How I Spent My September 11th
This is not what you think. This is not a contemplation on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. For such things, look here (wherein my response gets all snippy and legal, which is what I do for a living) and here. No, this post has nothing to do with such things. It's only an account of the inconvenience and frustrations and polka of the last few days.
So, contrary to the title, let me tell you first about the Great Disaster of September 10th. I'm referring, of course, to the fact that I lost my freaking wedding ring!
My message to the married folks among my readers: Never, ever, under any circumstances take off your wedding ring. Oh, I used to think there were circumstances wherein it was okay to remove the ring....say, if a mugger points a gun at you and demands the ring. I now realize I was living in a naive fantasyland. Okay, so I wasn't mugged. I don't know exactly how I lost it. If I knew that, I'd know where to begin looking. All I know is I looked at my hand at dinner and realized my ring wasn't there. I couldn't, for the life of me, remember when I had taken it off or if it fell off or what. On Monday, Christy and I picked up her car from the service shop...did I leave it there? Did I take it off at work? Or is it, as seems likely, lost somewhere in this mess of an apartment, laughing at me? I never realized what a small thing a ring is until I looked all over my apartment for it.
In a gesture of kindness, because my finger felt naked, Christy has let me wear her high school ring these past two days.
On to September 11th.
So Christy has been sick these past few days. It's a recurring respiratory thing - mucus gets stuck in her chest, she has trouble breathing, it becomes infected. She went to the doctor today and got some medicine that we hope will help. But anyways, I drove Christy to work on Tuesday because we weren't sure whether she would make it through the day. (That way we would only have 1 car downtown and wouldn't have to leave one behind if I drove her home.) She didn't. In the early afternoon, she called me up and asked me to come drive her home. I made some preparations to work from home and picked her up.
When we got home, we walked in and were immediately hit with the most godawful chemical fumes I've ever smelled. See, the apartment complex had called in some contractors to resurface our bathtub (that's another story, and not actually an interesting one at all). Apparently this resurfacing involves lots of chemicals and fumes. We knew all this. Problem is (1) they were supposed to have done this while we were out of town last week, and (2) they were supposed to have opened all our windows to let out the fumes. Instead, they did it yesterday, they left the windows closed, and Christy's lungs were instantly burning. Not the sensation you want when you come home sick intending to go to sleep.
Of course, there was nobody at the apartment front office to complain to, which only ticked us off even more. So my poor sick wife with her (ringless) husband sat outside while I gathered our stuff to go stay at my parents' place in Smyrna, a suburb of Atlanta. Eventually, I ran into the maintenance supervisor of the apartment complex. Maintenance Dude told me the apartment complex would pay for us to stay in a hotel (it was less of a hassle just to go to my parents' place) and that, as soon as the rain let up, he would open the windows. (He didn't, but that just gets me into the frustrations of September 12......a whole 'nuther ballgame.)
So finally, we drove up to Smyrna....sick, tired, frustrated, and otherwise cranky. And now comes the polka.
Yes, that's right, polka.
Polka - a genre of music that was invented in middle Europe in the 19th century and was perfected by Weird Al Yankovic - is not a genre known being blasted in a car. No, that's something usually reserved for rap or hip-hop (and occasionally, on one exhilarating night, it's reserved for blasting Jimmy B and the Fortune 500 while driving down West End Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee). But, as we were driving, less than a mile from my parents' place, we suddenly heard the car next to us blasting some bizarre music. Christy asked me, "is that polka?!" I had to listen for a second to believe it....but yes, it was. Some truly unique individual was blasting polka music at maximum volume during stop and go traffic on that unremarkable suburban street.
And then we laughed.
We spent a fitful night trying to sleep at my parents' place and awoke to various new stresses in the morning, but somehow that moment of Polka Cranked To 11 has stuck with me. It pulled me out of my funk and reminded me to laugh. Then I remembered that, actually, my life is good. I've got Christy, God, great friends, and so many blessings I can't even count them.
So, this is my message to you, late this September 12th. Remember the Lesson of Polka - laugh at yourself and count your blessings. It's probably not as bad as you think.
Oh, and never, ever, under any circumstances, remove your wedding ring. I don't care if you aren't married. Just don't do it.