Oh, well. I used to be a responsible, law-abiding, conscientious, organized citizen. I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong. Probably grad school, when I spent 18 hours a day at my desk and only visited my house from time to time, and I went from out-in-front-of-it-mode to behind-the-eight-ball mode.
I loaded the dog into the car on Wednesday for his first vet appointment. We were both a little nervous, me mainly because I was afraid I’d cry when they gave him his shots (no worries, he didn’t even notice), and Fletch because he hates the car. Really, it is the most pathetic sound of torment and distress you ever heard, every time we make a turn. He’s going to have to get used to it. He is going to be a Road Dawg. But right now he’s a baby, and he does not like new things much.
We were sitting at the stoplight on Dawson Street, right in front of the police station, when I saw blue lights in my rear view mirror. Eff eff eff eff. Blue lights are the worst. I realized immediately that the “check registration” reminder I have had on my Iphone for weeks should probably have become an action item a little sooner. I thought I had till the end of December. I did not.
Worse, when the Boy Scout looking cop was politely taking my license and (expired) registration on my left side, I noticed his SWAT team looking sidekick circling my car on the right, hand on his holster and doing a visual inspection of the interior as if I were a Colombian drug runner also smuggling assault weapons and human cargo across a border somewhere in the dead of night.
That hurt my feelings. He got to the front seat and saw that the crate buckled in on the passenger side contained a floppy yellow puppy and not weapons, snickered a little, and took his hand off of his gun. Of course I still got a ticket. “Unfortunately I’m sorry to say I’m afraid I have to issue you a citation,” the officer mumbled. Fair enough, dude, I have violated the law, however accidentally. There is no need to apologize.
This is a lame excuse, but I never got a reminder card this year, so I figured I’d better also look up when my car tax was due. Oh. Last February. I didn’t get a reminder because my account was on lockdown. If I’d tried to get a timely inspection, I would have been denied and sent away in shame anyhow, until I paid my delinquent taxes. I’m sure my tax bill arrived and went astray somewhere, or my check did, and the $72 I owed on my 12 year old car wasn’t worth the cost of the county sending a stamped reminder card. But still. Give a girl a second chance.
Registration out of date, taxes overdue, January court date, failure of adulthood and calendaring and accounting. Further, my jeans are too tight after the holiday debauchery, I still have one Christmas present to buy, I am overdue for a physical and a dental appointment, and I have twenty thank-you notes to write. The yard needs work, I need an oil change, and there is a suspicious odor coming from the dog. There is a giant table in my studio I need to Craigslist out of my house. My coffee habit is out of control. The sole on my red cowboy boots has worn dangerously thin. I need an oil change. I need to deal with some expiring vegetables in the refrigerator. There is is vaguely sticky spot on the living room floor from when the dog spilled my cocktail. I overscheduled my weekend and despite leaving work far too early yesterday, I was twenty minutes late for dinner. I should register for some architecture exams, and then clean out my closet, and take things to Goodwill, and then buy a new trash can because the one in my kitchen is broken.
Eff that. I’ll go get my car inspected, and fix all the rest in 2013.
Except the dog. That dog is getting a bath right this minute.