I was in a foul mood yesterday. Our heater isn't working, and our home insurance company most likely isn't going to pay for a new one because, according to their minions, the one we have now was improperly installed. A pre-existing condition, it would seem. Huh. Who would've guessed?
(Insert rantings here about the special circle in Hell reserved for all insurance companies and their minions.)
So, anyway. I was cold. I was working on a first draft of a novel, a terrible, horrible, demoralizing experience. And I had to go to the post office, to mail a package to Israel.
I have a bad habit of becoming enamored of plans I later regret. For some reason, in early March, I thought it would be fun to get involved in a $10 swap over at Ravelry, the knitting site. When I signed up, I said I'd be okay shipping overseas. I was feeling generous that day. I regret it now, of course.
After I signed up for the swap, I started checking out the postings for February's $10 swap, where people shared what they got, to get some idea of what was expected of me. Here's what became wildly clear: People were spending more than $10. Oh, a few people were keeping to the $10 limit, but their packages looked skimpy--a skein of yarn, a bar of chocolate, a few stitch markers, a postcard. Which is about what ten bucks will buy you.
Well, I got my package put together, and yes, I spent more than $10, though not a ton more. Maybe like $13. I skipped the chocolate. I packed everything up. I went to the post office. I waited in line. It was a long line. There were two "associates" with open windows, though other postal employees mosied in and out, chatting and humming merry little tunes. At one of the windows, a tiny, meek-looking woman appeared to be shipping the contents of her household to Siberia. There were many, many forms to fill out. She seemed to confused. The "associate" seemed confused. Clearly, the task of shipping this woman's worldy possessions across the world was going to take all day, maybe the rest of the year.
Finally, I reached the other window. The "associate" was friendly, competent, and had a nice sense of humor. I didn't appreciate it one bit. I was in a foul mood. I didn't want coddling. He informed me it would cost my right arm to mail my swap package to Israel. I gave it to him. I asked how much it would cost to get a confirmation number for the package--something that the Swap Gods require. He said it would cost me my first born child. I said to heck with the Swap Gods and their confirmation number requirement. I filled out the customs form. I left, feeling empty and out of sorts. Of course, I'd arrived feeling empty and out of sorts, so I couldn't really complain. But I did. In my head. Maybe I was muttering under my breath. Who knows.
I stayed in a foul mood for the rest of the day, until it occurred to me I should pretend we were living off the grid and that's why the house was so cold. Yes, off the grid except for electricity, computers and a fully-functioning gas stove. Well, really, that's about as close to off the grid as I'm going to get--all appliances and conveniences minus one--so I ran with that idea, and it actually cheered me up.
The heating people can't come til tomorrow, so I have another day of off-the-grid living. And it's cloudy and cool today, chance of rain. Clearly, this calls for lots of chocolate and an overdose of "Tales from Avonlea." But I'll do what I have to do to stay sane. I can't go on like this much longer.
Vive Le Français!
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