Friday, April 4, 2014

"I now pronounce you man and...uh-oh..."

I almost married Idris Elba!!! Almost............ Soooooo, I am fortunate enough to have seriously motion picture quality dreams every night. Big, huge Hollywood worthy productions in my sleeping mind...featuring all of my friends in the crazy roles in which I've cast them. But apparently, 3 years of insomnia plus a double dose of Nyquil produces a whole different type of cinematographic experience. In a production that would overshadow Tyler Perry's work in a heartbeat, I've moved to a whole new level of nocturnal cinema-making. Tonight's production features an all-celebrity cast, so unfortunately, there will be no NiteLite Awards for my personal celebrity buddies (sorry guys...)............. My sister (Kerry Washington) and I had always been close (I mean, I guess, I'd only been asleep for about an hour), until a rift over my blue-collar fiancee (Idris Elba) caused us not to communicate for years. Being the successful Washington D.C. power attorney that she was, she didn't like the fact that an auto mechanic would be joining us at the Thanksgiving table (snob). As the wedding day approached, we mended fences and began to be sisters again. I asked her to be my maid of honor, and all was well............ Then, on the way to our father (Morgan Freeman)'s funeral in Atlanta, my sister (who apparently didn't have a name) confessed to me that her disdain for my love was a ruse to cover up her affair with my fiancée (also nameless). She wanted me to hate him so I'd break up with him and she could have him. Even though she and I hadn't spoken for years, she had been seeing him all along. Of course this caused me to run, hide, and cry behind the American Airlines ticket counter. Eventually, I was found by my nameless fiancée's nameless brother (portrayed brilliantly by Terry Crews) and his wife (the stunning Nia Long), who convinced me to marry Idris anyway............ Cut to the wedding day...I'm in the basement of a filthy motel (which happens to overlook a fabulously manicured golf course where the wedding will soon take place) getting my hair done by Kim Fields, eating Chik-Fil-A in my wedding dress, when we hear police sirens zooming past us in the direction of the makeshift altar. We run up the steep stone steps into the Wal-Mart, where I take a few minutes to return the baby boxer briefs that I purchased in 4T instead of 3T, and purchase several nightgowns (in the style we used to purchase for my grandmother) and a milkshake. Then, Oprah (my mother?? She was at the basement hair salon too) and I are running through the airport (the same airport) to find out what happened at the golf course altar. When we get there, it's no longer a golf course, but a Panera that's been beautifully decorated for the nuptuals of Mr. Nameless and I. My nameless finacee is laying in a pool of blood, and all of the wedding guests are just sipping lattes, standing around looking at him. I order a cinnamon crunch scone, and try to revive my love (by feeding him said scone), but to no avail...he's gone. I look up. Terry Crews, Nia Long, and Kerry Washington are all smiling a satisfied "I did it" smile at I do what any, normal not-quite-widow in a wedding dress with a scone would do...I play a game of Candy Crush and decide that it would be better to marry Elton John anyway............ Sequel??? I wish............ Now, someone call Tyler Perry!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

For the Love of the Stockings

I should have gone with the cheap, ugly Christmas stockings the first time. But after visiting 4 area Target stores searching unsuccessfully for the perfect family set of red velour, monogrammed, tassled stockings, I find myself back at the same dollar store in the hood where the whole fiasco began..holding the same 4 cheap, ugly stockings I debated over for an hour last week.

I should have known from last week's experience at that very same dollar store that perhaps I shouldn't go back. But the stockings were calling me. As irony would have it, the same gentleman who, just last week, educated me on the benefits of Durham County's mandated drug rehabilitation program, was there, once again, to greet me. Fortunately, he remembered me, or more specifically, my son, with a, "Hey, dey go dat cute lil baby again. How you doin' cute lil baby?" Clearly, the Dollar General on Miami Blvd. is a great place to meet folks and make friends!!

