A cynic’s optimism

01 Feb

It was subzero all day today, what with the massive cold front in the heartland, and private and primary schools were all closed. Can’t have those little kiddies getting frostbite while waiting for the bus, now can we?

The world does indeed go on though, and from that we can correctly conclude that, yes, I had to drag my freezing self to work today. Another pre-dawn commute, cold, windy, and snowy. Begin, the funniest-bad-day ever.

Perhaps it was too cold overnight? Regardless of what caused it, all of a sudden this morning when I turn on the car the little yellow fuel light blinks on. “Odd,”, I think to myself, “It was at a quarter tank when I got home yesterday.” Ah well, suck it up and get gas on the way to work I guess? Bah, this sucks.

For those of you who have never had to get gas at 5:30 in the morning (I’ve never even thought of it), gas stations are usually closed. Their lights are off, the stores are dark, and it all seems frightfully post-apocalyptic. Fortunately I was too drowsy to notice the impending doom and quickly learned that the pumps still work. Cue silent “CHYEA!”

So here I am, half awake, eyes icing over from the cold, thick gloves on over frozen fingers trying to rummage through my wallet as I walk outside and trying my hardest not to fall. It’s a slow and painful process. I admit, it’s getting a little frustrating.

Get card? Success, after dropping it once.

Push buttons on screen? Success, after a couple tries.

Don’t fall on ass as I walk on black ice? Mild success, continue slipping.

Open fuel tank door? … Open fuel tank door?

What what? Puzzled, I press the latch in the car one more time and walk back to the fuel door, only to realize that the entire thing has been sealed shut with ice.

Now. This. Is. Just. Agitating.

With a huff I pull out my debit card and start digging into the sides of the door so that I can chip away at the ice. It’s dark and freezing outside, I’m all alone in an empty shopping center, eyes half open, slipping with every breath, and now I’m hunched over the back of a car in a poofy jacket with cumbersome gloves on, sawing away at the car with a flimsy piece of plastic as I grumble aloud to myself.

I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing, right then and there. The mental image was too much for my sleep deprived mind to handle and I just stood there, card in hand, head thrown back; laughing. (Guffawed is more like it, but let’s be dignified here)

Optimism usually isn’t my thing, so behold my surprise when I realize throughout the day that whenever work got a little too mind numbing, or sleep sounded too enticing, thinking back to my awkward self in the empty gas station was sufficient to bring back snickers strong enough to push back any overly negative thoughts. My usually cynical, critical self was laughing/smiling all day because of something so ridiculously stupid.

Making fun of yourself is the best way to live, hands down. There are too many important things in the world for you to take yourself seriously.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


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One response to “A cynic’s optimism

  1. francesu0

    February 3, 2011 at 12:35

    ahahhahahaa irene whats more funny to me is my mental image of you standing alone in the dark at the gas station gaffawing at yourself… LOLOLOL

    my boss brought his kids to work yesterday cuz primary schools were closed and apparently it’s because some kids still walk to school and it’s too cold and dangerous for them so basically the schools are closed for them!! whaaat


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