When we're hit with a sudden and unusual amount of stress or fear, people react differently. Some get goosebumps. Some have their heart stop or pound. I have come to realize two different symptoms of this in myself...a metallic taste in my mouth, and a hot prickling in my scalp, as if the capillaries are suddenly filled with acid.
The thing is, I was already stressed about going to Boise because being given such free reign to do official purchasing like that is a big responsiblity, especially with as much money as I'd be spending. The fact that my car broke down in the middle of it put me to what I thought was my limit. This day met that limit and pushed it back two orders of magnitude beyond what I thought I could stand.
I woke up on Friday morning to the sound of Tyler's grandma's alarm clock, which went on for about 30 minutes. I was afraid for a while that maybe she was dead, but then I remembered that she wears hearing aids. I knocked on the door and she woke up. No big deal.
She wanted to run some errands that day, but she couldn't, because we didn't know when the car people would call, and I would need a ride back there to pick up my rig. I called them at 9:00 and found out that my car had started just fine that morning, and that all the electric and computer stuff had checked out, and they would be checking on the fuel pump shortly. They called back later and told my my fuel filter was completely clogged and stank of kerosene, and they were fixing all the issues with my fuel line. They were also fixing my front brakes. Another phone call, and they were fixing my shocks.
So, until 2:30 in the afternoon, I was pacing around Grandma's house while we waited for the car people to tell me my car was done, so I could get it and she could do her errands. We waited and waited. I eventually called back and found out my car was ready. They'd lost my number and couldn't call me.
Right before we left, I checked my email and found a message from Tyler. Tyler was now reasonably sure that he'd blown his graft.
His knee had been sore for a while, and had been feeling increasingly loose and clicky. This meant that all his work to get the surgery paid for, the surgery itself, all the months we waited, all the months he worked to recover...it had all been wasted. Now we'd have to do it all over again, and on our dime. And what did this mean for work? Was he going to lose his job? I would have to stay here without him and work to pay for the new surgery.
Grandma announced that she didn't know where the car repair place was, and that she wanted me to drive her car. So I drove all through Boise, an unfamilar city, in an unfamiliar car, while praying that I would wreck her car or kill us both. She kept telling me I should drive faster so I wouldn't hit so many traffic lights.
We eventually got to the car repair shop and I signed a receipt that sounded like a brick when it hit the table. Significantly poorer, I got back into my car and headed out to do my last few errands that needed doing before leaving Boise, which was grocery shopping for Tyler and I.
I love the Boise co-op, but I staggered through that place like a zombie, hanging on to my cart for dear life while all my fears about Tyler's knee surgery rebounded through my head again and again. I finally finished up my shopping there and headed back to Grandma's house.
Tyler had asked me to call a recommended orthopedist in Boise and get info on referrals and scheduling for him (the office doesn't do email, and TR doesn't do phones). Grandma hadn't gotten home yet. I picked up the phone and sat on hold for a while before someone picked up. I explained the situation and gave her Tyler's personal info just as two things happened. One, the doorbell rang, and it was Tyler's Aunt Jan at the door. Two, the clock hit 5 PM, and my call to the doctor's office was automatically disconnected.
I called back and the on-call person for messaging told me that the office stops answering the phone at 5 PM, but is actually open to 8 PM. So, while visiting with Jan, I got Mapquest directions to the office in Nampa, 30 miles away. Grandma got back, and I got about 10 seconds into explaining what was going on with Tyler's knee before starting to cry and having to leave the room to collect myself.
Jan kindly offered to call the office on Monday and be an email go-between, which I gratefully accepted. Then Tyler's Uncle Bob arrived, and we all sat and visited around the table until dinnertime. Grandma and I finished eating at 9.
I also find out that there is a shared flight going back in to TR the next morning (Saturday). I call Arnolds and reserve my spot. I will have to leave Boise by 7 AM the next morning.
At this point, I had two errands left. I needed to return some TR items to Fred Meyer (found a significantly better price elsewhere), and I needed to do the rest of our grocery shopping at WinCo.
I went to Fred Meyer first. I returned four pillows, four doormats, a cutting board, and some batteries. Luckily, this was easy because I'd been keeping all my official paperwork...receipts, credit card, designated user form, tax-exemption numbers, and permission slips...in a big manila envelope, so it was all in one place. The return went fine. I went back into the store briefly to get a couple of bowls for Tyler and I (personal purchase...we like bigger bowls), then headed for WinCo.
This store was in downtown Boise, and it was an extra challenge driving though town because a lot of streets were closed, some for the Ironman triathlon the next day, and some for J.R. Simplot's big funeral procession the next morning. But I made it there okay. I spent the next hour and a half shopping inside. Why did it take so long? Well, WinCo is huge and you have to walk the aisles, I was shopping for Tyler and I AND the carpenters, I had to get a lot of heavy canned goods, a lot of fresh produce to go on top, and a lot of frozen foods that I tried to take off the shelf as late as possible. My cart was totally full, it took a long time to load the conveyor, I did two separate transactions, and you have to bag all your own groceries.
I went back out to the parking lot. I got all the bags loaded in the car. I took all the frozen stuff out of the boxes (to save space) and loaded it into two coolers I brought. I tossed the boxes. I got in the car. I look over at my passenger seat, where I've been saving my important stuff.
The manila envelope is gone.
WinCo was for personal stuff, so I didn't take the envelope inside. The last place I used it was at Fred Meyer. It's not in the back of the car. It has to be back at the store.
I speed down Broadway back to the shopping center. My dashboard light display is weak now, from an electrical issue involving my attempt to use the emergency flashers the day before. I arrive at 11:08, eight minutes after the store closes.
I SPRINT up to the automatic doors and pound on them with my fists and the flat of my hand. There is an employee near the doors with his back to me, but because there's an atrium and a second set of doors between me and him, he can't hear me, no matter how loud I scream. He walks out of sight. I sprint to the other doors. Nobody.
I have lost all the receipts for hundreds of dollars worth of items for official UI business. I have lost Holly's personal credit card. I am going to get fired.
If I can't get this envelope, I am either going to have to go back to TR without it, or I am going to have to call Arnolds and cancel for the SECOND time in two days until I find that stuff.
I run around the store to the garden center. Everything is locked. Nobody hears me. I remember that with big box stores, most employees park around the back. I start running to the back of the huge store, and sure enough, there is a car pulling away. I flag it down. It is the store manager. I frantically explain what's happening, and he kindly tells me there is an employee still inside who will come unlock the front door for me. He calls the employee on his cell phone to tell him about me before he drives home.
I stand out in front, shaking like a leaf, until the employee (the night manager) comes and opens the door. He remembered me from two hours before when I returned some items (he had to approve the return), but hasn't seen my envelope. I look all over the service counter. He looks behind the counter and in the drawers. No envelope. I look back over all of the checkout counters and in all of the garbage cans. NO ENVELOPE.
I put everything in this envelope in order to keep my shit together and be responsible. I ended up doing the exact opposite. Everyone is going to be monumentally pissed at me, and I am going to be fired.
There is a lost and found box, but he doesn't have the key. I am crying. He opens up a key box and finds a key that he thinks might work. He opens up the drawer. There is my envelope, with a note on it that reads "left at checkstand."
I give the guy a HUGE bear hug. He laughs and walks me out. I go back to Grandma's. It's 11:30 and she's up waiting for me, worried. I feel like such shit.
I put the frozen stuff in the cooler and say my goodbyes to her, because I won't see her in the morning.
I go to bed and try to sleep. It doesn't work.
So, that was Friday, May 30th. Fuck that day. Fuck that day to pieces.