Several years ago, country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter had a smash hit called "The Bug."
The refrain goes: "Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug."
This week, my friends, I was the bug. In fact, I was the whole hornet's nest.
It all started with my son's swim banquet last Sunday. Now, I ask you to set aside the fact that, other than for work, school, and church, I am notoriously late. For everything. All the time.
My husband, on the other hand, is usually ready for an event the week before it begins, standing in front of the locked door looking at his watch, perfectly tailored and coiffed and with pre-purchased ticket in hand.
"What time do we have to be there?" asked Kerry. "Well, the doors open at 4 p.m. but I'm sure we don't need to rush in right at the stroke of four bells!" was my reply.
And so, I proceeded, in perfect Patty fashion, to squeeze in 500 activities between the crack of dawn and 4 p.m. that day.
Do I even need to say this? We were 20 minutes late.
Apparently, this event is infamous for its attendants scooping up and squatting their tables within the first 0:17 of the tumbler on the front door's dead bolt cranking open.
As you can imagine, there was very little room in my tummy for the delectables on the buffet by the time I finished eating all that crow.
The very next day, I drove Kyle to his un-mandatory summer soccer practice without having checked my e-mail inbox, just to make sure practice was still occurring. I was fairly confident in my odds, though, since it was always scheduled for four days a week. I had a really good shot that it would take place on Monday at 7 p.m., as it has every preceding week. By midnight, when one single other player or any coach STILL had yet to materialize, I figured out that the over-under on that bet had been greatly exaggerated.
Next came the fitting reward to my healthy lifestyle. That's right. Last week, I discovered the prize for my daily running, my renewed commitment to shunning sugars and simple carbohydrates, and my staunch refusal to consume saturated fats. Wanna guess what it is? It's - wait for it - dangerously low iron. Like, the numbers that require blood transfusion low iron.
The alternative remedy? Um, a prescription for about a thousand grams of iron a day. A thousand grams. Every day. Do you have any idea what that much iron does to your digestive system? Let's just say I haven't had to buy Cottonelle for a while.
So, now that I'm the Iron Woman and keep getting sucked into magnetic fields all over town - all should be right with my well-being world, yes?
Uh, no. No, the lovely reward for all that good behavior and ingestion of the added metal is - a test requiring me to consume about 40 gallons of some icky liquid that will make me feel completely blechy until such time that I'm poked and prodded in places a lady ne'er likes to discuss.
Yikers: Sting #4.
Then there was the vacation - that wasn't. After spending a small fortune and expending every ounce of frustration in a 20-mile radius on our kitchen debacle, er renovation, we decided a mini-trip to the Lake Erie islands was really the only option on the docket for a family vacation this summer. However, a personal matter prevented us from heading to my second favorite place on earth - America's Roller Coast.
So we holidayed at home this year.
Did I mention that we did so on the exact same dates which, coincidentally, my big, big boss decided to answer a question I've been asking for about 19 months or so? Even scheduled a meeting about it - which was held on one of the only three days I've been off consecutively in an entire year.
Oh, yeah, right; lest we forget that my office is 45 minutes away from my house.
Buzz, buzz, buzz!
Oh, well, what can you do but roll with the welts, right? Besides, the good thing about being the bug is how much you appreciate it when you are NOT the bug any longer.
So, here's to a week full of windshield, folks!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle correspondent. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.