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A Lake Charles Monday

Bruce Mikels
Bruce Mikels

Everyone hates Mondays. It’s sort of a universal fact of the universe, assuming, of course, that aliens start the work week on whatever time cycle is equivalent to a Monday on Zorblack-6 or wherever. I know I’m not alone in my hatred of the day, but the older I get, the more my life turns into a Cathy comic strip – or was it Ziggy? – I dunno. It was one of those strips in the funny pages of what people used to call newspapers before the internet happened and turned everything into news screens that we occasionally use to check up on current events between watching cat videos and alienating family members on Facebook. Maybe it was Garfield? Oh well. Whichever character it was didn’t like Mondays, but that’s not the point.

The point is, I hate Mondays. Usually, I just hate them in the general sense of how the weekend is over and now we all have to go back to work for another five days and make small talk about things we’re not interested in because we don’t all watch American Idol or whatever, but Becky – every office has a Becky – insists on talking at you about how so-and-so was robbed, or about how this year’s front-runner is a lot better than whoever last year’s winner was whose name nobody remembers because it’s American Idol and nobody really cares, and you just want her to shut her stupid face and get out of the way of the coffee machine in the break room because dear god, it’s Monday morning and you could shank a man in the yard for a double mocha latte.

But this Monday was awful. Mostly, it was because I’m a terrible adult and have a hard time doing the simple things other grown-ups don’t seem to have problems with, but that’s every day. It’s just worse when I have to do any adulting on a Monday.

Like today.

Thinkstock
Thinkstock

First, my wife started a new job this week. It’s great, because her hours are basically our kid’s school hours, so I can drop him off at school, then drop her off at work and still make it into the office by 8am. In theory.

What actually happened today was that, since it was her first day, she had to go to one place to get the results of a TB test she had done Friday – which I totally freaked her out about because I’m awful, by the way – and then, assuming she didn’t have the same thing that made Doc Holiday so pale and awesome in Tombstone, she could go on to work at another place.

But then the nurse who was supposed to be at the one place at 8:30 didn’t show up until nearly 9:00, and I was late to work.

The work day itself went pretty smoothly, but probably only because my office doesn’t really have a Becky, so I didn’t have to hear her talk about television shows since she doesn’t actually exist. Also, I don’t drink coffee because, like I said, I’m a terrible adult and never learned to appreciate the taste. Instead, I drink a lot of Coca-Cola because I read one time that it’s super good for your body in a study that I wrote myself when I was 10 and my mom wouldn’t let me have soda.

Anyway, I normally leave the office at around a quarter-to-three to go pick up our son from school, but I left a little earlier today so I could stop at the Kroger on Common Street to pick up a money order. I have to use money orders to pay my rent because I don’t use checks, although I’m not sure if that’s because I’m a terrible adult, or just a person who lives in 2016 and has a debit card, but whatever. I’d rather just pay it online, but I guess some places haven’t heard that we have the internet on computers now or something, so I have to pay with a money order.

But the line at Kroger was filled with a lot of other people who were doing the same thing, so I didn’t feel so bad, at least until the line had barely moved after ten minutes. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t wait any longer or I’d be late picking up my kid from school, so I had to abandon my place in line and go get him. You’re welcome, everyone who was behind me.

Kroger.com
Kroger.com

I finally made it to the street my kid’s school is on, when my wife called and told me she was done for the day about 30 minutes before she was supposed to be done for the day, and was now waiting outside in the rain for me to come pick her up. I told her that I was already at our kid’s school, which wasn’t really a lie in the strictest sense of the word so much as it was just leaving out the truth that, while I could see the school off in the distance, I wasn’t actually there yet. But she bought it, and I pulled into the parking lot and waited for him to hop in the car.

A few minutes later, he came bouncing out with his new friend who likes to come over after school every day, but since I still had to pick up my wife, get a money order, then go all the way out to the West End of Madness people call Prien Lake Road in the afternoon, I told him he couldn’t come over today. Which was fine, except that he’d already told his mom that he could, so now someone needed to drive him over to his grandmother’s house so he’d have a place to wait until his mom could come get him.

So I went over the river and through the woods and dropped him at grandma’s house.

Then, I went and picked up my wife.

As she was getting in the car, I used my phone to search for “money orders near me” and selected the nearest Western Union, which turned out to just be the Albertson’s on Ryan Street.

I went inside, made my way up to the counter, and asked for a money order. The helpful clerk then rung me up, and gave me my total. Which is when I realized I didn’t have my debit card, because I’d given it to my wife to take to the store last night, but she didn’t have it either, because she’d given it back to me after she came home from the store. But then I never put it back in my wallet on account of how I wasn’t paying attention whenever she told me she was leaving it on the counter, so the whole thing was for nothing because I’m awful.

Western-Union-Telegram-10-15-64_Page_23-1024x672

So, we left the Notta Western Union and drove home so I could run inside and get my debit card. Then, I tried to go back to the Albertson’s, but since turning left onto Ryan Street without the aid of a stoplight is only slightly less likely than waking up one morning to find someone’s left a briefcase full of money at the foot of your bed, I had to turn right and then circle back around to get there.

Then, I went inside to finally get the money order, and the clerk rang me up again. This time, I had my debit card, so I paid for it, and then she handed me two money orders, because I guess splitting my giant rent check into two equal chunks makes it less heartbreaking and she was just looking out for me. Aww. Sweet.

So anyway, I head on down the road and go under 210, then turn left onto what I think is Prien Lake Road but isn’t, and I end up being routed directly onto 210 West and have to get off on Lake Street, then double back to get to where I was going. Which involved another left turn without a stoplight, because of course it did.

Finally, we arrived, money order in hand. I went in, filled out all the little blanks on both of them, and managed to pay my rent.

LIKE AN ADULT.

And that was my Monday. How was yours?

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