It was pouring outside, and to keep my hair from looking like a mash-up of a cotton ball and a Brillo scouring pad, I put on my hooded raincoat and, for good measure, grabbed an umbrella.
I was all set to drive in the pounding rain to purchase jelly doughnuts from Krispy Kreme for our family Chanukah party. Fully prepared to protect my frizzy hair during the sprint between my car and the store, I left the house.
Unfortunately, I had failed to make sure that my car’s windshield wipers were securely attached. You may well ask, “Chana, why would you have to check something like that?”
I’ll tell you. First, even stranger things have fallen off my car lately, and, second, I was already on a bad-luck streak. There was the incident of melted lipstick in my purse and the gang of feral cats camping near our front porch. Add the results of my doctor’s visit: I’m 5 pounds heavier and a half-inch shorter than last year.
Oh, one more thing: I found fabulous new sneakers online and mistakenly ordered a man’s size. (They didn’t fit my husband either; I tried.)
So you can understand the necessity of checking everything that could possibly go wrong.
As I backed out of the carport, the passenger-side wiper flew off, and I had to decide whether to continue with half a clear front window. I could see out the driver’s side, but it was raining hard. Better not to take a chance (see above).
I returned to the carport to borrow my husband’s car, and the 15-minute ride to Krispy Kreme was miraculously uneventful.
Because I had to park in a space far from the entrance, I pulled up my hood and opened my umbrella. The raincoat hood is great for keeping hair dry, but it’s terrible for peripheral vision. That’s why I rammed my umbrella into an elderly gentleman who was holding a little kid in one arm and a box of Krispy Kremes in the other.
He teetered precariously but didn’t drop either one. I apologized effusively, and, possibly because both his arms were full, we did not come to blows.
To minimize the evidence in case the fellow came back to settle the score with an umbrella of his own, I folded mine and leaned it against the wall in a corner, near four young women who had observed the run-in.
They were all wearing cute little hats that perched on one side of their heads, and their vintage dresses and jewelry were just as charming. I complimented them on their garb, and two of them smiled at me, but the other two weren’t happy.
“Gotta be careful with that umbrella!” one of them chided.
“You could put somebody’s eye out!” another exclaimed. “People get their eyes poked out all the time!”
With thoughts of “Oedipus Rex” flashing through my mind, I offered an explanation: “I have no peripheral vision when my hood is up!” Was I now considered a verifiable misanthrope, simply because of my offending hood?
I couldn’t stick around to defend waterproof head coverings. It was time to buy doughnuts, grab my umbrella and leave. I turned to my task when a man standing next to me at the display case piped in. “I saw the whole thing. That guy should have watched where he was going!”
Nodding in my direction, he emphatically declared, “She did nothing wrong.”
I considered treating this benevolent soul to a doughnut of his choice, but then I’d look miserly if I didn’t treat the women, too. I thanked him for his support and paid the cashier.
There were a few other patrons in the place, and I’m sure they heard every word; however, they prudently remained silent. I put up my hood, opened my umbrella and left Krispy Kreme quickly.
Driving into our carport, I ran over something and backed up to see what it was. There was the errant windshield wiper, mangled and useless, a fitting relic of my lamentable streak of misfortune.