I should have gone straight for the stockings and made my way quickly out of Dodge, but nooooo. The dollar store gets new stock every Tuesday, so quite obviously I had to make my rounds to see what was fresh and exciting. At every turn, there was our local Tyrone Biggums, popping out from behind the large yellow M&M display or peeking at us from behind the tinsel adorned column next to the stack of filthy shopping baskets. Perhaps he thought he was playing peek-a-boo with the baby, still too innocent to know that the white on his lips did not come from a love of powdered donuts.

I try not to seem irritated, because a Brooklyn rearing taught me to be nicest to the most unsavory minimizes the possibility of being stabbed, shot, mauled or maimed. Tyrone wasn't dangerous, I don't think, and now that I am home safely, it's kind of amusing, I suppose.

I don't think I'll stop going to the dollar store in the hood. It really is the best dollar store around town and so it's well worth the risk. I just know that the next time I go, I'll keep my eyes open, leave my children at home, and wear my bulletproof vest.'ll be delighted AND relieved to know...I decorated the ugly $1 stockings with some $3 initial pins from Target, and voila...same effect as the $13 stockings from Target...and at a $40 savings!! I love a bargain...see...definitely worth a trip to the hood dollar store!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pump YOUR gas...mind YOUR business!

It hasn't been a good day!

I've been peed on once, spit up on twice, changed about 47 horrible diapers, and listened to about 63 straight hours of screaming. I needed to get out of the house.

It's the screaming, really, that makes me want to lay across the center lane of the freeway and wait for some unsuspecting motorist to take me out of my misery. I can take the diapers and the spit up, but THAT SCREAMING!!!! Helen of Troy, save my soul!! So I pack up my screaming pterodactyl and head out: destination long as it's a place where screaming is prohibited we are SO there. The ride in the car usually calms him...I am hopeful!

Of course, I don't feel like pumping gas, but I can barely make it down the driveway without a fueling stop, and gas prices ARE on the downswing, soooooo... I pull into BJs. The screaming has grown to unbearable proportions, and I am talking myself through the good Mommy's OK...respond with love...he's only a baby... It feels good to be outside of the car and close the door, screamer inside, for just a minute.

I start the pump and walk around to the other side of the car to slather Mommy love on the screamer. Nothing's working, and my own high pitched cooing is getting on my OWN nerves. UGH! Tank is full, migraine is piercing, so I walk back around to hang the nozzle. From the other side of the pump, I hear "You know your car is running."

Excuse me???

A rather granola-like woman steps into view as if she were Chris Hansen and I just got busted with a minor.

"Pardon me", I say out loud.

"Your engine. It's running."

"Yes, I am very much aware of that", I inform her, already defensive.

"And you know that is a hazard?", she asks me, pouting her lips and staring an accusatory scare.

I am HOT already!! "It's even more hazardous to leave my infant in the car with no air when it's 97 degrees out." I hang the nozzle and take the extra second to realize that she has really pissed me off. "And what's even MORE hazardous is YOU...telling ME how to pump gas when I have been listening to THIS (I yank open the door for full volume) all damn day! Really not a good time, Lady, to be minding my business." I get in the car and screech away.

In retrospect, maybe she meant well. Perhaps she just had my best interest and that of the environment at heart, but caught me in a most unfortunate moment. Or, more likely, she is a nosy wench who needed to be put in her place...and is lucky that I didn't have a match.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Akira and the Buttercup!

If I have to go to jail, I’d rather that it NOT be for taking out a 5-year old, but we, as parents, do what we gotta do.

Soooo…I arrive at after school to pick Jordann up. I am usually greeted by the a delightful assortment of small people with a “Hi Kaya’s Mom" (that’s my “school name”), or a “Kaya’s over there”, or a “KAAAAYYYAAAAA, your Mom is here”. Inevitable, happens every time.

Today was a little different.

Today I get a rousing round of “Akira took Jordann’s flower”. I squint my eyes and shake my head slightly with a shoulder shrug that says, “so what?”. It was a flower. Kids are dramatic. I’m hungry. Who cares? But as I walk through the cafeteria, about 12,000 kids come up to me to tell me about the flower situation. The kids are talking…must be serious!

So I get to Jordann’s classroom, and the first thing she says to me is, “Akira took my flower”. She looks distressed. My baby is not a complainer, so this must, indeed, be an issue.

