Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just another incident.... remind me that I will never be cool.

This morning, while in the drive thru at Tim Horton's, one of the boys exes pulled in behind me. Now, this isn't a problem. I get along with her just fine. I waved politely and continued waiting in line for my turn to order.

Then I heard a voice calling my name. It was the ex.

"Hey Jamie, did you put all those dents in that van?!".

I was driving my mother-in-laws van, which I adore. However a few years ago, while being driven by another family member, the van was involved in a minow, albeit unfortunate encounter with a median. This left a massive dent all down the driver's side panel.

I laughed it off, trying to appear unfazed and casual, difficult for me to pull off at the best of times, let alone when facing someone's ex.

Come on Jamie, keep things breezy and light. Laugh. Act cool.

So I made some attempt at a witty (i.e. lame) jab mocking the driving skills of the realtive who was responsible for the dents. (This is where karma rears it's ugly head. Read on.)

Atta girl.

I felt smugly satisfied with myself. For about 3 seconds.

Then, as I tried to navigate the ridiculously dangerous curve of the drive through lane while simultaneously fishing the exact change out of the wallet in my lap, my purse strap somehow became entangled in the steering wheel. It's when I attempted to pull it loose that things go catastrophically atrocious.

The drive through line continued to advance and I panicked. I tried to pull my purse loose while advancing slowly but something unespected happened. The wheel gathered up all the slack in the purse strap and I couldn't turn the wheel at all. But I was still advancing around the curve....and now, towards the wall of the building. I slammed on the brakes with less than an inch to spare. And now found the van and at awkward and impossibly manoevrable angle to the wall. As in, I wasn't going to be able to straighten myself out without an embarassing 13-point turn. But my entire purse was now coiled so tightly around the steering wheel column, I couldn't even budge. I put the van into park and spent what felt like an eternity trying to disengage it. All the while the woman at the drive through window is staring at me, wondering why I'm not moving forward to claim my order. The ex is still behind me, and with the angle I'm at, I'm sure she had a perfect view into the driver's seat of my van.

She would have been able to see the mangled fusion of purse with the steering column. She would have noticed that through the course of this mishap the activation of the turning signal, blinking maniacally, and just beyond my reach. She may have seen my panic and confusion as I slowly edged forward only to suddenly find myself heading at a relatively steady speed towards the brick wall. She probably saw my collected facade crumble as I realized what was happening. She probably saw the tears begin to form behind my aviator shades.

She may have seen the coins and pens receipts and lip gloss come spilling out of my open handbag as the steering wheel, seemingly possessed, oscillated wildly, sending the contents within spewing all over the interior.

I was holding everyone up. The cars in front of me had long ago pulled out into the street. The cars behind me began to bottleneck, probably wondering what I was doing. The woman at the window stared at me expectantly.....impatience creeping into her eyes. The ex behind me....oh god. Hadn't I just made a dumb crack about other people's driving abilities?? Please, no. Why did I do that?

After what seemed like hours, but was probably only a matter of seconds, I somehow managed to free my purse and throw it forcefully into the passenger seat beside me. I ungracefully maneuvered the van back on course and made the 7 foot drive of shame the remainder of the way through the drive thru.Mercifully the window attendant did not ask me if I was ok or what had happened. And I couldn't bring myself to look into the rearview mirror to see her. \

I wish I cold say I was making this up. Unfortunately it's just another example of karma giving me the equivalent of a sudden, rapid punch in the face.

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