Today was a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG day.
I got a call from my husband at 8:30 this morning. I was about to go out and scrape the inch of SNOW off the car before heading to a client visit in a neighboring city. It seems that black ice had accumulated in a frighteningly short amount of time, and his wheels locked up when he took a turn off the freeway. He plowed into the curb and it bent the passenger side front wheel into the wheel well and the car was no longer drivable. It was 16 degrees outside, with a windchill factor of 4, and the snow was getting worse. I told him to find shelter immediately, and to hell with the car. He told me that there was a hotel about a half mile away, and he said to meet him there and he would make for that.
Lord have mercy what a drive. He managed to drive the car to the hotel (nearly running off the road in the process) while I was throwing on sweaters and socks and forgetting to eat breakfast in my haste, and I headed out into the snow to start the car. In the process, I broke the knob that controls the heater, so all that would work was the air conditioning. So off I went, slipping and sliding. It took a half hour to get to the freeway (normally it takes maybe eight minutes), then another half hour to get to the exit where the hotel was. The snow was so bad that I couldn't see to get over into the proper lane, and since the very polite and courteous drivers of Dallas would not let me over anyway, I had to turn around and try to find a back way. All the back roads were frozen. The intersections were iced over. And I was lost. Another half hour later, I eventually found the hotel, and my husband.
Who hadn't called a tow truck.
I think this is the moment when I bit my tongue off. He was pretty shook up, and cold, and bewildered. So, I gave him the number of roadside assistance through our insurance company (that he had on his keychain and didn't have the presence of mind to look for, poor guy) and let him handle it. I was reminded of similar incidents in childhood, where some crisis would occur, and my mom would have to go bail my dad out, or vice versa, and that's when the fireworks would start. They would start screaming at each other and calling names, which would terrify my sister and me (and passersby), and make the situation a thousand times worse than it had to be. Fortunately, I have learned from their mistakes, and from other old married ladies. It is disrespectful and unhelpful to berate a man when he's shook up, especially when he's your husband. So instead, I gave him a big hug and a kiss and let him take care of business. Meanwhile, I sat watching early morning trashy television and drinking bad hotel coffee and thinking "look on the bright side, kiddo: at least you didn't have to go visit that plague-ridden middle school this morning! And nobody got hurt. And our car has full coverage."
About fifteen minutes later, another man came in. He had the exact same thing happen to him at the exact same spot where my husband had his accident. He called AAA. We had called All-State. Forty-five minutes later, his tow truck arrived, and he left. Meanwhile, our truck was not scheduled to arrive until three hours later. So we waited. I was not pleased, but I didn't want to exacerbate the situation or upset my husband (whose hands finally stopped shaking by about 11:00). We watched some daytime talk show and marveled at how mean and catty women can be. We watched Divorce Court and marveled at a great many things. We watched TMZ Live and were convinced as to why the rest of the world hates America. And our pickup time came and went.
I was ready to go home. I had tons of work to do, but my dear husband wanted to be patient. So I bit my tongue (again), and sweetly asked him to call the insurance company and see what the deal was. So he eventually got through, and they said they'd text him back when they got the truck rescheduled. So we watched Judge Judy and an hour of local news, and another round of Divorce Court and no text.
Mrs. Karlsson decided that enough was enough. I could feel my blood starting to boil. I could also feel my blood sugar hit rock bottom. Let me tell you, the world does NOT want to deal with me after four cups of coffee and no food. I make Ivan the Terrible look like a saint. No joke. So I excused myself to the ladies' room to give myself a moment to come up with a logical argument as to why my dear sweet husband should stand up for his rights as a paying customer and call to demand an answer. This, I concluded, would be much more constructive than what I had witnessed in my youth when my parents would deal with a crisis by insulting each other and raising their voices so they could be heard three counties over (it always amazes me that nobody ever called the cops on them). So saying, I emerged from the ladies' room, smiled, and gave my husband a well-reasoned and calmly delivered argument as to why he should call again. So he did. "Oh! We forgot to reschedule!" said the agent. 'I'm going to need stitches,' I thought. I was very tempted to take the phone away from my husband and give the agent what-for, but I didn't. So my husband patiently explained that we had been waiting for several hours and no truck had arrived. They said they'd get back to him.
By this time, it was getting late, and I hadn't brought my husband's evening dose of anti-rejection medication for his transplanted liver, foolishly assuming that our insurance company was competent and we wouldn't have to wait ALL EFFING DAY FOR AN EFFING TOW TRUCK. *ahem* Excuse me. It was two hours before he was scheduled for his next dose when the insurance company finally got back to him and told him it would be another two hours before the tow truck would arrive. My dear, sweet husband agreed to wait.
At this point, Mrs. Karlsson had had Quite Enough. She quietly informed her husband through gritted teeth that we would leave the vehicle and deal with it in the morning, and that his medicine schedule was more important. He protested, but eventually conceded the point when I pointed out the likelihood of the truck actually arriving on time, the fact that the roads were getting worse, it was getting dark outside, and rush hour was about to start. I told him we'd be lucky if we made it home in time to take his medicine (it's really not a good idea to skip or be late with doses of anti-rejection medication: you could lose the transplanted organ and wind up dead). He argued that the hotel wouldn't let us park overnight. I said "ask and ye shall receive." So he went to ask. And they graciously agreed to let us leave the car (especially since two different shifts of employees had watched us wait in the lobby all day). That being done, we left for home.
After six hours of waiting for a truck that never came, we finally made it home, tired and hungry enough to douse the cats in pizza sauce and have at it. I decided that I would schedule a tow truck on my own for the morning and my husband could handle it on his way to work. And viola, it was done, easy-peasey. Ironically, an hour later, the tow truck that our insurance company provided called from the hotel parking lot to say they were ready to pick us up. My husband told them they were too late, that we had gone home after waiting for six hours and had hired someone else. Then he hung up.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I put it to you that even though me being patient with my husband and letting him handle things was a respectful and empowering thing to do, it was not productive and I feel we were taken advantage of by our lousy insurance company. I also lost a full day of work, which I can't afford since I've already been out sick for two weeks. When you're self-employed, if you don't work, you don't get paid. Also, I don't think there's enough thread in the world to stitch up all these bite marks on my tongue. I think I need skin grafts.
My patience sorely tried (albeit with a relieved hubby, which makes it worth it somehow), I bid you all good night. And I pity the fool who tries to cross me tomorrow.