Friday I had a wedding in El Paso, Texas.
El Paso is 600 miles away from our home. That’s 9 hours of driving the posted speed limits from here to El Paso.
And the entire trip sucked from A to Z. Balls, Ass, Monkey Brains, whatever you want to call it, it just sucked.
It started out with me not getting out on the road on Thursday until 1:30 because I was driving everywhere trying to find a car charger for my phone.
Then it was the realization that El Paso and MyTown are not in the same time zone although they’re in the same state. Thus the sun would set an hour earlier than I anticipated and thus we would have an hour’s less light for pictures. I pulled into El Paso at 10PM on Thursday and then spent the next 45 minutes driving around in a circle because they were currently doing construction on every street leading to my hotel and no one seemed to find it important to tell me that apparently in El Paso it’s perfectly OK to drive on the wrong side of the road when there is construction blocking the entrance to your hotel.
Then the morning of the wedding I realized that Daddio’s car had a flat tire. This is coming at a time where I was emptying my bank account to get the gas money to go out there. Dipping into anything meant dipping into money earmarked for upcoming bills. Maybe we didnt really need that gym membership anymore…. or food.
So I manage to beg my mom into letting me borrow a few hundred just in case the tire situation was really really bad and it was either pay them a lot of cash, my first born, or protest by moving into my husband’s SUV with a flat tire until someone from my family came to rescue me because they got tired of watching myfavoriteonlychild and answering the bill collectors. And angry clients. I have those too.
SO, yeah, cash in my account. Went back to being Super Wedding Photog only to have TWO really, really XXL guests think it was way funny that just as the bride was walking down the aisle toward her groom they leapt out directly in front of me with their ultra awesome pocket digital cameras. I’m sure they were being all sweet and awesomely helpful, but really, back off. It just kinda, sorta, maybe makes me look like a craptastic photographer when you block my view of THE most important shot of the day, the bride entering the church. Screw the kiss or the “i do” or “I now pronounce…”, it’s all about that grand entrance and overly whitened-to-the-point-of-‘that can’t be real white’ dress. And it’s at this point that I start to wonder if it would be considered a forgivable sin to knock off one or both of the oblivious rude guests blocking my view. Thankfully my trigger finger was busy with my camera and not a pistol. Because, this is Texas y’all and I totally COULD be toting around a pistol in my purse. I’m just rebel enough to do something like that.
Anyway, over it now.
So the wedding pretty much over, the bride then got me drunk on shots of tequilia and a pitcher of margarita’s. Because the bride is cool. I will say that much about my weekend.
So, Saturday morning I go to the tire place and the guy behind the counter goes “Is it a V6 or a 4 cylinder.”
“Is it all wheel drive or front?”
“Couldn’t really tell you for sure.”
And at this point the little mexican dude is thinking “Score!” and he’s texting all this work buddies “I’m making employee of the month off this sale!!!”
So he walks out to the car, looks at the tire, and he goes “Oh baby you screwed. You can’t get back to Dallas on these tires! You need to replace them all.”
So I have to ask him why I need 4 new tires when I only had one flat. He proceeds to screw me sideways. I finally tell him to pull out and that I will ONLY be getting the back two tires replaced thankyouverymuch.
So now I just drained my entire bank account to get myself two spankin’ new tires on Daddio’s car and forget I have this pesky issue of gas and 600 miles to drive home. In an SUV.
I phoned Daddio and proceeded to get into a whimpy argument over the phone about how he needed to go deposit money in my account if he ever wanted to get laid again. Ever. Especially THAT night because without his cash advance I’d be sleeping in the parking lot of Discount Tire with my brand spankin’ new tires to keep me warm. And maybe the now-employee-of-the-month mexican dude. Anything would be possible at that point.
SO then I had gas covered. And I was ready to roll. Except I was hungry. I’d skipped an expensive breakfast at the hotel with the bride that morning and opted to save my money for the tires (obviously a good call) but now I was hungry. SO hungry I couldn’t drive another mile until I’d had something to eat.
And no money.
What else could POSSIBLY go wrong at this point.
I had to ask.
Answer. Border Patrol.
“Ma’am, what were you doing in El Paso.”
“I was shooting a wedding.”
“Please pull over to the side.”
But, thankfully, a quick glance in my camera bag and a smirk or two later and they let me go without a cavity search. Sadly, I was kinda looking forward to having one. In a sick perverted kind of way. Don’t Judge.
FINALLY I was on the road with my bag of Walmart non-perishable items chock full of trans fats and preservatives. Life was good. Too good. So good that the cosmos looked down from above and went “Life is too good for her, we have to go and screw something up just to make it fair. Because life is totally about balance and being fair.” So, at 200 miles left to go, the gas tank hit empty and I pulled off to fill up one last time.
Except, it could never be THAT easy. Oh no. Instead I had to pick the gas pump that refused to pump gas. Major suckage at this point, because when you’re a gas pump your whole purpose for existence is to pump. gas. And when you fail at that, well, then I guess you just fail at existing and should be obliterated into tiny molecular particles again. But no, life is not THAT fair.
So I enter the gas station to tell the attendant that said pump is not working. The young female attendant comes outside with me, and continues to swipe my debit card no less than FOUR TIMES through the machine trying to figure out what’s wrong before turning to me and going “I guess you should just go to another gas station.”
At this point I returned her teeny-bopper- agnst look of “Like, you totally made me work today!” with the wrath of the mother/newly-wed who has been away from her family/husband for 72 hours and just wants to get.the.fuck.home.
I rationally explain to her that I am afraid to leave the property because, you see, each time you swipe my debit card it puts a hold on $50 or so and thus you have now put a hold on some $300 in my account THAT I DON’T HAVE so my card will be declined and the other gas station attendant will tell me to go F off because HE doesn’t care that YOU destroyed any chance of me every getting home alive due to your stupidity.
But I was nicer in person.
So she tells me she’ll cancel out the pre-paid amount they just put on my card and I can try a different pump (the third one at this station) if I want. Only, they can’t exactly get my pre-paid amount to be refunded onto my card. They’re locked out of their cash register. And so I stand there for 40 minutes while she phones her supervisor to ask him to explain to her how to fix this second massive mistake she’s made.
And she didnt even offer me a free coffee while I waited.
40 minutes later I try the third pump, it works, and I leave as quickly as I can before they can possibly screw up anything else.
And 200 miles later I get home, into the welcoming arms of my husband, whom I quickly shove off of me and crawl into bed, alone, because the last thing I want after my hellish day is anyone touching, squeezing, or otherwise suggesting that I should do anything other than pass out cold in my own bed.