“What flower, Baby?”

Aaaaand, cue the stream of conscousness run-on sentence of an excited 5-year old. “I picked a flower outside and Akira wanted it, but it was mine, so I wouldn’t give it to her, so she snatched it from me, and she ripped aaalll the petals off, and handed me back the stem.”

Of course I need to know who Akira is, STAT!

“And what did you do, baby.”

“I just stood there and looked at it in horror.” (‘In horror.’????? Where EVER does my child get this dramatic vocabulary?????)

By this time, another 175 or so kids have me trapped in a circle, giving me the details of the “buttercup incident”. All accounts jive, so I know Akira is at fault. I know Akira is a bully. And I know I am about to bust Akira in the jaw. (OK, not really, she’s 5…but she must be dealt with. Bully MY baby? That will be the very last time, Ms. Akira, that much I can tell you for sure.)

“OK. Where is Akira?”, I ask Jordann.

“In the cafeteria.”

“Let’s go!”

Just outside the classroom, I kneel down to explain to Jordann that you don’t let ANYBODY take your stuff or make you feel bad. (If this had been St. Angela Hall, Brooklyn, NY, circa 1975, Akira would have been in the nurses’ office with a bloody nose and a swollen eye, and I would have been in the principal’s office pleading self-defense But my child is a MUCH nicer person than I.) I coach her on what she is to say to Akira when we get to the cafeteria. Chest out! A little louder! Good…got it…on to the caf!

We enter a little dramatic-like.

“Where is Akira?” I say loud enough to be heard without making a scene. About a thousand fingers point to one nappy headded little girl.

I walk up to her and get in her face just enough NOT to be on the six o’clock news.

“Did you take Kaya’s flower?”

About 700 little voices begin to recount the story.

“I’m asking Akira,” I say calmly to the helpful crowd.


I get a little closer and lower my voice for dramatic effect.

“Akira, did you take Kaya’s flower?”

Mr. M., the after school director, hears me. He is sharp and stern, and puts a fear in Akira that apparently I couldn’t. “AKIRA, WHAT DID YOU DO?”

Silence from Akira.

“Kaya, what happened to your flower?”, Mr. M. asks.

She responds with her stream of consciousness run-on sentence.

“Oh no she didn’t!!” (Mr. M. is even more dramatic than I am, if that’s possible.) “Watch my babies,” he says to me and heads out the door with Akira. “You are gonna pick her a new flower.”

So as we wait for a fresh, new buttercup, I have a conversation with Mr. M.’s kids about being kind and respecting our friends. It went pretty well, I’d say! The children actually find me quite entertaining.

When Mr. M. comes back with Akira and the buttercup (not to be confused with Akeelah and the bee), Jordann says her piece. Apparently Akira is unmoved. I chat with her about being a good friend and showing respect. I get nothing. Mr. M. explains that this is her usual m.o. and she probably doesn’t care about friends OR respect.

And that’s fine, Miss Akira, but don’t let it happen again, cause you might just end up in the nurse’s office with a bloody nose and a swollen eye…and I just might end up on the six o’clock news!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teeth Not Required!

Seriously??? Can I catch a break, please???

OK...all I intended was to have an innocent evening out with my girlfriends. I believe that I have mentioned to you that I am a freak magnet, and tonight proved to be no exception.

So we're sitting there, Jackie and I, in the dining area of Oliver Twist, entrenched in a delightful discourse regarding my sucky day and my hope that the situation I am in does not require me to blow a gasket and end up on the 6 o'clock news. ('Cause in all honesty, someone could have --and may still-- get their cranium dented in on the side for pissin' me off). I choose to change my order, so I go to the bar to tell the waitress.

"Hi...can we get just one ravioli instead of..."

Cue the freak...aaaaand, ACTION!

"Hey beautiful!" He touches my arm and smiles a smile with far fewer teeth than required to enjoy a full meal. He is well underdressed for the establishment, has a grimy face and hair, and smells like wet puppies. I imagine that he hasn't washed his hands recently and my inner germaphobe gags just a little bit.

