How to Completely Waste Several Hours

30 Jan

Ever feel like you have completely thrown precious hours of your life into the garbage?

We all have moments where nothing productive is happening, but sometimes a series of pointless events occur in succession, making a large block of time null and void.

That’s what happened to me this afternoon, and I’m pretty peeved about the whole thing.

Earlier in the day I realized I did not have my insurance card. Suspecting I had left it at the pediatrician’s office last week, I called to confirm. They had it, and I said I would pick it up later today.

That phone call would be the last bit of productive action that I would accomplish for the next several hours.

Timeline of pointlessness:

1:00 – Load kids into car and drive first to the Dollar Tree to see if I can find some serving bowls, because I need some and you just never know what you will find there on the cheap.

1:30 – Find some serving bowls, guess they’re okay for a dollar, and put them in the cart. Decide I also need a cake server because mine broke and I have a birthday party to throw soon.

1:33 – 18 month old starts to freak. I give her the emergency snacks I have in my bag to distract her.

1:35 – 4 year old has devoured the entire bag of snacks behind my back, and 18 month old is livid. 4 year old informs me he has to poop.

1:45 – While waiting for 4 year old to get out of the bathroom, 18 month old spots some fake grape bunches on a nearby shelf and begins to yell “GEEPS!” over and over at level eleven. I make what would eventually become a most regrettable decision: I give her the grapes.

*Over the next 20 minutes we engage in a charade of wits: She tries to eat the fake grapes. I tell her no and try to take the grapes away. She screams slightly louder than a tornado siren. I give the grapes back. The 4 year old decides the fake grapes are also the most amazing things he has ever seen and insists on having his own. Fake grapes…who knew, right? The great fascinatior for children under five.

2:00 – After wandering around the store a little, I begin to realize everything in my cart is crap. I put everything back. Except, of course, for three bunches of plastic grapes.

2:10 – We take our new grapes and head for the pediatrician’s office to pick up the insurance card.

2:20 – We stop at a red light at a busy intersection with about 700 other cars.

2:30 – Everyone around me and I start to realize we’ve been checking Facebook on our phones for too long, and it’s evident this light is broken.

2:40 – Mob mentality develops, and we all just start going through the red light in groups. I decide that if I get a ticket for this, I’m definitely fighting it.

3:00 – We finally arrive at the pediatrician’s office. We are parked directly in front of the glass door, and I think briefly about leaving the kids buckled in the car while I run in real quick and get the card. Even as I think it, I know it’s not happening. The anxiety would probably kill me. If my children are ever in the car alone, which only occurs after we’ve gone grocery shopping and I wheel the empty cart to the corral 10 feet away, I feel my throat closing with every step. After 10 feet I would probably collapse, and the desk inside the office was easily 20.

3:01 – I start to get everyone out of the car. 18 month old had removed both shoes and socks, so I find them on the floor and put them back on. She shows her appreciation by letting me know she has “poo-pooed”. Fab. Getting her back in the car seat should be a blast.

3:04 – The three of us get almost to the door and the office receptionist comes out. “I saw you pull up, are you here for your card? Here it is!” She holds it out and I stare at it, screaming in my head: “You watched me drag these kids out of the car for the last four minutes, and decided to wait to bring my card out just before I walked inSIDE!!!!” I’ll give you a frame of reference for my tone here. If you’ve ever seen How I Met Your Mother, and know how Robin speaks to Patrice…it was something like that. (Nobody asked you PATRIIIICE!!!)

3:06 – In a blind rage, I take my insurance card from her and load the children back in the car.

3:16 – We arrive home and I realize I have no idea what I did with my insurance card after I angrily took it from Ms. Helpful. I am instantly filled with regret.

3:40 – I’ve looked everywhere, and it’s nowhere. In my heart of hearts I know that I dropped it in the parking lot while being huffy.

And that is the story of how nearly three hours of effort has yielded me a pile of plastic grapes, and moved my insurance card from laying inside a safe drawer to blowing around the streets of Texas.

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