••• Friday, June 27, 2008

June Bugs. Still. Pt. 2 

June 13, Cont'd
When we left our heroine, she had just received the news that she had but two hours to shower, dress, purchase helium-filled balloons, plant and grow a garden full of beautiful flowers, harvest said flowers and arrange into three centerpiece-worthy sprays in vases she molded from glass, melted from sand she dug from several layers below the Earth's outer perimeter. And if she didn't accomplish these things, a new marriage would be ruined before it started.

Or something like that.

Actually, before hanging up my sister agreed to get the flowers and candy. So the first order was to get Cabana to the party store for helium-filled balloons. After taking a quick shower and getting Cakers going on hers, I rip through cupboards looking for fancy vases and candy dishes. Suddenly, my sister's assignment to buy flowers and candy sounded easier than mine, i.e. finding stuff in my house.

Somehow we were ready to go by 11:00, but no Cabana with the balloons. He finally showed up at 11:15, complaining that the party store was busier than the clap clinic on Monday morning.

Next order was to stuff 15 helium balloons into my small SUV. Cakers loves helium balloons. When she has one tied to her wrist, it's as though she has a new best friend. A friend with a very short life span. ::And first time she found the dying, new best friend on the floor in the morning, was quite the trauma.::. Anyway. If one helium balloon is a new best friend, sitting amidst a car full of balloons is akin to being adopted by a litter of romping kittens. She was thrilled.

Me? Not so much.

My car was packed with balloons. Minus the spot taken by my darling daughter's grinning face, the balloons took up every inch of space behind the front seat, rendering my rear view mirror worthless. Of course I could still use my side view mirrors, allowing me a view of the lane next door. But I couldn't see directly behind me. Nor could I do the prequisite head check for changing lanes. ::I am a compulsive head checker.::

Between the hectic morning, a car full of balloons and the sense of being chased by the Zero Visibility Monster, I developed a bit of an anxiety thing. And even though I could see perfectly clear out the front, I found myself anticipating something bad happening right in front of me, but I would not see it. Even though I could. See. So I drove real real slow.

I know.

Once I got out of the neighborhood and into four lane throughways, I figured a route that required no left turns, therefore no lane changes or head checks. However, because I was driving about 15 miles per hour below the speed limit, I started to imagine a parade of angry drivers behind me. Of course I could only imagine them because I could not see them. After another mile, I had convinced myself that a cop was now behind me, lights flashing. I then wondered if I should pull over. Or how I should pull over. For without being able to perform the requisite headchecking for traffic on the shoulder of the road, I could hit a pedestrian or bicycler. Right in front of a cop, to boot.

That's when I kind of stopped breathing good. And while Cakers was pretty good at keeping her latex brood under control, ever so often a couple balloons would creep to the front seat to say "hi." Of course, that would just exacerbate my imaginary front blindness. And I'd yell at my poor girl, who'd quickly remedy the situation.

Finally the banquet place was just ahead, on the right. The shower was being held in a restaurant at a golf course, so it would be hard to miss. In fact, I'd been to this eating establishment a couple of times before, so I knew where I was going. Except the last time I was at this place, I wasn't driving. Neither was I blind. And I'm pretty sure I was breathing.

What I didn't notice the other times I was out there was that evey business or building within a half mile of this place had borrowed its name. Wat*ermark. So, nearly passed out from anxiety, it was with great relief when I pulled into the first driveway with the name Wat*ermark on the sign. It was a dentist office.

I pull out onto the main drag again, and it was still just a right turn into the right lane. Whew. Now I'm worried about being late. Because I was worried about being late, I refused to be fooled by another sign. So I ignored the next one.Of course, that was it.

So I turn into the next driveway to turn around. Now I have to turn left onto a major highway with a car full of balloons. In addition to dealing with hysterical blindness and shortness of breath, I now had to plan for my next crisis: Changing lanes without a head check.

I do manage to make it onto the golf course property, and follow the signs to the restaurant. Somehow I miss the turn for the driveway and end up behind the restaurant, on a golf course service road. But that's okay. I am not so nervous now, because I know where I am and where I'm going and no more head checks will be required. I'm breathing good. I'm not even late.

I follow the service road, with the intention of finding another driveway (circular) so I can turn around. Then I come to the a dead end. It's at a house. The road was someone's driveway. To turn around I must put the car in reverse. And I can't remember what was behind me. I think it was pond. A pond that I cannot see but know is there. A pond I know that I will soon roll into and drown. My baby will be saved, by the balloons, because I will open the windows right now, to allow her safe egress.

Of course, the anxiety has returned and my lungs are on lock down. My car is in park and my hands are in frozen grip on the steering wheel. I stare at the house. Hoping and praying that a) someone will come out of the house to help me and 2) That no one is home to see this fool in a car filled with balloons, having a nervous meltdown in their driveway. Because I'm sure they will take a picture and put on their blog.

Clearly I am not thinking clearly. I cannot move and am now worried that no one will look for us back here when we don't show up for the shower. I think to use my cell phone, but I cannot move my hands from the wheel. Said situation also prevents me from following through on an alternate fantasy, that of writing SOS messages on balloons and sending them up.

Somehow, just the thought of the balloons-that-almost-killed-me becoming The-balloons-that-almost-saved-me gave me a sudden sense of security. Well, not total security, because throughout this entire orderal, a sub-series of anxiety links had me convinced that I'd developed an allergy to latex. And therefore an allergy to bananas. And I love me some bananas.

Anyway, through making about 47 front and reverse movements, seven inches at a time, I was able to turn my vehicle around without killing anyone. As I pulled away, I saw that there was indeed a pond to left of us, about 500 feet away. And a fence between us.

I beat my sister to the restaurant by a few minutes. By the time she arrived, we had exactly 10 minutes to Float the Chaotic to showtime.

Flowers were cut, candy dishes filled and doorprizes tagged. We finished as the first guests arrived. It was a lovely shower and a fine time was had by all.

The Travails of June are not over and the story will be continued at a later date. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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