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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why I MUST Work From Home

(Or: Optional Post Title: Why Townspeople Ought Never Consort With Non- Townspeople)

When residing in the windswept, wide open prairies, one must rely on modes of transportation to ever, really leave town. When one's residence is, literally, a town, this is further complicated by the fact that there is no public transportation to rely on and townspeople have two choices: A)Live on social assistance and never hope to leave town, or B) work yer ass off to afford your vehicle which constantly deteriorates as you continuously leave town.

I've got a thing for leaving town, so I carefully chose option B.
But I must reconsider.

The first thing to concede is that my boundaries in friendship had expanded to include the Big City. This was an obvious, colossal risk, complicated by the fact that People of the City have broad notions which include moving to even Bigger Cities far, far away. This entails certain farewell rituals which must occur within a set time period of said worldly friend's departure to Places Yet Unknown.

At 10:00 am I backed out of the driveway and optimistically headed off down the highway. The air conditioner had long since exhaled its last humid sigh, and the open windows masked the mysterious sounds of fans and belts, fluids and functions. The dashboard warnings had blinked insistently since some electronic malfunction, constantly urging us to change the oil, check the engine, fasten our seat belt. It never paused to check our receipts from tasks already accomplished.

Suddenly, a new warning appeared.

"Engine Coolant Hot"

In red.

The dial on the other end of the panel concurred.

Now, I haven't gained the reputation for being stupid by not being stupid in the past. Fortunately, I am teachable. So, I turned the van around (slowly) to point back towards Hoo-Ville, gathered up my belongings and stepped out onto the highway. I was glad I'd chosen a little white sundress, so that at an oncoming speed of 90 km/hour, I would create the image of a young, sweet, helpless damsel in distress. (not an aged hag in her daughter's hand-me-downs)

It worked. With my thumb extended, I was soon rescued by a charming English couple on their way to pick up fresh curds from our local world renown cheese factory. After an enchanting conversation, they dropped me off near home so that I could race towards my alternate mode of transport: the infamous farm truck. Like I mentioned, having friends out of town is a risky venture. I wouldn't recommend it.

Although I am stupid, and have been referred to in the past as the biggest loser who ever walked planet earth, I was shrewd enough to run inside and grab a roll of packing tape before I ventured out on the highway once again. The side view mirror had a way of falling off, and what with the particle board box built around the truck's box, checking for traffic, pedestrians, and small pets behind me already proved near impossible. If I backed over a city bus on my way over to Karla's, I'd never get to have that farewell breakfast at Stella's. Better wrap some packing tape around the mirrors to ensure the safety of all out of town Manitobans.

Only thirty-seven minutes behind schedule, I roared up to Karla's respectable bungalow in a respectable city neighbourhood. Not wanting to have her run out of town by a lethal exposure to public humility, I parked a little ways down the block. For reasons mysterious to me, Karla insisted on driving her fancy uptown vehicle so that we could commemorate our tearful good byes over breakfast burritos at Stella's.

I didn't mind. Too many parkades, pedestrian crosswalks, and other urban landmines to traverse. I still had the Montana carcass and the packing taped GMC in my wake. Best not to tempt fate.

After sobbing over homemade hash browns and boring Karla over every detail of my fascinating out of town existence, it was time to head back towards the suburbs. Karla, ever being the mission-minded philanthropist; offered to walk me to my ride.

It was around this time that I remembered the last time I'd been forced into the GMC. Brian was off at the Folk Fest in the Montana and I was at home trying to find my shoes and undergarments to transition into the real world and take in a family wedding. I wasn't confident enough to actually show up at the celebration in a rusted half ton, so ploughed out to my sister's estate (sans side view mirror) to catch a ride with her. After the nuptuals (an event worth a post or two, no.... possibly an entirely new blogspot......) we reconvened at her house for some cider and tears. (laughter induced).

Realizing that the regular world had to be back at the office the next morning, I grasped that it was probably high time I took my truck and me back home.

But I couldn't find the keys anywhere. (biggest loser.... blahdy blah....)

Lucky for me, the relatives had a spare key and hustled me out the door, into the night, and towards the country roads that would take me home.

Fast forward to suburban Winnipeg. When I rumbled into town, I wanted to be all savvy and metropolitan and lock that enviable ride up safe and sound against potential joy-riders.

Except that the spare key that my sister gave me was for the ignition and not for the locked door. Which left me up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Or conversely, on the suburban street without a key. Shy of busting off the rusty side panel, or slipping through the rusting floorboards, I was at the mercy of my munificent friend, who charitibly offered to drive me back to Hoo-Ville for that other magical key. Sort of like the key to the city, but way different.

It was around about this time that it dawned on me with some resounding finality that I was always going to work from home. That it would be in my best interest, and in the best interest of most people I love that I never, ever leave home again.

Meanwhile, Karla brought me to my sister's office so that I could get the proper set of keys and set the world back to rights. I thanked her profusely, leaned over to give her a good-bye hug and usher her into the new life that awaited her in another city far, far away.

Which is when she patiently reminded me that she would still need to drive me back to the city, with the key, to get back into my packing taped truck and return home again.


And I wonder why I never finished my University degree.

I further wondered why, and how I had friends. Except that people like to be made to feel useful. And benevolent. Which is what I do for people. By quick comparison, I make them look smart, and useful, and capable. Furthermore, I am willing to stay at home most of the time, and look after their children. Without a vehicle on the driveway.

So. If you know anyone who needs childcare, please don't forward them this post. I imagine that I'll be spending a lot of time at home this next year, having never finished my degree, and fulfilling the needs of people around me to feel useful and needed.

Furthermore, I will be alienating any vestiges of friendships that I have remaining in geographical locations outside of town limits.

Call it a preemptive strike. I'd prefer they not find out firsthand just what a commitment it is to have long distance relationships with the likes of me. Besides, I'll be busy working from home. Got some mechanical bills to pay.


Judy said...

So, get that vehicle road ready and come visit me in Michigan.

I rarely leave home either.

Karla said...

I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something that would happen to me........MK

joyce said...

really? I'm glad these things don't just happen to me.
Judy, be careful what you wish for. wouldn't that be FUN?!

Karla, karla. You are a true gem.

Anonymous said...

Oh Joyce, if you only knew some of the things that I have gone through.......MK

Anonymous said...

I like you.

joycie said...

MK- ever consider a blog? You and I could pair up in being the laughing stocks of hoo ville...

VB- you are an exception to all the people I have yet to alienate. Even though you finished your degree. (joyce)