Sunday, April 12, 2015

i certainly couldn't give it up altogether

When I was a little girl, my dad would empty his suit pockets when he got home from work and leave any change he had in his pockets on my dresser.  After dinner I would count the change, and if I counted correctly I got to keep it.

If I counted incorrectly, I had to donate the money to the poor.

More often than not the money was donated to the poor, because differentiating between a nickel and a quarter and their respective values is evidently a task that I've struggled with since I was six years old.

One of my very favorite things in the world is Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee.  There is a spring promotion going on at the DD stores around here and iced coffee is just 99 cents plus tax.   That brings the total to $1.05 and you better believe that I have been taking full advantage of that sale.

Matt and I collect our change to use for special treats, and since iced coffee definitely counts as a special treat, each morning I grab $1.05 from our coin jar and get my coffee.

One day last week, I rummaged through the change jar for my coffee money and grabbed two quarters and a nickel.

For those of you playing along at home, that is only fifty five cents.

I drove up the street to DD and marched inside with my three coins because I was feeling so confident and superior because HELLO, I COME BEARING EXACT CHANGE.  And my superior attitude and  I placed an order for "iced caramel coffee with skim milk, sugar, and extra ice please."

"That will be one oh five," said the woman behind the counter.

I handed over my three coins and waited while she looked at them and flipped them over and over in her hand a few times.  And then she slowly looked up at me and said, "One dollar and five cents.  This?  Only fifty five cents."

And I have no reasonable explanation for why I reacted the way that I did.  I can only imagine it came from a place of deep embarrassment.

But here is what I did.

I pretended that I did not understand English.


It must have slipped my mind that just seconds earlier I'd ordered an iced caramel coffee with skim milk, sugar, and extra ice please which is a very particular order for SOMEONE WHO ALLEGEDLY DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH.

I made a few gestures with my hands and pointed to the parking lot like a crazy person.  And then I made the walk of shame to my car to scrounge up two more quarters because I'd been so confident in my coin counting that I'd left my wallet in the car.

And to top things off, as I made my shameful exit, the wind caught the door and it flew into the glass window of the store next door, so I looked like a crazy person who knows just enough English to make a very specific coffee order and has an anger problem.

I returned with two more quarters and a red face and sheepishly handed the coins to the lady behind the counter.

Once I had that iced coffee in my hands I literally ran out of the store.

Never to return again.

Because that iced coffee may only be $1.05.

But my pride is worth more than that.

And by "more than that" I mean driving a quarter mile further to the next DD.

Monday, April 6, 2015

we also found a deer skeleton, but there are no pictures of that

Matt and I went geocaching for the first time on Saturday, and we found one!

Well, we didn't actually set out with the intention of finding a geocache.  It was more of a happy accident.  As we were walking along the trail Matt pointed at something off in the brush and said, "Hey what do you think that is?" and I said, "Looks to me like a piece of PVC pipe someone just littered" as I marched onward because I was ALL BUSINESS about our walk.

But Matt hiked in to investigate further and it turns out that it was a geocache with a notebook and pen and some little trinkets inside.  We walked for two more hours, and while we didn't find any other geocaches, we did find some beautiful scenery!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

north, south, east, and west, spin the wheel and hope for the best

Last night Matt and I each made a bowl of chocolate peanut butter ice cream and settled in for an episode of Brain Games.

I believe the words you're looking for are WILD AND CRAZY.

The episode theme was "Battle of the Sexes," and obviously I knew the ladies had this one in the bag but I humored Matt and agreed to play along with the scenarios.

First topic up was spacial reasoning.

Welp, Laura Darling, OUT.

The scenario was, "Which set of directions makes more sense to you? Drive north on main street for two miles.  Head west on Pine Street, and then drive southeast on Maple Street.  You will reach your destination in two thirds of a mile."  

OR "Drive out of the parking lot and turn left.  At the grocery store, make a right.  Stay on that road for three stoplights, and then make a right at the bank.  Your destination will be on the left, just past the pizza place."


Spatial reasoning has never been my wheelhouse.  However, I believe I come by it honestly because when my mom is using a map, she turns it so it's in the direction that she's going.  And a few years ago my family was driving down to visit my aunt in Virginia, and my Mommom mentioned that whenever she's driving downhill, she feels like she's going south, and when she is driving uphill she feels like she is going north.

And I knew what she meant because I automatically assume that whatever direction I am driving is is north.  South is behind me, east is to my right, and west to my left.

In fact, as I was writing this post in my head while driving, I came to an intersection with this sign.

And to me, that just does not make sense.  If I am turning left, I am turning west.

I scheduled a meeting with coworkers this week and I sent an email out with directions to the office and the most convenient parking garage.  People were driving in from all over, but in my mind I assumed that they were all coming via the exact route I take.  And so I said, "When you're on 69th Street, turn left onto Chestnut Street (just past the Foot Locker) and the parking lot will be on the left."

And a (male) coworker emailed me back and said, "Assuming we're driving which direction on 69th Street?"



My sub par spatial reasoning skillz do not stop with driving.  When I was in college, I had a terrible ear infection and called home for medical advice and a healthy dose of sympathy.  I talked to my mom, and I presumed that she was in the living room.  When she asked me which ear hurt, I said, "Well, I guess it depends which couch you're sitting on."

Yes, because that would make a difference.

So all that to say Matt won spatial reasoning.

The second section was all about following directions and Matt and I are both Big Time Rule Followers.  If there is a rule, we follow it.  But I edged him out in the scenarios, so the game was tied up.

The third and final section was about memory.  I hate to brag but I am a memory WHIZ.  I remember everything, so it came as no surprise that I won each and every memory quiz and then gloated about how girls are the best and my fantastic memory put me over the edge.

Notably, there was no section on humility.

And then, because today is Thrifty Thursday, Matt decided to set up automatic payments for my student loan.  I prefer to go to the student loan website and pay my loan manually each month, because then I know it was done, and done correctly.  I don't trust automatic payments for the same reason I don't trust the check deposit app on my phone, and still prefer to take my checks to the bank and hand them to the teller like it's 2003.

Anyway, it turns out you get a discount for automatic payments so I agreed that we should give it a go because somebody's gotta put the thrifty in Thrifty Thursday.  And when I got out of the shower this morning I had a text from Matt that said, "What's your six digit pin for your student loan?"

"I don't use a pin," I said, "I just log in with my username and password."

"You should have an account pin too though.  It's six digits.  You probably picked it when you filled out your FAFSA form."

As a lady I hate to give away my age, but let's just say that FAFSA form was filled out NINE YEARS AGO.


It failed me.  I had no idea what my pin was so I had to call and reset it.

Pride comes before the fall.

I'm holding out hope that maybe someone will ask me for directions this week, and I will have the opportunity to redeem myself.