You begin with the great day. For me, that meant a perfect ride yesterday morning: Seventy miles in great weather over a favorite route with a fun and hard-working group. Next, a nice lunch. A book and a nap filled the afternoon hours. Post-nap, some March Madness before going to have dinner with some friends, where we spent the evening eating, drinking and relaxing outside while all the kids entertained themselves. Finally, we should have come back to the house to watch a late movie before crashing and enjoying an excellent night’s sleep. I say “should have” because when we arrived back at our house, we found this in the driveway:
The broken windshield was bad enough, but the cause made it worse. The sycamore tree I’d been getting estimates for cutting down? The one I was going to call a guy about on Monday? The one that probably would have been cut down by mid-week? Yeah, as if it knew and wanted to punish me before I killed it, it dropped a dead limb right on the rear glass of my car.
And you know what makes this even worse? My car is almost ten years old and thus not worth even two grand. Given those numbers, last fall I thought it made little sense to continue paying for full coverage, and decided to greatly reduce my insurance bill by just carrying liability. Yep, so now I’m out the fifteen hundred to cut down the tree and who in hell knows how much to replace the rear glass in my car. Fucking tree.
So that’s step one of going from a great day to a horrible day.
Here’s step two. Naturally, given the window, the karmic-like cause, and the expense of fixing it, I cussed a bit when seeing the damage. Who wouldn’t? Problem: The kids were in the car and the wife reprimanded me for swearing in front of the children. At this point, I should have guiltily apologized. I should have admitted I was wrong. I should have at least shut up. Instead, I said something along the lines of “Damnit, woman, I’m a grown man and I’ll cuss whenever the fuck I want to!”
You can guess how the rest of the night went. Thankfully, it didn’t involve the cops.
Now for the grand finale. This one actually occurred the next morning. After waking up from my solo sleeping quarters (in the house, at least), I fixed my breakfast, checked the news and started to get ready for today’s ride. With about ten minutes to spare before I had to leave to meet the group, I started looking for my shorts. Failing to find them in their drawer, or on the bathroom floor, or in the dirty laundry, I checked the dryer. Not there either. That left one place. Sure enough, I found all of my bike shorts soaking wet in the washing machine.
Now, I had to ride. After the previous night I needed the therapy. Besides, I had committed to being at the ride and would have endured endless ridicule had I chumped out because my shorts were wet. So I put them on and went. Let me tell you, sub fifty degree temps in wet spandex is not fun. My teeth chattered for the first ten miles. By itself, riding in wet shorts wasn’t the worst thing. But as a cherry to top the previous few hours? Perfect.
Anyway, I ought to finish by saying the rest of the day improved. My shorts dried and the ride went well. Fighting became apologies and forgiveness. The car has no rear glass, but I at least cleaned most of it up. I guess I’m at equilibrium. Compared to my day before seeing my car, that’s bad. But compared to my day after seeing it? Equilibrium is o.k.