Did you ever have one of those mornings where you just want to bury your head in the sand and wish you could start all over? I know you have. Well, that’s what Saturday was like for me.
I was very excited that I was attending an all day crime-writers conference in Scottsdale with my SinC (Sisters in Crime) peers. My drive is almost an hour’s ride depending on traffic, but for this group, I’d drive two hours. I'm really excited because I haven't been away from my desk in weeks because I'm so busy writing, so this was a treat.
I’m a bit of a zombie in the morning until I’ve consumed at least two cups of coffee. With that in mind, I always prepare the night before so I don’t have to think too much. Books for a signing in the car, picked out a new outfit, a large traveling purse for my notebook and pens, and I was ready.
I’d crawled into bed at my normal time—eleven o’clock. Just about ready to doze off, I suddenly realize I didn’t set an alarm so I wouldn’t over sleep. Not that I ever do, but I didn’t want to risk it the one morning I had to get up early. Only I’m too lazy to get my sorry butt out of bed to set the alarm clock. So I convince myself that my mental alarm won’t fail me and I’ll get up at the correct time. Alrighty then. What do you think happened? Yep, I’m waking up every hour on the hour to check the time. But hey, do you think I get out of bed at any one of those intervals to set the alarm then? Nah not me.
At 5:10 AM, my mental alarm doesn’t fail me. I get out of bed and shower, apply my makeup and get dressed. As I’m putting the finishing touches on my makeup, my husband walks into the bathroom and greets me with a cup of coffee and an English muffin. I know, I’m one lucky lady.
All ready with twenty minutes to spare, I invite hubby to sit with me for a while. Hubby’s more of a morning zombie than me. :-) He flips on the television and scrolls down to an episode of Wings. We had six episodes recorded. As he’s scrolling down, I recognize the titles and tell him we’ve already seen three of them. Instead of just clicking on one we haven’t seen, he has to delete the three we have seen. Time is ticking and I’m getting antsy because I know I’m not going to have much time to spend with him. So what do I do? I practically bite the poor guy’s head off. Yeah, I’m not proud of it.
So now he’s upset with me, and well he should have been. Admittedly, I’m not perfect, but my antsy temper tantrum was unnecessary. Okay, so now we’re sitting side by side. He has a hurt look on his face and won’t even talk to me. The guilt is dripping from every orifice of my body. I apologize and decide now would be a good time to leave. Hubby walks me to the door and hands me a thermal cup of coffee to take with me. Don’t even go there! I already feel like crap.
I crank up the car and just as I’m ready to back out, I realize I don’t have enough gas to reach my destination. Okay, so I drive to the gas station, which is seven miles away from my home, and a tad off my route. But I’d rather have a full tank then get lost and run out of gas.
Fortunately, the morning cobwebs are beginning to dissipate and I’m thinking more clearly. Along with thinking more clearly, my mind drifts back to feeling guilty and I realize it wasn’t about seeing the show with hubby this morning that mattered; it was about spending time with him doing whatever he wanted to do. Too late now, I've already ruined it.
Now I’ve got a full tank of gas and I can head out on my journey. I stop for the traffic light and decide it’s time to have that coffee hubby gave me. But first, I need to plug in the address of where I’m going into my GPS. Stella, that’s what I call the voice that gives me turn-by-turn directions, was a character in my very first book, Cupid’s Web, which my editor at the time, made me delete. I keep her with me to remind me of what a goof she is. Yeah, she’s modeled right after me. Normally, the minute I know I’m going somewhere on a certain date, I’ll key in the address so that it’s in the GPS and all I have to do is give the “go to” a click and she starts talking. So while Stella’s still calculating the route, I figure now would be a good time to drink my coffee as I wait for her to get her act together and the light to change.
I pick the container up out of the console by the lid. Bad mistake. The lid wasn’t screwed on tight and falls off! Hot coffee spills all over me like I’m standing under Niagara Falls, and what’s left in the thermal mug splashes all over the car. And what doesn’t drench me has me sitting in a pool of hot liquid. Now, I’m raising my butt because this baby is hot. I can’t imagine what the people in the lane next to me must be thinking with me jiggling around like a lunatic. Is that poetic justice or what? But I huffed out air and convinced myself I’m never going to see these people again anyway. Now, I’m sitting there stunned—unsure about what to do. Should I let my clothes dry while I’m driving or go home? Remember, I haven’t had this second cup of coffee yet—yeah, I’m sloshing around in it. But I’m still not as swift as I thought. I finally decide black coffee isn’t the right scent for me and might be offensive to those around me. I back up behind the people who think I’m nuts and I wait for the light to change.
