Today started off like any normal Saturday for me: I went to the laundromat and when I got home I balanced the check register and updated Everydollar. And then I did something kind of out of the ordinary: I looked up directions to The Bookseller, a local bookstore in Grass Valley so I could attend the YA Author Panel at 1pm.
12:13pm // I was so proud of myself because I left early enough to explore the bookstore a little bit before the event.
Because of my car accident at the beginning of June, I’ve been chauffeured around for the past two months. Since our new-to-us car purchase last week, I’ve been driving myself again and I feel like a new driver in some instances. Today, I felt really proud of myself for driving up Grass Valley Highway. (I’m a nervous driver to begin with. The accident didn’t help with that).
And then Garfield (our GPS) told me to take Exit 182A 174/Colfax. If you didn’t know–because I didn’t until today–this is an exit only lane. And it was crowded. And because I am overly cautious and nervous I did not force my way in. I tried–I slowed down a little and my blinker was on–but I decided to just pass it.
Garfield rerouted me to Exit 182B Idaho-Maryland something. That was easy: I just got back on Highway 20 and stayed in that exit only lane for like 30 seconds to Exit 182A. Easy peasy.
I found The Bookseller.
Right in the heart of Downtown Grass Valley. With parallel parking only on either side of the street (of course) and none of them empty (of course again). (Which I was kinda relieved about though because I don’t parallel park. Especially in the middle of a two-way street that would cause other people to stop and watch me fail at parallel parking and double especially when the empty space is between two cars. Thank goodness the car in front of me took it).
So I kept driving.
I passed a Wells Fargo. And just like the Wells Fargo in Auburn’s downtown, they had a sign up that said For Customers Only. Which I am. But parking there for two-ish hours would definitely look suspicious.
So I kept driving.
The brief thought of “Oh I could’ve stopped and asked them where parking was” entered my mind, but it was closely followed by: Can’t park there. Can’t park there. I need to turn around. There’s someone behind me. I am going to be so late. They’re going to lock the doors. I’m going too slow. Why is there nowhere to park?
Not knowing where parking is, driving in a town I’m unfamiliar with, and as a result going to be late–I am
extremely frustrated at this point. And stressed frantic. I’m having hot flashes and telling myself I should’ve anticipated this and looked up parking beforehand.
1:01pm // I’m near tears when I finally see a Paco’s Tacos or something with a parking lot. I park and call Anthony, who’s home by this point from work and Walmart shopping. We have a very agitated conversation revolving around him helping me. It included me asking him to look up parking and him suggesting that I ask for help and me arguing that I don’t know anybody and him pointing out well yes but ask anyway and segued into a very dramatic: “I might just come home because now I’m late. I’ll figure it out. I’ll see you when I see you. I’ll figure it out” and ended with like five hundred “hellos?” and one “I lost yous” before I closed my phone with a “Stupid cell phone” and put the address in again to start over. (#reallife here guys. I am so overly dramatic and sarcastic when I’m mad that it’s not even funny. It’s just mean. And sad)
(Background note: Anthony’s cell phone does not get good service at our house for phone calls. So knowing that we could lose the call at any second was even more agitating and I allowed it add to the already present frantic-ness. Also, I hate texting on a phone when I’m frustrated. Especially a flip phone).
I passed the library (which looks so beautiful!) and passed a street that looked like it lead to some kind of shopping center with a parking lot, but I couldn’t really tell so I drove past it.
I passed The Bookseller again. And turned right at the light. And I just drove down Main Street looking for a parking space/sign. (At this point, I wasn’t sure if it was East or West Main).
1:10pm // Then finally, I found one.
A whole empty sidewalk full of parallel parking brackets. I of course chose the last one so that I would be able to pull out easily, narrowing the chances of rear-ending anyone in front of me. I turned the GPS off, locked my car, and called Anthony, who was desperately trying to figure out how to help me (#husbandwin) even though he had no idea of the name of the bookstore or its address (#wifefail). I apologized for being angry and yelling at him and taking my frustration out on him. I assured him I wasn’t coming home, that I was going to still go even though I was late. He forgave me, we said our “I love yous,” and I walked up the street to The Bookseller.
And I am so glad that I decided to attend. I got to spend the afternoon listening to three authors talk about their novels and journey so far, writing and creativity, and the publishing world with the other readers and writers in attendance. I now have a local bookstore to go to and support and take my pocket money. And, lastly, I won the raffle prize! I now own three new books. And I just read The Possibility of Now like two weeks ago (I borrowed it from my library), but the other two novels and authors are brand new to me 🙂
I wandered around the store for a good twenty minutes before walking back to my car, promising myself I’d come back. As I walked down the street I told myself, “At least you pursued.” And I was happy with myself.
And then I get to my car and it won’t start.
We just bought The New Saturn eight days ago. From a used car dealership. So the battery is good.
When no noise happened, the first thought in my head was: “My headlights.” Yep they were on.
3:18pm // And my second phone call to Anthony of the day started off like this: “You know when you’re coming up Grass Valley Highway and you have to turn your headlights on? Yeah…my headlights were on. My car won’t start.”
So I gave him the address to where I was and waited.
I decided this day was too real life not to write about. So I’m sitting on a green bench in front of a brick building waiting for my husband to drive up with our battery charger.
Anthony and I have been together six years ago today. Today is the day Anthony asked me to be his girlfriend. He met my parents for the first time six years ago today. We took his Ford Taurus in for an oil change (a car that made it 5 1/2 years with us). We held hands and walked to CVS to buy drinks while we waited.
4:00pm // I don’t know if I believed in The Knight and Shining Armor idea back then. I was nineteen, though, and was definitely wearing rose-colored glasses when it came to relationships. Fast forward six years and he just pulled up 125 East Main in Grass Valley to charge The New Saturn’s battery.
So I don’t know if knights in shining armor on white horses exist, but mine–he drives a 2003 Mazda Protegé and picks out Popeye from a stack of superhero t-shirts.
In the midst of all the dramatics, I was reminded of two things:
- What true love looks like. (because if you were paying attention to the times, you know we live 30+ minutes away from Grass Valley)
- Show up anyway because I never know what I’ll discover. (In this case it was new stories and a bookstore).
And in those ten minutes we waited for The New Saturn’s battery to charge, we sat on my green bench and talked about how Anthony’s day had gone so far. Real life. True Love.
P.S. Oh look, a parking sign 🙂