Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not a Good Start

It hasn't been a good morning. I was just about to leave for the university when I remembered that I hadn't downloaded the latest file of my students' marks onto my memory stick. So I unlock my apartment and do that. Then I bike the 25 minute trip to the university. It's when I get there that I realise that I locked my keys in my apartment. Which also means that I can't lock up my bike either, since the key is... you know.

(I do have a spare key to the apartment, but my father was the one who collected the set of keys and he forgot to give me the second one, so it's about 600 km west. And that also means that none of this is my fault, since it's clearly genetic.)

So I bike back to the apartment. I'm dressed for the -1 degree weather in everything but my shoes, which means by this point, my upper body is drenched with sweat, and my feet are numb. I verify that my door is, in fact, locked, stash my bike in the laundry room, and get the phone number for the landlord from the person across the hall (whom I have never spoken to prior, BTW. Great first impression.). Then I walk BACK to the university, because I can't catch a bus, since, guess what, I forgot my wallet too. Then once I reach the university, I realise that I need access to my office, because my students' test papers are in there. I get the department secretary to let me in--for the second time, because TWO DAYS AGO I locked the same set of keys in the office.
So yeah, not good start to the day.
I talked to my landlord, and I've arranged to be let in later (which was good; my landlord can be notoriously hard to get a hold of sometimes). And the whole thing was made a lot easier because my landlord and the grad secretary were both very understanding. But it still bugs me.

And this is where the life writing comes in.

This sort of thing happens to me a lot. A lot a lot. In fact, when I once described a similar occurrence to a group of friends, one commented, "yeah, that sounds like a Person sort thing to happen," and everyone else nodded sagely. (They used my real name, not Person, but you get the idea.) Events like this happen so often, people can use my name as an adjective to describe them. That's a problem.

People who know me know that I like stories, and I like telling stories. The latter is so much the case that sometimes, I'll even do things that I know are bad ideas, just for the story that will result. Things like ordering a bad drink (the oatmeal cookie martini) or taking a camera into a men's room. It's little stuff. But sometimes, I worry that I take it a step too far. I know people who seem to thrive on drama in their personal life, to the point where they'll make the same mistakes over and over again, and there's not much you can do besides lending an occasional ear and staying out of the way. And I'm concerned that I'm the same way, that the reason these ridiculous, convoluted scenarios keep happening to me is because, on some level, I want them to happen. And to deliberately cause such tension in my life--it just seems like such a waste, you know?

Still, I'm glad that this particular tension-causer looks like it's going to land topside up. Now all I have to worry about is that none of my fellow tenants steal my bike before I get home.
....crap, now I'm not going to be able to think of anything else, am I?

Later Days.


Peter_Applebaulm said...

Stiff upper lip, old bean. If it is of any consolation to you, I think your taunting friends can go trip on a bootlace, the swine. Had you asked me prior to the post above to apply your name as an adjective, I'd have used it to define an ambitious young scholar-cyclist. For example: "Say, there goes Lance Armstrong, whom I find PersonOfConsequensesque, although he's not as smart and too old."

Person of Consequence said...

Thanks, Peter. And to be fair to my friend, (who, comment aside, has been a fairly good friend) I think the comment arose from my tendency to dwell on such things and expound on them at great length. Wallow, if you will. And that might be more a problem than the thing in the first place. So I'll take your advice: the upper lip will be stiffed, the glass will be filled halfway, and the positive will be extenuated.

Kate said...

I value narrative more than common sense, so that all sounds pretty okay to me. Do things that make good stories, because stories are what last.

Person of Consequence said...

Word. (In fact, lots of words, one hopes.)

anecdotal said...

As someone who was forced to witness the oatmeal cookie martini moment, it was not, in any possible way, a good idea, no matter its future narrative value. The fact you paid close to $10 for a disgusting drink still confounds me :)

Person of Consequence said...

All right, so maybe the Oatmeal Martini was a mistake. But what about the Apple Cider? The Banana daiquiri? The slutini? If the price of discovery means slogging through the bad and the good, then I for one will hold my nose and slog back with dignity.