He continues, "You shur er pretty."

"Uhmmmmm, thanks." I continue to speak with the waitress, because I am already on edge, and God forbid she brings two plates of ravioli...

"How er yew today?"

Oh, for corn sake! Really? "I think I have tuberculosis, but I'll be OK." I cough and walk away.

I get back to the table and Jackie and I laugh at my misfortune. We look up, and who is coming our way? None other than grimy puppy boy!

"Y'all are beautiful. I noticed y'all when y'all came in and hugged and everything. That was a beautiful thing there, all the love and e'erything. How 'bout I buy you ladies a drink?"

Did I mention that I am already on edge? I am disgusted because I had just made my earnest plea for Jackie to bail me out of jail should the need arise and I deviate someone's septum and was waiting for her response. I have no words for puppy boy, but Jackie, bless her soul, is as sweet as can be. She entertains his unsolicited banter.

"What's y'all's names?"

Jackie is honest. I think I say my name is Ethel. He asks lots of questions and we see it as out opportunity to entertain ourselves through the art of embellishment. By this time he has inserted himself in our booth and asked us about 4 times if he can buy us a drink. I feel that we deserve to be compensated for his canine fragranced interruption and finally say "yes", because I see the waitress approaching and I could really use a complimentary martini.

We order our drinks. Our uninvited guest continues to delight us with plesantries about his failed electrical business and such. He asks again, "You shur I can't buy y'all a drink?"

"You just did", I say, deadpan. He looks confused.

Jackie tells him that we'd already agreed to let him pay for our round, didn't he remember?, and that we'd just ordered the drinks. How did he miss that?? Maybe he was so enchanted with our lovliness that he didn't catch that part of the conversation.

He hops up from the table, "She din't even ask me nuthin'", and runs back to his spot at the bar. Seconds later, the manager, the owner, and our waitress rush out the front door into the parking lot. Yup, you guessed it. The toothless wonder left the bar without paying his tab...and without paying for the drinks he practically begged us to let him buy. We watch in awe until our amazement turns into a good belly laugh.

But hey...what about my free drink???

Fortunately, our waitress is kind enough to bring us the martinis anyway.

I wonder if I will ever run into my love again. He left before I had a chance to give him my number...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Freaks and Morons Wanted: Apply Here

Clearly, I am destined for greatness and fame (eventually), so I have decided to start acting like it. If I fake the greatness, I believe it will come. And so I decided to hire a personal assistant.

Recently, several days have ganged up and attacked me all at once. My car is a horror, and smells like yougurt. The garage is packed to the gills with crap. The laundry is clean, but remains loaded in several unattended, unfolded, unironed piles in various locations throughout my home (I have been sleeping beside a particularly delightful smelling mound of Gain-freshness for 3 days now). Stacks of pictures are album-less…CD and their cases are waiting to be reunited…the Barbies have been evicted from the dream house and are living nude upon the streets, their clothes strewn about…spiders are making new homes in every imaginable corner…and the clutter is growing at Chia Pet pace. I am considering turning myself in to the producers of the show Hoarders (and hence gaining my aforementioned fame and greatness). If you’re into anything Zen, you know that it is impossible to focus when your space is in disorder, so I am feeling most Alzheimer-esque…can’t remember squat, can’t find squat, can’t focus on SQUAT!!! Help is required at this point…STAT!!

So I post an ad on Craig’s List…it reads like this… “Household Helper Wanted: Brier Creek Area. Looking for household helper to assist with inside and outside chores. Gardening, laundry, ironing, dishes, general clean up… Some organizing and light office work. Need own reliable transportation. $10/hr…approx 5 hrs/wk.

Well, let the weirdo parade begin!!!!! (Did I mention that I am a self-proclaimed moron magnet??? Yuh!) I got 31 responses in the first 24 hours…here are a few charms…

1. “Name: Ron Age:57 Retired: From Post Office (Uhm…hello…red flag!!!!!! Post office??) Will: Help you with the house stuff.” Uh…thanks Ron…already hired a middle aged serial killer. You missed last week‘s post.

