Saturday, December 31, 2011


Last weekend I had one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong. Unfortunately, those “I should have stayed in bed” days are way too common in my life.

First of all, there was the pizza incident.

“I want extra cheese, extra pepperoni and extra hamburger on it,” my husband had emphasized before I’d left to run errands the night before. “And be sure to check the pizza before you take it home. The last time, they completely forgot the hamburger, and we paid for extra!”

Well, by the time I ran all of my errands, fought traffic and waited in lines that rivaled the ones at Disney World, my only thought was to get home and get into my fuzzy slippers and sweat pants. So when the pizza box was handed to me, I just grabbed it and took off.

When I got home, I handed the pizza to my husband and headed straight for the bedroom and my well-worn, lint-balled, but oh-so-comfy sweat pants.

Suddenly his voice came from the kitchen. “You didn’t check the pizza before you left the restaurant, did you?”

I groaned. “Why? Did they forget your hamburger again?”

“No, they gave me an unidentified blob of dough with meatballs sticking out of it!”

I have to admit I was puzzled, so I headed out to the kitchen. The way my husband was staring at the pizza box, you’d think something was about to leap out of it and attack him.

“What is that thing?” he asked, pointing at the box as he backed away from it.

I nearly was afraid to peek inside. “It’s a calzone – a meatball calzone,” I said.

“What the heck is a calzone and what is it doing in my pizza box?” he asked.

“I don’t know, but I’m not about to make a 30-mile trip tonight to find out. I’ll bring it back tomorrow in the daylight, OK?”

His expression told me it wasn’t OK, but I was too tired to care at that point. He ended up eating a peanut-butter sandwich.

The next day, I headed back to the pizza parlor with my receipt and the alien calzone in the car. On the way, I passed a department store that surprisingly had a half-empty parking lot, so I decided to pop in and see if I could pick up a few last-minute stocking stuffers.

As I passed the jewelry counter, a ring on sale caught my eye. I couldn’t resist, I stopped to try it on.

It was a pretty ring, but I didn’t think it was worth the price, even on sale, so I decided to take it off and put it back. I tugged on the ring and it didn’t budge.

I spent the next five minutes yanking, tugging, pulling and grunting, but all I succeeded in doing was making my finger swell...and the ring get tighter. I licked my finger, hoping the moisture would help the ring slide off. People stared at me, probably wondering why the heck I was “tasting” a ring, but still the dumb thing acted as if it had been dipped in super glue.

Humiliated, I finally decided to seek help. As it turned out, help came in the form of a male clerk who was stocking shelves.

“I have a slight problem,” I said to him, holding up my hand. “I can’t get this ring off.”

He smiled and said I wasn’t the first one he’d had to help out of the same situation. Not only did I feel less dumb, I felt relieved. I mean, after all, I’d obviously chosen a ring-removing expert.

“Follow me to cosmetics,” he said.

Obediently, I followed.

He searched up and down each aisle until he found a display of hand-lotion samples. Then he told me to squirt some lotion on my finger. I did, but still the ring wouldn’t move. I was praying he wouldn’t tell me to follow him to the power-tools department next.

“Well, maybe if you put your finger in the freezer in the snack bar,” he said, “the cool air will shrink the swelling and the ring will come off.”

I had visions of coming home with a frostbitten ring finger and trying to explain it to my husband.

Desperate, I tugged on the ring one more time and it popped off. Never in a million years would I ever have thought I’d be happy to get rid of a piece of jewelry.

By the time I arrived at the pizza restaurant to return the meatball calzone, I was, well...not exactly in a jovial mood. I thrust the pizza box at the poor guy behind the counter and snapped, “Does this look like a pizza to you?”

He opened the box and stared at the calzone, then shook his head. I handed the receipt to him. “This is what I ordered! Do you think I enjoy traveling 30 miles out of my way to return things you goofed up?”

His wide-eyed stare told me he probably thought I was going to leap across the counter and dunk his head in the vat of pizza sauce. I took a deep breath and counted to 10, then calmly said, “You owe me a pizza.”

Well, not only did I come out of there with a pizza (which I carefully inspected), I also had a complimentary $20 gift card and a bottle of juice. The guy probably would have given me the keys to his car, too, just to get rid of me.

So I guess the day ended pretty well after all. My husband finally got his pizza...and I got to keep my finger.

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