Cars, keys, karma

July 1, 2008 at 11:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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My car was supposed to be inspected in June.  Today is July 1, and the Boston Transportation Department had already slapped a fluorescent orange ticket (oh the sinking feeling when you see that obnoxious orange on your windshield from down the block…) on my car by 7:30 a.m.  No mercy or leeway in this town!  Already feeling pressed for time today, it sent me into a tailspin.  Clearly, I now also had to find the time to get my car inspected, and after a tearful phone call to Tim (yes, really), I decided that I’d go to BarBri school out at BC so that I could drive to one of the garages in Newton Circle and hopefully get the inspection done before class.  That part worked out okay, and by 9:15 I was pulling up to school.  Then the phone rang.  It was Janet, and she and the Little Bug were locked out because the lock to our apartment door was broken.  It wasn’t that she didn’t have the key — after our last lock-out fiasco we stashed extras all over the place.  This time, the key was moving around in circles in the lock but the lock wouldn’t catch.  So I turned around and drove all the way back into the city.  It was way past the baby’s nap time by that point, so after booting up my laptop to go into my online bank account to look at the scanned checks to see the name of the locksmith I called last time (ingenious of me!), the locksmith was again on his way.  I sent Janet to CVS to buy diapers for our wait, and then went down to our neighbors, who have a six-year-old, to procure a sippy cup, crackers, and some books and toys.  Then we all settled into the stifling foyer to await the locksmith, who finally arrived an hour later.

Janet gave the baby a cool bath (she was red and sweaty and totally dirty from crawling around the front entranceway by then…) and a bottle, and I supervised the installation of our new lock.  All’s well that ends well.  Now it’s noon, and I’m four hours behind and need to somehow make up this morning’s lecture.

I’m strangely less stressed than I thought I’d be — unlike the stupid parking ticket which had me reeling (because the ticket was the result of my disorganization and inability to deal with life’s little quotidian chores) — there was nothing I could do about this morning’s events:  the lock was broken. 

I know there are women out there who do do it all.  I know them.  Or think I know them.  They go to the grocery store, get the car inspected, go to the gym, cook dinners, buy their babies new shoes, and don’t procrastinate.  I still feel like I can be one of them — I should be one of them — if only I just tried a bit harder.  Weren’t so lazy.  Were more organized.  Maybe beating myself up is just part of my personality — that drive for perfection in some ways contributes to “success” in the way that I define “success.”  But, as we all know, it’s a double-edged sword.  So I’ll keep trying and trying to be that woman, and probably will never succeed, and at some point will either drive myself and everyone else around me crazy or will have the epiphany for which I’ve been searching for the past ten years.  And will let it all go.



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  1. I bet you can appeal that ticket successfully since your receipt will prove you had the inspection done pretty early on the 1st. They are actually fairly lenient down in City Hall to those who bother to show up and ask forgiveness.

  2. You are brilliant. Do you think it matters that the ticket flew off my windshield as I drove down the Mass Pike?

  3. The same thing happened to Mike last month. His expired 5/31, but he didn’t come back to Massachusetts (having been gone for 3 weeks) until late the evening of June 5, around 11pm or so. And he got a ticket overnight at 3:30am. And he fully intended to get the damn inspection the next day. It’s like, what are you supposed to do if you’re out of town? At least if they pulled you over in person you could explain. The stupid inspection requirement is one of the things I dislike most about this state. There really needs to be a grace period for the first 5 years of the car’s life or something. Such a money-making scheme.

  4. Here’s my lenience story:

    I got 12 of those suckers at the same time in Beacon Hill, because I didn’t even look at my car for half a month and the parking Gestapo kept hammering me. I took the whole pile of 12 tickets down to City Hall and swore up and down that I hadn’t driven it, and they reduced the fine to 1. I’m no mathematician, but it seems like I made out pretty well.

  5. Hm, I don’t know. These women who don’t procrastinate – do they have the same capacity for imagination as you? Would they have thought to break out the laptop to look at scanned checks? Do they BLOG?

    Didn’t think so. Score 1 for creativity.

  6. Seriously, I have to second that emotion, KHC. I only have cats and bar review to deal with, and I barely have time to COMMENT on blogs, much less write whole blog posts. Then again, Kathryn isn’t nursing a “Gilmore Girls” addiction like I am…

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