2. “Hi. How much do itpay. R u on the bus line” Yes, Durham Area Transit Authority is VERY reliable, but that’s not quite what I had in mind. PLUS, if you know me AT ALL, you know that no one with jacked grammar, punctuation or spelling was even getting a courtesy e-mail in return. Thanks anyway Jakkie!

3. “Is the $10 nergotable?” Well, clearly not for you. (…“Nergotable“…????????)

4. “I am interested to do your positions. Maria.” Really Maria?? It’s not that kind of job. Sorry.

So…amongst the clutter. I did find a few people I wanted to meet with. As I reflect upon my day, I reminisce (and I implore you to reminisce with me…youtube the scene of you must) upon the scene from Coming To America where Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are at the bar meeting the various women who might be Eddie’s Queen. FA-REAKSSSS!!!

Edie’s resume read well. She has experience in accounts payable, but has been trying to start her own personal concierge business since last December. Cool. Thought I’d give her a whirl. Turns out it’s a good thing I am a trained counselor, because Edie has MAJOR problems. In half an hour, we discussed her unemployment and subsequent depression, her divorce and subsequent loss of custody, and the fact that her boyfriend just this morning, told her she had 30 days to get out of his apartment. Oh...and her experience as a 'personal escort'... Yeah!!! “Edie, YOU’RE HIRED!! Not only because I don’t have enough problems in my OWN life, but because I’d really like to PAY someone to depress me! When can you start?????”

I was really excited about meeting Brianna at Panera at 9:15 (as you know, an inordinately early hour for me!!). Her resume and e-mail message oozed responsibility, professionalism, and pure college-innocent sweetness. 9:22...I waited…bought a cinnamon roll (definitely NOT in the plan for today)…waited…bought a frosted coffee beverage…waited…. At 9:32, I decided to call Brianna…hoping she was OK.


“Hi, may I speak with Brianna?”

“Hold on. BRIIIIIAAAANNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” I supposed it was the boyfriend or roommate. Why is Brianna at home. She is supposed to be here.

“Hello?” (As if she never imagined I would call.)

“Hi Brianna, this is Donna. Are you still planning to meet me at Panera?”

“Uhm, yeaahhhh” (think pure California valley air headedness), “uhm…like, we don’t have enough gas to get over there right now, soooooo, yeaaahhhh.”

“So you couldn’t call me??? I mean, I am waiting here…”

“Uhmmmm, yeah…I was gonna call you, uhm…but…uhm…”

You know what…good luck finding anything at all to do to earn gas money. Ditz!!

Jace, is the daintiest sounding 17 year old boy I have ever chatted with. But he was polite, eager, claimed he was a ‘neat freak’, and said he didn’t mind cutting grass! YESSSSS!!! Score!! I was supposed to meet him at McDonald’s at 10:45.

At 10:44 and 58 seconds, the phone rings. I recognize the number as Jace’s. He must be running a few minutes late.

“Hi Jace!”

“Hey Miss Dawwwna…how er yew dewiiiiin’???”

“I’m good, Jace. Are you on your way?”

“Wellllll, Miss Dawwwwwna. aunt, right…she was gonna drop me off over there at that Mac Dawnald’s, ‘n eerythang….but she was sorta kinda running late for work…so she just, like, leffft me here…at the hosue. Sooooooo can we meet, like, tomorrow?

“Uhm, I thought you had your own car. I asked you about reliable transportation.”

“Welllllllll, my aunt is usually pretty reliable, but she was runnin’ all late and stuff today, soooooo…”

“OK Jace, thanks for trying.” UGH!!! What a waste of time. I coulda been home cleaning my own house!!!!!

My most impressive prospect so far is Aya Ramirez. She is a high school counselor who is off for the summer and ‘loves to clean’. She speaks Spanish, has a 4 year old daughter, and is looking for something fun to do while her daughter is in half day daycare. She actually GOT my strange humor and, like me, she specializes in sarcasm. I think she is a charm! She’s got a lazy eye, but so do I, so I am sure we will get along swimmingly. Aya Ramirez, YOU’RE HIRED!!

