brian had the day off, a little to my surprise, and we all dropped oliver off back at the little gym for his morning winter camp experience. we were pleased to see amy and her daughter, sarah, walk in after not having seen them in a year and a half. we stayed for a few minutes to watch oliver in his state of painful anxiety. for some reason, they weren't starting off with circle time and directed activities like they do during regular classes. so oliver was kind of like, okay, tell me what to do now. and in between doing a forward roll or walking across the hexagonal mats or swinging on the bar, he would kind of walk around with his hands firmly clasped in front of him while wearing a forced half-smile, hoping someone would help him out. but he was doing better than i feared he might. he's really changing lately in regards to his ability to overcome his social anxiety. whew.
we returned home and then brian took off for a coffee date with violet, and other things. i had a long chat with my boss about agriculture and gay rights and settled in for a whopping one hour of work. brian came and went a couple more times, bringing back oliver at noon. there were lunches and things like that and we decided to take a harmless trip to best buy around 2:30. i had told my mother we had given up on our printer and she took that to mean it was busted, instead of us being too lazy/poor to order replacement printer cartridges and unwilling to invest even more futile hours in trying to figure out why that ridiculous thing refuses to connect with any computer ever, even HP computers. and it is an HP product. i have hated it for a long time. so anyhow. my parents gave brian a gift certificate to best buy to get a printer, if we so desired. somewhere in there, brian decided we should go ahead and do that so we could get one of those printers claiming to be cheap on the ink and because of the aforementioned connectivity issues.
there we were. in the aisles of best buy. i realized i hadn't been there in some time and it was kind of overwhelming. i wandered around with violet while brian tended to his business. we checked out and returned to my car.
it wouldn't start.
it would turn over for all its worth, but would not catch. oh, it was frustrating. it sounded like it wanted to start. it really did. we believed this for a good 10-15 mintues before finally accepting the truth and i placed a call to our new broken car service, better world auto club.
i had been with AAA for something like six years and called them MANY times and experienced excellent, prompt service. then better world told me how AAA is pro-environment destruction, etc. and i do believe that. it's in their best interest. and then they told me how better world offers the same plans at the same prices and believes in a better tomorrow. okay. sold. we signed up.
the young gent at better world answers my call and looks up my record and i tell him the situation and how i think i need a jump start, but i'm not sure if a jump start will work as the battery is relatively new and it is cranking. i also ask what do people do when they need a tow and have small children. he told me there's such a thing as a tow truck with an extended cab, but they are extremely rare and i should start trying to make other arrangements. he quotes me a time of 40 minutes and wishes me a Better Day. i guffaw.
we begin trying to call people for a ride for brian to get his car so we can switch the car seats to his car in case the jump doesn't work. rachel was in austin. darren wouldn't answer. annette and marianne were likely at their jobs. dave didn't initially answer and then had his panties in a wad over taking 30 minutes out of his day to drive down the road and take brian a little further down the road because he had driven us home once when my car failed four years ago and we considered calling a cab instead. but who knew how long a cab would take. would it be faster or slower than dave. he said he would be there in 20 minutes, which meant who knows when. and we sat around seriously considering calling a cab and discussed the need for more friends.
a small PICK UP truck arrives after a 53 minute wait. i mention how he is not driving a tow truck and he indicated they usually first try a jump and if that doesn't work, a tow truck is called. i am uncertain if he was referring to his company's policy or better world's. i am displeased. he sees my children in the car and tells me better world did not bother to indicate i had small children with me and this would have moved us up in line. i experience further displeasure.
he tries various tricks for approximately 10 minutes and decides my starter is out and we'll need a tow.
i get back on the line with a better world before he could even finish the paperwork.
this woman answers and she acts like i'm signing up for a new membership when i ask her to look up my record by something other than a membership number. after giving her my name, address, and VIN, brian pulls out his card. i tell her i need a tow and explain the conversation i had with the first rep and ask if this counts as two hits on my account. she says it does. my rage begins. i spend at least 10 minutes on hold while she looks for a tow truck. when she returns she says, "they'll be there in 55 minutes." "55 minutes?!" "or less. have a Better Day." and i revisit my concerns about how this whole mess has been handled and the fact that i'm taking the hit for the first guy's jacked up service. after going in a circle a couple of times and pointing out that i said i did not know if i needed a tow and i am not a mechanic, and it was perfect timing that both of my children are in the background crying at this point, she looks at his notes and they say i just called for a jump. she even says he should have called for a tow. and i say, "so i'm getting two separate service calls because he messed up?" and she says yes. and i repeat myself and she hems and haws and is poking around and eventually suggests i take it up with someone else over there and i ask if i can do that tomorrow as I'M A LITTLE BUSY RIGHT NOW.
we're waiting again. after children started crying, brian took them to the neighboring babies 'r' us to look for diapers. we did not have a spare as my father cleaned my car out the end of last summer because it was "disgusting" and he was "embarrassed to drive it". this meant all extra, emergency diapers were bagged up and i took them in and the one set we had in the car had been transferred to brian's car earlier in the day for their road trips. fortunately, she hadn't pooped, as we had suspected. there were no extra free diapers in the mother's room, so she got to sit in a wet diaper.
it was dinner time at this point and the sun had set and we were dropping in temp from the high in the 40s. it's a good thing we make oliver carry a jacket with him, as he's going through a phase where he likes to dress for summer. i had also talked him out of shorts earlier in the day.
dave eventually shows up with his girlfriend. brian moves the car seats and they all cram in their and go get brian's car. i sit and experience the cold and try to start the engine every now and then. brian returns. we change violet's diaper and all sit in his car. oliver decides he needs to pee. they leave. violet freaks out. i release her from her car seat and try to keep her from pushing every button known to man and pouring stale coffee dregs from a take out cup. brian and oliver return.
the tow truck driver calls and i begin to feel hope that he is in the parking lot looking for us. then he says he'll be there in 15-20 minutes. "15-20 minutes?!?!" "10-15 minutes."
i begin to lose all hope and feel we are in an alternate dimension where we will spend the rest of our lives living in brian's car in the best buy parking lot. i mention to brian i'm feeling a tingling in my lip, indicating my herpes (which formed after the stress of last week, just in time for xmas) was forming a herpes.
not only is it 1.5 hours past dinner time, it is now bed time. children have gone without food or drink for hours. one child has spent considerable time marinating in her own urine. they have been trapped in a car. despite this, they behaved pretty well. there was some fortunate napping at some point early on.
however, oliver becomes irritated that he can't also sit up front with the rest of us and begins screaming. brian takes him to run in the grass like a puppy dog.
the tow truck shows up. extremely late. i'll let you do the math as it is still too painful for me. he hooks up the car and is gone in 10 minutes. we rush home, arriving at 7:55pm (3 hours and 45 minutes after first getting in my car), cram chili into people's mouths, and throw everyone under four feet tall into beds.
I APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE TO WHOM I HAVE RECOMMENDED BETTER WORLD AUTO CLUB. i will be having terse words with them today. i cannot decide between written and verbal communications.