My Fight With the Universe

The universe is trying to keep me from going on vacation.

I am in a fight with the universe.

This cannot possibly end well for me. And yet I battle on. I’m an Aries. It’s what we do.

It's in the stars. See? You can totally see a ram there. Pfft. (Image from

It’s a fascinating (read: sucky) phenomenon. Every time I’ve taken a vacation (all three times) in the 2.5 years I’ve been at this job, the week that leads up to it is craptastic. Every time, I have to work an extra day. That is the case this week, with a bonus: six straight days, plus OT on some of the days. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not completely, you know, ungrateful. They do have to pay me for this extra time, and that’s going to help me pay for my vacation, which is currently being sponsored by the good people at AT&T Universal Card. But the problem with this recurring pre-vacation phenomenon is that I can’t get a damned thing done before I go. I can’t shop for sunscreen and a flattering bathing suit cover-up. I can’t buy cute but inexpensive shoes that work with the whole summery beach look, and the flattering cover-up.  I can’t do laundry. Everybody knows you have to buy sunscreen and a flattering  bathing suit cover-up and cute but inexpensive shoes and do laundry before you go on vacation.

Know what else? My car’s headlight is out. Those (three) of you who read my blog from two days ago know the drama this could entail. Also, the car may or may not be trying to poison me, so I want to get that checked at the same time I get the headlight fixed. I feel certain this means hours sitting at a car shop, and the possible premature forking over of the overtime pay in defiance of the plan to pay for the vacation with it, since Uncle Sam is only giving me $23 back on my taxes. (But I’m a patriot who believes freedom isn’t free. Plus, last year I owed $97, for reasons passing understanding. So I’ll take this year. ) 

Getting the headlight fixed and the exhaust system checked in my five-year-old Honda will take at least, I figure, 3.5 hours that I don’t have.

Also, I realized today that my driver’s license is expiring on…wait for it… Saturday. The awesome part of that is that it’s the day before I get on a plane. Are you kidding me with this? Zero wiggle room. Nada. If I don’t go to the DMV, and I mean like in five minutes, I’ll be hauled off by the Homeland Security people and the terrorists will win. So, add “spend an entire day at the DMV resisting its almost guaranteed effort at sucking my will to live” to the list of Things To Do Before I Leave. Except I don’t have an entire day, because I work right up to the day I go.

Here’s the other thing that will get me hauled off by the Homeland Security people: when I threw my back out, my friend gave me leftover prescriptions from when she threw hers out. I have a Ziploc bag in my purse, containing six Oxycodone pills. They’re there because I never took them; I took the prescription strength ibuprofen and the muscle relaxers that were also in the bag, and kept them with me so I could take them at work when it was time for another dose. My back is still screwed up, but that’s not the point. The baggie is still in my purse. Which means if I get pulled over because my headlight is out, or if I get detained at the airport because my license is expired, I’m going to have an all-expenses paid trip to prison. So I suppose I really shouldn’t complain about the $23 tax refund.

And I should clean out my purse.

Technically, the first three days of vacation will be spent visiting family, because I happened to schedule the vacation time and then found out my parents will be in town at my sister’s house, and I discovered this before I booked the actual vacation trip, which means I have to go visit the parents or I will be doomed to hell forever for not honoring my mother and father. And bearing false witness, because I certainly wouldn’t tell them I could have been there. (Plus: they’ll be babysitting their darling twin three-year-old grandsons while my sister and brother-in-law are out of town, and my nephews are sometimes a test of patience, and my parents are closer to 60 than they are 59, and I’m pretty sure Pop-Pop might actually lose it on the older of the two, who happens to be my godson and who happens to be a very tough customer sometimes. So I feel I have to A.: protect said godson from the Wrath of Pop-Pop; and 2.: Help foster my parents’ sanity as they grapple with two. Three-year-old. Boys. For five. Days.)

(I’m only going for 2.3. I adore my nephews. My mother makes me insane. I’m splitting the difference.) 

My sister’s house is two hours away, and my mother is very excited about making me dinner on Thursday in honor of my birthday (which is not Thursday). She hasn’t gotten to make me a (not) birthday dinner in 16 years, so this is big. I have to be there by cocktail hour on Thursday, latest. Which means I have to leave by 3pm. Which means I have to get to the DMV at, like, dawn.

This is why I’m in a fight with the universe.

Then there’s the fact that I’m flying Southwest to Fort Lauderdale en route to My Happy Place, and recently, the universe ripped a hole in one of their planes, mid-flight.


Spring Vacation 2011. What could possibly go wrong?

If I can get there, I will be rewarded with relaxation and yummy food and cocktails and kooky funky shops and white sands and soothing seas and sunshine and warmth and happiness.

White sands and soothing seas and sunshine and warmth and happiness. Like I said.

Except the forecast says there’s a pretty good chance for all-day storms two of the three full days I’m there.

Of course it does.


2 thoughts on “My Fight With the Universe

  1. OK, I’ve been reading you for a while now and I can’t tell, are you really as neurotic as you sound … or do you turn it up a notch when you write to be funny (which you definitely are!) And I’ll be reading you either way, just wondering.

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