Things Aren't Going My Way

I'm sick.  That's how this long story starts.  I'm sick with some kind of cold.  I'm congested and sneezing like crazy.  I told Christian today that I was "sneezing constantly," and he didn't believe me.  "I don't think that's accurate," he said.  "I don't think you're literally sneezing constantly."  And then I explained.  I sneeze, and then immediately I feel another sneeze coming on.  You know that weird feeling of anticipation that you get in your nose right before you sneeze?  That feeling, immediately, until I sneezed again.  Lather, rinse, repeat, about ten times in a row.  Then a two-minute break, then another row of sneezes.  After hearing my explanation, Christian was forced to concede that yes indeed, I was sneezing constantly.  {At which point I asked, "Why do I have to explain everything to you before you believe me??"}

However, if you follow me on Twitter, you know all of this already.  You also know that I decided to help myself feel better by going to Cookout, my favorite place for my favorite onion rings.  So we'll skip over my playing Nintendo 64 all morning {I'm sick, remember?} and get straight to when I'm sitting in the drive-thru line at Cookout.  I ordered my usual -- hamburger with everything except ketchup, onion rings, fries, Coke -- and went to pay.  I shifted my car into park and knew immediately that I had made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.  Why?  Because my car has had a growing issue about shifting out of park.  For the past month or two I've only been able to get it to shift out of park after moving my seat around a few times.  Then I had to turn the wheel both ways.  Lately it's been both, for about five minutes, before my car will condescend to slide into reverse.

Today, nothing worked.  Nothing worked for about ten minutes {during which the Cookout employees were very kind and understanding}.  So I decided to call Christian and then a tow truck, which is when I realized I had forgotten my cell phone at home.  Blerg!  Suddenly I felt miserable, alone, awkward, and unprepared.  It brought back memories of when my mom would forget to pick me up from school, and I would sit outside and wait for hours, periodically going to the office and attempting to call home yet again, only to hear my answering machine... yet again.  Those adolescent experiences have left me with abandonment issues, as well as a serious desire to always have a reliable means of transportation.

However, everything turned out alright.  The manager at Cookout lent me his phone.  I tried to call Christian, and, knowing he wouldn't recognize the number and pick up right away, used our super secret emergency signal which, unfortunately, he also didn't recognize.  I would have tried calling someone else, but Christian's cell number is the only one I have memorized {apart from the home number of the house I grew up in, my high school crush's home number, and my cousin Heather's number from when she lived in Raleigh, which, needless to say, were all completely useless}.  I then called a tow truck, and told the tow truck guy to take me to a good mechanic nearby.  See how trusting I am?  I get into tow trucks with guys I don't know and let them take me to strange places.

He took me to a car-fixing place {which is what I called it later when talking to Christian}, and when I told them my last name was Plautz, they asked me if I knew someone named Sally.  Yes!  I absolutely do!  {You've been there before, Mom -- they had you in their system.}  I immediately felt more at ease, and settled down to watch the end of Rocky IV and the beginning of Jaws III on the car-fixing place's surprisingly large TV while I waited to hear my car's diagnosis.  I tossed my Cookout tray out, number a because I felt like an idiot carrying it around, and letter 2 because my shame at being in such a situation left me without an appetite.  Eventually I was informed by Tony {a very helpful car-fixing guy} that there's a malfunction with some kind of security system on my car, and I should take it to a dealership immediately.  He also showed me a fool-proof way of getting it to shift out of park.  It goes like this:  When you go to start up your car, turn the key far enough that the dash lights up, but not so far that the air conditioning or radio turn on.  Leave it that way for ten minutes.  Come back, turn it all the way on, push on the brake, let off the emergency brake, and then it should shift just fine.  Awesome.

I'm safe at home again now, sneezing more than ever.  And I've learned my lesson: only talk about ways my mother has emotionally scarred me when her computer monitor isn't working, because then she can't read my blog.


  1. Oh sweet Mary! This is the saddest story I have ever heard. I hope you get better REALLY soon and tell Christian that his mom says to "Be nice!"

  2. Mom has access to the computer at ummm .. "other" people's houses, but I don't think she checked your blog. You hate being abandoned and I hate cars with issues. One day I'll have an issue-less car.