Today, Lori's Secret Paranoia Revealed!
Confession time: I have a totally irrational fear of flat tires. I guess I worry about this more than an actual breakdown because I feel like if my car breaks down, it will be very obvious and also because no one will expect me to be able to do anything about that myself. But I should probably be able to change a tire, right? My inability to do this is seriously not in keeping with this whole independent woman thing I'm shooting for.
So when I run over something on the road, I turn off the radio to listen and make sure everything is ok. Except now I know that there is no need to do so in case of a blowout, no matter how loud you may have the music. I learned this when I should have been within about two hours of arrival at my new apartment in Madison.
I made it over to the right shoulder, stopped, and called Geico. After all, I have been paying them for roadside assistance for years now for just such an occasion. The operator asked me exactly where I was. I told her that I had just seen a sign telling me that I was 56 miles south of Rockford, Illinois. This information was no help at all. I couldn't give her a mile marker and for reasons that pass the understanding, knowing exactly how many miles south of a city I was gave her NO IDEA where on Earth I might be.
She told me to call 911 and have them trace my call. Which I did. Except the operator there said no, of course there was no way of tracing my call. She asked me where I was and was similarly dumbfounded when I reported that I was 56 miles south of Rockford. She'd have state troopers look for me, but without a mile marker, this could take a long time. This is also what I was told by the state trooper who called me. I could be sitting there for quite some time while he searched for me.
Rockford is apparently a cagey city, the location of which cannot be determined by anyone in the Northern Illinois area.
Eventually, Trooper Anderson located me and, God bless him, changed the tire himself. Which also involved moving the 27 inch TV that was sitting on top of my spare. Trooper Anderson, you are my hero and if I didn't know that you had a wife from Eau Claire and an eleven year-old son who is a real science whiz, I would have kissed you right on the mouth.
I was off once again, driving roughly thirty miles per hour slower than I had been. I was nearing the Wisconsin border when I was informed that my couch would not fit through the door to my apartment. (My movers beat me there by several hours and went ahead and moved my stuff without me.) Outstanding.
On the other hand, I was informed shortly thereafter that Toppers were on their way. And, coming into Madison, the view of the Capitol and downtown buildings reflected in the lake is really, really beautiful. The weather has been perfect and my apartment really is quite adorable. Maybe, someday, if I ever get all of the boxes out of my living room, I'll take pictures for you. My new couch should even be here any day now. Sectional. Small pieces for fitting through narrow hallways and doors. My two new tires are also quite lovely.
And I have already been officially welcomed by the city of Madison.
Thanks, Madison. Happy to be here.