Tag Archives: aggravation

The Curse of Almost

Six little letters that can change your life:

“You almost got the job” (Translation: You were second out of a zillion applicants).

“You were almost accepted” … to the club, college, team, etc.

“You almost made the flight”… and now you’ll be stuck at the airport lounge eating stale peanuts for three hours.

This sneaky little word can encapsulate the difference between success and failure, or, in the case of our never-ending home renovation, the difference between ”livable” and ”not exactly”.

When our well-meaning neighbors ask, ”Is the house finished?”, no doubt wondering how in hell this remodel has taken a year and a half and counting, we generally answer ”almost”. As in, we still don’t have shower doors in two of the bathrooms because, well, somehow they were measured incorrectly. Twice. And no ovens, because they were “only” ordered nine months ago. Oh, and an unusable bath tub because the tub filler was set too far away from the tub so water splashes all over the floor and needs to be replaced. I could go on, but you get the picture.

On the other hand, ”almost” could have magical powers, e.g., ”The bullet almost pierced your lungs/spine/brain” or ”That car almost plowed right into you”.

If only this were one of those good ”almosts”. Grrrr.

Photo by Nita on Pexels.com

A Scary Story with a Happy Ending

Happy Halloween! My quest to vote almost had a ghoulish outcome, but I’m happy to report that Treat has triumphed over Trick this week.

(I dare you to stop me from voting, you creeps!)

I’ve voted in every presidential election since I was 18 and I wasn’t about to miss this crucial one. But it wasn’t easy, thanks to some post office shenanigans I can’t believe were “coincidental”. Here’s what happened:

Back in May, when we had no clue what the pandammit might look like in 6 months, my husband and I applied to vote by mail. We expected to be out of state but it wasn’t 100% definite, so we put down our regular address, knowing that our mail would be forwarded weekly.

Hah. Wouldn’t you know, our expensive premium mail forwarding service worked perfectly throughout July, August and September. But ballots were sent out on Sept. 24 and guess what, the weekly mail which should have arrived by October 3 never showed up. MIA with no explanation.

When I checked online, my account showed a “change in processing” that I’d never initiated. WTF?!? Several calls to the postal service and all I could find out was that I wasn’t the only one suddenly not getting their mail.

Week Two. Mail is collected, arrives on time … no ballots.

Week Three. Mail is sent, arrives Oct. 17… still no ballots.

Week Four (last chance hurrah). Same story. ARRGGHHH.

On to Plan B. I e-mail and then call the voter organization back in our home state, which says I need to write a letter canceling the original ballots, download new applications, and send all this to them by both regular and e-mail before the deadline (in 4 days) so they can send new ballots to us in Oregon ASAP. Done.

But the saga isn’t over yet. GUESS what shows up last Friday (only a month late)…. the MISSING BOX, which has clearly been bouncing around the country: bruised, battered, and containing a bunch of bills (which luckily I’ve paid online) and two bedraggled ballots!

Now a frantic call to the voter folks to ask if we can void the cancellations and use these. They say, “Well, we probably shouldn’t, but ok”, and suggest we send them in by UPS instead of the post office– they warn me that the post office is “unreliable” — gee, ‘ya think? — so we quickly fill in our ballots, race to UPS and pay for rush delivery, and hold our breaths.

Yesterday, the NEW ballots arrive. Luckily, a quick phone call assures me that the voter group indeed received and processed our original ones and I can throw these away. Whew.

BUT I keep wondering how many other people have simply given up.

If you’re in the US, stamp out the bad guys and vote in person this Tuesday! Consider it Victory.Over.True.Evil!!!

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

Car Wars

I’ve written before about my theory/belief/fear that inanimate objects, such as the house you left behind while you swanned about on vacation, have a way of punishing you.

This week, it’s my car.

The palladium princess had been hooked up to a battery charger all summer and was running like a top (whatever that means) upon arrival, so off I went on Monday to get it/her inspected and renew my registration before it expired and some random cop desperate to make quota could pull me over.

With a passing grade under our belts, PP and I set off for a day of errands and adventures and looked forward to more of the same: Physical! Haircut! Dentist! Flu shot! – I’m telling you, life doesn’t get more exciting than cramming 4 months’ worth of overdue appointments into less than two weeks.

Tuesday I head to the garage and – oh joy – my newly inspected steel maiden will not start. Argh! Quickly borrowing my husband’s car so as not to miss Critical Appointment Of The Day (eyebrow shaping and lash lift), we leave her hooked up to the battery charger.

Which does nothing. Or, to be more precise, creates a charge just long enough to drive back to the car inspectors and get a diagnosis.

To no one’s surprise, PP needs a new battery… or, the universe needs $200+ to leave my wallet. Yippee.

Wednesday: The car is running smoothly so off we go to the dermatologist for a little “upkeep” in the form of microneedling. I have some extra time so I stop at CVS on the way, being careful to park away from other vehicles.

However… NOT careful to park far enough away from the Bane of Urban Existence, the parking barrier. Can I just say that I do not understand the need for these concrete logs to be approximately the same height as the low-slung carriage of any car smaller than an urban assault vehicle?

I back out and hear that sickening crunching sound that tells me I’ve scraped the undercarriage. Which would have been bad enough except that’s not what I did. The damn barrier must have gotten lodged under the front bumper because it’s been dragged and is now separated from the rest of the car. Crap and double crap, although at least PP is drivable. Small miracles.

Thursday. First order of business is to call the insurance company – always a super way to start the day. Then the body shop, where Very Nice Person Nick makes an appointment with me for Monday and suggests I stop by earlier so he can order any necessary parts.

Which, of course, turns out to be the entire goddamn bumper. Because the universe obviously requires another 500 bucks to exit my wallet.

Today: The day is young. If I stay home, what can happen? Don’t even ask.