Last Thursday night Caroline spent the night with Mimi and Bops while P and I pretended to be sophisticated and attended an art auction with some friends. If we had any doubts about our complete inability to appreciate all forms of contemporary art, they were put to rest that evening while we walked around like the Clampetts and occasionally marveled, “FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A PILE OF OLD TIRES?”
But we were feeling cosmopolitan enough to eat dinner in a restaurant at 10:30 and stay out until after midnight. Two things that haven’t happened on purpose since sometime in early 2002.
However, I wasn’t worried about living so fast and loose because Mimi and Bops were taking Caroline to school the next morning and I knew I could sleep late. Until I was washing my face at 1:04 a.m. and remembered that I had an early appointment to drop my car off at the dealership to get fixed. I really wanted to just bag on doing the whole automotive repair thing, but according to P it’s a bad sign when you have to refill the coolant every other day which I’d been doing for the better part of six months because procrastination is my place of comfort.
And since when is P an auto mechanic?
So I dropped off the car and drove to the library to meet Caroline’s class for a field trip. The librarian talked to the kids about the summer reading program and explained that if they read ten books over the summer they can come to the library and choose a free book. Caroline was sitting in my lap and whispered in my ear, “Do NOT sign me up for that. I don’t want to read ten books this summer.”
Oh. I’m afraid summer isn’t going to meet her expectations.
Naturally, I signed her up because if we’re going to fight over how many minutes she has to read every day, we might as well get a free book out of the deal.
While I was in the middle of helping her pick out a few library books, I heard my phone do it’s little beep thing it does when I get a text. It was from P and it read:
“Pray that the warranty is still good on the car.”
I texted back, “What’s wrong with it?”
Perfect. One of my very top goals for the summer was to spend a lot of money that could be used for Coppertone and fluffy beach towels and cute floral dinnerware on AUTO REPAIRS.
So in the course of ten minutes I discovered my child has no desire to read ten books this summer and there’s a high probability that we’ll be eating Ramen noodles all summer to offset the cost of a new radiator. It all kind of made me feel yuck, much like the way I felt when I saw Craig M. with that sweater tied around his shoulders on The Bachelorette.
P texted me twenty minutes later to let me know that everything was covered and HOORAY we’ll be able to eat nachos at the pool grill this summer. (He didn’t actually say anything about the nachos at the pool grill but I’m sure he meant to because they are delicious)
And so we spent the rest of the Memorial Day weekend swimming and eating and spending time with friends and family and driving around in a sweet loaner car from the dealership that I will be sad to part with when I pick up my car and my new radiator later today. (It doesn’t even have a real key. Just a key-like thing and then you push a button to start it. Technology is a wonder. Next thing you know we’ll all have portable phones that we can carry with us wherever we go. And maybe they’ll even have a computer in them!)
Anyway, after all our Memorial Day fun, Caroline was exhausted when I woke her up for school yesterday morning. She said, “Mama, I am still so TIRED even though I slept like a stone last night.” Stone, rock, whatever.
I dropped her off at school, but I had to go back later in the morning because she’d forgotten to bring her gift for her fifth grade buddy. I parked the loaner car in front of the school and walked over to the playground where her class was killing time. Because that’s what these last three days are all about. Killing time. Yesterday was bubble gum day, today is pajama day, tomorrow is crazy backwards day. I have a theory that they’re really not learning anything at this point.
After I dropped off the gift I walked back out to the car, opened the door and got in. I noticed it smelled a little different but didn’t think much of it until I realized I couldn’t figure out where to put the key. And then I realized that it had tan upholstery. And a stack of things in the passenger seat that didn’t belong to me.
I was sitting in the wrong car.
And I could not have jumped out faster if it had been on fire.
It’s time for summer. My brain is tired. And unlike my radiator, it’s not under any kind of extended warranty.