Welcome to my third week of Blissful Unemployment.
Unemployment is being very good to me. Except for the laundry. What is UP with the laundry? And who was doing the laundry before I quit my job and became a Domestic Goddess? Did we have little laundry fairies floating around? Did they find out I quit my job and suddenly decided they were no longer needed? Because oh my gosh I can't believe all the laundry. Come back, laundry fairies! Mountains of smelly clothes are threatening to bury us alive!
Anyway, when I'm not hauling laundry baskets up and down the apartment stairs, I'm scrubbing the toilet, doing dishes, making the bed, picking up a Certain Person's socks (again with the laundry!), watering the plants, dusting the furniture, and attending to General Apartment Maintenance. Occasionally I even bleach the heck out of the bathtub grout. Right? Because I have the TIME, right? You'd think I'd have the Cleanest and Most Sparkly Apartment Ever, but alas, this is not the case. When I quit my job I had all kinds of happy chubby housewife visions. A clean place to live! Dinner on the table at six o'clock sharp! A made up bed to crawl into every night! Freshly pressed clothes! And after all the errands were run and chores finished, I'd sink into the bath with a People magazine and a box of bon bons.
But here we are, three weeks in, and I haven't even broken out the iron. WHAT is going ON?
Let me tell you about last Wednesday.
Last Wednesday I woke up at 5:45 am to make it to my 6:15 am yoga class. When that was over I dropped by the DMV to pay the taxes on my newly acquired vehicle. But when I finally got up to the counter the Friendly DMV Man said, "Oh, no, we don't do that here. The closest office that processes that paperwork is in Ballard. Have fun driving to Ballard which is a gazillion miles out of your way!"
After the Wrong DMV, I went to Target. I love Target. Thank you Northgate City Planners for building a beautiful two-story Target ten minutes away from my apartment. I purchased a Target Gift Card for the Montana wedding which we were planning to drive to THAT NIGHT. Keep this in mind.
But this is boring. Let me tell you about the travel agency.
There was a little travel agency across the street from Target and it occurred to me that, hey! A travel agency might know how to get a Chinese tourist visa! Meet Charlotte:
CHARLOTTE: Hello, I'm Charlotte, the big bossy German lady who works part time at this travel agency, just to serve you AND to annoy the crap out of my fellow co-worker.
FELLOW CO-WORKER: I am going to put on my phone headset and pretend Charlotte does not exist.
ME: I have lost my mind and want to go to Xi'an for three weeks. Can you help me?
CHARLOTTE: I am Charlotte and I can do anything with the help of my zippy travel agency computer. Here are your tickets! And they are cheaper than the tickets your father-in-law found for you!
CHARLOTTE: Yes, I am Charlotte. I am Fantabulous.
ME: I also need a tourist visa.
CHARLOTTE: Oh no, I do not do visas. Robert does the visas. (Hollering at fellow co-worker:) Where is Robert!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Please don't talk to me.
CHARLOTTE: Why isn't Robert here! This young lady needs a visa! What is his cell phone number?
ME: Oh, no, don't bother...
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Charlotte, he said he's having car trouble. He said he'd be in when he can.
CHARLOTTE: But he should be here! Why isn't he here? I will call him right now!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: If I were rolling my eyes any farther, I'd be looking through the back of my head.
Turns out Robert, the agency owner, is a Chinese man and knows everything about everything. I was told to come back at 11:30 and Robert would take care of my visas. Charlotte told me so.
In the meantime, I went to the post office to return one million dollars in online purchases and also found another place to pay my new car taxes. Whatever, Ballard. Then I went to Kinko's to pay a scandalous amount of money for two passport photos needed for the visas- fifteen bucks, I kid you not, because their camera uses SONAR- all before returning to the travel agency.
Robert wasn't there. So commenced the arguing between the two travel agents.
CHARLOTTE: Look! Now she is back! And where is Robert?! WHERE is ROBERT?!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Gah. Leave me alone.
CHARLOTTE: I don't know why Robert isn't here! He is the owner! He should be here!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: He had CAR TROUBLE.
CHARLOTTE: But she is back! How is she going to get her visas?!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Charlotte just doesn't understand how things work sometimes.
ME: Maybe I will go wait in my car because this is embarrassing.
CHARLOTTE: No! Wait here! Let me get you a travel brochure to look at! Sit here at my desk! Keep me company while I take care of another client!
ME: Do I have to?
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Now you will know my pain.
CHARLOTTE: Aiiee! My computer is not working!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Charlotte-
CHARLOTTE: Where did the internet go! Where! Where!
FELLOW CO-WORKER: Charlotte-
CHARLOTTE: And my zippy little travel program! WHERE DID IT GO?
FELLOW CO-WORKER: OH DEAR GOD.
Robert didn't show up. Charlotte promised to have him call. I promised not to take my business anywhere else.
And I went home. I DID LAUNDRY. I made BROWNIES to give to the family we would stay with that night on the way to Montana. Then Robert called and I hurried back to the travel agency. I don't know why I hurried, because all Robert wanted in exchange for two tourist visas was my first born child. Seriously. Do you know how many relaxing unemployed days at the spa I could buy with the money I willingly gave Robert? A LOT.
After that? Off to Boo's house to drop off my key so she could keep my plants happy. I have a lot of plants. They like water. And then? Off to Blockbuster to drop off Boo's movies because I am an excellent big sister. I had 20 minutes at home to pack before I had to catch the bus downtown to meet Phillip and begin our drive east.
This is why I do not have the sparkliest apartment. Also? The family I made the brownies for? They're on the South Beach diet.