Sometimes I swear my life is set up like candid camera or some kind of physical comedy . . . whatever is happening at times seems too perfectly horrid and there must be people on the other side of the camera laughing at me.
Monday I left school for dance class with an armload of stuff. I had a reusable shopping tote containing a change of clothes, tap shoes, notebook, water bottle, and a big Bluetooth speaker. With that hanging in the crook of my elbow, I then attempted to carry a large open box, think about a 27” cube, full of boxes of dance shoes. It was a manageable weight, but just big enough to be completely cumbersome.
The shopping bag was slippery, and the handles too short to rest on my shoulder. I couldn’t keep my elbow bent while I carried the box so it kept sliding down to my wrist, and it was too heavy to leave there while carrying a big dumb box.
I hadn’t even made it out of the building before I had to set it all down and attempt a better grip. Of course I parked at the far end of the parking lot because I’d like to think a few extra steps are good for me. Plus I can easily back my big rig out of a spot there.
I made it out the door and into the 4-degree weather when it was clear I was struggling. I tried walking faster and shifting my hand just slightly to maintain my grip and it all came down.
Not on the sidewalk, or near the car, but right in the middle of the road . . . in front of the school, where surely someone was looking out the windows and seeing this. A bunch of junior high boys were loading a short bus at the time, they probably enjoyed it. My bag tipped over, my $200 speaker rolled out, and the box of shoes flew open.
I laughed at myself and my misfortune because that’s all I could really do, then picked it all up, looked around, and started off for my car again.
I went about two feet before my mitten-grip slipped off the corner of the box when the bag slid down my arm and I lost it all again. This time the box tipped over, too, so a bunch of dance shoes and tissue paper toppled onto the snow covered road.
Were it not so frigid out I may have fallen to my knees at this point, in surrender of sorts. As it were there were 15 boys about to drive by and I can imagine my picture on social media with lots of snarky captions, so I had to maintain my composure.
I ripped off my mittens and shoved them in my pockets, held the bag in my hand, balanced the box as best I could, and hightailed it to the Escalade. I carefully set my stuff down and opened the tailgate.
When I did, all of the cardboard recycling that Jesse forgot to drop off in Willmar on Sunday came flowing out and hit me in the shins as the short bus drove past.
Of course as I picked up one thing to shove back in the car, another two fell out. One box was full of dirt from being used to haul the carrots in from the garden (and apparently never dumped out). My hands were starting to hurt from the cold. This was becoming the longest two minutes of my life.
I finally got everything in the vehicle, put my mittens back on my frozen hands and followed the bus out of the parking lot.
Never have I been someone who loves warm weather, but what a difference a week makes. Last Monday I was sitting on a Hawaiian beach watching the sun set, enjoying a tropical cocktail with my feet buried in the sand. This Monday I was a clumsy idiot on display in a frigid parking lot being attacked by projectile garbage.