said "Daddy wants you to call him right now!"
Yeah, well my Xanax had worn off and as I had just barely finished panicking I brushed her off coolly and said "I'll call him when I'm through." Be that as it may, it doesn't take all that long to pump $11.00 worth of gas, so I jumped in the car and dialed Alan on the phone before I pulled back out onto the highway.
Instead of simply saying "hello" he went right into this spiel
"Make sure you keep some money back for the Will Rogers Turnpike toll road!"
Day late, and a dollar short. Okay, $3.75 short, though they do give you a refund in Miami, OK, so it's really only $1.25 short. That said, my tactic here was simple and quite easy. I just pulled up to the tolling booth, told them the whole story from beginning to end and they wrote me a note that said "You must pay this $1.25 BEFORE you can EVER drive on this Tollway AGAIN!" I have no idea what would have happened had I not paid the toll before my return trip home...but I assure you that I paid that $1.25 on the way back through!
Several people texted and called me when they found out I left my wallet in Dallas. I have no doubts that I would have been rescued no matter what had happened. I have great friends and family in my corner, of this I am certain. This is likely why, in spite of leaving my wallet in a broken down rental car, I had one of the best weekends I have had in a long, long time.
You know the old saying "You can't go home again.'' I have never believed it because it would have taken an army to keep me from ever visiting my family or friends in my home town. I mean, even a lost wallet and broken down rental vehicle couldn't hold me back!
However, after my the reunion this past weekend, I think it's safe to say that this old saying might finally ring true for me. At least, that's how I felt when I woke up the morning after.
Actually, I think karaoke should be a part of everyone's reunion/party. It's a good way to get people to come out of their shell and after 25 years, there were some people who needed to be dragged, kicking and screaming out of their shell. My shell, however, crumbled to pieces years ago and was not a problem.
Laughter at this age is good medicine. It's also good for wetting your pants and asthma attacks.
I showed my hubby this picture, and he said "Nice deer!"
Typical man to notice the deer heads and not the hip displaysia causing moment that happened to my friend Jill after several "Super Star" demonstrations throughout the night.
All I know is, Lick it Up was my defining moment from the reunion. Everyone else who attended had their own, so LICK IT UP YA'LL!
Mmmmm - red jello shots leave their mark, don't they Bitch #3?
No words necessary:
Never mind that I had a lot to drink....I was in good company!
Who says you have to be mature 25 years after graduating high school?
This is now our classic "hiding the double chins" pose:
I think it goes without saying that a "Good time was had by all" - there were many, many more photos taken and they are on our class' personal Facebook site and not for public viewing, unless you know me and you ask me nicely.
All I know is this: I will never be asked to join our local Junior League. But that's okay by me. Nobody with whom I graduated will be joining any time soon either. And we're okay with that.