Monday, July 11, 2011

Today's fortune: July 11, 2011

Today's fortune: Be assertive when decisive action is needed.

I failed to take decisive action today, and it nearly ruined my week.

It's Monday, but instead of spending the day at Acme Co. I took three days off this week. I don't have to go to work until Thursday, which is pretty awesome, then it's only two days on before another weekend. I didn't have anything planned, except for doing some stuff around the house, but with Jamie laid up (she threw out her back over the weekend), I've been happily dedicating most of my time to helping her out.

Today, during one of our two trips to a chiropractor's office, Jamie noticed a mobile blood bank parked alongside the building. "Let's go give blood!" she said.

"Hell no," I responded. I'm not against giving blood - quite the contrary, in fact, I think it's an amazingly easy way to make the world a better place - but it's 99 degrees in Kansas City today. I had no desire to undertake a medical procedure in the back of what was sure to be a sweltering bus, even if they did have the AC running full blast.

But Jamie still wanted to give blood, bless her heart. And I waffled. What I should have said was, "No, let's both go give blood tomorrow at the Community Blood Center. It'll be a lot cooler, and we can make a fun afternoon out of it." That would have been assertive and decisive. But no. Instead we agreed that Jamie would go give blood and I'd go somewhere for a while and then pick her up when she was done.

The problem was, I didn't have anywhere to go. I drove around for a while before ending up in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. I went inside, but I didn't want to buy any food, so I just sat there and felt stupid for a while. Since it was still hot inside the restaurant, and since the tables were sticky, and since I felt bad for loitering without a purchase, I left. I drove around some more and finally parked underneath a shade tree in a different parking lot. I shut off the engine, rolled down the windows and turned the radio to sports talk and closed my eyes. After what seemed like a week and a half, I got a text message from Jamie saying it would only be another TWENTY FREAKING MINUTES.

That's when I reached my boiling point (pun intended). I was angry at myself for letting her do this to me, angry at myself for wasting my vacation melting under the sun, and angry at myself for being angry at myself. I wanted to cry, and it may be that I did cry and the tears evaporated on contact.

Finally she texted me that she was finished. I picked her up and drove home, still angry and frustrated. When we got home I went to the bedroom and Jamie stopped at the living room. She wanted to give me space. After a while, she sent me a text message:

I love you :)

I walked out to the living room and sat down next to her. I apologized and she apologized. I asked her how her back was feeling, and I asked her if giving blood was painful. Then I asked if she had gotten a cookie at the bloodmobile.

"Yeah," she said. "It's still in my purse. I saved it for you."

Overcome with emotion, I hugged her, but then I realized they gave her that cookie for a reason. I remembered today's fortune and took decisive action.

"No," I said. "That's sweet, but you have to eat the cookie yourself. You need to replenish your system. Here. Eat the cookie."

She ate it. I brought her a soda to wash it down.

Now Jamie and I are made up, and all is right with the world. Let the vacation continue.

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