Just When You Think It Couldn’t Get Worse…
I’m pretty sure that this has been the most interesting/irritating/funny day of my entire life. So I thought I’d share this on here, not because my life is utterly fascinating and therefore merits documentation, but because I figured some people might need some comic relief. Plus, I kinda want a record of the goings-on of February 15, 2014.
First though, let me give you some background. I go to college in Pennsylvania. I’m from Arkansas. Anyone who knows anything about the continental United States should be laughing already. For those who don’t know, though, let me just paint a picture for ya. During winter in Arkansas, it usually doesn’t get below 20 degrees, and we mostly get ice storms with the occasional light dusting of snow. In Pennsylvania…a “light dusting” is 4 inches. To say that I’m a little in over my head is an understatement. Basically, this is me everyday:
Now, I have a roommate. She’s from Virginia — so neither one of us knows anything about Pennsylvania. We’re like fish outta water around here, seriously. To give you a bit of an idea of just how lost we are in good ol’ PA, we one time went out to dinner and the restaurant was closed because of a water problem. So instead of going back to campus, we decided to keep driving down the highway until we found another place to eat. We ended up in Pittsburgh. Our college is over an hour from Pittsburgh. Yeah.
So, now that you have a little bit of an idea, let me tell you about our adventures today. We woke up this morning to the dreaded sight of snowfall — in fact, it had snowed for most of the night. I have my car here on campus, but I don’t have 4 wheel drive, and I also don’t know how to drive in snow. (A bit of a problem since I live in Pennsylvania now, but hey…whatever.) Anyway, my roommate and I decided that we wanted to get off campus for a while today, and we had the genius idea to call a cab.
Well, it took us about 30 minutes to find a cab company that would actually come to the (very small) town where our college is and pick us up to take us just a little way down the highway to a mall that has a movie theater across the parking lot. Our plan was to get something to eat in the mall’s food court and then go to see a movie. Not a bad idea, right?
Maybe not. But here’s where the fun actually starts. We sat downstairs in our dorm building for 45 minutes to an hour waiting on the cab to arrive. It was confusing…because the cab was almost 20 minutes late and we hadn’t received a phone call with an update on an estimated arrival time. One of the other students came downstairs and said that the cab was waiting on the parking lot that is accessed from the third floor of the building. So up the stairs we went. When we got outside, though, we couldn’t seem to figure out where the cab was…until we realized that the cab was the tan minivan parked in the middle of the driving lane.
We got into the van (sounds a little sketchy, I know) and the driver proceeded to drive in circles around the parking lot until he finally figured out how to get out of it and back onto the road. Meanwhile, this other lady who was in the cab with us kept asking me and my roommate questions. There wouldn’t have been much of a problem with this had the minivan not been slightly more than ancient and, thus, louder than a brass band, making it impossible for us to communicate with each other while sitting six inches away — we could hardly understand what the woman in the front seat was saying. I’m pretty sure she asked us every question under the sun. I realize that some people would call that “being friendly”. I tend to call it “being annoying”, but…to each his own.
To top it off, though, the man driving the cab didn’t seem to understand what a speed limit was and drove at least 15 mph over the speed limit at all times, barely stopping for stop signs and narrowly missing other vehicles. It was actually quite comical…because this is something that would ONLY happen to me and my roommate. We have the worst luck in the world!
Anyway, we made it to the mall. The cab ride, which had taken us probably a grand total of 5 miles (maybe), cost us $20.00. We didn’t expect it to be that much — but hey, at least we got there. And, miraculously, we got there in one piece, although I have the feeling that our safe arrival was more due to the guardian angel prayers that my roommate was surely saying the entire time than it was to any effort on the part of the driver.
We went into the food court and proceeded to buy some pretty nasty food from a seemingly reputable vender. My roommate later got half a sandwich, which apparently had some pretty suspicious looking mustard on it that was more the color of mayonnaise than mustard. I went to get a milkshake from a different place in the food court. Not only did the employee who took my order get into an argument with another employee about how much change she owed me, but she also complained that people always come in at the end of her shift and order milkshakes. So that was awkward and interesting.
