I was given a very solid piece of advice once: Never skimp on buying good quality shoes or bedding – if you are not in one, you’re in the other.
While I’ve often ignored it for the sake of “really, really, cute and awesome shoes,” I’ve always had that little bit of wisdom echoing in the back of my head and I’m understanding it with a new clarity.
My bed is epically comfortable:
A pillow-topped queen mattress in still new condition (I’ve had it for 5 years and estimate I’ve only spent about 1.75 years worth of nights sleeping in it due to deployments, duty etc) is topped with a goose down feather bed and then wrapped tightly in designer cotton sheets with a silk edge and adorned with numerous blankets from light Egyptian cotton for the summer to a heavy down quilt wrapped in a higher-than-I-can-thread-count duvet.
I freaking love my bed.
I miss it.
Right now, my bed is trapped in a moving van with all my other possessions somewhere in Maine. I’ve been trying to get my stuff back from the Joint Personal Property Office (JPPSO) in Massachusetts since the end of July. It has been stressful to say the least – me jumping through hoops and calling to follow up, only to be told something entirely different than what I was told the last time.
About a week and a half ago, I’d had enough of the run around and asked to speak to a supervisor.
I explained my frustrations with the office’s poor customer service and lack of organization. I was given neither explanation nor apology, but was told that my claim would be processed that day. The following Monday, I was provided with confirmation that my stuff would be picked up from its storage location in Rhode Island on August 21. My window for delivery was between August 21 and September 4.
Since I started my new job this week, I decided I needed to narrow that window down to a single day, something that shouldn’t be too hard since my things were supposed to be here within the next week.
I was told that I wouldn’t receive a courtesy phone call ahead of time and that the window could not be narrowed down.
I called again to sweetly plead my case: how tacky would it be for me to tell my new supervisor “surprise, I can’t come in for my shift today because the movers are here with my things and I don’t get any say in it!” I left the nicest message I could muster.
I got a call back today.
My stuff is in Maine. The van is still loading. There is no guaranteed delivery date for when it will get to Colorado.
I hung up. This is so out of my hands.
I was pissed.
I debated going to a spa to get a deep tissue massage to work out the knots in my back and sending the bill to JPPSO – or The President. I thought about petitioning the VA for benefits to extend to chiropractic care for people whose beds are being held hostage through no fault of their own. I figured either of these paths would be a total waste of my time. I could not will that moving van to drive faster, just as I couldn’t will the JPPSO office to handle my request in a more timely manner. I had to let it go. But I was too hot headed to cool down on my own.
I decided to take advantage of my new job perk: a free gym membership and walked 5 blocks to the downtown YMCA.
On my way to the Y, I keyed up my iPod. The first song to shuffle through was a Bowling For Soup hit from the late 90’s. Yes, I needed punk-angst music from my teenage years now more than ever. Good Charlotte, Green Day, Homegrown, Yellowcard, Something Corporate, the songs shuffled through the beat of my pissed off little heart. When I got to the corner of Colfax and Lincoln, I had to wait for the crosswalk sign to turn. I stood impatiently watching the evening rush hour dwindle as a guy behind me was taken into custody by two police officers on bikes. He was wild-eyed and handcuffed.
I crossed the street where I encountered another wild-eyed man. This one was not in handcuffs (yet). He looked at me and said something. I didn’t hear him over the angry lyrics set to surprisingly upbeat melodies, but his sneer clearly communicated disgust for the white girl with the pink Coach clutch and matching pink iPod approaching his street corner at that moment. I didn’t say a word, but I gave him a look that clearly communicated, “I might be wearing a pink Save the Elephant shirt, and decked out with cute girly pink accessories, but if you fuck with me right now, I will reach down your windpipe, pull out your lungs and wear them like ear muffs to the gym.” He didn’t bother me, maybe he read my look as, “I can scream loud and there are two cops across the street, punk.”
I made it to the Y unscathed, scanned my card and ran intervals for 45 minutes. I left before it got dark, drenched in this endorphin-enriched sweat that cleansed my heart of all the hatred and bitterness I’d felt walking to the gym.
I grabbed a slice of pizza at Benny’s and downed two beers, completely negating the positive effects of my workout and am currently lounging on the sofa, armed with a squirt bottle filled with water to discourage the cats’ nightly living room frolic-fest.
My eyes are drooping and I’m at peace, ready for dreams of nights of uninterrupted sleep in my awesome bed.
Until then, there’s coffee and a daily trip to the Y.