This morning, Bun Bun had to visit the orthodontist to have a piece of metal put back on one of her teeth. It’s part of the head gear she wears to help straighten her smile and the whole ordeal is so much more trouble than I anticipated. Whatever. When I called on Friday to let them know this piece had fallen off, they scheduled us for Monday morning. “Don’t forget to bring in the head gear,” were the last words I heard the dental assistant say. We put it in a plastic bag and Bun Bun carried it out to the car this morning along with her backpack for school, where she’d be headed after her appointment.
After getting my parking stub and pulling into a spot at the medical building, I got out of the car but Bun Bun didn’t. When I opened the side door of the swagger wagon and asked her “What’s up?”, she didn’t answer. She was nervously looking around for the damn head gear. I don’t drive an RV so there are only so many places to look and as far as I know, plastic bags don’t spontaneously walk around and hide for no good reason. It had to be somewhere, yet it wasn’t. She swore she’d brought it with her and yet she obviously hadn’t. We couldn’t find it anywhere.
Out of the lot I peeled, scaring the crap out of the parking attendant who took my dollar but promised not to charge me upon my return and we headed back home, about three miles away. I was angry and frustrated – I hate Monday mornings anyway and I should have taken care of it myself – and Bun Bun was confused and upset. She tends to fall apart when I’m mad at her, which then makes me uncomfortable and the whole situation ends up being a giant clusterf***.
By the time we pulled into our garage, I was breathing again but still couldn’t locate the apparatus anywhere in the house. When I pulled open the side door of the minivan opposite where Bun Bun had put her stuff and found the plastic bag lying next to the seat, I wanted to scream. Had I, I would have said the following:
“Dammit, I thought you LOOKED over there! How could YOU not have looked over there?! Why didn’t I look over there? How did the goddamn bag get over there in the first place?! Half an hour of my day, gone! I hate my life!”
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I overreacted. You’re thinking I’m unstable. You’re concerned for Bun Bun. How could I hate my life simply because I was inconvenienced this morning by a ten-year-old and her orthodontic head gear?
OR you’re saying, yeah I get it. One stupid little thing goes wrong, like you miss the green lights by a second, or you get home from the store having forgotten to buy toilet paper, or you can’t find a parking spot at Trader Joe’s no matter how many times you circle around, and you think – my life sucks. Why? Because you know there are people for whom the lights are always green, their ducks are in a row and so their shopping lists are always complete, parking spots open for them as if Moses were parting the Red Sea, AND all of their children have straight, white teeth.
The problem with losing my cool, particularly with Bun Bun, is that I have to do damage control, which requires more from me than I’m sometimes capable of. We didn’t say a word to each other on the way back to the doctor’s office and that’s just plain awkward, so while we were heading inside the building, I threw both my arms around her and pulled her tight. Mostly it’s all I ever wanted when I was a kid, and it works like a charm with her. I apologized, also. I still felt as if I hated my life, though, and that disturbed me until I realized how the morning had begun. I’d made myself a cup of tea after discovering I’d run out of coffee. I like tea, but I NEED coffee. What kind of a person forgets to put coffee on their shopping list?! The same kind of person who hasn’t put a photo in an album since 2001.
Fortunately, there’s a Starbucks right next to my daughters’ school. I filled up with a grande half-caff and by the time I got to Trader Joe’s fifteen minutes later, a car was pulling out of a space just as I was pulling in. I’m currently enjoying a cup of TJ’s Joe’s Dark blend and feeling improved chances of having a happy life.
Thanks all of you for allowing me to post an 800-word article that could just have easily been tweeted: Orthodontic head gear missing. I hate my life. I haven’t had coffee. (With 70 characters to spare.)