About Miss Catastrophe: Someone- probably tired of hearing them- thought my mishaps were worth spreading… Inspired by Kyan Khojandi’s shortcom “Bref”, I, a.k.a Miss Catastrophe narrate some of my daily adventures worth sharing for a laugh, a lesson or both in less than 500 words. So here you are, as long as you don’t correlate them to karma or to my intellect, you can proceed.
It is African leaders summit week in D.C. I rush out of work to make it to an “important” meeting hosted by the US Bilateral Chamber of Commerce featuring my beloved Morocco. Ten miles later, I am there right on time. A rarity. I immediately find a parking spot. Another rarity. The meter accepts neither my Amex nor my Visa. A rarity, too. I go into the restaurant across the street, and kindly ask the waitress for change. The meter does not accept the cash either. Obviously, rich cities have rich meters. The meter by the car parked next to mine was broken too. I report it to the waitress. She says someone else had mentioned it. After my due diligence was done, I think to myself: this must be my lucky day, I get to save two bucks. So, I confidently head to my “important” meeting.
Power walking to make it on time… I suddenly hear CRACK: the right heel of my new fancy nude Ralph Lauren shoe breaks! CRAP. I am going to play Cinderella now… I calm myself: there could be a prince charming out there. My on-the-go self-therapy in action. I take the shoe off and walk. Yes bare-foot. Imagine the scene here. Now stop laughing: DC’s sidewalks are clean … just like its politicians.
My meeting is everything but “important”: the distinguished Gov’t officials – that I shall not name here – just like the meter, do not show up that day. In fact, no one of the guest speakers on the invite does. Not a rarity for a Moroccan-sponsored event. We eventually get alternate ones. Two instead of the fantastic four. They were quite good, nonetheless. I am impressed. A rarity.
It is 6:15 pm I head back to my car. I hop in, put my John Legend in, remove my cracked heel. Ah, life is good again. I start driving when suddenly, I spot a pink piece of paper on my windshield. Pink, oh how romantic… Could this be… an admirer’s note? No… maybe it is my prince charming’s phone number? After a split second of utopian thinking, I come back from lala-land: could this be … the dreaded, the unspoken, the one shameful thing I have never gotten in my pseudo-perfect driving record: the one and only parking ticket?! Of course it is. An impossibility…until now.
Oh well, there are first times for everything. Self-therapy mode in action again. It works. I calm down. I will get it when I get home… No, actually I won’t. At the next red light down on M-st, the wind sets my ticket free. Gone with the wind! I wish it was me. I am mad, worried and amused at the same time: God does not want me to pay it. Another mind trip to lala-land… This is America. In America, there are 2.0 alternatives for everything. Even for people… Hence, what does the well-mannered citizen in me do when she gets home? She goes on an online visit to the DC DMV website. Actually that was the anxious, authority-phobic Moroccan in me. And…Surprise: You are liable for a hundred-dollar fine for not using a defective two-dollar meter!
And this is how my second self-imposed rule was instigated: no driving in D.C. no matter the weather, the day or the occasion.
Bref, I parked in D.C.