2004-12-09 - 10:19 a.m.

It’s the Gari Factor.

Yesterday morning I got to work and was sure there was no possible way I could get to Chicago last night because I had so much stuff to do. But yesterday on the way home from work I was agitated that I wasn’t going so I just decided to go, forget everything and go. And that felt good. I felt free and excited to go. So I rushed home, called my Mom’s boyfriend (who owns a rental car franchise)and secured a car, took a bath, packed really fast, fed the cats and was out the door. HOWEVER…Talking Girl at work had dropped my cell phone the day before and broke the antennae and I had to stop at Alltel before I could go anywhere because I wasn’t going to drive to Chicago without a cell phone. (okay, so it worked sometimes, but it only got signal in city areas and I was going to be driving through lots of NOT city areas.) So..the first Alltel I went to didn’t have the part for my archaic phone (which the sales guy referred to as “a weapon”) so he directed me to the West Main Alltel. So I decided to go to Battle Creek first to pick up the rental car and then on my way out of town make a little detour and get the phone fixed. So I get the car (after finding out that the cop I talked to the other day who told me I had until the end of the month to get my license renewed was WRONG because when Gary scanned my license it came back invalid…then he was nice enough to just rent the car to me under his name) and realize that I forgot GARI. In 24 years I have only spent one night away from Gari and that wasn’t something I had planned. It was the night after Eric and I first became romantically involved and we had driven to Canada to pick up his friend Alex who was in Canada on business from Spain. We were stopped at the border by some insane customs guy who wouldn’t let us back through to the US because Alex didn’t have some paper (and didn’t have it the next day either and they let us right through with no questions) and then told me I couldn’t go back through either because I didn’t have my passport (keep in mind that many people pass through that border with no passport, I’ve been doing it all my life). So we were stranded in Canada for the night and I was without Gari. That was the only time. Unless you count the time that dinner turned into all night drinking with my sister and I didn’t go home until six in the morning. But that doesn’t really count because I was awake for most of that night except for the hour or so I slept on some strangers couch.

ANYWAY….Gari is a Garfield doll. I got her in fourth grade. My parents would take us shopping, with $100 a piece, at the end of the school year if we did well in school that year. Zach and I both got a Garfield doll and since I was a girl I named my doll a feminine form of Garfield. Which is Gari. (Over the years we had many Garfield dolls which would get names like Gariella, Garfunkle, Garson, Garsette…) She was always my preferred doll, some people have their blankets from childhood, and I had Gari. I never travel anywhere without her. She’s been to New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, Hawaii, California, Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Canada, France, Scotland, England, Spain, Italy, Belgium…every place I have gone, Gari was with me. She sits strapped in with me on airplanes, in cars…because I cannot risk not being with her. I even take her with me to work on particularly snowy days because I am scared I will get in an accident if I don’t have her with me. So somehow Gari is that thing that I place all my faith in. That she is my luck.

So when I realized yesterday that I forgot her, I had no choice but to go home and get her. This would add another half hour-forty five minutes to my trip. And Zach had to get up at 5 am today for work and so I was really pushing it because as it was I wasn’t going to arrive there until seven and by the time we got ready and got to dinner it would have been about 8 and that leaves little time for just hanging out which is what I really wanted to do. BUT…I was STILL going to do it…get Gari, go to West Main to get the part for my phone. I got to West Main at 5:30. They didn’t have the part, but told me that the Westnedge store had called and they had found the part there. So that would require another half hour of driving and another fifteen minutes of fixing the phone…which would put me on the highway at about 6:30. And that was just too late. So I went to Westnedge, got my phone fixed and came home. Which really sucked. Because I had been driving in circles since 2. Wasted the whole fucking day. I didn’t exercise, do any house projects, my cats didn’t get to go outside and it was beautiful yesterday…nothing. Just driving in circles trying to get to Chicago.

But I did get my phone fixed. AND, finally joined the real world and added voice mail and caller ID. THAT is something. When I renewed my contract almost two years ago voice mail and caller ID were an added charge…now they are free and I am a little annoyed that no one told me that I could add them for free.

So that is that. Today I am just sitting here, thinking I should drive somewhere since I have that stupid rental car…but not really motivated enough to really go anywhere. Maybe I will just drive around for a while and listen to music since I can’t listen to music in my car (because a year ago someone stole my stereo and I have never replaced it). Last night I had the thought that I should drive to Ann Arbor and go Christmas shopping and hang out in coffee shops (Ann Arbor is the coolest place in the world I think)…but then I remembered that I have no money.



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