Just call me Judy Btfsplk

I know I am dating myself with that reference but, I could care less about dating myself, since in fact, I am only dating myself.

Do you see now why my head spins when I think too much? And internets, my head is spinning.

Much like the trinity (“a mystery wrapped in an enigma” or so my catechism told me),* today was a comic-karmic cesspool wrapped up in a nearly perfect day. Thursday Obama announced a Cleveland rally featuring none other than “the Boss.”  I love Obama and I love Bruce Springsteen (who doesn’t?) so I RSVP’d on Obama.com, donated 5 bucks* (maybe please to win a front row seat on election night) and started planning.  Being single (alone again, naturally) and with a surfeit of absent and/or crowd averse friends, I was worried I would have to attend alone. And you all know how people look at single women of a certain age mumbling to themselves in crowds. Not pretty. So I started recruiting.

I convinced my good friends and neighbors the M’s to go; N and P (two of the finest people G-d put on this earth) said they might go.  Son No. 2 wanted to go but had a Leadership Conference this weekend and would be in East Podunk doing rope/rock climbing at a YMCA on Sunday. Saturday it looked like it was a go for everyone except the boy – by Sunday the M’s were still working out the details, N & P (wisely) decided to watch at home and the boy was texting me that he wanted to, oh and by the way, would I drive to East Podunk on Sunday and pick him up so that he could rock to witness the Boss history.

I am a softy, I would drive anywhere for the boy.  But my car (like everything else since I lost my job) suffers from lack of maintenance. I agonized over whether the bubble in the rear tire would be a problem; I worried about spending money for gasoline. But after 70 billion-ty texts and cell calls I decided I would pick him in East Podunk (over an hour away), drive to downtown Cleveland and find a parking place far from the madding crowd so we could rock the vote participate in history.

By 10:30 AM, I was scrubbed and dressed, ready to grab my keys and zip out the door when I reached for my trusty eye glasses –

cue foreboding music – dum dum dum

SNAP – they broke clean in half.

Broen glasses, insurance card and Mounds miniatures to dull the pain

Broken glasses, insurance card, tea and Mounds miniatures to dull the pain

Dammit I thought is this an omen?

No, I have to stop being afraid and worrying – get out of the house and get out of this isolation.

Bravely I grabbed a set of old glasses, logged onto to Map Quest to get directions to East Podunk. I printed everything while I tied my most comfortable pair of shoes.  I turned off the computer and grabbed the stuff from the printer and hit the road.

Sort of.

First, I forgot my cell phone, then I realized I forgot to print the directions to East Podunk. No problem I thought – I’ll get them on my cell. I googled map quest on my cell – WTF – no results. I googled google maps – WTF – had to install an application.  I was multitasking like Kate Plus 8 when I walked out the door. I moved the boy’s car to the street (it’s complicated the garage situation here) and made one last return to the house to get my ipod.

Finally in my car and on the road I was making progress, zipped out 271, got on Rt. 8, I was cruising to the Dixie Chicks not making nice and congratulating myself on getting out of my way and into the world.  So far so good – right?

Umm – no.

After about 10 minutes I noticed a lot more buildings than usual on Rt. 8 – hmm – lots of building – wait wait wait – dammit I am going the wrong direction – I am headed back home. I turned the car around and got myself going in the right direction which included LOTS road construction and 40 MPH speed limits and a 100 billion-ty text and calls from the boy – WHERE ARE YOU!

Finally I made it to the general vicinity of East Podunk in the middle of nowhere Ohio. One hand on the wheel and one hand trying to mapquest, I suspected I had gotten lost.  Spying 2 churches ahead I thought – SALVATION! and pulled into the lot to consult my map.  I couldn’t figure it out, but luckily a car was pulling out of the church lot, I pulled beside it and motioned for the driver to roll down her window.

She did. I asked do you know where Nimsalla Road is?

She replied – I’m deaf.

What are the odds? When I am not flustered I can sign enough to be polite but I was so flabbergasted I just mumbled – I am sorry.

Geez. Hey G-d it’s me Maragaret Judy Btfsplk – are you trying to tell me something.

