I’ve been pouring my heart and soul onto this blog for a while…ups and downs, highs and lows, everything from shining moments to face first in the dirt fiascos. I’m sure it must be glaringly apparent by now that life has brought a healthy mix of miracle and madness my way.
So I doubt any of you will be surprised by my crazy cluster %#@! of a story today.
I’ve not always been great about screwing up. I mean, I’ve always been entirely capable of it, but making mistakes truly distressed me and led to days of self-flagellation. How could I be so stupid? So careless? So utterly useless? Harsh was the rule of thumb.
Sometimes I catch myself repeating these patterns, but I’ve gotten pretty good at stopping in my tracks and hitting reverse.
This hasn’t always been the case, though.
After we’d lived in North Carolina for a few years I took a job teaching third grade. By then we’d moved to a three bedroom house in a neighborhood that was only five minutes from my school. A perfect setup, right?
On a (not so) side note, I’m always a bundle of nerves on the first day of school – if memory serves, I literally threw up before my first day in the classroom back in 1994, but since then it’s been mostly nausea and nervous butterflies. At any rate, I’m never in a good place right when school starts; I’m just a little too amped up for my own good.
Fast forward to August of 2002. My classroom was ready, I’d met my kids at Back to School night…all that was left was kicking off the school year with a great first day. I hopped in my car that morning, pulled it out of the garage, and backed straight into BrightSide’s SUV.
Time stopped. Literally stopped. I could feel each wave of queasiness grow tenfold as I sat hyperventilating in my driveway, the inner monologue going something like oh my god oh my god oh my god, I just hit his car, I hit it, his car, it’s hit, with mine, oh my god oh my god oh my god, HOW DID I HIT HIS CAR?!
So right away you can see the panic setting in, right? Add that to the first day of school jitters and I was a hot mess as I sprinted back into the house and up the stairs. I burst through the bathroom door, startling BrightSide in the shower with a loud “I just hit your car!” There was a pause as he struggled to hear me over the water while dealing with shampoo blinding him, so when I didn’t get a reaction I shouted again “I JUST HIT YOUR CAR!”
BrightSide answered “Well, okay, but are you all right?” and I’m all “Of course not, I JUST HIT YOUR CAR!” BrightSide came back again with “I understand, but are you hurt?” It took a moment for me to even process the question. What do you mean, am I hurt? I hit your freaking CAR. You should be yelling or screaming or something by now. How can you be so CALM?! Eventually BrightSide got me moving with a reassurance that everything would be alright and the reminder that I probably needed to leave for school.
Oh yeah. My first day with students. Well, that was off to a roaring start.
This was only one of many times when the difference between me and hubby was glaringly apparent. Was he thrilled I backed into his car? No, of course not, but BrightSide takes a very pragmatic approach to these sorts of things. If I wasn’t hurt then the cars didn’t matter, end of story.
That was back in my self-flagellation days, though, so my entire drive to school involved frantic self-talk like I can’t believe I just did that, I hit his car, the car he parks in the exact same spot every day, the car my backup sensors were warning me about, I JUST BACKED RIGHT INTO IT. And on and on it went, all through the day and well into the night.
It took a while to get past that one. For me, anyway. BrightSide was past it before the bathroom door had closed behind me that morning.
So you might be wondering what makes this such a crazy story, and I suppose on its own it might not seem that remarkable. BrightSide’s point tally toward sainthood is already well established.
We don’t really measure off the wtf?! meter until I mention that I did the same thing about a year later.
That’s right, the exact same thing. Parked in the same garage, pulling out of the driveway, backing smack dab into BrightSide’s SUV.
If I thought I was harsh on myself the first time, you should have been around for the second. I mean, once is an amusing anecdote about a dotty teacher rushing off to school. But twice? Twice is careless. Twice is crazy town. Twice is what the hell is wrong with that girl?
Then again, twice probably means quadruple sainthood points for BrightSide, so there’s that.