Sunday, December 20, 2009

Back On the Wagon

I fell off the wagon today for a little while. It happened while I was shopping for cookie ingredients on Centre Street, on the way to a cookie-baking get-together at my sister's house. I was feeling proud of myself because I managed to get my car out and on the road all by myself, despite a dump of about six inches of snow that would have kept me house-bound for days if I were still in New York. Two teenage girls came along as I was digging my car out, and they offered to help and gave me suggestions (such as, “if you dig one front wheel out, you should be able to pull out.”) So I was feeling pretty happy and good about my fellow Bostonians when I went down to Centre Street, found a spot outside the grocery store, and parked my car while I went in to grab a few ingredients for the cookies.

But when I came out of the grocery store, I found a policeman there who had just finished putting a ticket on my car, and this is when I fell off the wagon. As I picked up the ticket and went after him to ask why he had given it to me, I had a moment of feeling very, very sorry for myself. I just moved to this city, I don't have friends here, I got turned down for a job back in New York last week that I was excited about, I'm living off unemployment, and now the parking ticket that I can't afford to pay. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I asked the policeman in the most polite voice I could muster why I had gotten the ticket, and he said, “Emergency snow removal. It's all over the news.” I started to cry and choked on my words as I asked him how much the fine was.

I drove over to my sister's with tears streaming down my face, and simultaneously gave myself a talking-to. “Refarling, you have absolutely no reason to feel bad for yourself. This is unacceptable. You have a master's degree in education, your boyfriend was an asshole who you're better off without AND he is soon going to be replaced by a better boyfriend, the job in New York wasn't that great anyway, and you're lucky to be receiving unemployment money. You had a fantastic vacation last week, and now you're off to spend Christmas with your wonderful family. And, as if that weren't enough, you get to go spend the afternoon making cookies with your great sister and her awesome friends.”

And I was right. I am really lucky for all these reasons and even more. People in Boston are very nice, as evidenced by my sister's neighbor, who, when I arrived outside her house with red-rimmed eyes, kindly offered me a shovel to dig myself a parking spot. As I type this, I have, literally, a pile of adorable kittens lying on me, as well as a very cute bird nearby who (now that La Moustache is out of the picture) is dedicated heart and soul to me. I have amazing friends throughout the world who would welcome a visit from me anytime, and I am making new friends in Boston. Really, it doesn't get a lot better than this, and it is just plain silly to feel bad for myself when I have so much going for me. And best of all, parking tickets in Boston are about $70 cheaper than they are in New York.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my darling,

    I loved the bitter-sweet ending to your tale. I live in constant fear of the Victoria parking police who I've heard are merciless. Now that I can't physically move off the sofa, I've spent afternoons the last few day watching them make their rounds planting tix on the cars in front of my building. I think I need a new pastime.
    Anyway, I'm sorry to hear about the ticket, it would have made me cry too. Your positive attitude is what has, and will continue to, raise your head above the crapiness of late and walk tall and proud.
    And yes, you are welcome to come back to visit us any time!!!!