Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy but Full of Rage

I've noticed that the level of my internal happiness can sometimes be inversely proportionate to what's going on externally. That is not always true, certainly; the externalities of NYC just about did me in emotionally and physically. But yesterday I woke up in a ridiculously good mood, despite the destruction of my cell phone - possibly because I had the day off due to the existence of a floating holiday. And possibly because I'm finally catching my breath, and finally able to focus on some things that I'd been neglecting lately (mainly, myself).

Let me take a brief detour here to say that growing up in Maine, we did not look fondly upon those cars bearing Massachusetts license plates. I learned the word "Masshole" before I ever learned the more common derivation of that expletive. When I lived in Boston back in the '90s, I was constantly on the lookout for a "Native Mainer" bumper sticker to put on my car for a little cover when I came home to Maine on the weekends. I have driven through every state on the eastern seaboard, plus California and Colorado, and in my experience-based opinion driving in Massachusetts should be labeled a contact sport. They should hand out helmets and body armor at the DMV. Aggressive isn't even the right word - it's downright war.

In fact, NOT driving aggressively will get you into trouble, as I learned yesterday when a policeman YELLED AT ME. There was construction going on at a 4-way intersection, and half my lane was blocked by a bucket loader, a big dump truck, and live human beings. I stopped before the bucket loader, instead of pulling up to the light where the cop was, because a) the bucket loader was moving and I thought it was going to scrape my car and b) there was oncoming traffic and, silly me, I didn't want to cross that thing called the center yellow line. But Mr. Policeman insisted I pull up to the light, which involved oncoming traffic having to pull off into the ditch. I'm sure they were all like "look at that idiot woman", but the cop kept waving me on. After that, it was a series of people cutting me off, or pulling out in front of me, or trying to change lanes and occupy the exact same real estate my car was in at that moment. Many of the offenders were elderly, and I swear on the spot: take my license away when I turn 80.

The other drama of the day was getting a new cell phone. It took two visits to two separate Verizon Wireless stores, one of which I stormed out of;* several non-idle threats to cancel my service; and a (futile) visit to a Sprint store. I wound up with exactly the same phone I drowned (same number), but for some complicated and, in my opinion shady, reason wound up paying A LOT more for than I did originally. There's a whole other post brewing about this, related to gender (the woman at the first store was a total witch; the 20-something guy at the other store was sweet as pie and gave me free stuff), but I've got other things to do today. 

* Of course, now I feel guilty about being mad, but really: that woman was awful.

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