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What Would People Think?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How I Spent My September 11th

[Note: Okay, so I tried to make one sentence in very large text to emphasize a point. But for some reason it made the entire post large text. Sorry about that, but I can't figure out how to fix it and I'm too tired to care right now.]

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 10
th. 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.


  • I feel your pain on the ring. Laura recently lost her ring too. We think we've narrowed down the geographic scope to "Arlinton, VA", but we're not even entirely sure about that. Good luck finding yours.

    Also, reading about your landlord/tenant issues was like doing an intake for one of my clients, only I'm assuming you actually pay your rent.

    Also, the polka bit is hilarious. Did you get a good look at the driver? Any chance you happened to discern which polka it was? The Beer Barrel Polka? The She's Too Fat Polka? I do love me my polkas. Great wedding dance music.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 9/13/2007 2:13 AM  

  • Jesus Mary and Joseph, that's a lot of married readers. Am I the only single person who even reads your blog anymore?

    I may not wear a ring even after I get married -- don't want too many women hitting on me once I'm taken, don'tcha know.

    As for the polka, I've come to the conclusion that well-timed levity may be the greatest proof of a higher power there is.

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/13/2007 10:58 AM  

  • Don't worry, Mike. You're still in good company. Among the unmarried folks who I assume read my blog on occasion because they have commented on it: Zhubin, Barzelay, Jacob, Leah, Meredith.

    I'm not sure about the marital status of Michael from Israel or of Amy Kalman (a friend from law school). Am I missing anybody?

    Anyways, the point is, there are plenty of intelligent, blogging, single folks out there.

    By Blogger Ben, at 9/13/2007 1:27 PM  

  • Hey Ben, thanks for a good post, and sorry to hear about your ring.

    Mike, I may forgo the ring much of the time too, when and if I get married. Don't know if I could get used to it while doing sleight of hand.

    By Anonymous Jacob, at 9/13/2007 4:17 PM  

  • Jacob, I never thought of the negative effects marriage could have on one's magic routine. Good thing there's people like you to consider such contingencies.

    Or, by "sleight of hand", were you referring to some extra-special bartending trick?

    By Blogger Ben, at 9/13/2007 4:33 PM  

  • There's probably a </font&ght; tag missing. My guess is if you edit the post, go to the Edit HTML option, and insert those magic letters at the end of the to-be-enhanced line, everything else will revert to normal. You may also need to delete the same from the end of the post, as Blogger may have inserted it there originally.

    And in case Blogger wants to render the above improperly... It should be < / font > without any empty space.

    Offered only should you choose to use it.

    Single blogger, reporting in. Not that I know Ben. I know Kenny, and generally read the blogs he likes because, unlike me, there aren't 10,000 of them.

    By Blogger -Dave, at 9/13/2007 4:52 PM  

  • Hey Ben,

    Bummer about the ring! Kenny actually had the opposite problem -he did such a good job keeping his wedding ring on all the time that we had to get it re-polished for the first anniversary (because it was all scratched up from weight-lifting).

    I really liked this post....good reminder.

    By Blogger Erin, at 9/13/2007 8:20 PM  

  • Yeah, ditto to what Dave said, Ben. Fix the damn font.

    (P.S. Engaged ~ married, ergo Meredith doesn't really count. Either way, I just really wanted to find a way to use the "Jesus Mary and Joseph" exclamation in a comment on your blog. I suppose I could just as easily have gone with "Jesus Mary and Joseph, that font is huge!" But hindsight is 50/50.)

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/14/2007 10:07 AM  

  • Starkie,

    That's what you get for taking off your ring at bars! Maybe you should go with the tattoo around your finger.

    Next time you have some toxicity at the apartment, you can crash at my place.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/14/2007 10:29 PM  

  • You're a funny guy, Ben.

    By Blogger Kenny, at 9/26/2007 1:24 PM  

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