Marc visited his family in San Diego for the Christmas holidays. I was invited to accompany him but opted for twelve glorious days of soul-searching, stress-free solitude and serenity. I love my husband, but I'm a person who desperately needs long periods of being alone. Married life doesn't often afford me that luxury, so I'd planned on removing the receiver from the phone and avoiding contact with all humankind, except for one evening when I would attend a holiday party at my daughter's house. I'd also planned to clean up my office, work out at the gym every day and only eat fish and salads.
Bad things began to happen right about the time that the UPS man left a three-pound box of Godiva chocolates at my door.
I swore I wouldn't open it. I swore I'd save the entire box for Marc. I went so far as to hide the box in a rarely visited closet, but as luck would have it, the very next day I searched and found it in no time flat.
Before I knew it, I had devoured the entire top layer, followed by a four ounce piece of broiled salmon and a lettuce leaf for dessert.
The next day, I begrudgingly drove to the gym, parked, sat in my car for five indecisive minutes, turned around and came home. Nobody ever said that entering the gym was a prerequisite to weight loss. Just showing up has to have some benefits.
One day, I went shopping. One day, I drove to my favorite sushi haunt. One day, I didn't bother making my bed, and another day I decided that since there was nobody around to smell me, a shower wasn't necessary; all wonderful entitlements that come with living alone.
On Christmas Eve, I planned on driving my husband's four-wheel drive SUV to my daughter's house. It's safer than my convertible on the dark, winding, snow-covered country roads I'd be traveling. But, when I turned the key in the ignition, the battery was dead.
I reported the situation to Marc in California.
"I think you should take your own car to your daughter's," he advised. I appreciated his wisdom. My plan, of course, had been to walk the 12 miles to her house.
It was several evenings later when Marc was already in the sky and heading home, that I remembered to phone AAA to jump-start his car. Before the guy left, he advised that I leave the car running for at least 10 minutes. I looked at the gas gauge and saw it was nearly on empty, so up the stairs I went for my glasses and pocketbook. I backed the car out of the garage and headed toward the closest gas station, 10 minutes away, all the while worrying that I might run out of gas before I got there.
I pulled into the gas station, checked my gauge again and was shocked to see it now registered half full. The car wasn't on a hill, so how could the needle have jumped so high?
Suddenly, my eyes caught sight of yet another gauge, above the one I'd been reading. It showed the tank to be nearly three-quarters full. Totally puzzled, I squinted and discovered that what I'd been reading was the temperature gauge. The letter I thought was an "E" was actually a "C," and now that the car was warm, the needle had moved up to between "C" and "H."
I sat in the car several moments trying to get a handle on my stupidity. Then I turned around and came home. Once there, I plopped my pocketbook down on my desk, where I noticed my wallet was lying. I had removed it from my purse earlier, to retrieve my AAA card.
Not only had I driven without my license but had I purchased gas, I could not have paid for it.
No wonder I'm exhausted all the time.
It's not easy being me.