Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Off My Rocker

While sharing a little less than a million pictures of the Dallas Arboretum that I just couldn't edit out because I thought they were all too pretty not to share, I'm going to tell you an unbelievably true story about how retarded I am while also talking about my first Tulip Festival experience.
Let's start with the morning I got off my 3 night work stretch. 
All week I'd planned on seeing the flowers, but wanted to wait until I was good and rested, so on Thursday morning I was on a mission to get all my errands out of the way. I stopped at two different grocery stores, getting cash in the process, then stopped to get gas. After swiping my card a few times at the pump and reading the message, "See associate," I decided to walk inside to investigate. 
My card had been denied.
"Don't worry", they told me, "It happens all the time and sometimes it's just the pumps." So we tried again........same story. "Well you know they passed a law a couple of years ago, saying if you don't have more than $100 in your account, the pump wont approve your card," the lady "assures" me. 
No, I didn't know that.........and WHAT?!? I have LESS than $100 in my account?!?!?
It was all too much to process after being awake for so long, so I immediately went home to slept off my worries.......ultimately to wake up, still having to face my potentially empty bank account online. After crossing my fingers and toes and logging in, and discovering there was plenty of money to be spent, I decided it was by fault of that particular gas station's pumps that I was denied. 
But the fact remained I was still low on gas. 
Friday morning rolled around and the sun was beaming, so I got dressed and headed straight to the blooms. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have parked in the arboretum's parking lot. Everyone in Dallas beat me there, forcing me to park so far out I was merely on the other side of the fence from where we parked for free at White Rock Lake Park, yet after I walked all the way to the entrance gait and waited in another line (I'd already waited in a 10 minute line to park), I discovered I'd be paying $10 for parking.........too late to change it; that's how they get'cha. 
All the colors were absolutely breathtaking. The flowers were open wide, shining so bright my camera could barely even focus on them. It was a breezy 80 degrees out and I was jealous of everyone that brought their picnic supplies to lounge on the lawn. 
I walked around for about 2.5 hours, taking it all in, making sure I didn't miss a thing, just enjoying the massive garden and pretending it was an extension of my make believe mansion looking out onto the lake. 
A few rude lady bugs thought they'd set me straight and bite me back into reality, just a minor annoyance compared to the sunburn I acquired, a stupid side effect of underestimating the Spring sun's wrath mixed into the equation of my ignorant ability to judge how long I'd exposed my pasty pale skin to the outdoors. 
There were so many different walking paths, color combinations, and designs that I never got bored. Had I had some company other than complete strangers, I could have easily stayed out there all day. 
But the time did come when I decided I must leave, and with the confidence that I had enough money to get gas, stopped by the nearest gas station before I was forced to rely on fumes to get me home. 
I slid my card into the pump and saw this message, "Pump Suspended." WTH? I looked around and saw a man one pump away cursing the gas station. Hmmm......"It must be the darn pumps again," I thought. I drove around to another pump and tried again. "See Associate."
I marched inside to inquire. 
"Oh, it was shift change. That's why the pump said that. Everything should be fine, just go try again," they told me. 
OMG. If only they knew........Out again I went, with hopes it really was just "shift change" causing the error. 
Almost immediately after I swiped my card an abrupt voice blared from a speaker over my head, "It denied your card again!" 
Son of a biscuit eater!!!
Without an inch of patience left, I called my bank to get to the bottom of this, holding up the pump and all. 
"Excuse me! But my card keeps getting denied at every gas pump I go to, and I know I have money, so what is the deal?!" 
"What's your address?" the bank lady asks. 
I tell her. 
"Oh, well that's the problem. You're zip code is wrong. I'll change it for you."
"Thanks. But, WHY would my zip code be wrong? It hasn't changed since October. How could this happen? Isn't that a little scary that someone would just change my zip code for no reason?"
"Hmm....well, I'm not sure why that would happen. It says........(she reads it out loud to me)"
"Oh my," I respond, "That IS my zip code. I must have reverted back in time, had a brain fart, and forgot my current zip code! I need you to change it back to that other one."
"Okaaaaay........" I could hear the confusion in her voice, feel the uncomfortable silence that comes with thinking someone is off their rocker, and just knew she was smiling that condescending smile that conveys the message "bless her heart". 
So all this time, I was getting denied because I was entering the wrong zip code, had my zip code changed to the wrong zip code, and then had to change it back to the correct zip code. I called Patrick to tell him yet another story to make him question why he married me. 
"Babe, you are so crazy. We've never even had that zip code before, " he said. 
Okay, I know I can be crazy, but to just pull some random numbers out of my butt and pass it off as the zip code of my current residence?? I'm not THAT crazy, am I?
Turns out he was wrong, and we actually have had the zip code I was trying to use.........and that's a prime example of what happens when you move as much as we do. Neither of us can ever remember our address"es"!!!!!
Even funnier I somehow received a package in the mail from Heather, even though I looked back and saw I gave her the wrong zip code, too!!!
And a friend was suppose to be coming to pick us up the next morning to take us to a race, but she texted me to say she couldn't find our place on the map..........because I gave her the same wrong zip code. 
After all this nonsense, I walked back inside the gas station to get something to wet my whistle, and simultaneously received a call from a 1-800 number. I don't typically answer those, but for some reason did. Lo and behold, it was the fraud detection company calling to report suspicious behavior on my card. 
As automated systems are extremely difficult to pay full attention to, I didn't really pay it any mind until I thought I heard it say I was charged $160 at a gas station. WHAT?! Try as I might, I couldn't get it to repeat the dollar amount, so I had to keep pushing confusing numbers until a representative would speak with me. 
Apparently, that lady at the first gas station was correct. Gas stations float over $100 out of your account, to make sure you can pay for all the gas you can handle, and then refund the money you don't use. I'm sure this is a direct result of con-artists and gas thieves. So even though I only got $30 in gas, the initial charge is way more. Crazy........
I'm so glad it all worked out, even though my intellectual reputation may have been permanently damaged with a few girls at my bank.
I learn so much from my mishaps. 

1. Research parking before you go.
2. Wear sunscreen on other places than your face, even when you think you won't need it. 
3. Memorize your address. 

Have you learned any lessons lately?


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