Every Wednesday I deliver for Meals On Wheels. I have serious social phobia/anxiety and do not go out very much. Sometimes I do not go out between Wednesdays (such as this past week) so Wednesdays are my big "interact with the world" days. I've been a MOW volunteer for 5 years and was close to quitting until I finally found a medicine that made it tolerable for me to go out - Buspar. So back to MOW day. The food is picked up at a church which is about 9.5 miles away. When I got there today I was feeling good even though I had forgotten my Black-Eyed Peas CD. My list was short - 8 people, 6 stops. My first stop is a lady that has a hand-written note on the wall by her door that says "Doorbell don't work please knock." It gets me every time. She also has a baby rat terrier that is about the cutest thing ever. It's body is about the size of a beer can. Her name is Prissy. The dog I mean. She always manages to escape the house and follow me back to my truck. I had returned her once and heard the lady screeching and there was that tiny dog again. I reached down to pick her up and she peed on my hand! I have probably a hundred moist towelettes in my purse so that was not too gross. Except the thought of it. I get back on the main road and stop at a light behind a white Camry with big yellow letters on the back window that say:
So I thought "Is that a joke?" I looked down and my left hand was just sleeping gracefully on my left thigh, with only my right hand on the wheel, so I thought, "Are they trying to tell me to use both hands?" Then, "Well do you HAVE to post that if you only have one hand?" I've never seen that before. I guess I'll never know. My next stop is these two guys at the VERY bottom of a hill that requires a L,R,L,R to get to on abominably crappy roads. They usually grab their food and maybe say thank-you. Well today the guy wanted to go on and on about this giant Cat digging machine that's been parked in front of his trailer for 2 weeks. Meanwhile my truck is running and I have about an 1/8 tank of gas. The next 3 stops went quickly although the one in the middle of those is a lady from New Orleans so we had to lament together. My last stop, the lady's son asked me (again) if I had taken up jogging or something. He thinks I'm losing weight. I laughed because the only time I run is to catch a plane or to get away from a wasp.
So now I've delivered all my food and can get gas. I pull up to the gas pump and I do not have my wallet. This means A) I have to pay cash for gas B) I can not get ribs from Bennigan's for dinner and C) I will not be stopping by the grocery store on the way home. I did some sort of brainless calculation and after my weekly purchase of a box of smokes and a USA today ended up getting $6.58 in gas. I had to make sure I had plenty of cash for lunch and multiple beers. I feel a little disgruntled about not having my wallet but head on to Bennigan's to make the best of the rest of my afternoon. I pull into the parking lot and I can't park in my favorite area. So then I walk in and the martini lady is in my freakin seat. There was a stranger waiting for a to-go on my left and we all talked about Katrina of course and I told them my story about yesterday.
My story about yesterday:
I get up and check my e-mail and there's one from my Mom saying "I guess you're not going to New Orleans." I turn on the weather channel and can't believe what I'm seeing. I turn to CNN. Same thing. I read the news on the internet. Not good. Finally I figured that was that and called my daughter and said, "Well I guess we are not going to New Orleans." Since she was 12 or so I had told her that when she turned 21 I would take her to either Vegas or N.O. Well we had unanimously agreed on N.O. It's my favorite place in the US - and I've been to Hawaii. She seemed fine with the switch to Vegas at this point but I was really disappointed. My beloved New Orleans is in shambles. But I don't want to talk about that now. I grab the phone and call Expedia.com. The bitch on the phone tells me that it is too far out (October 10, less than six weeks out) and that it would be considered a change on my end and would be $100 per person for the flights because of the airline restrictions. So I call American and this lady Leta says, "Oh no we are refunding all the New Orleans flights. I call Expedia back and get another bitch singing the same song and I said "Now you're just lying to me because I just got off the phone with American." So she puts me on hold for 6 months and finally tells me she's transferring me to a vacation package specialist. Isn't their whole business vacation packages? Shouldn't they all be specialists to work there? Finally I get this new woman and I said, "New Orleans is a Federal Disaster area, it's under water, and sewage and petroleum chemicals are floating around and I CAN NOT by any stretch of the imagination think it will be 'fixed' in under six weeks!" I also told her my American story and gave her Leta's name. So she put me on hold for a couple of months and when she came back on she was VERY NICE. I will always wonder what went on in that office. She changed my trip to Vegas and it will actually be $100 cheaper. I think tomorrow I will tell tales about my beloved New Orleans.