Thursday, February 3, 2011

Paying it Forward, Laterally, or Backward

Before we begin, I will warn you that this is not going to be a happy post--it may have a bit of pity in it. And it may be a bit lengthy. Also, my typing sucks, which I will explain later. So sit back and read on. Oh, and grab a snack first. I'll wait.

C'mon long does it take? Er, I mean...glad you're back!

So...2011. New year, new suck. Why's that? Let me get you caught up. Now would be an excellent time to make those "Wayne's World" flashback motions and noises.

In 2010: K had to undergo non-elective surgery, went through a six-month recovery, then found out she's allergic to just about everything except air. Her cat died. A very good Internet friend of mine passed away unexpectedly (I won't forget you, Moby), and the guinea pigs we surprised the girls with from Santa Claus did their replacements.

Fast forward to this week. We'd been planning a Disney land/cruise vacation since mid-summer. When were we supposed to leave? Smack dab in the middle of "Bigass Disastrous Bitch of a Snowstorm Ha Ha". Needless to say our carefully-planned vacation became a failcation in a heartbeat. We had to scrap the whole thing. We have travel insurance, but it's really difficult to explain that to two little girls to whom I'd been talking up this vacation for months. We'd gotten a phenomenal deal and even, at the last minute, received a free room upgrade on the ship to a cabin with a freaking veranda!!! So, yeah, we get all that money back, right? Well, not quite. See, Southwest Airlines has refunded our money (which is good) but they've refunded it directly to my credit card (which is bad).

Why bad, children? We paid everything off in advance--done...100%. Well, my credit card has a balance...more than the refund. So, basically, part of my credit card gets paid off and we don't have the money to chip in for a future vacation...and my credit card still has a balance on it.

So we stayed at my in-laws' for four nights, cooped up and unable to really go anywhere. I helped install some wood flooring and otherwise tried to keep myself occupied. But I decided it was past time for me to get the hell out when the father-in-law started criticizing my prolific utilization of my iPhone. Though I tried to explain later that I had been tracking school closings, work closings, airport closings, airline schedules, register with the airline, and keep in touch with people back home so that I could determine if it was safe to return. Needless to say, it irritated me enough, nay, pissed me off enough to return home today, since I was already in a stellar mood from the failcation.

So I returned home ahead of the rest of the family so that I could dig out and attempt to go to work (long story short, no plow and lots of snow make me not able to get to work, but the driveway is clear!). All the roads are fine until I turn into our neighborhood. Wow. I can imagine snowplows taking a look at my neighborhood, crying like a little schoolgirl, and running away, screaming while simultaneously peeing its little snowpants. I try my best to navigate and see an oncoming SUV. I "sort of" pull over to let his big ass through and promptly get stuck. He proceeds to take up the entire road and pass me up, not even stopping to see if I need help.

Eight other cars do the exact same thing while I am trying to dig out. Home is just a hundred yards or so away, yet I'm stuck, with two impatient dogs in the vehicle. So asshole after asshole just passes me, watching, until three neighborhood kids come over with shovels and help me dig (I took a shovel and chipped in). I owe these kids cookies or something and, believe me, I'll pay up.

After taking one pass down my street (and finding nowhere to actually park due to the butt ton of snow) I pull into my next-door neighbor's shoveled driveway and make sure it's okay with him if I park there temporarily. K's dog (who is 40-50 pounds) freaks out when I let her out of the car and I have to carry her through 14-16 inches of snow. Meanwhile, my dog (a 7-lb papillon) bravely tromps through the snow, tunneling and bounding. *facepalm*

Almost there, I promise. No, really. Anyway, the shovel come
s out and I promptly get to work. I'm badass. No, I'm not tooting my own horn. I'm a badass snow-shoveling, driveway clearing machine. Suck it, snow! I clear more than enough to get the vehicle in the garage. Soon, I notice my neighbor (across the road) trying to dig out. I help him. He's clear. Later, I notice a neighbor across the road and two doors down. Her SUV is stuck halfway in her driveway. I shovel out her car and push it to get it going. Then, after she leaves, I shovel the rest of her driveway. Back to my own. A lady two across the road and two doors down the other way is trying to shovel herself out, too. I promptly walk down and pitch in. After we've got a path for her car, work calls and I head back inside for a teleconference. Afterward, I shovel the rest of my driveway AND half the street in front. Yeah, badass.

So I'm feeling awesome helping all these people but I'm also a bit
dismayed at their behavior. Sure, the guy across the street was thankful, but he never once offered to return the favor--not even for just a few minutes. And the last lady I helped received help from someone else and, when they were done, just stood and chatted and laughed while I was obviously shoveling my own driveway. I mean, seriously? Yeah, a bit disheartening. Faith in humanity: further lost (though I have hope for the three kids). I don't really expect thanks or payback for things I do--I do these things because I want to help. But, damn...I figured there would be one person who would be like-minded.

Alright, I think I'm done for now. I can't grip much or type well because my hands, arms, and fingers are tired. But it's all done. I can't really get out of the neighborhood so I hope that changes at some point. I would really like to just eat a moose and hibernate until spring. Can I do that?

Anyway, here's a pic. Believe me, it's more snow than it looks.


Anonymous said...

Can't you just charge the vacation again? You'll just have more of a balance, but that's what you had before, right?

Clefton Twain said...

Yeah, my credit card balance would go back up. Not really what we want, as we're struggling to pay the cards off as it is.

SarahRYMoore said...

Ahhhh man! Sorry Sean. And I now I get why K posted on one of my FB status that she "hates me just a little bit right now." :( Tear, tear. I'm so sorry....

Hang in there. I totally get the whole deal, money and all. It's just one big frustrating mess. Hugs...