Friday, July 12, 2013

On Jury Duty, Meat Grinders, and Deadlines

This is from a bygone fictional era.
Remember when summer was a time of vacation, sunshine, a beautiful and all-consuming embrace of something called "break?"

Yeah, in Grownuplandia, it's more like vocation, stressful deadlines, and a relentless and all-consuming ongoing attempt to avoid going "broke."

I shouldn't complain, really; things are good. But every once in awhile, you need to let off some steam about the LITTLE THINGS that add up to BIG FRUSTRATION, and that's what this post is all about. Be warned!

So, life's a stubborn beastie, and thus despite the fact that I have all of these incredibly important personal goals (which, yeah, now include planning a wedding - see, this post is totally on-topic), the rest of the world around me refuses to take a chill pill. Life keeps barreling forward. This is not unexpected. But what I was unprepared for this summer is just how many ADDITIONAL, INSANELY MUNDANE things the universe was planning to toss my way, such as:

For realsies.
JURY DUTY. I've been pre-selected to sit on a jury next week. I have no idea what this means, other than unlike everyone else I know here, I don't get to call in and find out whether or not I need to show up (my paperwork says very specifically NOT to do that). I have to be at the courthouse, 30 minutes away, at 8AM on Monday or be found "in contempt."

Yay, civic duty that will suck up an indeterminate amount of time starting Monday!

A MEAT GRINDER. Sounds sort of horror-film-y and interesting, right? WRONG. To make a painfully long story short, about a year ago I got a meat grinder from a credit card rewards program. To anyone who knows my dietary habits, that's a bit silly.

So I sold it on - to some psychopath in New York who insisted on returning it, despite there being nothing wrong with it, and sent me many nasty messages with ALL CAPS AND IN-COLOR BOLDED YELLING TEXT threatening bad feedback if I didn't accept the return and cover all shipping costs (plus return money + original shipping.)

So I was now $40 in the hole on this stupid free meat grinder. After letting it sit in its box for another six months, I decided to try selling it on ebay in May. All went well. Or so I thought. Now THIS buyer wants a return, but has USED THE FREAKING MEAT GRINDER. I will bore you no further with details, but suffice to say it's looking like I'll wind up losing about $75 on this stupid thing. And letting the second buyer just keep it. Meanwhile, this whole debacle has not only cost me $75 but also a ton of time - literally DOZENS of emails, plus a few post office trips. How did I get into this situation? Oh, right. Stupid credit rewards program. I should shred that credit card.. If only I had a meat grinder...

DEADLINES. Somehow, on all work fronts-- all of which were supposed to be relatively calmer, schedule-wise, over the summer --I've had multiple moderate-to-huge-deadlines for the past several weeks. Deadlines associated with clients means deadlines I have to meet, to avoid that aforementioned BROKE fear.

Which means my personal writing deadlines, from this blog to the current novel I'm working on to keeping up with my reading (since you can't be a great writer if you don't read - just ask Stephen King) all get shoved back. It also means turning down other things I'd like to be doing, and feeling generally at Stress Level 10.

All of these things led to last night, when I dragged The Fiance out to a nice restaurant-- not because that's a nice thing to do, but because I had a deadline to write a review of the place --only to find it closed due to some plumbing issue or something. So we went elsewhere, and while we waited on our entrees, in an attempt to explain my mood and be sweet about it, I told him:

"I'm feeling overwhelmed right now. I have all these deadlines and the jury duty and the stupid freaking meat grinder debacle, and I'm behind on emails and wedding planning and house stuff and everything else... the nice thing is, there are a million things stressing out - but you're not one of them. So thank you."

To which he raised an eyebrow and said: "Give me time."

Ooooh, buddy...

(Luckily, he then said the right and reassuring things; he just can't help saying something snarky first. It's like a disease. A communicable disease which I also have, but with me, it's like a chronic re-occurring condition-- with that guy, it's terminal.)

Anyway, thanks for indulging me in a little vent-sesh. Now it's back to the deadlines, which I've decided WILL include one more post this week/weekend before jury duty begins. Or in a fit of meat grinder madness, I shred a calendar.


1 comment:

  1. I am still mystified by the meat grinder... how does such a thing end up as a "reward"? It is definitely Stephen King-ish.

    Hey, at least jury duty will be grist for the mill... or meat for the grinder...