I’d already put off taking care of Bear’s iPad for about three months.  She had accidentally dropped it and cracked the screen, a scenario that wasn’t entirely unanticipated at the time of purchase.  This would be why we bought her AppleCare protection.  This blood pressure reducing program lets you replace an iPad for a minimal charge due to “incidental damage” (ie. omg, mom, I dropped my iPad on the sidewalk!  I DROPPED IT ON THE SIDEWALK!!)

So I was finally trying to handle this after months of getting tripped up by, you know, life, and since the kids were out of school for winter vacation I figured that would be a good time to visit the Apple store.  This plan was completely solid…right up to the part where I made an appointment on New Year’s Eve.

In my defense, I wasn’t able to fit the visit in during Christmas week and then in the holiday hoopla I simply forgot to schedule an appointment on Monday or Tuesday.  Thus, my choices were New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, or the following (jam packed) weekend.  One potato, two potato, three potato, four…I went with New Year’s Eve.

So on December 31st I loaded up the kids and drove 45 minutes through crazy traffic and gloomy rain, screeching into a parking place with 60 seconds to spare.  The first Apple employee I saw couldn’t find my appointment in the system, so she sent me to a young man I’ll call Jason.  I guess Jason must be the resident rainmaker.

I searched for the confirmation e-mail as I walked to the back of the store, barely glancing at it before turning the phone to him.  That’s when Jason very politely pointed out that I did indeed have an appointment for 2:40pm on December 31st, at the Apple store 60 miles in the other direction.

To my immense credit (pat on the back here), I simply looked Jason in the eye and took a very deep breath.  Now there were a lot of people in that store and I’m not sure what kind of day Jason was having, but it must not have been that great because I saw him ever so subtly shift his weight backward and his eyes looked slightly nervous as he kicked into problem solving mode.

I’d imagine Jason was probably thinking something like here it comes, another lady about to tell me how this is my fault, working the holidays SUCKS.  However, had he been inside MY head, Jason would have heard  Oh.  Well.  OF COURSE it’s at the other store.  

Bear walked up just in time to hear me tell him that I’m taking a deep breath to keep from blurting out something regrettable then rush to reassure him that I understand this is totally my fault, the bad word wasn’t about HIM, it was about the situation in general.  Bear stared at me in horror as I tried to babble my way out of this mess.

Sigh.  Run along now, little one, while mommy tries to keep her head from exploding.

You’d think this was the worst of it, right?  It was only 3:00pm, and on the plus side now I could get T-man to his sleepover on time.  (Yes, some brave mama agreed to have a few boys sleep over at her house.  ON NEW YEAR’S EVE.  Bless.)  And that would probably have been the case, for almost anybody else.

But not for us, no-siree.  We enjoyed an additional 45 minutes of quality car time just trying to get back to the freaking interstate.  (Did I mention this shopping complex is normally five minutes from the on ramp?  Yeah.)  We’d hit the perfect storm of holiday traffic, rain, and accidents that created an enormous cluster f#@! out of what should have been a simple backtrack toward home.

As a New Year’s bonus, we also got to experience the inconsiderate aggressiveness of Jerk Drivers hell bent on getting there first.  (Wherever “there” might be.)  This contributed greatly to the increased number of accidents to maneuver around.  It also gave me an excellent opportunity to work on that whole “This must be the lesson I needed to learn today” concept.

Not for nothing, but Bear was in the backseat looking like she was going to shoot right through the windshield and punch someone in the nose.  She felt a righteous indignation at the drivers who blocked intersections or raced up the left lane to cut into ours.  And the ones who did either of those things while throwing a cigarette butt out the window?  She’d deport them all in a heartbeat.

And through it all, there I was in the front seat, repeating our mantras…this is our reality, there’s no point in fighting it.  This must be the lesson I needed today.  I cannot control anyone other than myself.

Being ZEN, dammit.

And thinking about how I’d need to make another Apple store appointment in 2016.