Remember how I told you that the Carpenter sent me shopping for nails? Hold on to that thought, ‘cause this is a tale that goes full circle.

I am not a morning person. This is why I misread the warning signs on my car’s dashboard. Let the record show that I was misguided by unfulfilled caffeine intake.

I did not have the time to finish my morning java for two reasons: the first being that my morning unraveled as it often does.  Second, the Carpenter stole every reusable coffee mug in the house. No coffee to go. Yep, that’s right, it’s his fault.

In my half-caffeinated state, I drove the adolescent girl to school dressed as follows: my saggy, ripped blue jeans (a desperate attempt to feel 22), and a baggy, flannel sweatshirt long enough to cover pretty much everything. I completed the look with my no-tie sneakers, or idiot cleats, as I like to call them.

I hadn’t washed off the mascara I wore the day before and forgot about that when I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, to complete my look as a CFL linebacker.

I didn’t bother to drag a comb through my hair, ‘cause nobody was going to notice. Nobody ever makes eye contact during the morning commute except that construction guy who holds the traffic sign on Wellington Road 7, and I don’t care if he finds me adorable, ‘cause he makes more money than I do twirling that stop sign.

What must he think staring into my car, as I wait patiently for that sign to turn? My daughter and I must be quite a pair, managing our mutual morning mood disorders – carbon copies of cranky, only she gets to wear headphones and pout, while I drive and sing aloud to all the music she hates.

Heading out of town, the orange light on my dashboard lit up, something akin to an exclamation point. Like any rational person, I wished it away. Surely it would disappear if I just drove faster.

After dropping the sulking teen at school, I stopped to read the car’s manual. I didn’t bring my reading glasses, but I did find the page with the icon descriptions and I swear it said “engine light.”

So, off to the dealership I went, forgetting that I looked like a horror show. The service bay door opened to welcome me in and I stepped out of the car to a room full of male mechanics and realized I looked like I had a really good night that just ended on the wrong side of the tracks. The guys didn’t know whether to stare or look away.

The lead guy raised his eyebrows, took my keys and asked me what the issue was – with the car, that is. “Engine light,” I said confidently. He frowned.

A few minutes later, he came into the service area to inform me that it was not the engine light; it was the tire pressure light. Stupid. He didn’t offer to see what was wrong with my tire, just filled it up and sent me away. Quickly.

Later that day I was refreshed and properly dressed, when the nice man at the tire store informed me I had picked up a nail in my tire and required a plug.

See? I told you it was The Carpenter’s fault. Bam. Nailed it.



Kelly Waterhouse