The house is a disaster. As usual. I had to go downtown with Halia to pick up receipts from seven restaurants at which I helped organize music for last week’s BreakOut West weekend. But first I had to drop off some paperwork at an office, then duck into Home Hardware to get some red tape to finish off Jade’s clown shoes. The cashier gave Halia a green sucker. I hesitated, recalling the chocolate mousie fiasco, but I hate having to say no all the time.
I buckled and unbuckled Halia, then did it again. And then again. One cafe couldn’t find the receipts right away so I bought a macaroon as a treat to share with Halia while we waited. After I got it, the server said, “Oh, it’s not vegan like I thought. There’s dairy in it.” Too late, I had already bought it. Halia had to go pee (of course) so we rushed to the bathroom, me stressed out that my parking meter was going to run out.
We stopped to give a busker a twoonie and he smiled and gave Halia a bag of Cheetos. I let her have a few before I realized they have wheat AND dairy in them. Argh.
Back at the van, I breathed a sigh of relief that there was no ticket, as the meter had run out a couple of minutes earlier. I plugged the meter and we ran down for a 5-minute visit to Arts Underground. It’s the last day of my friend Jesse’s art installation there and I hadn’t had a chance to see it yet. It was a quick visit because I still had restaurants to get to and had to run home before Jade’s school bus arrived. I was glad I got a chance to see it, though.
I let Halia have a 30-second ride (for 10 cents!) on the mechanical horse. She loved it. Then it was back into the van. But what was this? A $25 parking ticket! There were still 7 minutes left on the meter. Furious, I re-buckled Halia and we drove over to City Hall to make a complaint.
The gal there couldn’t do anything, but put me on the phone with bylaw so I could talk to them. The bylaw receptionist said she’d get the bylaw officer to call me when he got back to the office.
I had to skip the rest of the restaurants because Jade’s school bus was heading for home. I stewed about the ticket on the way home.
At a red light, I looked at the ticket again and realized the time on it was 2:50 p.m. 2:50 p.m.? That meant I got the parking ticket between the first time I plugged the meter in the second, in the five or so minutes that the meter had expired. I just hadn’t seen the ticket on the window when I put the next quarter in.
The worst feeling, when you’ve been righteously angry and indignant at someone, is the realization that the only person you have to blame is yourself. Or at least, the almost-three-year-old whose bladder needed emptying at an inopportune time.
I’m still waiting for the bylaw officer to phone me back. I guess I’ll have to serve up the humble pie. It goes well with Halloween treats, doesn’t it?