Hello. I've been so busy.
One thing I had to do last Friday was show up at an imaging facility to have a routine diagnostic test. The kind that takes scarcely two whole minutes.
But that doesn't include your time in the waiting room.
My appointment was set for two o'clock. That's what the nice woman at the front desk told me when I made said appointment.
I arrived for the two o'clock appointment at one forty-five. I had already filled out my papers so all I had to do was hand those over.
Oh and produce my driver's license. Ostensibly to prove that I am who I say I am.
I am. Every single time.
(How do the poor ones in our society who howl about the unfairness -- like voter suppression -- of having to possess a valid photo ID, do anything? I have to pull mine out two or three times on a day of errands.)
Anyway. I sat down. A show was on the TV that featured people who had won the lottery, picking out their new luxury living arrangements. The first couple doing the picking were both of the male persuasion.
Two o'clock came and went. Two fifteen passed into eternity. I had noticed a sign at the front desk reminding patients that they do all sorts of tests there, and that if someone who came in after you got called before you, not to read anything into that because they may be getting a different sort of test.
But to certainly say something if you had been waiting for more than fifteen minutes.
Okay. Wanting to work on the virtue of patience, I said to myself, Jenny, watch the (now hetero) lottery-winning couple picking out their new house. (I had a favorite). If they don't call you before two-thirty, you'll get to see if they picked the one you wanted.
I waited. Having decided it wouldn't be practical to blow practically their whole million on a house, the man and his wife didn't pick the one I wanted.
(Yes; my favorite real estate was the most expensive. Don't judge.)
Two thirty post meridiem on Friday, February twenty-fourth, two thousand seventeen, became history.
So I went to the desk. I said, Hey. My appointment was for two o'clock and it's after two thirty. Will I be seen today?
The extremely kind and courteous lady engaged her keyboard in a spate of tapping and consulted her monitor. She told me it would just be another minute or so.
I went and stood near the door that would open when it was my turn.
It opened as promised after only two minutes. A woman glanced up and said Jennifer Weber as though she'd rather be cleaning out her refrigerator.
I waved and began walking behind her. No niceties were exchanged. She kept her head down, looking at some papers in her hand.
Then she said it: You know your appointment was for two thirty; right?
What I don't know is how to describe the way her words, and the way she said them, made me feel. You've probably already felt it. Let's just move on.
But I replied: No; I know my appointment was for two o'clock. That's what the front-desk people told me.
Well this paper says two thirty, she said.
I doubt that, I said. Because it was for two o'clock. I turned into the dimly-lit appointment room and set my purse down on a chair.
You walked right past the dressing room, she said.
I turned around and began walking back towards my accuser/temporary jailer and (somewhere) the dressing room.
Get your purse, she said. Hearts and flowers pointedly omitted.
I retrieved my purse. I was shown into a three-by-four dressing room where I changed into a scrub top and removed my new Pandora necklace.
The scrub top was so comfortable, I made a mental note to buy one to wear on days when I have the blissful experience of not leaving my house and/or talking to anyone besides TG and Rizzo.
When I left six-and-a-half minutes later, I asked the kind lady at the front desk what time my appointment had been for.
Two o'clock, the nice woman chirped after consulting her screen.
I told her in a faintly aggrieved tone (I'm good at that; you should watch me work) that the woman in back had been under the impression that it was for two thirty.
We were backed up, she said. It's not your fault.
I gave up. I mean, I knew it wasn't my fault. But sometimes you take what you can get and move on. 'k bye.
Next stop -- freedom! -- was the Dollar General where I needed a large gift bag in which to place the giant fire-engine-red remote-control car we'd bought our only grandson for his fifth birthday. Also a card for him.
At the gift-wrap wall there were two racks stuffed with huge brightly-colored Happy Birthday! gift bags. The big sticker tag affixed to the end of the racks announced their cost:
Booyah. I picked the happiest bag and made my way to the birthday cards, where I selected a cute one-dollar version with dinosaurs that wished Andrew his best birthday in ages.
Two minutes later I was face-to-face with the cashier, a tall young black man who greeted me courteously and rang up my purchases. I had a five-dollar bill in my hand and had unzipped my wallet's change compartment -- because the total should have been three dollars and twenty-eight cents, and I wanted to get two singles back -- and waited.
That will be four eighty-two, the cashier said.
Wait. What? My hand holding the five went numb.
How much was that card? I said.
A dollar, he said.
Well how much was that bag? I said.
Three fifty, he said.
The sign clearly says those bags are two dollars, I complained. but I handed over the five and he took it and gave me back eighteen cents. I think it was obvious that I was not happy.
The cashier at DG should trade jobs with the technician at the imaging center because he was so conscientious.
I'll go look, he said. And he walked back to the gift wrap wall. In about two minutes, he returned.
You're right; it says they're two dollars, he said. But it's wrong.
I just stood there. Captain Jack Sparrow's sage advice came to mind: Close your eyes and pretend it's all a bad dream; that's how I get by.
But then he said: I'm going to refund you the difference. Because it's not your fault.
Well I know -- never mind.
I was refunded a dollar and sixty-one cents. I thanked him and he bade me a good day. What a sweetheart.
I won't say I ran a victory lap but I did go home and sit down. TG walked into the house two minutes later.
We got ready and went to Charlotte for little Andrew's birthday party. We reminisced about the time when he was only two.
Dagny inquired even of strangers inhaling Butter Burgers at Culver's (as she does everywhere) if they are two, because she is in fact two.
Do you want my two cents worth?
It's all good.
And that is all for now.