Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself.
Like when you nearly set your house on fire by microwaving a shirt.
Or when you almost get arrested for stealing a "Christ For State Senate" sign.
Or, like today, when you have to rush home from your commute to work.
The first time was innocent enough. I was already running late, but knew if I punched it in the V6 that I'd still make it to the office with time to spare. So, cursing under my breath, I went home and nabbed the cell phone I had ironically left on my makeup counter "so I wouldn't forget it."
Simple enough. Happens to the best of us. But then...
Well, first let me give you some background.
I have been having some, um..., difficulties at work. Namely in that my students love me (one even made me a papier mache lotus blossom today), but the administration has no idea what to do with me.
I experience this A LOT.
So, needless to say, being late to work is uber-low on my "things Erin should be doing with herself right now" list. In fact, I'd say it ranks just below abusing methamphetamines and asp juggling.
Back to the story...
Phone in hand, I sprint to the vehicle and once again begin my journey to the land of questionable teaching practices. It is while in said vehicle that I realize that driving is proving a particularly enjoyable activity on this early morning--likely because pressing the clutch pedal is far more comfortable when done WITH FLIP FLOPS ON!
If there's one thing my employer hates worse than opinionated teachers with actual personalities and brains, it's teachers who show up in improper footwear.
Back to the house I go...
I don't think I have ever run so fast in the entirety of my existence. The fact that I did not get pulled over (again) is a sheer testament to the fact that I may have been traveling faster than the speed of light. At any rate, I know it was faster than the posted speed limit. Much. Much. Faster.
Scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m., I peel into the parking lot at 7:59.
I park illegally.
I run inside.
And while the next 30 seconds are a blur, I know I somehow managed to clock in, secure my watch, check my student schedule for the day, prepare my teaching supplies and make it to my student's desk just as the bell rang.
And wouldn't you know it? My student was late.
Now let's jump ahead, shall we?
I am sitting in my living room with a friend, scanning Craig's List for a suitable place intown that is both a. affordable and b. NOT located in an area known for homicide or gang violence (not as easy as one might initially surmise), when, suddenly, my gmail alert informs me that I have new mail. "Hazaa!," I say. "Someone from Craig's List must've emailed me back already!"
Excited about my new home prospect, I check the email.
It came from user email@example.com (**** replacing the actual digits. You know, to protect the innocent.) The email reads: Ur dAd iz renting a pontoon boat sATurdY @ lake ARROWHead fr\1 to 5 f/my birthday. Wanna come? Dinner @ clubhouse After.:-)
Given the wacky username, unruly capitalization and adherence to text speak, I make the snap judgment that some delinquent 14 year old is attempting to plan an ill-advised weekend booze fest with his friends and has accidentally included me on the invite.
So, naturally, I respond appropriately:
"Who the fuck is this?"
Moments later I receive this response:
Uh-huh. Damned right you're sorry. Low-life punk! Good thing I showed him!
The night progresses without a hitch, and, before making the hike to the grocery store for my organic Omega 3 enhanced milk, I pick up the previously-mentioned cell phone (this time from the kitchen counter) and prepare for my journey.
"Oh look! I have a text message!"
Happily I check it.
And my face falls...
It's my stepmom.
Inviting me to come out.
With my dad.
On a pontoon boat.
At Lake Arrowhead.
FOR HER BIRTHDAY!
Oh my Gawd. The message had been from my stepmom!
Like a time bomb that won't stop exploding, the truth of the situation continues to dawn in ever-increasing waves of fiery destruction as I realize: I HAVE JUST TOLD MY STEPMOM, via email, to GO FUCK HERSELF.
And did I mention it was her birthday?
This is where I had my panic attack.
Not one of the pretty ones where, with bloodshot eyes, you shadow box unseen predators from the corner in which you are crouched, crying and screaming incoherently about the "bats poisoning your bicycle."
No, this was the ugly meltdown. You know the one--where Life ninja-kicked you to the avenue asphalt and, as you are preparing for the upcoming curb check, you do the only sensible thing you can do in this impossible situation---laugh.
You laugh hysterically.
You laugh until your sides hurt.
You laugh until the tears come streaming down your scarlet cheeks.
You laugh until the neighbors pound the walls and ask you to "Keep it down over there!"
You laugh until Life itself, still clad in its ass-kicking ninja suit, bends down to stare at you quizzically. You laugh until Life finally musters up the courage to ask, "Um...what the hell is wrong with you?"
And so I laughed.
Two phone calls and two texts later, I think I have at least been able to convince my father that I believed his wife to be an ill-mannered pubescent male. Whether or not my stepmom believes me? Well, the proverbial jury is "still out."
I guess I will find out on Saturday.
At her birthday party.