Monday, April 14, 2014


So I was in a foreign country with the other adult in my family and our kid, and the roads on this mountain were, like, made of rocks. Not gravel: big, nasty, rocks. (and it turns out that rocks are better than mud, in case you're wondering, because rocks give the tires purchase when it rains).

And we're heading down the side of the mountain in the car and it turns out that the car has a flat. Our 2 wheel drive 4 cylinder sedan has a flat. And it sounds like every little bump is so loud and rough that the car is going to tear itself apart. I mean, it sounded like the axle itself was dragging along the ground. It just sounded really awful.

We traveled down the side of the mountain this way for something like two miles. It was the longest two miles ever. People on the road would pass us and point. I was driving like no more than 5 miles per hour. I was sweating. It just took forever.

We pull into the service station and the service station guys look at the car and the tire and they just start banging the hell out of it because the flat tire is actually stuck on the car. They're kicking the shit out of the thing, and they're using all sorts of metal instruments and they're going to work and it's not happening. I mean, the tire isn't coming off. Everything seems pretty grim.

And that's when we realize that the family's debit card is missing.

So that's when it gets, like, exponentially worse. We've just come back from the rainforest, so we're thinking that the debit card is maybe in the mud on a trail or something, or maybe it was pick pocketed or whatever--it's just, like, really bad. We can't find the debit card.

At this point I'm probably having a heart attack. A small one. That's what it feels like. And we're tearing apart bags and going through the trunk and the back seat. And the guys at the service station continue to kick the shit out of the flat tire. Everything just feels, a big problem. Not like a I've-been-kidnapped-and-forced-to-work-in-a-diamond-mine problem, and not a my-husband-of-20-years-was-just-diagnosed-with-cancer type problem, but the problem feels very immediate and extreme, because we're in a foreign country on top of a mountain, miles and miles away from any real civilization and the rental car as a flat and the DEBIT CARD IS MISSING.

It turns out that our kid is like the master-finder-of-all-things. And she saves the day. she finds the debit card in a random pocket of the big bag we're carrying around.

And suddenly, everything is better. Which is why I'm telling you this story. For three minutes, our bad problem was elevated to a really bad problem. And when we found the debit card, the tire suddenly seemed like so much less of an issue. In three minutes time, everything changed,...even though nothing at all had really changed. The flat tire was still stubbornly attached to the car, and we were still up a mountain with 15 miles of mind-bogglingly awful gravel road between us and the nearest real city.

But it turned out we had the debit card. Had never really lost the debit card. It was with us the whole time.

Sometimes I get stuck in these problems and I forget about all the things that are going right. Which is why I like that story.