Hey, you know how you set an alarm clock, and then in the morning it makes this annoying “beep beep beep” noise? …That’s really under-appreciated feature.
In my normal life, I set two alarm clocks. One that plugs in, and another that runs on batteries (in case there was a power outage overnight). Because I am hyper-conscientious that way. Lately it has mostly been my husband who has somewhere to be in the mornings, and he has somewhat flexible work hours, so we haven’t had to worry so much about what would happen in the case of alarm clock failure. This morning, I was the one with an early appointment, so before we went to sleep I wanted to confirm that everything was in order.
“Did you set the alarm clock?”
“Did you set two?”
“The one that plugs in is broken, remember?”
At which point, I immediately start down my normal path of uber-responsible thought, and think to myself that I should probably get out of bed and go down to the basement and see if I can find another alarm, in case something happens to go wrong with the one that we’re using tonight. But I am learning. I realize almost immediately how paranoid that seems, and in the spirit of letting things go and trying to be more easygoing about things, I give myself some quick mental reassurance that there is no reason that the alarm would choose this night to malfunction after working perfectly every other.
She can be taught! Call the papers.
And lo and behold, the alarm goes off as expected this morning. It beeps, and we snooze it, and it beeps and we snooze it. …And then I wake up and look at my watch. And I turn sharply to the alarm clock to compare. And the alarm is flashing its “Zzzzz” like it does when it’s emitting noise. Except it is not emitting noise. Not a beep. Not a peep. Not a small alarm whimper.
It is about a 40 minute trip to my psychiatrist’s office. It is currently five minutes before my appointment. Images of the “here is my huge cancellation fee, okay?” form that I had to sign at my first appointment flash through my mind.
At this point, the conversation goes something like as follows:
Fuck, fuck, fuck!
(I may be paraphrasing. …It may have been the second fuck in all caps.)
The fucking (the non-fun, non-athletic kind) continued for at least a good fifteen minutes, I think. Swear, desperately search for solution, swear, desperately search for solution. The stress of the whole process left me feeling like I wasn’t sure that I could bring myself to drive forty minutes only to walk in with ten minutes left in my appointment time, have them ask me why I bothered (and of course, in my head, also sneer at me in judgment. Ignorant, irresponsible girl, missing her appointment like that. Only whores and kitten-killers miss appointments.), and then drive all the way home again. Or almost worse, have him let me in, have to sit there abashed while I ask him if he will fill out these tax credit forms for me with the remaining time, and then leave. Eventually I decided to search online to see if I could find the phone number for the receptionist in the department I was looking for (my psychiatrist himself never lets his phone ring – it goes straight to voicemail). I had to get my husband to make the call. I am not proud of that.
We were told that he “didn’t want to see me” so I should just stay home and may have to soak the missed appointment fee. No new meds, no tax form.
And I didn’t even get to use my smug smile.
But I have learned that I can be taught. I can be taught that at least half the time I try to be more relaxed about something, it slaps me across the face. Next time I plug in the damned second alarm.
I am trying to deal with the whole things with belated grace. I have much still to be thankful for. Like having arms longer than the width of my head.