Sometimes the World Doesn’t Wish You to be Early.

Every six months or so I end up with a comically bad morning. As if life was scripted specifically for some comedic performance, for which there is no camera crew. This morning was comically bad, not as bad as the day I flooded my upstairs bathroom and set off the fire alarm. But bad in its own right.

This morning’s goal was to arrive at work at 7:00 a.m.

I wanted to get an early start and offset any work I can’t get to due to a lengthy client meeting in the afternoon.

Alarm was set for 6:15 a.m.
Opened eyes at 6:15 a.m.
Opened eyes again at 6:30 a.m.
Opened eyes again at 6:45 a.m.


Adjusted arrival time to 7:30 a.m. a solid hour of uninterrupted work awaited me.

At about 7:10 a.m. I made it downstairs. I tried to coax the dog outside. She wanted none of this. Fine. I brew my coffee, grab my computer bag, my purse, my lunch. Teeter toward the front door like a camel packed for a nomadic excursion. Open door.

Downpour. Right.

Retreat, hunt for umbrella. Find one, proceed to get tangled in umbrella cover. Snnnnnaaaaaag new scarf with umbrella cover velcro closure (damn you for working so well on all fabrics.).


Step onto front porch, open umbrella. Realize umbrella has a small split seam. At this point I know I will remain only 95% dry, but it’s the only umbrella in our house.

Climb into my car with all of my bags and travel mug.

Fumble with the umbrella while my arms and shoulder get soaked.

Empty light turns on.


Head to the Shell gas station at Ann & Monroe. Pull up in the driving rain. Step out, there is a sign posted on the pump. “We are out of regular.”


Adjust time to 7:45 a.m. arrival.

Run my debit card, attach nozzle to my car. Click on Midgrade, notice fine print of homemade sign:

“We are also out of midgrade.”

Unless it’s the late 70’s early 80’s there should be no gas shortage. NONE.

These signs appear at every pump. The only gas left is the V Power 85 Ethanol mix, which is 50 cents more than midgrade. I don’t know what that is, and I don’t know if my 13-year-old CIVIC will handle it. I force 5 cents of midgrade fumes into my tank. Enough to start it up again and drive it to the nearest station on Alpine.

This part meets my expectations. I fill up the car, I get in the car, I choose to use the entrance onto 131 from Alpine.

I drive straight into a traffic jam. I could walk faster at this point. Cue up the scene from Office Space, the old guy, the walker, the hopelessness.

Courtesy image from Office Space.

Courtesy image from Office Space.

Adjust arrival time to 8:00 a.m.

I eventually merge onto the freeway, otherwise I would get stuck exiting at Ann. I just want to get to work, I don’t want to exit at Ann.

5 minutes pass.

I merge back onto the Ann Street exit. I am going to take surface roads.

Adjust my arrival time to 8:15 a.m.

Hit every red light from Ann to downtown. EVERY. LIGHT.

Pull into my parking lot and begin a new round of wrestling/dancing with torn umbrella, computer bag, purse, lunch bag, and travel mug.

Arrive at 8:25 a.m.

So you see, sometimes the cosmos do not wish for you to be early.