I figured it would happen this way.
Two days off work to start off the week, parents and two youngest siblings here for the weekend, and I just knew either something would suck me back in to the office or leave me desperately trying to catch up on Wednesday morning.
And by something, I meant one particular school district whose meeting I was skipping.
So I checked my email Monday and Tuesday morning and saw only spam and thought, just maybe, I’d dodged the bullet.
Until I walked into work this morning, and found exactly what I’d been afraid of in the several emails sent over the course of yesterday.
Darn Murphy’s Law!
It does seem to happen that way. Wait and wait and call just to make sure and no, no ruling from the judge yet, so you walk away and just as soon as you power down the computer and walk out the door, the ruling is filed.
Linger late into the afternoon for that phone call you can’t publish the story without and when it doesn’t come you walk into the break room to heat a cup of water for tea and when you come back, the message light is blinking and the call has come and gone.
Sometimes we try to game the system. One of us will walk out for a smoke or a drink of water, the other promises to grab the phone if it rings.
The system knows better.
Usually it’s got a couple tricks up its sleeve too. So my coworker heads out for his smoke and sure enough, two seconds later his phone rings and I grab it and… it’s a grumpy old woman with way too much time on her hands irritated because of something about her neighbor and her paper and why isn’t her grandson’s name printed under the honor rolls yet? And while I tie up his phone line trying to get her to hang up, the call he’s waiting for comes and goes again.
So today saw me scrambling for comments and skimming court opinions and typing fast while trying to remember what people who haven’t written about this 15 times don’t know, and cursing the law of nature that says whenever you wait, nothing happens, but whenever you’re gone it happens right away.
But it was worth the hectic morning, taking those days off.
We ate too much and bought ice cream when my six-year-old brother looked horrified when no chocolate was forthcoming after dinner and fed ferrets their favorite treats and screamed when their noses tickled four-year-old toes and walked in cool spring shade and dug dandelions out of wet dirt and screamed again when worms stretched long over hands but stomped with gusto on fat white grubs.
The brother tried to read my Dr. Seuss books until he realized, poor early reader, that they were in Spanish so no wonder he couldn’t read them! The sister begged to play with ferrets but wouldn’t quite touch them when they were out, and we sent them both outside and drank tea or wine until the neighbor’s dog sent both running smack into the front door, they were too scared to stop for the door knob.
She called Vesper the Stinky Little One when Vesper darted past her into the bedroom, and the Sneaky Little Baby when she peered out of her cage to see what the unusual commotion was.
And all the way back through Pittsburgh we chatted through her baby snores and his comments (on blinkers, trucks, bridges, tunnels) ’till we reached the airport. He prefaced his good bye by saying he had something to say, a chance to reserve his airspace while he tried to remember what it was he was going to say.
She repeated everything he did, not to be outdone, and walked slow behind the rest, turning her small face back in dramatic last glimpses and pathetic waves before they disappeared into the airport doors.
Today I left message for attorneys who never returned them and talked to the prothonatary who knows me by name and read and reread a three-sentence court order to make sure I understood and filed just little past deadline and wondered why it always worked out this way?
But I’d still have taken those two days off, Murphy’s Law or not.