Most normal women paint their nails all at once with only a few minutes between coats. Then they’re rendered useless while waiting for the polish to dry.
I have never been accused of being normal or like most women. And as a caregiver…well, there are reasons my nails enjoy naked freedom.
But darn it, this dinner would be worth it, and they could certainly last one night for me, right? Well, timing problems became apparent right away as it took me longer between coats to get done what I had to do. No problem. I still had plenty of time. I could make it.
My last coat didn’t go on until the sun was coming up Sat morning, and after flawless applications all night, I hit something and one of my nails wiped off, down to the nail bed.
Come on! This is why I let each coat dry thoroughly. It wasn’t fair.
Too exhausted to think, I decided to fix it and try the cold water quick-dry method. Since I hadn’t paid attention to the instructions before then, I had to come up with cold water fast, no time to let the ice melt as per the directions. Instead, I filled two little bowls with ice and poured in cold water from the fridge then plunged my fingers into the arctic.
Four minutes later, my fingers hurt beyond belief. Certain I’d given myself frostbite and that they were going to fall off (but wouldn’t they be gorgeous?), I pulled them out of the water and tried to shake some warmth into them.
The polish appeared solid, so I rushed off to finish my last task before sleep. A nap more than a luxurious night of shut-eye at this point.
Before I finished, my nails remembered they were still wet underneath and the tips wore off. On one nail, the polish slid to the side, and clung to the edge of my skin like a glacier on a mountainside. Not easily fixable.
By then I’d lost too much time to shave and fix everything; I’d already been up for over 24 hours. I went to bed for a 3 hour nap, disappointed that the knee-length dress was no longer an option.
When I got up, I realized the pants I’d planned as an alternate weren’t clean. My choice was a fast wash or wear yoga pants. Yeah, right. Fast wash it was. By the time my husband would be ready, I’d have just enough time for the pants to be dry if I dried them at a higher temp than normal, assuming nothing else crazy happened.
And wouldn’t you know it.
There are certain aspects of life with a wheelchair that you just have to deal with whether you want to or not, whether you plan for it or not, and whether you have the time or not. We did what we could to make sure it would not be one of those times.
But again, this is me we’re talking about, and it’s still during this crazy year that has chewed us up and spit us out into completely unrecognizable territory.
We took care of it. There was no choice about it.
Stress level quickly ratcheting higher, we ripped through our final preparations in record time, and managed to make it into the car without a minute to spare.
Just before we set off, I painted a layer on the disastrous nail. At least it would appear to have color on it. And I’d just have to keep my fingers splayed on the steering wheel as I drove. No problem. Not as gorgeous as I’d hoped, but I still looked decent enough for the event.
(You’d never guess these were perfect when I finished them this morning. At least the toes came out good.)
As we got on the highway, one of the alert boards showed a wreck ahead, and times that normally read 9-11 minutes stated 45 mins or longer. We passed too quickly to see where the accident was exactly, but I grew up here and know several alternate routes.
The traffic came to a standstill just after the last exit before the one we needed, and there were flashing lights at the one we would have taken. I got off at the earlier exit. But on the over-road, another sea of red lights greeted me. Great, must be the bleed off of everyone using side streets to avoid the accident.
After several light changes, we were finally close enough to see that the traffic going straight, down another back road I could use to skirt to the highway I needed, had cleared. Though I was in the turn lane (hoping to get to a closer access road), the car behind and next to me went slowly enough that I was able to jump over.
Now we were moving again. Not ideal, but we’d still make it only a few minutes late.
At the next access road, I turned right…and came to another standstill.
Just like on the highway, traffic had stopped and there were flashing lights at the ramp I needed. Ugh. We sat through 4 light changes not moving AT ALL. I was able to jump over to the turn lane, but it ended in a neighborhood with no outlet. I made a U-turn and headed in the opposite direction I needed to go.
It was a long work around, but would eventually put me on the highway I needed to get to. At this point, my husband was giving up on ever getting there.
I wasn’t done yet, though. We’d been in plenty of tight situations before and somehow always managed to pull through and get where we needed to be.
The road passed one of the back roads back to our house, and as we stopped at the red light there, the engine started coughing and sputtering.
At this point, there was no way we would be less than 30 – 40 mins late and my brain quickly flashed forward to the car engine quitting on the way home, if we even made it there.
That was the final straw.
I made a U-turn at the next light and headed back for the road to home, engine running fine. My husband asked why, and I pointed out how many figurative walls we’d hit trying to get to this thing. I was done.
He called Disney Dining (who seemed mystified that this event was happening, and on Disney property), and they eventually got him transferred to the restaurant. Unfortunately the managers were all occupied beginning the event, so the woman took our name and number and said someone would eventually call us back to explain the cancellation procedure and what it entailed.
Very nice speak for “kiss your money goodbye.”
As this was taking place, we passed another bad accident on a busy overpass, very glad we weren’t stuck behind them, because there was no way to get off the bridge. Those cars weren’t going anywhere for a while.
It felt like the world had gone crazy.
For whatever reason, we were not meant to be at that dinner. It was mystifying. Sure there have been bad accidents in the area before, and blockages on local highways weren’t unusual. The timing of these were. Never had we been blocked at EVERY access point and stuck in traffic that did. not. move.
I’m not saying some deity caused those accidents so we wouldn’t make our event, but I don’t believe in coincidences. And the engine sputtering was hard to ignore.
I went out the next evening to pick up groceries and supplies and had no problems.
I told my husband we may never understand why, and we never heard back from anyone. It wasn’t like it was just an expensive lesson because there wasn’t anything to learn. Had we left as early as we’d wanted, we might’ve been involved in any one of those accidents. And when we did leave, there was no reason we shouldn’t have made it on time.
Fast forward to Monday evening though, and we got an email receipt showing they’d refunded the entire cost.
Now I’m making reservations for his birthday. A nice, quiet, normal dinner. No nails will be polished, and my hair color may have faded by then, but I just might get to wear that dress after all.