I spent today in NJ. I managed to get through most of the very important meeting that I had to fly out for without spewing too much phlegm. I went through 3 purse paks of Kleenex while there, plus two doses of daytime cold meds, plus half a pack of throat drops…oh and at least 3 large size paper napkins once the kleenex ran out. I only had to break the meeting twice for massive coughing spells…you see, I spend most of these meetings talking, so it’s hard to avoid the coughing spells. Fortunately, I was able to keep water nearby throughout.
I got to the airport at 4pm, after getting lost twice, and only saved by having my then-wonderful and then-adored husband guide me using the powers of Google maps. Note that we probably spent a half hour on the phone then. This will be important later.
My original flight home had been cancelled (due to this winter storm sitting on top of Chicagoland); I’d gotten a text message to this effect while in my meeting. But lucky me, thanks to my super-cool status on United and thanks to me being carry-on only, I managed to get a standby seat on a flight that was originally scheduled to leave at 2pm, which ended up leaving the gate at 5pm (the time of my originally scheduled flight). I was even in Economy Plus, with the seat next to me empty. Most of the people on my cancelled flight were re-scheduled for the next day, or for a 9pm flight…and I guess they had gotten this notice and hadn’t gone to the airport yet, else the flight I was on would have been full. It was a very comfortable flight, and I was thrilled to have gotten home safely and at a reasonable hour (7:30 local time). We skidded a little on the runway, which was exciting and scary, and OMG, I’m glad that pilots know how to handle such things!!! Yay for pilots!!!
Then, I drove home. I’m doing my usual high speed down 94, and in the back of my head, I’m thinking about work stuff, and what all I need to do for work when I get home, etc. etc. I was trying to be extra-cautious. I didn’t even set up the ipod, because the roads were slick and I was worried about looking away. I had visions in my head of looking away for a moment, hitting an icy patch, and sliding into a wall. I even fantasized about that a little…how it’d be nice to be free of responsibility for awhile, wondering how things would go…and then shook myself out of that with a stern admonishment to myself not to go there and a reminder that being without a car would suck and pain and hospital bills would suck and so on. And I saw yellow lights on the side of the road ahead of me and let my foot off the gas a bit. It was likely another road maintenance vehicle…they’d been dotting the side of the road, but I wanted to slow down a bit anyways, both in case there was a cop nearby and because I wasn’t sure how far out the vehicle might be sticking into the lane. And thank friggin goodness I did, because just to the right and before the maintenance vehicle was a sudden patch of snowy ice! I gripped the wheel tightly, feeling my tires skid. I had a car to my right. I couldn’t let myself drift at all or else I’d hit either it or the maintenance vehicle. Even so, in retrospect, changing lanes probably would have been a bad horrible idea that would have sent me into a full on skid…instinct had kicked in and somehow I knew that I needed to just maintain control and let the car power through it…I felt the car fishtail a little and I’m guessing I corrected it, but I couldn’t tell you how.
I managed to stay in my lane safely and avoid the “fantasy” I’d been having. My heart was racing. I moved over into the middle lane as soon as it was safe to do so and slowed down quite a bit. The crisis was over, but I wasn’t sure I could take another one!
By the time I got to the exit for home, I was mostly calmed down. I stopped by White Castle for burgers and iced tea…comfort food. I wasn’t really hungry…I haven’t been hungry since Sunday really…but I eat anyways because I’m supposed to.
I came home, all ready to eat dinner, do those work things that I wanted to do, unpack, relax with TV, etc. I wanted to be in good spirits for tomorrow, because I have a couple of pretty important meetings in the morning. But alas…there was about four feet of snow piled in the edge of the driveway. The driveway itself had between six inches and a foot depending on where you stood. There was no way my dear little Sentra was getting through that snowbank. So, I prepared to mount the snowbank on foot, go inside, eat, change clothes (I was in a business dress, pantyhose, etc), and come back out to shovel. I parked the car in the street. I knew I couldn’t leave it there because…well, for one thing, because the street with snow isn’t that wide, and you’re not allowed to park overnight when there’s snow, because of the plows….stuff like that.
As I mounted the snowbank, I had to tread carefully, as each bit of weight on a foot would make it sink a bit lower. You see, I know that it was around four feet because it reached up to my chin in places. The lowest part that I crossed, it only went up to my waist. My pantyhose got wet, all the way into the panty part. That is not fun when you’ve had a long drive home and need to pee, let me tell you. As I stepped out of the snowbank, I slid and re-sprained the ankle that I sprained earlier this week. So that just added to my fun, trudging up to the house.