I forged on, ultimately arriving at the YMCA camp where the boy was waiting. He jumped in the car, allowing me only the briefest of bathroom breaks**, and we were off to Cleveland. We arrived in Cleveland about 1:15 PM and parked a good distance from the Event. We hoofed it fast and got to East 9th and ran smack dab into the line for the event. We got in line and waited

the line

the line

and waited

more line

more line

and waited

We made it!

We made it!

until about 2 hours later when we inched our way forward as the last lucky few to make it into the actual event. We were way way way in the back, but we were happy.

the back of the rally

the back of the rally

After about another 45 minutes the Boss came on and he was awesome. I couldn’t see him but I could hear him.  About 30 minutes after that, Obama came on and he was even more awesome.  I couldn’t see Obama either; not only was he far away, but they had HUGE BRIGHT rapture lighting blinding my field of vision.

rapture lighting Bruce Springsteen

rapture lighting Bruce Springsteen

It was impossible to even look in the direction of the stage without being blinded.

But it was great and everyone was having a good time until Obama mentioned Dick Cheney’s name. Dick must have some heavy dark mumbo jumbo because right then it started to rain and it didn’t stop. Don’t get me wrong – it was still awesome – only now it was awesome and wet.

Rally over, aching from standing in one place on cold concrete, headache from the rapture lights, we headed back the seeming gazillion miles back to our car. Needing a drink and a bathroom by this point, we were frustrated at every block by our city’s non-existent nightlife. Finally just when I was about to pass out we spied a Starbucks.

AHHHHhhhhhh – we zipped in and while the boy got us coffee I stood in line for the one, now very popular, ladies room. Soaking wet, worn out and looking pretty ghastly, I was glad I had not run into anyone I knew when, dum dum dum, the bathroom door opened and there she stood.

A perfectly put together HR person who didn’t hire me for one of the jobs I applied for – dammit.

Maybe she won’t recognize me.

Then she looks me in the eye and says Clare?

Ahh no I said – Judy Btfsplk.

No time to chat, la la la, we got the heck out of there.

By now I am starving (no lunch, no supper, no coffee, no energy) and I still have to get the boy fed and back to his leadership conference, which I did cuz I am awesome.

Finally, 8 long hours after I left, I  returned home with visions of Advil and my jammies dancing in my head – but wait – the boy’s car is in the street and I have to put it back in the driveway. I can barely walk I am so cold and sore, but I hobble out the street, open the passenger door (the only one that unlocks on his jalopy) and climb my old tired ass into the driver’s seat.  I start the car and back up to pull into my driveway. Only, in the inky blackness of the night and unaccustomed to his car, I put it into reverse and

CRASH – right into my neighbor’s car.

Listen guys, I am tired, I am broke, I haven’t been able to find a job in spite of mad crazy wonderful skills and sterling references. The last thing I need is another day like today.

Send light, send prayers, send good thoughts.  I am ready for CHANGE.

* I know I am being irreverent – don’t hassle me – at least I am not talking about my ideas for Imprimatur panties or a Pop up Pope book.

** the East Podunk YMCA has the loudest most powerful hand dryer on the planet except maybe at the KFC in Roanoke Rapids, NC


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan
    Nov 03, 2008 @ 08:07:06

    Hey, maybe the HR lady will recognize fortitude when she sees it and hire you now. Maybe?



  2. Marilyn
    Nov 03, 2008 @ 09:51:15

    I consider this an omen…Obama will definitely win now. 😉

    Marilyn – the amazing thing about the rally yesterday was the crowd interaction – there was no pushing or nastiness from waiting. Even the little ones whose only view was the back of someone’s kneecaps were polite and happy. Hour after hour. It was amazing.


  3. Oldmommy
    Nov 03, 2008 @ 16:44:07

    I’m so proud of you for getting out of the house and doing all this! I’ve been housebound, for the most part, since May 30 when I had liposuction and my face was disfigured. I’m lucky if I can even get a shower these days. I don’t eat unless my husband is here to feed me at night. Damn, depression is a bitch. I can’t even blog anymore, so you’re doing damned good in my book, sister! Sorry about the car.


  4. Darryle
    Nov 03, 2008 @ 17:44:48

    I always feel most things are worth suffering when you know you will look back and have a great story to tell—and you do.


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