Friday, June 5, 2009

this will just take a second...

i just paid a bill online. it was the easiest thing ever. that is a good thing about working in an office. you get all of your personal business handled quickly and efficiently. when you leave that office for three months, you may or may not get a notice in the mail that your power will be turned off if you don't remit payment immediately. ooops. so i guess doing all of your bills online backfires when you only go online to use facebook.

last month, i got a notice that demanded i go to the georgia power office in downtown decatur to pay my bill - do not send a check and do not pay online. okay, no biggie. i guess i didn't set that bill up for automatic payments like i thought.

i put the girls in the car and go to pay it.

first stop, 9:30am:

this part was pretty easy - i have a drive up atm near my house so we went there on the way

second stop, 9:45am:
publix grocery store

after securing the cash, i had to stop somewhere to get a money order. i get both girls out of the van and go stand in line. this is the first time i realize that it's friday and i forgot to put any shoes on andie. when it's my turn, i give the woman my cash.

"what's it for?"

'oh, i forgot to pay my power bill, i got this notice (hand her the notice as my voice trails off)'

"(laughing)no, HOW MUCH is it for? how much is the money order for?"

'ooooooooooh, sorry, (letting everyone hear me) i don't ever use money orders. i pay online. i've been on maternity leave (no one cares)'

she doesn't engage in further conversation and hands me the money order. i give a half smile to the people in the line as a sort of thank you for entertaining andie who had decided to hold hands with an elderly black gentleman a couple of people back. he didn't seem to mind so i let her since it kept her from pointing to everyone asking me, 'dat?' as in "who is that?" and it freed me up to hold bella's bucket carseat that weighs three tons even though she only weighs 12lb. after getting her attention, i grab andie's hand and hoist her up on my hip to carry her back to the van.

third stop, 10:15am:
side of the road

if i haven't mentioned it, andie is potty training/trained so we have a plastic potty in the van that we take everywhere. mid-way between publix and georgia power she informed me she had to 'poo poo popby' so i tell her to wait and find a quiet street to pull down so i can unstrap her and place her on the pot and wait.

"read book, mommmy!!"

'no, we're not reading, we're going potty. do you have to pee pee potty?'

"read book!"

'andie, look at mommy. do you have to pee pee?'


'okay, i'm going to wait another minute, but then you have to get back in your seat if you don't have to pee pee'

"noooooooooooooo, read booooooook, waaaaaaaaah, nooooooooooo!!!!!!!"

[i busy myself looking around the van to see if there are any shoes for her. i find them and am thankful that i never clean out the van]

'that's enough. don't pee in your panties, andie'

(wailing, screaming, crying as i strap her back in the car seat)"pooo pooo popby, pooo pooo popby"

'no, you can go in a minute. just wait, andie.'

fourth stop, 10:30a:
meter parking in downtown decatur, ga

at this point i have been listening to both girls scream since our last stop so i am devastated to discover that a) i forgot to bring the stroller, b) the georgia power office is still a block and a half away AND on the other side of the street and finally, after getting both girls out of the van... c) i have no change to put in the meter.

two twenty-somethings flaunting their easily obtained starbucks lattes get in the parked car behind me, hear me sigh and tell andie we have to get back in the van because i forgot to bring change and offer me their spot. there are six minutes left on the meter. i thank them, put the girls (screaming, mind you... still screaming) back in the van and reverse into their spot only to get the girls right back out of the van again so we can walk down the block.

fifth stop, 10:34am:
sidewalk outside of georgia power office

i'm carrying bella in her carseat and i have andie by the hand. after what seems like forever, we arrive at the office. it's packed. i panic and ask a girl going in if there is a dropbox anywhere. she said she thought there might be one in the back. i look around and see a sign, 'drive through payment in rear of building' - thank god - and i turn around to head back to the van. i'm not even going to count that as a stop - i'll just skip to the next one.

sixth stop, 10:40am:
georgia power building

i don't see the drive through, but at least there is free parking for georgia power customers. i unload the girls AGAIN and walk right in the building. naturally, the girls always stop crying in front of potential witnesses so i look around at the people in line. they are the lower middle class to say the least. so, these are the people who can't manage to pay their bills on time. shame. i thought to myself, "i bet they wonder what someone like me is doing here." clearly, i was a lot better than them.

just then, andie blew her nose on my sweat pants and i looked down and saw us through new eyes. my child had on mismatched pajamas, high-heeled patent leather shoes and maple syrup all over her from breakfast. snot was literally caked on her face and hanging from her nose in a string that was attached to my leg on the other end. i looked over at the baby, who had snot in her hair from where i had allowed andie to kiss her this morning, but otherwise she didn't look that bad (besides the mismatched socks).

i turned my attention to myself. i wasn't wearing any form of underwear and realized i hadn't taken a shower. since wednesday. i had on a pair of XL sweats that at this point were more snot colored than anything else (andie had been blowing her nose on them ever since i put them on three days ago), my brother in law's blood-stained Ruston Paving t-shirt and flip flops that wouldn't even be touched by a hazmat team. i can't even describe the shape of my hair and from the stale taste of coffee in my mouth, i'm guessing my breath was also heinous.

i sort of hunched over and lifted the carseat up to cover my chest and shuffled along trying to go unnoticed. i forgot that andie has a thing for the brotha's and she was flirting with everyone in line so clearly we were the center of attention as she smiled and said, 'hey' to the men around us.

as soon as we paid, i tried to make a clean getaway, but remembered that andie had to potty so i searched for a restroom for a split second before deciding she could just go on the potty in the van.

as we sat there with the door open waiting for andie to pee, a woman pulled up next to us, took one look at me and said, "boys?" and i said, 'no, two girls' and she said, "i understand."

it was almost 11:30a before we got back home and i declared to moe it must suck to be poor. thank god we weren't anything like those people....

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