I spent about twenty minutes or so getting warm, changing clothes, and eating dinner. I got myself winter suited up, put on an ankle brace, and faced the peril. I shoveled myself a path to the end of the driveway first. And then I tried to work on that snow bank. Problem was, after you shovel the first foot or so, it was practically ice. I’m guessing with the warm weather, there were layers there that melted and re-froze as more snow was piled on top of it. The shovel wasn’t getting through. I almost broke it at one point. So, I went and got the garden shovel and banged away at it with that, which offered some additional progress. I occasionally took breaks and cleared the non-snowbank part of the driveway (which was surprisingly easy work). And I was doing okay…until I had a coughing fit. And the spasms of coughing were so bad that I threw up part of my dinner in the snowbank. (That’s what you get, snowbank.)
And then I was fucking bawling crying. I was crying because I was mad and scared that I wouldn’t be able to take care of this. I was mad that my fucking husband had ditched me, knowing that the first thing I’d have to do when I got home was this. I was mad about what he’d ditched me for (which is a whole separate issue that I won’t go into here) and the lack of notice I’d gotten about aforementioned ditching. I was pissed that I’d rushed through the airport to make a flight so I could get home for this. I was upset that my ankle was sore and that I have a horrible cold and yet I have to do this…and I was fucking mad that when I got inside, I’d still fucking need to log in to work. This did not help the phlegm situation, I’m sure, but it was cathartic.
Still after an hour of work, I couldn’t get the snowbank cleared enough to drive in. By the 40 minute point, I’d given up hope of completely clearing it, and I was just trying to get it to a reasonable level in a wide enough swath for the car…but even that was proving improbable to complete.
So, I built myself a ramp. I made a ramp out of packed snow that I’d pushed into the street already. I got it as low as I could get it. And then I put the car in second gear, circled the circle and gunned the engine toward the spot I’d made. The first time, I got a little stuck, but I rocked and rolled my way out, plowed through again with even more acceleration coming into it, and I burst through. I woohoo-ed like the fucking dukes of hazzard, I tell you. And I parked in the garage, complimented my car for taking such good care of me all night…cried a little more with happy relief…
And here I am, at home, still alone at 1:09am. I’m not tired. Possibly the result of cold meds…possibly adrenaline…I don’t know. I played Bridge in the 11pm tourney, hoping to calm myself down some…and it helped. I’m not quite so edgy. But I’m still ticked at Scott…and I full-on admit that the level of my ticked offed ness is probably disproportionate to the crime…but nonetheless, there’s no fucking way that I would have left him in this kind of situation. I would have changed plans. Well, I wouldn’t have had plans to begin with, but that’s another story… But, let’s say I had plans to meet up with someone to play bridge, and I knew he was getting home from the airport, and…snow isn’t really as comparable (although my action would be the same)…the comparable thing is that the internet access was fried at home, maybe his computer is fried, too…and I know that he won’t be able to do anything significant about it without me there, and that his coming home from a trip is going to suck because of it…there’s no fucking way. I’d cancel my plans, apologize to my potential partner, and be home so that we could at least tackle it together if not that I’d have it in some kind of good shape before he arrived. And this is the kind of thing that I do because to me, that’s what you do. That’s how you tell someone you love them without telling them. And I keep trying to remind myself that he helped me find my way out of friggin’ downtown Newark earlier today, and I loved him for that. And I keep telling myself that this was a really crappy set of circumstances and none of them were his fault…and that I shouldn’t blame him for not being here. But, I do. I blame the hell out of him for not being here.
And I blame him more for not giving me any idea of when he’d be home, for not answering calls, for not even sending me a fucking text message saying when to expect him. I don’t know if I go to bed right now if he’s going to come in ten minutes later. I’m scared to death that he’s had an accident on the way home or something…and I’m consoling myself that were that the case, *someone* would have called me by now. I hope. So now I have this fucking annoying anger/worry mix…and the worry is gradually outpacing the anger, which is a good thing…but I feel somewhat self-righteous about the angry part and I’m not quite willing to let go of it.
This was long and ranty. 🙁 But I honestly couldn’t bring myself to do anything else but vent right now. I came *this* close to packing up a change of clothes and just heading for a hotel for the night…or better yet, to a friend’s house or something…I didn’t want to leave Pancake alone again. Plus, I can probably work from home tomorrow. But I really wanted to go somewhere that I could feel loved and wouldn’t have had to deal with the snowbank. I’m a little proud of my death-defying ford…but it can’t be good to be bawling in the middle of your driveway while shoveling snow.