ordinary friday

Hectic days always begin with someone getting up late. Ever notice that? I have. Probably because it’s usually me that’s oversleeping and then playing catch-up for the rest of the day. I hate it when that happens.

Today, in fact, I overslept so much that little sister had to take younger brother to school. He goes in early to do weightlifting and has to be there before 6:30 a.m. I usually take him, out of the goodness of my heart. On this morning, however, little sister had to take him there since he couldn’t rouse me out of bed. Normally not a morning person, today I was even worse.

Of course, it doesn’t help when, on top of playing catch-up, I also have to bum a ride. My car did that won’t-start thingy again, and is in the shop, again. So little sister had to take me to work. Again. I hate having to depend on the goodwill of others. I especially hate having to depend on the goodwill of my sister. It’s always so iffy whether she’s going to make me beg for the help or not.

I got to work and realized that I’d forgotten to pack a lunch. I’m trying very hard to economize. And nothing wastes money like eating out half a dozen times a week. Lunch, lunch, lunch, dinner, dinner, dinner. It all adds up. So I’ve been taking my lunch to work and eating at my desk. And that way I have the added benefit of getting work done. But not today. Today I forgot my lunch because I was so rushed because I overslept. Do you see the pattern?

I figured I might as well make the most of it and asked a coworker to go to lunch with me. We sometimes go to the dorm lunchroom and have the buffet. It’s this little place that most people don’t even know about. It’s rarely crowded and frequently has good food. We like it there.

I ended up not going.

My friend the production assistant popped into my office about 10:30 am to drop off something. She had taken a personal day from work and was getting her other stuff done. I was on her list of errands. She invited me to go out to lunch with her and I accepted, after giving my apologies to my coworker. I know, I know, that seems rude, but it really wasn’t. We always cancel on each other if a better deal comes along.

My friend and I had a nice lunch. I like her. She is one of the few people I truly like. We went to college together, though were never very good friends. In fact, it wasn’t until we were out of college that we’ve become closer. I think it has something to do with being the same age and in the same industry. It’s hard enough to be in the communications field. Try being a Hispanic female in the communications field. It’s hell. So we get together and gossip and catch up with each other. She supports me and I support her. It’s a nice arrangement.

I must confess, however, that I’ve always envied her her poise. She’s always so put together. There’s a degree of confidence in the way she carries herself that I haven’t quite acquired yet. I’m a bundle of nerves, usually this mass of untamed energy that comes off in blabbering, stuttering or fidgeting. She’s calm, controlled, poised. I’ve never seen her lose her cool. I wish I had that.

Today I had one of those long, tedious work days where it seems that you’ve accomplished nothing. One boring detail after another. In spite of the fact that I work in an office that often requires me to be creative and deadline-oriented, today was just one of those administrative-duty days that leave me wanting to go home and do something fun. Ain’t life grand?

I did have something fun planned for this evening, though. The Go Tejano Committee of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo was going to have its Fashion Show at T-Town 2000. For those of you who don’t live in Houston and aren’t aware that the Rodeo is perhaps the biggest event of the year in this city, on top of being the biggest Rodeo in the country, then you probably don’t know that the Rodeo events raise millions in scholarship money for hundreds of students every year. The Go Tejano Committee is the Hispanic arm of the Rodeo and T-Town 2000 is a multi-club facility that boasts a Tejano bar, a Rock en Español bar, a Karaoke bar and a Pop club. (FYI: many people believe that Selena’s last show was at the Rodeo; that’s wrong. Her last show was at a scholarship fundraiser at the now-defunct El Dorado Ranch. The same people who owned El Dorado own T-Town 2000.)

I didn’t have tickets to the show.

The plan was that little sister would give me the keys to her car on the way to her class. Did I mention that little sister goes to school full-time as well as working full-time? It’s convenient because the university is on her way to work and then when she goes to class, she just walks by my building.

Anyway, little sister gave me the keys to her car so that I could go buy the tickets for the fashion show because tickets were considerably more if we waited to buy them at the door. So I went to buy the tickets while she was at class. I even left work early to beat the traffic. Of course, leaving early was no big sacrifice.

Going to buy the tickets should have taken me an hour at the max. and it would have. If a blue car hadn’t swerved into the freeway railing and caught fire. If there hadn’t been 4 fire trucks, countless tow trucks and several EMS units on the freeway. If every drive in every car that drove by hadn’t felt the morbid need to see if there was any blood which pretty much turned the freeway into a parking lot. If none of these things had happened it wouldn’t have taken me 2 hours to buy the tickets.

And, of course, I got paged 3 times while I was caught in traffic. 3 times. And my cellular service discontinued my account because I’m so behind in my payments. So I couldn’t call. At least not from the freeway. I had a bad feeling it was my sister. I kept thinking that maybe she got let out of class early and she was waiting for me, steaming, trying to figure out where the hell I was. And I was caught in traffic. So I figured I’d wait until I got to the university and see if it was my sister, and if it wasn’t, I’d check my pages from my office. All in all, not a bad plan.

I was relieved to see, when I finally made it to the university to pick up little sister, that she was just being let out. So that was one less thing to deal with. The last thing I wanted was to have to endure little sister all evening after I’d put her in a bad mood.

I went to my office to return the pages I’d received. One was from my mother. One was from my married sister. And one was from my brother-in-law. All three had left a message on my pager instead of a number. All three messages were urgent. My niece was checked into the hospital with a urinary tract infection.

Little sister says that I was supposed to be a guy. She says that I have the insensitivity, the thoughtlessness and the short attention span of a guy. She says that the fact that I don’t like to talk on the telephone and don’t notice what people are wearing are proof of that. That’s relevant only because I have to admit that the first thing that went through my mind was //Oh shit! We’re not going to make it to the show.// The second thing was concern that the babe wasn’t going to take hospital life very well. I always get my priorities straight eventually.

We didn’t make it to the fashion show. Instead we spent the evening at the hospital, commiserating with a soon-to-be three-year-old about how she was sick and nobody understood her. She looked almost regal in the middle of the mechanical bed, hooked up to an IV that scared her and bothered her parents. She commanded attention and amusement and, occasionally, food and drink. She was bored. And she learned very quickly not to the trust the men and women dressed in white.

The doctors say that she will be there for several days. Her parents stayed the night with her. Little sister and I stayed until she fell asleep. Throughout the evening we made sure that the parents were fed and had everything they needed. Trying to be useful because there really wasn’t anything we could do for my niece.

It was an ordinary Friday in the life of this drama queen. How was yours?

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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