Now please pray as Aya and I try to get this place...and my order.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers...unless you are in Ruther Glen!

I was gonna write about my lil stop at the most ghetto fabulous gas station this side of the international dateline…where I feared for my life as I pumped gas and absorbed the true meaning of “pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground”…but something far more bloggable has occurred, so I’ll write about that instead…

So, I was perfectly delighted to FINALLY find a Starbucks off exit 92 along I-95. I mean, seriously, there are three on every city block in NY, but I can’t get a grande black and white mocha with an extra pump of white anywhere between Durham and Richmond, VA? Really? Whatever… So I finally get my beverage. It’s almost 11pm, and I am just about halfway through my journey. (Did I mention that I usually require a brief power nap along the way to even Greensboro, NC…just an hour away from home? Needless to say, I am not a distance driver. Anyway…)

I’m drivin’ and sippin’. Sippin’ and drivin’. I’m singin’ along with Billy Joel…Uptown Girl, I believe it was (because his greatest hits make great travel music), and as I pass the billboard for the Mega Millions lottery, I amuse myself with the thought that I don’t need aaalllll 86 million…just enough to get a new car and pay some bills. I giggle a little to myself, for some strange reason, when suddenly I hear “grrrrrrrrrrrrrr, grrrr grrrr grrrr”. My car sounds like I just started a Nascar race, or someone hid a little motorcycle under my hood. WOW…I just spent almost $700 on it on Monday, surely this can’t be anything serious! Then “POP”…and a zillion sparks shoot out from under the hood to the left of the vehicle, and I can’t accelerate. I am slowing down, involuntarily, trying go get across two lanes of traffic to the shoulder, and just as I get to the side of the road, “pfffffsssssssst!”, and she’s dead.

Great, I am on the grassy shoulder of I-95 in the pitch black of the night, somewhere near Asscrack, VA, with Jordann and Brandon in a car that ain’t goin’
nowhere no time soon. After patiently listening to my string of expletives, Jordann suggests, “maybe you should call 911”.

So I call 911...not only because my lil Princess is a rocket scientist, but because the car is smoking’ like a California wildfire, and I am afraid that that it’s gonna blow up and we all will perish.

“911. What is your location?" (Again with the 911, geez…)

“Uhm…I dunno...somewhere…off the side of the road on I-95. My car died. I think I am at mile marker 97.”

“Are you safe?”

“Yes, as safe as I can be in the pitch black darkness on the side of an interstate, yes.” I laugh to not sound rude.

“What type of vehicle are you driving?”

“It was an Envoy.”

“It was an Envoy? What is is now?”

“A piece of shit.” We both laugh.

“OK. Are you on the shoulder?”

I explain the situation. The dispatcher says she’s sending a state trooper out. I thank her and check the clock. It’s 10:53.

In the meantime, I call AAA. Thankfully, I was reminded that I had AAA immediately after I picked my car up from having it fixed (yes, fixed, I say) on Monday and it wouldn’t start. (Yeap! Right in the parking lot of the place that took my almost $700...the car they just fixed wouldn't start. Oxymoronic, no?) AAA says they will send a tow truck, and make arrangements for me to stay at the always delightful Days Inn in Ruther Glen, VA (no, I have never heard of it either…apparently in it’s entirety, the town consists of the Days Inn, the Super 8 Motel, Arthur’s Steak House, a Wendy's, and one very questionable gas station).

Because I turned the car off, it’s getting cold inside. Did I mention that I forgot my coat?? It was nice in Durham today, and I had on my jacket. I meant to bring a real coat, but I forgot. Thankfully I dressed Jordann appropriately and remembered to bring her very warm Princess Tiana blanket (thanks Momma Simon), and Brandon, well, he’s all set with that fur coat action, soooooo. I am the only one freezing.

We wait. No tow truck. No trooper. No heat. It’s 11:27. Thanks 5-0! If I had been traveling a single mile over the speed limit, they would be on me like a sheet on a klansman, but I need help, so now I wait. And wait.

