Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hugged by the tow truck guy

Not the tow truck that helped me.

I knew it was snowing a lot today, but from my window I had no idea how much had actually come down. When I finally went out, my car almost got stuck three times just moving it from where David left it on the street in the morning (and where, strangely, it had accumulated no covering of snow) into my neighbors' driveway to load up kids to take friends home and make a grocery run before it *really* started to snow. Yes, I said "into my neighbors' driveway." I had quickly realized there was too much snow in mine to make it a safe place to park.

Anyway, I got off my street and dropped off the friends and then by a series a what I thought were rational and defensive choices, I ended up stuck on a ridiculous jutting curb deep in the snow on a private drive tucked away in a corner of Cleveland Heights between a regular residential neighborhood and a defunct golf course. Nevermind exactly how it happened. There I was, just exactly where I did not intend to be -- and on top of all that it was 18 degrees and somehow O had managed to get out of the house without donning a proper coat.

I called triple-a and was on hold forever, so I gave up for a while and called Chris, father of the kids I had just dropped off, and asked for his help -- points for me, because asking for help is so hard for me; points for Chris, because he was so cheerful about helping. I got back on the phone with the auto club, was aggressively ignored by a woman from a nearby house who tried and failed to drive a very, comically large truck past my skewed and stuck little Matrix, spent what felt like an hour trying to explain to the dispatcher where this "street" I was on is located, as it shows up on no maps or gps systems. In the midst, Chris showed up with a mini van full of kids with shovels and drop cloths and enthusiasm.

We failed to get my car, Susie we call her affectionately, to move even the tiniest bit. Eventually a neighborhood man (husband I think to the unhelpful woman) showed up to berate me, a nonresident, for blocking their street right when everyone would be coming home from work. Honestly. As though I had done it on purpose just to inconvenience him. He did offer at first to go get his truck to pull me out, but quickly decided to "leave the liability" to the professional towing company.

I left Susie with the blinkers on, Chris informed the police that the car was there, and we went back to their house to wait for the tow truck. The tow truck guy and I had quite a time going through the directions to the non-street with the ridiculous curb, and once he was there, we had quite a time figuring out how to angle the tow bar in the ridiculous non-street-curb-alley geometry (temperature now at 14 degrees, sun down, and snow still falling). While he was struggling with my car, another large truck of the neighborhood came down the alley, disgorged a pregnant lady, who also studiously ignored me, my car, the tow truck, etc., then sat blocking the way for the tow truck to move forward.

But finally, tow truck guy managed to pick up my front wheels and backed her up over the curb. I tested the car and all was well. "Well, that'll do you," the tow truck guy said. I thanked him profusely, slipped him a tip (that I had to borrow from friend Marcie), and received a big, cheerful, warm embrace. "Have a happy new year," he said.

Points to tow truck guy and to Marcie (IOU). Deduction of points from unhelpful residents of unnamed private drive. Snow wins.

Reading: Yes.

Writing: Yes.

Dinner: David did the shopping I intended to do, and came home and made nachos. Points to David.

Soundtrack: I don't recall.

Random thing: In all the house rearranging we've been doing, we've ended up with a big pile of stationery and office supplies in the dining room (really, art and music and fancy dishes and piles of paper room). I've always had a thing for writing paper and envelopes and interesting cards and sealing wax and stamps. If I had room for any more resolutions it would be to renew the art of letter writing. This will likely have to wait for another year.

Before I thought to ask Marcie to lend me money to tip the tow truck guy, who really was working with such wry humor in such crappy circumstances with a lot of concern for not damaging my car in the process, I entertained the thought of telling him I wanted to tip him but had no cash and promising to send him a tip in the mail. I had a mini fantasy about how promptly and in what nice packaging my promised but not necessarily actually expected tip would arrive, and what good that would do in the world. An exhange of heartfelt cash and a hug is also good.

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