Laughing At Spilled Milk: GPS Failures and Prime Numbered Booklets

Today, so far, has been the very definition of a Laughing At Spilled Milk day.

I actually thought it was going to be great because when I woke up, it was from one of those weird dreams in which you do something really, really stupid that leaves you full of regret and humiliation, but then realize with relief that it was just a dream. Sadly, in this case, it turned out to be foreshadowing.

In my defense, it was a crazy busy morning after several crazy busy days with twists and turns that made navigation a challenge. It started when Troy rolled over in bed to tell me he received an email from the school the previous night saying Jenny didn’t have to be in until noon. This means I have to drive her to school in the middle of my crazy busy day. While I’m reeling from this news he hops out of bed to the bathroom (Literally.  He’s still one-footing it from the snapped Achilles) and proceeds to snag the shower first, which I had planned to beat him to.  Now am officially running late.

While in the shower I come up with a solution for the noon drop-off (because, besides the toilet, the shower is the best place to think) when Jenny Girl yells through the door that she actually needs to be at school at 9:45.  As I have to be 45 minutes away at a speaking engagement at 9:15, this is not welcome news.  After serious negations and a great deal of sighs from both parties, she agrees to being dropped off over an hour early, and I finish my morning routine.

On the way to the high school, I realize the gas tank is empty and that I forgot a piece of my talk at home.  Feeling super late now, I quickly punch in the directions to the speaking engagement into my GPS while filling up the gas tank, then rush home to get what was left.  From there things went well.  While the GPS tells me I’m about to reach my location I look at my car clock and see that I’m right on time.  Hurrah! It’s all turning around! And then around, and around…

You see, the GPS didn’t take me to the church I needed to go to, but a lovely residential home.

Sure enough, on closer inspection, the GPS displays, in this tiny banner at the top, something that translates into, “I have no clue where it is you’re wanting to go, but I will take you somewhere with part of the same street name in it. Good luck to you, chick who can’t find east on a sunny morning.” So, I look up the directions that the Coordinator sent to me yesterday which are, now that I take the time to read them, laughably simple.  After enough u-turns to make me sea sick in a minivan and a screaming fit that did my speaking voice no favors, I finally get there.

The coordinator is just as frazzled as I am, so we enjoy a good laugh throwing grace at each other.  Then I meet the co-coordinator who proceeds to be totally adorable going on about how she follows my blog and even found YouTube videos of performances I sang with Swing Shift. I refrain from kissing her for infusing joy into a rough morning, instead opting for the more socially acceptable verbal thanks while she takes the activity packet the ladies will do throughout my talk to make copies. There was even time to grab a cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer – my favorite – before the talk started.

At first it went great; the women were tracking and laughing at my jokes. Setting it up beautifully, I instructed them to turn to page two of their packets to fill it out. Several voices from the audience piped up at once.

There was no page two.

No worries, we just improvised our way through, then move on to the next section of the talk, which goes smoothly to the point that many heads nod in agreement when my favorite points are made. Time to fill out pages 3 – 5.  A chorus of voices chime up again.

No page four or five.

It soon becomes evident that, in a nine page packet, I had only given the co-coordinator pages 1, 3, and 9 (yes, I realize that, keeping the title of this blog in mind, 9 is not a prime number, but it has always felt like a prime number and I’m having a bad day, so back off, left brain readers.  Sorry, that was uncalled for. You know I love you, right?).

I set the women to working on the pages they had, then made countless trips running back and forth from Fellowship Hall to the copier room with bundles of pages as fast as the co-coordinator could print them. I don’t remember much except the co-coordinator affirming me as a speaker during the process (which is when I knew I was really in trouble. Nothing like a kind person trying to convince you that you’re not tanking to help you realize just how brutally you’re doing just that – although she was really sweet for trying) and at some point I lost my shoes. No joke.  I got up to give the next session sweaty, flushed, and shoe-less. My guess is I took them off to run faster.  A kind Mentor Mom with pity reflecting clearly in her eyes tried to help me find them.  I vaguely recall her asking me what color they were, which I had the presence of mind to find funny.  Were there so many pair of woman-less shoes around the church that mine needed description?  Too cute.

The women were very gracious and talked among themselves while all was sorted, but I never really got control of the room again and the rest of the booklet pages were not really filled out.  Instead the time sort of morphed into a speaker/group discussion time that actually seemed to kind of work in the end. At least that is what I am choosing to believe.

Soon it was all over and I walked to my car too mentally tired to wonder where it all went wrong, instead directing my curiosity toward why there weren’t drive through liquor stores. At that moment I received a text from our oldest son who had spent his morning at the dentist. “The verdict is that I need to schedule two fillings and a crown.”  The full impact of this text can only be realized by knowing that not two days ago the dentist told us that Jenny Girl needs $2,300 worth of crowns and all of her wisdom teeth pulled.  It was the cherry on top of the tension sundae I had been gagging down all morning.

Wanting to dissolve into tears, I chose laughter instead.  Granted, it was the kind of borderline hysterical laughter that would make New Yorkers abandon the subway car you’re sitting in, but whatever.  It was laughter.

Because sometimes life is like that.  You’re hanging on to get through a rough day without cracking, and then the milk spills on your newly washed floors.  And while you want to rage at the universe, laughing is the one thing that keeps you sane, and you can’t afford insanity right now because someone has to clean up the *%#$ING milk.

So, how about you?  Any “milk spilled” that you need to laugh over?  Let’s yuck it up together!






This entry was posted in Acceptance, Anger, Expectations, humor, Kids, kids and school, Laughing At Spilled Milk, Letting Go, Self Control, temper, Wisdom and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Laughing At Spilled Milk: GPS Failures and Prime Numbered Booklets

  1. LASM says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for these words of encouragement – and your equally nice email. Too bad I missed that liquor store. Maybe we still can still hit it sometime soon 😉

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