First, let me tell you that if you have never been able to claim you knew someone who drove away from the gas pump while the hose and nozzle were still attached to his or her car, you NOW can! Yep. That's how my day started. Well, actually, it was an argument about getting the right papers for notarization because John, God love him, still thinks that someone somewhere is just pulling all our legs and all these minute details and RIDICULOUS requirements are just someone punking us. Yeah, because I just LOVE making my life even more difficult. He asks "Why?" all the time. WHO KNOWS? IT JUST IS! Why am I short and he's tall? Why is he so stubborn and passive aggressive and I am just a pleasure to compromise with? Who knows? IT JUST IS. But I digress...
So anyway, after the argument of "Why does it have to be the same pen?" that we have had 5000 times, and he STILL used a different pen ON PURPOSE, just as I put the correct one in his face, we drove off to our respective destinations. Him work, me to pick up the home study!! I was sooooo excited! I drove to a local gas station because I needed gas and a cup of coffee desperately. So, I put my credit card in, push the cheapest button (don't even look at the price anymore because I cry) put the nozzle in my tank and stroll in to get my coffee. Yes, yes, yes...I know you are supposed to stay there, as I was ever so gently reminded by HAZMAT (more on that later) but no one does. Whatever. In the store, I got my coffee, and got into a new line that the manager opened because the lines were so long. "Pretty little girl like you shouldn't have to wait." YES, I KNOW...sexist, creepy, you name it. But hey, it's Southern Maryland and it got me out of waiting. So, he and I chat briefly and I thank him ever so kindly and walk out. I put my coffee in my car and realize I need to put the pump back. However, as I got back out of my car, I instantly saw the price--$61 for a flipping Honda Accord with GREAT mileage. I was shell-shocked, I guess. Call it what you want, but for whatever reason, I just stared, and got back in the car to drive on. Still just amazed at the price of gas, I start driving away and hear, "Ka Thud Thud CLACK" I look in my rear view mirror and dear Lord, I have driven away with the gas nozzle and hose!!!! People started running, laughing, pointing...I IMMEDIATELY stop, get out of the car, and run into the store yelling, "Help, Help. I broke the pump, Help, Help!" The manager (yep the same one) rushes over, some guys in vests rush out there, people are running around (and yes, still pointing) and I am bawling! "I can barely afford gas, I can't buy a gas pump!" (Imagine me WAILING that statement over and over in a pitiful, mournful and desperate cry!) Then, I start begging, "Please don't tell my husband, please don't tell my husband! We have to pay for the baby, please don't tell my husband!" (Crazy things ran through my head...must have been the GAS fumes!) The manager was very, very, VERY nice and told me it was ok, HAZMAT was on their way (refer back to how I was gently reminded that you STAY WITH YOUR CAR) and it was going to be ok. I did have to fill out some paperwork for HAZMAT, and I asked what I was going to have to pay and the manager said, "Honey, don't worry about it. It happens. And you didn't mean to! I was watching you out to your car (KIND OF CREEPY) and I know it was an accident. Not like them people who get so busy on those cell phones they don't pay no attention and just drive off. Don't you worry about it, honey." Of course, HAZMAT again reminded me to stay with my car--who are they? Like the Gas Pump Gestapo? So.....then, I picked my home study up. The end.
Ha ha...not really...got in touch with Ally just to be sure how to put it all together, went to the county court (Annapolis is cute, but a pain to navigate around) and SO VERY EASILY got my home study packet certified (what we Marylanders have to do before we authenticate) for the dossier! I drove back (by the way, a good half of that full gas tank is now gone) and spent an hour in Hell, aka STAPLES copying center. Not because of Staples, but because of all the copying and keeping papers together, etc. I was going to fax it to Ally there, but it would have cost about $80 so I decided to just use my all-in-one machine at home. Which took FOREVER because you have to scan EACH page in one at a time, and when the memory gets full (which is what happened the first time I tried after scanning 24 pages) it just DUMPS the project and you have to start all over. Which I did.
So now, a copy of my dossier sits in Ally's office for review before certification and authentication, and my original and complete dossier (sans any changes she makes) sits happily in my hands as I type. I'm so excited...and feeling very close to a finish line. Not THE finish line, but A finish line. And these days, I'll take what I can get!