I hate Vaguebooking more than many things in life, and I did it all day today, so my apologies to those of you would saw my day bookended by the twin statii
Dear Driver Who Slowed Down to Look as He/She passed Me Lying In the Snow Trying to Dig Out My Car in My Driveway on a Private Road with Only About 30 Residents and then Continued His/Her Merry Way,
You are a jerk.
No love, Me.
Quick PSA: When someone is having a complete breakdown in front of you and just barely holding it together because they’ve had a really shitty day and this is the last straw, the appropriate answer is NEVER, EVER “Oooh…well, it could be worse.” Yes, it could be worse. I could be dying of cancer. I could have a splinter in my foot. I could be having my arm gnawed off by a walrus. Yes, things could be worse. But right now, at this moment, for me, it is bad enough. Don’t minimize that.
To clear up the mystery that I’m sure has been haunting each of you all day – “What the heck happened to Karyn today?” I present to you “The Last 12 Hours of My Life” [as in, the 12 hours immediately preceding the time that is now, not to be confused with the final 12 hours of my life, which I hope will take place far in the future].
Prologue: It’s March Break. Ben, Molly and I are up at my parents’ ski chalet, which is on very small, private (as in, not municipally maintained) crescent. There are 20, maybe 30 chalets in all on this road. Ben and Molly are in a ski day camp. Yesterday the weather was balmy. Today there was a massive snow storm.
9:10 AM Realized we had plenty of time. Let Ben and Molly continue playing before getting ready to go.
9:30 AM Told Ben and Molly it was time to get ready to go. They did not share my sense of urgency.
10:00 AM Actually got out the door and into the car. Realized that my decision to park in the middle of the half-circle driveway facing the steeper exit was not my best ever.
10:02 AM Ben: “We’re stuck, aren’t we?” Car: “whuh-ERRRRRRR” Ben: “Yep. We’re stuck.”
10:02-10:30 AM Tried to dig the car out with bare hands and a snow brush.
10:30 AM Abandoned the idea of getting the kids to ski school and sent them inside. Put on mitts. Searched, unsuccessfully, for a shovel. Continued, unsuccessfully, to try to dig car out with snow brush. Watched Jerk #1 drive by slowly.
10:45 AM Gave up and went inside.
12:00 PM Dressed warmly, armed myself with a broom, and went back out to try again.
12:00-12:30 PM Alternated laying on the ground digging under the car with broom handle and trying to rock the car out in reverse. Watched Jerk #2 drive by, slowing down for a good look at the chick lying under her car.
12:30 PM Knocked on neighbours’ door.
12:30-1:00 PM Lovely older couple with much better tools than my broom and snow brush dug the car out. With me and her pushing, he successfully backed the car out of the snowbank and into the snowbank on the other side of the driveway.
1:00-1:10 PM Dug the car out of that snowbank and pushed it up onto the road.
1:15 PM Loaded the kids into the car and took them up to the hill for their afternoon session.
1:45 PM Molly refused to ski.
2:50 PM Put Molly into the car and tried to pull out of parking space. Stuck. For once someone ACTUALLY STOPPED and pushed me out. Yay!
3:00 PM Picked Ben up and drove back down the hill. Discovered that the entrance to the private road had been blocked by the municipal plow. Tried to dig it out with Ben’s ski. Municipal plow drove by, presumably laughing at me.
3:15 PM Drove back up to the ski hill and explained the situation, and asked to borrow a shovel. Lady at the desk said, “Oh my! You’re about to have a breakdown, aren’t you?” Burst into tears. She had a girl take me out to find the shovel. Girl said comfortingly, “Oh, well…it could be worse though.” I said, “
True. I could be facing charges for having kicked in your stupid teeth, you utter moron… Uh-huh.”
3:25-3:40 PM Shoveled out the road, stopping to give thumbs up to Jerks #3-12, who drove by without stopping. Special honourable mention to Giant Jerkwad Supreme in the pick-up truck with the plow attachment who could have done it for me in one pass. Drove home to the chalet. Backed into parking space. Pretty sure I’m stuck again but no longer care.
3:45 PM Phoned Municipal Public Works office and was assured that blocking in the private road was standard practice, as was ignoring motorists stranded by the aforementioned action. “If the plow driver stopped to help ever stranded motorist, we’d never get the roads cleared.” Hung up on him. Got a big cuddle from Ben. Felt marginally better.
4:00 PM My mom called. She agreed that John from Public Works was a dick and all the people who didn’t stop were jerks. Felt somewhat better.
4:15-5:30 PM Chatted with friends and received “likes” on Vaguebook. Felt significantly better.
5:30 PM Built a fire and toasted and ate 1 bag of marshmallows (with the help of the kids). Felt quite a lot better but now slightly ill.
9:10 PM Finally was able to see the humour and wrote this post.
Epilogue: In conclusion
1. Yes, it definitely could be worse. I have a pretty awesome life, and at no point was I or any of my loved ones in danger of losing it. But still, sometimes things suck and you get upset…and whatever has caused it, telling a person who is upset about their particular circumstances, “It could be worse,” is not comforting, it is invalidating and minimizing. So if, “smack upside the head to give perspective,” is what you’re going for, then by all means, say that, but if you’re aiming for “comfort and console,” try a simple, “That sucks. I’m sorry.”
2. People are stupid jerks, but it’s nothing a roaring fire and a bag of toasted icing sugar, artificial vanilla flavouring, and gelatin can’t fix.