Sunday night, i pulled out of the drive to go buy gas and noticed that something was different. When i got to the gas station, there was a Sheriff's Deputy gassing up, who confirmed my concern.
"You've got a problem with your car there, don't you?," he accused, like an awkward rookie cop. I much prefer the older guys who don't look at you like you're the devil if you have an expired sticker or something. From the tone of his voice, i thought the trunk was on fire or something, but he was just pointing out that my driver's side head light had gone out.
"I thought it looked dim. I think it just went out. It hasn't been like that," i defended.
The deputy gave me a we'll see sort of look and left me alone while i pumped my gas.
Monday was going to be a long day. I already had plans to go to Wal-mart and the AT&T store after work, and now i needed to add replacing a headlamp.
I left out early Monday morning, and it was a good thing because, appropriate for a day when you're driving with inadequate lighting, it was pitch black and storming -- raining cats and dogs all the way. There's a long stretch of narrow shoulder-less, hilly, curvy country highway, followed by another stretch of more of the same but with shoulders, between my house and signs of civilization, and by the time my eyes sought out the lights indicating that first sign of civilization, they were watering from the strain of trying to see as far as the tail lights of the car in front of me, and i decided to stop for a break.
I got drenched in the 15 seconds it took me to get from my car to the store, where i bought a little snack and a drink. I went back to the car, looked up what time i should expect the sun to attempt to rise on this stormy morning, and checked on the status of the most recent tornado warning. After 20 minutes or so, the barely noticeable sun lit the sky enough to make traveling seem less dangerous, and i set out again.
This is the longest commute ever.
I made it to town in time to greet the opening manager at Auto Zone before he opened up a few minutes late, bought my light bulb and made it to work on time. Wet and tired, but on time.
At break, i checked out the owner's manual on my car and realized i didn't have the tools to change the bulb. I was hoping to get this done at lunch time, in light of my other errands. I immediately started asking around the very small male population in my office for a ratchet set and happily received the keys to a friend's car, with permission to raid his tool box for what i needed. Thank God.
Lunch time arrived, i got the tools, started to change the bulb, and found that the bulb i had didn't fit. ARgh! Back to Auto Zone. Trade it out. Change the bulb.
No light. Are you kidding?
This isn't what i was hoping for.
Must be the fuse, i think. After work, i buy fuses, change out fuses. Still nothing. My day is finally getting frustrating. O.k., i'm crying. I'm feeling helpless and irrationally stressed out . I'm praying. "Lord, please show me the answer."
Back to Auto Zone, i find a very helpful clerk who shows me, very kindly and without talking to me like i'm a stupid girl, that i changed the wrong bulb.
Silly, silly, silly, girl. I feel like an idiot. A very grateful idiot. I consider sending my kind Auto Zone friend flowers but think he might get the wrong impression. Cookies? No, still wrong impression. I guess my profuse thank-you's will have to do. Let God bless him.
My lights work, it's dark outside now; it's 6 o'clock, and all i have to do is go grocery shopping, pay the cell phone bill and drive home so that i can sleep and go back to work.
Back to Wal-mart. Cart full of food. Hurry up. AT&T closes at 8:00. I'm the last customer at AT&T. Because of my light bulb mix-up, i don't have as much money as i planned.
"O.k., put this much on this card. What's my balance now?"
Well, that's exactly how much cash i have. To the dollar. How convenient.
This is the longest day in memory. With a bonus.
For all the stress and worry and complication of this day, i finish it, feeling completely provided for. A full tank of gas, a back seat full of groceries, and not a dollar to my name. Completely taken care of.
If you were nearby my car on my way out of the shopping center, you heard a small war hoop escape through the open window.
I won. This day wanted to beat me, but i won. Not on my own. That's the best part. He won for me. And i won.