The light changes and I’m en route to home. I pull into the driveway and rush into the house. Hubby wants to know what’s wrong and I tell him and rush into the bathroom for a shower. Now he’s apologizing. I towel dry off the body, add more lotion and walk to my closet for another outfit. I pick something out but I’m not real happy with it but I don’t have a whole lot of time. What I really wanted was my new outfit. But I convince myself the color of the tank top matches the flowers on the blouse. I slip my arms into it—take one last look in the mirror, kiss hubby and I’m on my way out of the bedroom when I remember I need to clean the car or I’m going to sit in it again. I rush to the laundry room for a wet towel and a dry one so I can clean the car that reeks of coffee. Not a bad scent for Starbucks but not so good on me.
Finally ready, I back out of the driveway. I give a “resume route” click and point my car where Stella tells me to go. Two miles down the road I’m thinking maybe the address I clicked on was for something else. Maybe I forgot to put the address in. I mean it was a possibility since I’d registered quite some time ago. I give a hefty sigh and make the next legal U-turn and drive back home. With my luck this morning, anything was possible. In the driveway again with the motor running, I hot tail it into the house to sit at my computer. Hubster hears me and say’s, “Hon, I forgive you, so will you stop coming back to make sure. You’re going to be late.” I don’t have the heart to tell him I really came back to check on the address, so I smile and give him another kiss. I probably could have checked through my iPhone, but I couldn’t remember the name of the resort. Don’t even ask! I back out of the driveway for the third time this morning.
I finally arrive ten minutes at my destination after the designated arrival time. I’m a bit nervous because I hate to be late—especially if someone is up at the podium speaking. But to my surprise, I find out the eight o’clock time frame was only for registration. The first speaker wouldn’t be starting until nine o’clock. Sigh
Despite my mishap, I head for the coffee, pour another cup and sit down to catch my breath. I chat with my fellow tablemates and the show begins. We’re sitting in the front row, a few feet away from the speakers.
When the morning session is over, lunch arrives. I’m a vegetarian and had ordered a veggie wrap. I’m the last person to be served in a group of seventy or so attendees when the wrap arrives. I bite into it and it’s nothing more than lettuce and a few tomatoes—no dressing, no nada. At this point, there’s no sense in fighting it. It’s time to roll with the punches and chalk the day up to a bad experience. But the day was only half over!
After lunch, I go to the restroom and check out this outfit I’m wearing and realize I don’t like the tank top and decide to remove it and just wear the blouse. I button the blouse and walk back out figuring I’ll put the top in the car when I realize my phone is about to die. I left the navigator on and the battery ran down. So I make my way out to the car and toss the blouse in the back seat, plug my phone into the charger cable and head back into the conference. I’m just not fighting it anymore.
The first afternoon speaker is walking up to the podium and I rush to my seat. As I’m rushing, I feel a breeze hit my breasts. Yep, you’ve guessed it—I’ve lost a button in the most conspicuous place. I cross my arms and caution myself about keeping them together so the afternoon speakers don’t get a view of my very red satin bra.
At the end of the conference, I make a beeline for the car and realize my iPhone didn’t charge. The car was too hot. I figure I’ll retrace my steps and hope that I find my way home. Once the car cools down, Stella’s back to talking up a storm. So now I’m heading home on the freeway and see the overhead lighted sign and the warning: “Dust storm ahead, low visibility”. I’ve never been in a haboob before and now I’m a wreck, so I step on the gas, praying after the kind of day I’ve had, I don’t get a ticket. A friend of mine just gave me a reading and saw something in the cards that warned me to slow down because there was another ticket in my future.
The dust storms we have here in Arizona are called haboobs. I’m not exactly sure what causes them, but once the dust starts swirling around like a whirling dervish it usually forms into a wall of dust that is so bad, you can’t see while you’re driving. The DOT recommends you pull over to the side of the road instead of trying to see your way through the wall, but it’s imperative that you turn off your lights. No, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but their logic—theirs, not mine, is that if other drivers see your lights they’ll try to follow you thinking you’re leading the way through the wall. Well, my logic is, if I don’t have my lights on and they pull over behind me, they may not see me until it’s too late and plow right into the back of my car. Geesh.
Fortunately, I made it home before any of that stuff happened. Imagine my relief when I pull into the driveway and cut the engine to my car. My fiasco is over and I can relax and not think about a thing.
So the morale of this story is, if it wasn’t for the fact that the conference was one of the most informative conferences I’ve ever attended, I know without a doubt I should have buried my head in the sand.