I call 911 again, and they tell me the trooper couldn’t find me. Find me? Hmmmm…curious… there is a fairly large SUV on the side of I-95 with hazzards on…and he couldn’t find me. OK. Perhaps I should have mentioned that I was stranded in a Krispy Kreme truck… My mother told me to be nice to the Virginia troopers…for obvious reasons… I “thank” the dispatcher for “trying” and she says she will send him again.

11:44. No trooper. No tow truck. No heat.

I get out to walk to the mile marker sign to give the trooper and the towing company a more precise location. It's freezing, and I have no coat...traffic is zooming by fast enough for me to be blown into the ditch by the tailwinds...but I have no fear...until..."aaawhoooooo!!!". OK...I probably made up the coyote sound in my head (do they have coyotes in Ruther Glen, VA??), but I had a vision of my limbs being carried away by wild animals while my Princess watches in horror and Brandon's mouth I hustle back to the car. No mile marker to report to anyone. I'll wait.

Finally, at 11:51, what I thought was a state trooper pulls up behind me. Thank goodness he got there so quickly! We discuss the situation, and I discover that he isn’t a state trooper, but a local police officer who just happened to see me on the side of the road and stopped to see if I needed help. At 11:54, the tow truck comes. But still no state trooper. So reliable. YAY!

The tow truck driver is very nice. We chat. I am moving my stuff into the cab of his tow truck, when I discover that I don’t have a leash. So here I am…struggling with Jordann, her car seat, and a leashless cocker spaniel on the slippery, grassy, slope-y shoulder of I-95. My Donna Summer CD falls into the ditch. Damn! She worked hard to make that!

So, when Ritchie (per the nametag) finally has what used to be my Envoy all loaded up on the truck. He tells me that it’s his first day on the job, and he was supposed to get off at 12:00. Great, ‘cause now it’s 12:12, and I’m sure Ritchie has things to do. He uses his CB radio (which Jordann finds fascinating) to call to find out where he is supposed to take me. Wonderful, Ritchie…aren’t you supposed to know this? The other “CB person” tells him to take me to the Days Inn at exit 101. Posh! I know there will be chocolates on the hand-fluffed pillow!! Whoo-hoo!

We exit at 101, and Ritchie turns into the hotel parking lot. I ask him to go inside to make sure they are pet friendly, and they are. Yessss!!! This is getting better by the minute! He unloads my car in the farthest corner of the darkest edge of the parking lot (wonderful, maybe someone will steal it…oh no…wait…it won’t start…dern!), and I go inside to pay. “Wow”, I think to myself, “this Days Inn is seedier than I even imagined it would be.” And I look at the sticker on the bullet proof glass, and it says Super 8 Motel!!!!

Dammit!!! Ritchie dropped me at the wrong place. And here I am at the Motel Cootie, with a sleepy kid, a leashless cocker spanil, several bags, and a car seat, and they didn’t even leave the light on for me. Aaarrrggghhhh!!!

Well, can’t go anywhere now. I have no idea where the Days Inn is, and even if I did, I’d have no way to get there. So we walk outside in the cold to room 127. (I have to tie my scarf around Brandon’s neck in lieu of a leash. Very stylish! I am considering getting him one of his own. In fact, it looks so good on him that I may market this...I'll call it "The Scleash". More on that later.) Room 127 is gross. The carpet is dirty, the toilet seat was wet, and I am not even going to tell you what is going on with this exposed box spring…eeewww! (You've heard that I am a germophobe, no? Understandably, I was prepared with clorox wipes...but not enough to do the room even a modicum of sanitary justice.) Jordann is sleeping on her Princess Tiana blanket with strict instructions not to put her feet on the floor when she wakes up. Brandon is on the “couch”, which frankly, does not appear to be fit for a dog. And here I am…still up at 2:12am telling you my story.

Oh…and the moral of the story is…if you are taking a long drive at night, and panning on going to sleep right when you reach your destination…don’t wear your pajamas in the car and put a scarf on your head. You never know what’s gonna happen, and you want to make sure you don’t look like Aunt Jemima in the event that your car blows up.

And tomorrow, the saga continues