Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Crazy, Mixed-Up, Horrible, Unfortunate, Frustrating, Very Bad Day

I'll end your pity and suspense right now by telling you that everything ended up OK. First of all, I didn't actually go crazy, kill myself, kill my children, go on a shooting rampage, or throw the cake onto the floor. I just want you to know that before I begin in case you get worried as the story progresses.

I started the morning by realizing that the same load of laundry was sitting in a basket in my room that had been sitting there for at least three or four days.
This is not normal for me. I usually enjoy doing the laundry. Not only is it a good excuse to turn on a nice medical show like The Boy With No Skin or The 750 Pound Tumor that I can sort laundry while listening to (because a lot of those shows you don't actually have to watch--and sometimes the close ups of the Siamese twinectomies make me a little woozy anyway), but it also fills the drawers with matching, organized, carefully folded clothes for me and my kids, which gives me some sort of freakish OCD pleasure. But the week had gotten away from me somehow and the laundry was still sitting there, glaring at me impatiently. So I threw it on top of the laptop on my bed so that I would HAVE to sort it before I could get to the computer.

Then, because I'm smarter than my laundry, I shoved it out of the way and got online. But this was no social visit. I had a train cake masterpiece to create for my son's pseudo-birthday. And I needed inspiration. Three hours and 27 minutes later, I had plenty of train cake masterpiece pictures to look at, a good recipe for buttercream frosting, 5 new shirts and 3 pairs of jeans from Old Navy (Ok I got sidetracked for a while), and the realization that I was never going to be able to make a decent-looking train cake.

So I gritted my teeth and decided to do what every good baker does in the face of a daunting cake...check the mail for new catalogues. Unfortunately, there weren't any good catalogues today. Just bills. And not just any bills, BAD bills. The kind that say IRS on them and CitiBank and Old Navy. And in an attempt to procrastinate my cake nightmare even longer, I decided to actually open the dreaded letters. The one from the IRS said that I owed them $5694 for a charge off from Chase Bank from 2 years ago. Chase bank filed a 1099 in that amount and now the IRS wanted me to compensate Chase for their loss out of my taxes. Or something. I'm no Al Capone. I just pay what I owe. Usually. But in this case Chase was wrong. They conveniently forgot that they sold my debt to a third party collector (aren't you loving this glimpse at my dirty laundry?) so they, by obscure tax law that my tax guy told me about, cannot file a 1099 loss. AND, I have already tried to convince the IRS of this fact. And sent them proof (in the form of many letters attempting to secure this amount by said collection agency), which they then ignored and told me I needed Chase to send them a letter affirming my claims. But...HELLO!....if Chase was aware of this or wanted to be honest about it, WHY WOULD THEY HAVE FILED THE 1099 IN THE FIRST PLACE? So yeah, that bought me another good 45 minutes of not making a cake while I fumed and threw objects around the kitchen.

Next I opened my bank statement. This one is always good for several hours of avoiding whatever you should be doing. And there on my bank statement was a charge for $40 from the company I hired to make me buff at the gym last summer. LAST SUMMER. As in, I stopped the hopeless task of trying to become buff in JUNE and they were still charging me in DECEMBER. A 45 minute call later, involving several peons, I was more riled up than before. The peons refused to refund me any money because I had somehow signed up for the auto renew. How? Oh, I guess it was in the teeny tiny print that covered the entire back of my contract. Never mind that I hadn't used a trainer for a session in six months. No, the contract said they could charge me until I give them 30 days notice of cancellation or the hair from a winged, golden Unicorn. I asked to speak to a manager. They put me back on hold.

So, nice and red-faced and pissed as hell, I decided it was a good time to start on the cake. So I went to work making two kinds of cake in 3 different loaf pans, 4 mini loaf pans, and 2 cupcake holes. Just about the time the cakes should have been done, the supervisor got on the line. We proceeded to go the rounds on whether or not it was honest, ethical, or in any way good business practice to follow the technicalities of the contract and charge someone for something they had never used, and on whether two bad knees, a bad shoulder, two toddlers, and a penchant for baked goods constituted a permanent disability (which would be the only way she might refund any of my money).

Right about this time, Daphne spiked a fever, became irrationally upset, wet her pants thoroughly, and starting screaming about needing chocolate. Beck also chose this moment to express his unhappiness for the shot he had gotten the previous day at the doctor's office. The were both screaming and crying and pulling on my legs. This made the supervisor especially sympathetic to my cause.

So to make this long story slightly shorter, I forgot about the cakes. When I finally remembered them, they were quite brown. And they had huge humps in the middle--not very train car like. My husband, who was supposed to be home early to help me get ready for the pseudo-party, was MIA. I still needed to get up some Christmas lights outside. My children were still sobbing uncontrollably about chocolate (Beck had joined her plight by now). And I was strongly considering either committing mass murder and then suicide (now you finally know what drives people to that conclusion) or else moving to Bangladesh, abandoning my social security number, and changing my name to Saraswati.

But as I said, it all turned out OK. My children got medicated, my husband showed up with two kinds of licorice, candy, and mini Oreos for my cake, so the cake got finished. AND he wrangled the kids to a safe distance out of my striking range, smart man. The kids' moods turned giddy as soon as Grandma and Grandpa showed up. And no one noticed that I never got to that load of laundry now flung all over my bed. The only thing remaining on my to do list after that long day involved either bullets, Anthrax powder, or a car bomb and an unnamed government agency. Oh, and a manager from No-Sympathy Fitness. Hey, I'm not perfect.


Hildie said...

I want to see the cake!

Christie said...

So, did the laundry ever get done? And I'd also like to see the cake.

Koreena said...

That is one horrible day! Sorry! (((HUGS)))

rachel said...

gotta love those kind of days....I am very proud of you for leaving the bullets and anthrax powder out of it :)

Suzie said...

Oh my!!! How awful! I am happy to hear that everyone is still living. Ditto, I want to see the cake.

Erica said...

what a day! Is Daphne's fever better?

How did the cake turn out? Photos!!!

rychelle said...

i love that daphne demanded chocolate while she wasn't feeling well. maybe we are related. ;)

Kay said...

hope everything is better (and that the cake was worth it).

heidi said...

i don't have anything witty to say, i just felt the need to say something:
a-i can relate.
b-i also demand chocolate when i am not well.
c-why are crazy medical shows so compelling?
d-the cake turned out amazing.

Kristine said...

Wow, those kind of days are so hard! My one hate as a mom is when my kids hang on my legs! I don't know why it bugs me so much, but I can't stand it!! I'm glad things worked out by the end of the night :)

Tiffany said...

I'm so sorry. Glad you could still make me laugh. Is that any consolation?

Mia said...

Wow, that is one heck of a bad and stressful day! Sorry about that one govt agency and the lame-0 gym. I am so glad that it all worked out in the end. I loved the cake! Very very nice job.

Mindi said...

i'm sorry.

i would have helped you but i was too busy being strung out and stoned on ambien.

Kati Atwood said...

Okay, now I feel TERRIBLE about making you help us. We love you. Thank you. You are awesome! And the cake turned out AWESOME!!