Needless to say, my roommate and I were not too keen on the idea of getting back into that cab to go back to school later, so we started texting everyone we could think of on campus, including a couple of the priests who work with Campus Ministry. Why do we have priests’ cell phone numbers, you ask? Hey, we’re Theology majors. You never know when you’ll need to dial-a-confessor. You never know when you’ll be in an (eternal) life or (eternal) death situation.
Unfortunately, the people who answered while we were sitting in the food court were unable to come pick us up. We started walking around the mall, and then my roommate had a great idea — one of the guys she knows from our school works at Hollister in the mall, and there was a good chance he’d be there. So we walked over to Hollister to see if he was working and would be willing to give us a lift back to campus at the end of his shift.
Now, I don’t know how many of you have been in a Hollister store before. But ya know how most stores are well lit and have some music playing softly in the background? Hollister is really dark (probably because they don’t want you to see the price tags until you get to the register) and it was almost louder than the ancient minivan/cab that we rode in (you almost have to yell to have a conversation in there). Anyway, my roommate and I walked around in there and couldn’t find the guy…and we also couldn’t find the way out. Seriously, that place is this dark maze of connected rooms and it’s the most confusing thing ever. We walked back towards the front of the store and couldn’t figure out where the door was. My roommate turned around and walked off, and I tried to yell to her that I found the exit. She, of course, couldn’t hear me over the din. So I waited outside the store for a minute or two until she came stumbling back out into the light, and we both fell over laughing. I’m pretty sure people were freaked out because I actually sat down on the ground and laughed until tears were streaming down my face. We got into college, but we couldn’t navigate a store.
At this point, we were both running out of people to contact, so I texted one of the people I know who works on campus and waited for a response to see if rescue was possible. I realize that it is probably every other teenage girl’s dream to be stranded at a mall with a debit card, but I wasn’t thrilled at all. We couldn’t seem to get anyone to answer our text messages, so we decided to go ahead and go to the movie like we had planned. We stopped and asked someone which side of the mall we should exit from in order to be closest to the movie theater across the parking lot and, after getting lost in Macy’s (yes, we got lost in yet ANOTHER store looking for an exit), we made it out of the mall. Success!
While walking to the theater, we almost got hit by a few cars because the sidewalk wasn’t cleared — so it was necessary to walk in the driving lane that goes through the parking lot. As we were waiting for the movie to start, my phone died. There went contact with the outside world. We watched the movie, and then had to call the same cab service again to get back to campus.
This time, the driver was only about 20 minutes later than the estimated time we were given. And, as luck would have it, we had the same driver. And the SAME woman was in the front seat, and proceeded to ask us endless questions about the movie we had just seen. It was all rather comical. It was almost like our day had been a huge circle and had just looped back around. Then the cab driver came very close to running a stop sign…I don’t think I’ve ever said a Hail Mary that fast in my life before.
So, we made it back to campus, and I plugged my phone up in our room only to discover that the person I had texted earlier had responded and had been close enough to pick us up at the theater. THEN, to top it all off, my roommate and I walked in the freezing cold to get dinner on campus. On the way there, she broke her fingernail down the middle, I knocked over a box of pencils, and I almost spewed apple sauce out of my nose because I was laughing so hard while eating.
All in all…this was definitely a day for the books. It was really irritating at first, but it actually ended up being REALLY funny. As I was preparing this blog post, I read parts of it aloud to my roommate and we both kept cracking up with laughter. This is something that would only happen to us.
So if you feel like your day is a comedy of errors, I hope this blog post brightens your mood. Regardless, I hope it gives a least a few people a good chuckle. People told me that college would bring new experiences…they just left out the part about shady cabs and getting lost in stores. :-)