So this morning I wrote: And also, last year on Christmas day I had to run 20 miles before snow blew through our area, so I figure ANYTHING that happens tomorrow will be a million times better than what I was doing last Christmas day. Yes, even driving 400 miles in a rental car without cruise control (oh the horror!) is better than running 20 miles on Christmas day.
That, my friends, is what we in the biz call foreshadowing. Although, is it technically called foreshadowing when you don’t know you’re foreshadowing unpleasant things to come? I guess that’s why I’m not really in the ‘biz.’ Foreshadowing (or whatever term you might use in its place) aside, what I did was open my big trap and shoot myself in the foot. Or, more accurately, in the tire, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The most valuable Christmas lesson I’ve ever learned is this: when you say “ANYTHING that happens tomorrow will be better than what I was doing last Christmas day”, it’s pretty much guaranteed that something worse will happen.
Caroline and I made it 25 miles into our 400 mile trip this morning when we stopped for coffee and discovered a flat tire….and a giant nail embedded in the flat tire.
A flat tire. A giant nail puncture wound. In a rental car. On Christmas day. Twenty five miles from home. Three hundred and seventy five miles from Charlotte.
I called the car rental company (Enterprise) and they dispatched roadside assistance. Less than an hour later, some dude, who was as unhappy to be working on Christmas morning as I was to be stuck with a flat tire at a WaWa gas station in Stafford, Virginia on Christmas morning, swapped the flat tire for the stupid little donut tire in the trunk. The good news is that the car was driveable, but the bad news was that there was no possible way I could have driven a car with a donut tire 375 miles to reach our destination. And of course, acquiring a different rental car was out of the question because it’s Christmas. The Enterprise car rental places were/are closed, including the one at the nearest airport in Richmond.
So we drove home.
Because there really wasn’t much else I could do.
We’re trying again tomorrow.
We’ll swing by the Enterprise place as soon as it opens and with any luck we’ll get a new car (preferably one with cruise control and windows that lower with the press of a button and not the old fashioned way…I know I’m spoiled) and be on our way. A day late. And several dollars short. Because I booked two hotel rooms, one in Charlotte for tonight and one for our planned excursion to Asheville on Monday, via the ‘internet special rate’ which does not allow for cancellations. I’m sure I could contest the non-refund policy, but honestly, I just kind of want to forget this all happened. I’m feeling a bit discouraged by all of this and being persistent on the phone isn’t part of the wallowing-in-self-pity plan. I realize worse things could have happened, but still, to have our Christmas plans go so awry is kind of depressing.
Caroline, on the other hand, is nonplussed by the entire thing. In fact, I haven’t seen her since we got home, because she’s been out with her friends playing with all of their newly acquired Christmas loot.
I, on the other hand, just want to take a nap. I got up at 4:45 am this morning and all I have to show for it is dark circles under my eyes and a stupid donut tire on a stupid, dinky rental car.
I wish I had a more enchanted tale to tell you all. You know, something to make the yuletide gay, or whatever, but I’m at a loss. My sister isn’t happy we didn’t make it, either. Not because she misses us so terribly, but because we were her ticket to getting out of her boyfriend’s family’s very large and festive annual Christmas gathering. Our family is small and kind of lame and not really in to BIG family celebrations. Mostly because we’re all scattered about, but also because we’re kind of lame (sorry, family!) . But her boyfriend’s family is the opposite; they’re fans of big gatherings, complete with singing Christmas songs and playing games. Laura, Caroline and I planned to lay low and eat thai food. But, instead, I’m still in Virginia and Laura is at her boyfriend’s family gathering watching basketball and no doubt, having the time of her life.
In fact, I have proof she’s having a blast; she texted me a little while ago with this gem: I hate u. I have to wear a santa hat.
I hope they start singing the Twelve Days of Christmas soon!