Monday, July 12, 2010

At Least I didn't get a ticket.

So, I have a Georgia tag. I do, I just can't get past it. While waiting on my car title, SS card, and the rites to my first born, I have to drive to places that have parking garages (please, you'd think there would be a LOT here?), or someplace that does not involve (a) parallel parking (b) parking on the street or (c) navigation.

I have had, for the past week, $95 in my bank account. I tell you this, because I feel obligated to preface the story with that information. I also have $3500 in checks desperately waiting to be deposited.

All I needed was a Wachovia.

This little wonderment that we call a drive-thru ATM or drive-thru banking down in Georgia is a thing of my past. Friday, me and the GPS had a date with a Wachovia. Up 2nd street NE, left on K St (NE-- that little token is important), left on 2nd St SE (yeah, they are two blocks apart), Right on Capitol Drive NORTH (heaven forbid, you think it is SOUTH) and between 3rd and 4th was supposed to be a Wachovia. Supposed. Up Capitol North, Down Capitol South, Up 3rd Street, Down 4th Street, round and round and round. You know what I discovered? That wasn't a damn Wachovia.

Today, though. Today, I REALLY needed to deposit said checks as $95 makes me nervous. So, I busted out the GPS in the Tahoe, V. the GPS on my iPhone. 990 Pennsylvania Ave. Right on 4th St NE (as 3rd is a one-way), right on whos-it, left on 2nd st NE (remember that?), left on Pennsylvania, wave to the 7 cops I passed, detour past these THINGS that can randomly pop up out of the street around the Supreme Court that say STOP (ya think? You are a huge metal barrier in neon yellow. What are my other options?)... left on Pennsylvania. And there she was in all her glory. My walk-up Wachovia. And I, in my Tahoe, Georgia tags, cranky baby, and no way to get out my stroller.


Okay, take three. This last one was located at 600 Maryland Ave SW. 

GPS, "When possible, make a legal U-Turn."
Me, "Shit."
GPS, "When possible, make a legal U-Turn."
Me, "How?"
GPS, "Recalculating. When possible, make a legal U-Turn."
Me, "Hmmm.....WHIP"
GPS, " Continue until Maryland Ave and then take slight right."
Me, "Seriously, Ophelia? SERIOUSLY?? Those are my directions? Legal U-Turn and go straight?"

Proceed down Pennsylvania, which turned into Independence (AKA 4th St SE), passing by the Conservatory and then another 8 cops. The streets broke down something like this: I st, then Rhode Island, J st, then North Carolina, K st, then Maryland. MARYLAND! TURN!

GPS, "Your destination is arriving on left. Your route guidance is not complete."
Me, "WAIT! Ophelia, WHERE?!?"

And there she was. Again. My Wachovia. With a walk-up ATM. Damn. Wait, Wait, Wait... there it was. TWO parallel parking spots. One illegal u-turn and I am in my spot without a scratch. One dime buys me 3 minutes. All I need to hustle up to the ATM with baby girl on my hip. One dime in the slot... Out Of Order.

Seriously, banking gods? SERIOUSLY?! Too late. Someone had come in right behind me and taken the parking meter that actually worked.

Thinking I will beg for forgiveness, E and I make a run for the ATM. No envelopes. Whatever, I can use the night envelopes. PIN, deposit, cash back... you have exceeded your maximum withdrawal for the day. HUNH? I have not used my debit card in days (remember, Wachovia, I only have $95.) Inside! Quick! There's another ATM.

No envelopes.

The line. Oh, the line. Curses to the line. The bank manager informed me that if I call the parking department (the number is on the meter) that they will give me the time, but if I don't- then  I am still responsible for the ticket. 

Do I jump out of line and call or stand patiently and wait? 

Stand and wait.

Deposit made. Cash back. On the way to Harry Tweeter for some more grocery shopping.

Back to the car with a gleeful YIPPEE! That, AT LEAST I DID NOT GET A TICKET.

Rachel: 2, DC: 1

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Fourth, from the Sixth!

I have four distinct memories of the Fourth of July.

The first was when I was a wee tike and I had my first chalk board. I would fill the whole board up with pictures, words, and doodles, erase and then start over. We were on family vacation with my mom's brood and that included 18 very boisterous cousins, not counting me. Seeing that they were a little louder than me,  my dad pulled out several different colors of chalk and showed me how to draw fireworks. Start with a little dot in the middle and go from there. I filled that chalkboard with more fireworks that filled the sky. In my eyes, it was beautiful.

The second was when I was in college. For some reason, the fourth always made me think of my dad. No idea, but it does. Around 5:30, I realized that this would be the first Fourth of July that I would not see any fireworks and it made me really, really sad. A friend was a member of the Athens Country Club and surprised with a trip up there around 8 to watch the fireworks, so I would not miss a year. We sat on the hill by the Number 1 tee box and watched the boom, boom, boom of the little dots exploded into colors. It was hot and humid, but there was not one other place I wanted to be.

My third was also in college. It was the year before. We were spending the summer at the beach in our very old beach cottage. The ramshackle place has asbestos tiling on the exterior, no phone, no central a/c, and nothing but fun, fun, fun. After one too many cervezas, we thought it an excellent idea to get up on the bar stool, step ONTO the grill and pull ourselves up to the roof. Brilliant, I know. We got up there, with our cooler, and laid back with our arms behind our heads. Being one street back from the beach, we could see every, um, well-educated person popping off more fireworks than they had dollars in their bank account. From the north, there was a fireworks show at The Landing, from the south, fireworks were exploding over the pier. Behind, above, below, everywhere. Everywhere the little dots spiraled into the air and ballooned into different colors. 

My last distinct memory was this year. It took my three best and put them all together. My family. A sweet friend, and an explosion of color wherever you looked.

Husband held Baby Girl and she stared so intently at the fireworks. At points during the show, she would hold up her index finger and point with an, "Ohhhh" on her lips. No matter where we turned on the roof, we saw thousands of fireworks exploding in the sky around us. We held hands and held her and kissed. 

"I love you, Husband."

"Wife, I love you. Thank you for coming with me."

"I would not have missed it."