"It Could've Been Worse"

By Jen Piwtpitt - 1:12 PM

So I thought you'd enjoy this story -

Last night we had a 9:45 p.m. flight to Phoenix to attend my nephew's wedding and had planned to leave the house by 7:00 so we could stop and pick up sandwiches on the way and leave enough time to stop at the Delta Sky Lounge for our usual pre-flight (free) beer.

I think the best way to tell you how that plan played out is to break it down for you.

6:50 - Husband goes out to load bags into the car.

6:52 - Husband runs into house holding hand in air screaming ”We have an emergency!”

6:52.5 - Girls and I frantically look for stream of blood coursing from his aloft hand, see none, continue to stare blankly at him.

6:53 - Husband says, in a surprisingly calm tone, while furiously ripping yards of paper towels off roll, "When I flipped the seat up it punctured a can of yellow spray paint that was under the seat and it sprayed all over the inside of the car.” 

(A-ha! Mystery solved! It was paint, not blood, on his hand. Oh, crap. It was paint, not blood, on his hand.)

*time-out for a back story*
Last week Husband and I were at our cabin spray painting Adirondack chairs. Discovered we had like 4 cans of yellow paint so we put one back in the car to return to Home Depot.
Guess who didn't return it to Home Depot?
Let the record show that it had rolled under the seat (and that I totally forgot about it).

6:53.5 - Family switches to disaster mode and hurriedly follows Husband out to car, where we see that why, yes indeed, a can of yellow spray paint has blown up and now lies in a spreading pool of its own excrement on the floor of the garage. Interior of car (the back driver's side) is dripping with rapidly drying yellow paint all over the back of the driver's seat, the door, and running board.

It smelled totally fantastic though.

And an important thing for you to know? This car is only 6 months old, still has had that new car smell, and is MINE. And I have been totally neurotic about keeping it clean and crumb and trash free.

6:54 - Husband tries (furiously and unsuccessfully) to rub paint off with wet paper towels.

6:54.5 - Realizing the attempt is futile, Husband begins using words extremely unfit for 11 year old's ears.

She responds by pointing out (bless her heart) that ”It could've been worse, Daddy. It could've gone all over the seats and ceiling.”
We all stop and agree with Little Miss Optimist.

Then Husband returns to his vocab lesson.

6:55 - Family, still in disaster recovery mode, runs inside and frantically searches for items that might magically erase dried spray paint.

6:56 - Reconvene in garage with more paper towels, nail polish remover, GOO-be-Gone, latex gloves.

6:56-7:05 - Husband and Thing 1 find marginal success with nail polish remover despite the fact that it appears to be removing not only the paint but also some of the fake wood grain of the door panel.

I take on the role of E.R. Nurse and hand them acetone soaked paper towels as needed.

Thing 2 begins jumping rope in the garage.

7:05 - Paint removal is hitting a wall, and realizing our sandwich plans are toast and our beer plans are in serious jeopardy, Husband puts me in charge of clock watching.

7:05-7:20 - I make an executive decision that we should take Husband's car to the airport and leave mine at home in the garage with the windows down to air out so it (fingers crossed) doesn't forever smell like a nail salon.

I switch all luggage to his car.

In the rain.

7:35 - Car marginally paint free (if you just avert your eyes from the now yellow door speaker) and we are on the road! Gonna have to make due with goldfish for dinner, but we're still on track for that cold beer (and remember kids, with the way I feel about flying, this is a necessity).

7:50- Flying down the freeway, 13 miles from home, Husband suddenly freaks out, grabs for his wallet, rips it open and says, ”I don't have my license."

Uh...excuse me?

Then he (once again) teaches the 11 year old a few new words.

Apparently he had taken it out of his wallet and put it in his shorts' pocket the day before when he and I went on a (very lovely, but beside the point) bike ride.

What, in case we got pulled over??

I (wisely) keep my mouth shut.

7:51 - Exiting freeway. Turning around. Car filled with stress (but thankfully in this family it is dealt with humor..and many smart ass comments) and us reassuring girls that we probably won't miss our flight (but sadly realizing the cold beer ain't gonna happen).

Cue Thing 2, ”It could've been worse Daddy. We could've gotten all the way to the airport.”

She makes a fine point, but somebody really needs to shut this kid up.

8:07 - Arrive back home. 

See paint and acetone fumes seeping from under garage door.

Tell girls to stay in car but to time us (might as well make a game out of it). 

Give ourselves a 3 minute max and a high five for luck (I'm totally serious) and...Ready...set...GO!

8:07-8:10 - Tear inside, yell hello to the surprised-to-see-us-back-so-soon-when-we-left-with-luggage-30-minutes-ago cats, run upstairs. Husband immediately yells, ”FOUND IT!” then just as immediately yells, ”NOPE, THAT'S AN OLD ONE”. 


I successfully locate passport (miracle) at the same moment he finds license in shorts. Happy dance!

8:11 - On the road again! Husband very consciously NOT speeding to avoid one of Thing 2's ”could've been worse” visions.

8:40 - Arrive at airport and - our luck it is a’changin! - find a primo parking spot and (even better) an empty security line.

Know what that means?

8:50 - COLD BEER.

And the icing on the cake? Husband got upgraded to a first class seat, which of course I took (remember our last flight? He totallyowed me).

So here I sit, in seat 1B, my complimentary snacks out before me, typing happily away.

I hope the rest of the fam is as relaxed back in coach as I am.

So we'll log this story in the ol’ family archives (like the aroma in my car will ever let us forget it).

This was originally published on You're My Favorite Today.

More About Michelle: Michelle Newman wears many hats - wife, mother, maid, cook, vet, therapist and personal assistant to the other three members of her household (a job she doesn't remember applying for and one that she continually tries to get fired from). She holds a master's degree in Elementary Education that has been gathering dust in its frame for the past 17 years while she's been making grilled cheese sandwiches and stepping on Barbie shoes. When she's not napping, she writes about her family, the absurdity of celebrity life, and whatever else she can find hidden humor in over at her blog, You're my favorite today.

In March 2013, Michelle's humorous essay, "Don't Stop Believin'", was published in the anthology, "I Just Want To Pee Alone", which was an Amazon Parenting/Humor #1 bestseller.

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