At the Very End, 2016 Did Me Dirty

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My favorite book when I was a kid was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I have always had a penchant for dramatizing bad news, reacting as though the world is falling apart, & that book has always helped to remind me that, well, "Some days are like that. Even in Australia."

I've been channeling that book a lot today. 

Backstory: I purchased my iPhone 5s brand new on the day it came out in fall of 2013, standing in line at the Dupont Circle AT&T store on a visit to D.C. just before I decided to move back. With the help of a sturdy case, that phone has lasted me more than three years - but in recent weeks, I knew the end was near. It started shutting off at 35%, certain apps froze at random, stuff like that. It usually worked OK, though, so I said I'd ride it 'til the wheels fell off.

Yesterday, the wheels fell off. When I arrived home after a quick shopping trip at Crocker Park (where, incidentally, the nearest Apple store is located), my phone flashed about a dozen colors, like those old cable testing screens, then glowed neon green & shut down entirely. No amount of charging has brought it back to life, & indeed, I fear its life has come to an end.

No problem! Annoying, for sure, but I knew it was coming. I made an appointment at the nearest Genius Bar with an upcoming appointment (about half an hour away) & headed out this afternoon, written directions in hand & a little flutter of excitement in my heart for the new iPhone I was soon to own (a few thousand dollars be damned).

I was barely out of my driveway when my low tire pressure light went on - light, aggressively. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Something was wrong, indicated not just by that sound but by the painfully loud sound of metal scraping pavement.

Talk about riding it 'til the wheels fall off... I'd blown a tire. That's what I get for using that phrase, apparently.

OK, so, problem: I wasn't going to make it to Akron to snag a new phone, but without one, how was I going to call AAA to come fix my tire?! Do I even still have AAA? I sent a tweet to my BFF Lindsey, who kindly called my mother at work & asked her to jump on Facebook messenger with me. My mom, in the midst of a busy workday, called AAA on my behalf, & she Facebooked me an hour later to say they were nearby.

Lem, a very friendly AAA roadside assistance tech, made haste in switching out my busted tire for my spare tire. But get this: The spare tire is kind of flat, too, & to top it off, Lem's air pump wasn't working. So now I have to make haste myself & gingerly drive my car with its flat spare to the nearest tire shop (once I figure out where it is).

While waiting for Lem to arrive, I took the plunge & decided I didn't want to drive any more than I had to & instead ordered an iPhone via Apple online. It's supposed to be delivered to me tomorrow.

While I am feeling very Alexander at the moment, I'd like to take a second to list a few things for which I'm grateful, because I'm trying to make that my new jam. In this madness, I'm grateful for:
  • Decent weather for waiting outside for a repairman to come, especially in December;
  • Being (mostly) able to afford a new tire & a new iPhone at the same time;
  • The fact that the blowout occurred on my own street & not halfway to Akron, on the highway;
  • The two kind strangers who offered me help while I was clunking down the road on a bad tire;
  • The lovely Sara, who offered via Twitter to call AAA for me from California;
  • My BFF Lindsey, who called my mom at work & talked me through car & phone options;
  • My mom, who called AAA for me even though she was slammed at work;
  • The typically curmudgeonly barista who gave me advice about rims for future reference;
  • And, of course, Mike, who always keeps me calm when I'm the spazziest
So, yes, there's still plenty to be thankful for, even on bad days. But all I can say is: Damn, 2016, you cold. I'd been defending you! But some years are just like that, I guess. Even in Australia.

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