My morning started off well enough. I stepped on the scale and discovered that I was eight-tenths of a pound away from my goal weight. Considering this represented a 53 pound drop in weight over a two year period, I was pretty excited.
Then my day proceeded to be consumed in a variety of missteps. Three of the most prominent were the following:
About three minutes after arriving at school, I realized that my wedding band had fallen off. Given the weight loss, the ring was already loose and had fallen off several times before, but this time I failed to notice it drop off my finger.
I spend the critical first hour of my morning searching for the ring, retracing my steps to and from my car. I searched the classroom, the playground, the parking lot and the interior of my car with great precision.
I had consigned myself to telling my wife the bad news when I decided to retrace my steps one more time before my students arrived. During this final attempt, I remembered that I had walked into the school with a grocery bag full of food. I had emptied the bag into my refrigerator and then tossed the bag into the trashcan.
Inside the trashcan, wrapped up in the plastic bag, was my wedding band.
Can you imagine?
I had literally thrown away my wedding ring.
I stepped into the podiatrist’s office with a Diet Coke that I had just purchased at the adjacent Subway restaurant. I inform the receptionist of my name and that I had a 4:15 appointment.
“First of all,” he said, “That is not allowed in our office.” He pointed at my soda.
Forbidding a grown man to drink a soda in the waiting room was annoying (and I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have been treated differently had it been a coffee or a stainless steel water bottle), but I was especially annoyed by the way he informed me of this ridiculous rule.
I responded in kind.
“Did you mean the Diet Coke? Or all types of beverages? Hot beverages, too? Explain that, if you could.”
Proving himself suitably armed for verbal combat, he said, “That” and pointed emphatically at the soda once again.
“Fine,” I said. “I’m a little early. I’ll finish it outside.” I stepped onto the sidewalk in front of the glass doors and drank my soda, making sure the receptionist could see me from where he was sitting.
I then came back inside. “Hi,” I said in an overly cheery tone. “I’m here for my 4:15 appointment.”
“Did you complete the online questionnaire as instructed?”
“Um… no,” I said. “My wife made the appointment.”
“Do you have your insurance card?” he asked.
“Of course.” But after a moment of searching the wallet, I realized that I did not.
I swear I have it with me all of the time.
“I’m sorry,” I said, attempting for the first time to inject warmth and humility into my voice for the first time. “I don’t have it.”
He just stared at me.
“Can you help me?” I asked. “I’ve already rescheduled this appointment once.”
He didn’t say anything for a moment, but he looked at me in a way that clearly said:
Oh, now you want me help, huh? Maybe you shouldn’t have been such a jackass five minutes ago when I simply enforced a rule that the doctor has set.
I spent the rest of my time in the waiting room with my tail between my legs.
As I was leaving the mall, I stopped in the restroom to pee. I entered the stall, conducted my business, and then stepped over to the sink and began washing my hands.
I turned left. Standing beside me was a woman, also washing her hands.
I smiled. “I guess I’m the one in the wrong restroom. Huh?”
She did not smile back.