Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Day I Did Everything On My List, including getting into a fight with the Goodwill Mean Man

I never thought I would live to see the day, but here I sit, the proud owner of a "to do" list with every item checked off. Laundry? Check! Mop floors again? Check! Buy food? Check! You get the jist.

Started my day with Boot Camp, followed by a weigh-in (don't ask) and then an hour of school uniform duty (which is Our Lady of Lourdes for those who asked "what school uses uniforms?") After uniform duty I picked up Carlie and we went to Winco. I detest Winco. Winco is icky. But in our household, we have very clearly divided finances (we've only been married for 10-1/2 years, people, give me time!) and we have clearly divided financial duties. Buying groceries falls on my list of financial duties except, ooops, I am out of money at the moment. So Tim agreed to spring for a grocery run, but only if I went to Winco. It was a win-win proposition for him, meeting his desire to be both frugal and sadistic.

We did the Winco run and lived to tell the tale, but still need a New Seasons trip this morning because Winco only sells lamb during holidays, per the butcher. Well, it's Labor Day weekend, I told the butcher. But a holiday at Winco is apparently Easter and Christmas. Oh well, I didn't really want any Winco lamb any way. And I love going to New Seasons. It's another one of my Happy Places. Lamb is for a lamb curry stew I am making in the crockpot today. If it is good, I'll post the recipe.

Carlie had a violin lesson scheduled for 1:45, and on the way there we went back to her school and met her new teacher. It is very exciting when you are nine years old to meet your new teacher! Her school is a very small Catholic school, grades K-8, and when teachers teach there, they never leave, so getting a new teacher is a big deal.

New teacher is very cute, looks like she's about 17 years old, just finished a Master's and is full of energy and spunk and enthusiasm. I have no doubt the OLL fourth grade class will have her beaten down and defeated within three months. But that's a story for another day.

Anyway, we are visiting and, crap, it's time for Carlie's violin lesson. Whoops! Hightail it to the violin teacher's house, only five minutes late -- yay! and we even have the violin with us this time! double yay! -- and her son greets us and tells us that his mom tried to call, can't do the lesson, stuck in Beaverton, sorry. That's OK because (1) I have a carload of groceries and (2) my daughter hates playing the violin and (3) I do have shit to do.

So got home, unloaded groceries, and on to the next adventure. Carlie and I rode our bikes to the library.

We have this little family tradition, Carlie and I. At the beginning of every summer, as soon as summer vacation starts, we hightail it to the library to get her signed up for the Summer Reading Program with high hopes of winning fabulous prizes and reading lots of fab books in the process. We walk out proudly with our heads held high, carrying armloads of books.

And at the end of every summer, just before school starts, we walk back into the library, heads hanging in shame, carrying the armload of unread books that are now two months past due. The beauty of the library system, though, is that it is very forgiving and they never embarrass us when we make this annual walk of shame.

Then we go home and make up a list of "Books I read this summer" for Carlie to take to school next week, because if you read the prescribed number of books for your grade level, you get a free dress pass, and when you wear a uniform to school, believe me, a free dress pass is a big freaking deal.

The post-library remainder of the day was spent housecleaning which involved moving a freaking piano. I thought I had tracked the origin of "the smell" to cat pee residue in a floor vent, so I scrubbed out the floor vents as best I could, remopped the floors, and wiped down the exterior of the piano with vinegar for good measure, because I *think* the cat peed on the floor next to the piano (I know she did, but the rest is conjecture) and that it seeped under the piano, and into the floor vent.

When all the cleaning was said and done, it now smells like cat pee vinagrette, the cat pee and vinegar together. Not a nice smell. My sister was telling me a story that was shared with her by her brother in law, who went to school with a girl named Cat Pee Girl who -- you know where I am going here -- smelled like cat pee. I do not want Carlie to become Cat Pee Girl, but at this point I think we are on the verge of being Cat Pee Family. Actually, I don't even know if the smell is actually cat pee, but that's what we're calling it. Could be a dead skunk in the ductwork for all I know. Yes, it is that bad.

During the clean-a-thon, I made a chicken artichoke alfredo dish and baked a homemade apple. Feel free to bow down and lay laurels at my feet.

All of the housecleaning led to an SUV full of Goodwill donations, which I needed to drop off at Goodwill so I could pick up my sister at the airport at 11 p.m. and actually fit her, her child and her luggage into the car. The good news is there is a manned Goodwill dropoff three blocks from my house. The bad news is, the man who mans it is really, really mean. I love the Goodwill concept and the idea that there is an agency employing those who might not be able to find employment elsewhere because of their disabilities, plus the fact that they will recycle my shit for me. Love that! But this man, he is just mean. He's not physically disabled, but there's obviously something "off" cognitively, but that doesn't stop him from being quite the little bastard.

So I pulled up at 7:55, next to the sign that says 'Open till 8 pm' and he is sitting in a chair. He jumps out of the chair and starts rolling down the back bay door of the truck and is YELLING "Closing up! Closing up! Closing up!"

I stepped out of my vehicle and said "I thought you were open until 8."

He looked at his watch and said, "It's 7:55" and I said, "I know that, and 7:55 is not 8," and started opening the back of my SUV, which was met with more YELLING of the "Closing up!" chant.

I said, "Are you telling me you don't want my stuff?" And he said, "I don't like to take stuff after 7:30." And I said, "Then how about putting up a sign that says "Open til 8 but I don't like taking stuff at 7:30" and he just looked at me and continued to roll the door shut.

I had two garbage bags and a box of stuff, and as he is rolling down the door, which apparently is pretty heavy because it is taking him forever to do it, I start shoving shit under the half closed door. At this point, he becomes distressed and deviates from his "Closing up!" mantra and starts in with "I don't have time to sort this! They don't like me to leave if I haven't sorted everything!" in kind of a panicky way.

At this point, I started to feel bad for upsetting him, because he is a Goodwill employee, which implies some kind of inability to gain employment elsewhere, and no matter how able-bodied he may appear, that's saying something. But I didn't feel bad enough to take the stuff back home with me either, so I just got in my car and hauled ass out of there.

Came home, ate dinner, went to the airport and picked up my sister and her 2 year old.

Miscommunication/misunderstanding totally all my fault led to said 2 year old riding home with no carseat because, oops, auntie is a spaz and didn't bring it.

Got home at 11:45, walked in the door and my sister said, "Smells like cat pee."



Amy said...

If I had laurels, they would be at your feet.

Winco and Goodwill?

I am prostrate before you.

mamachiro said...

love my pets, but oye-- the smells. "cat pee vinagrette"-- yeah, i hear you! nice work yesterday mama... consider yourself laureled!

Anna See said...

loving the cat pee vinagrette! what a day! i am impressed.