And it did cost me 3 hours of anguish. All because of soy sauce.
But first, a brief life update: All is well. I'm on my own computer now because the fiancee's roommate, "Jody," has moved out to pursue a truck-driving class that requires her to be in Texas for several weeks. I swiftly moved in to claim that spare bedroom as sort of a man cave, and I moved my computer in. There is a small TV that needs to be hooked up to cable, and I'll do that when I get back from Wisconsin, where I'm going this weekend to be best man at the wedding of "Jacob" and his bride. The new job is going well, although the perfectionist in me is pissed that I've made a couple of errors. They don't count because I'm in training, and the others training with me constantly have errors being brought back to them, but I'm still pissed. And domestic life is well. The biggest issue for us seems to be trying to find time and energy to get close to each other. It seemed like it would be easy since we sleep in the same bed, but we're soooo tired when we get into bed that we instantly fall asleep. The other issue is the driving issue, as in she wants me to drive more and get more practice, and I'm being a scaredy cat. But this past Saturday, she came across a situation: She was cooking stir fry and discovered that she had no soy sauce, so either she'd have to trust me to take the rice off the burner when it was ready while she drove to get soy sauce or she'd wait until I brought soy sauce back from the store. Sensing her angst at the thought of trusting me to watch over the rice, I took the keys.
This was to be my very first time driving with no one else in the car, so I was very nervous. As a result, I didn't drive to the Wal-Mart as she suggested because it was rather far away and I didn't have confidence that I'd know how to get there. Instead, I drove less than a mile to a Walgreens. That drive was two minutes of nerve-wracking, wheel-gripping fear that I would fuck up this short little trip. But I made it, and after turning into the parking spot, I jumped out (well, more like squeezed out, because this is a Toyota) and slammed the door and strolled into the Walgreens feeling like a pimp. In doing that, I forgot this one piece of advice the fiancee had told me about the car--don't slam the driver's door too hard because the handle may get stuck and you would have to call a locksmith to get back in, since the passenger's door lock was already broken. And after being told that there was no soy sauce at this Walgreens, I walked back to the car actually contemplating driving down a street I wasn't familiar with because the cashier told me there was a Kroger's grocery nearby. But first I would drive a couple of doors down to a dollar store to see if they could hook me up, and maybe they have sesame oil too, and...
Shit! Damn door is unlocked but I can't open it!! And my cell phone is at home charging up!! What the fuck do I do???
Well, I strolled right back into the Walgreens and used the store phone in the photo department to call the fiancee and break the news to her that, indeed, I had fucked up the very first time I tried to drive alone. She looked up a number for the locksmith that she needed when she did this to herself, and warned me that it cost her $25. I wasn't happy, but I knew that there was no other option. So I called, and they said a half-hour wait and a $48 charge was in my future. Pissed off, I stomped out of the Walgreens and walked to the dollar store, where sitting on a shelf looking lonely was the last bottle of generic dollar store soy sauce. I got back to the car in less than 15 minutes expecting help to arrive shortly. 30 minutes later, I went back in and called the locksmith trying to ascertain his whereabouts, and I was told that he showed up and left because I wasn't there. Well, if he did, it was during my trip to the dollar store, and that wasn't 30 minutes like the receptionist said, so they got their signals crossed. I set up another appointment and was told it would be another 30 minutes. I sat on the curb next to the car for another 45 minutes before calling the fiancee and explaining why I was still not home. She said that Jody was still there and thankfully had not left to go to the bus station and leave town as she would that night, so the fiancee was able to pick me up in Jody's truck.
I didn't have to spend $48 to open the car door because the fiancee noticed that in my two-minute trip, I had cracked the window instead of turning on the air, and she was able to take Jody's ice scraper and stick it inside the window and open the door handle from the inside. So all's well that ends well, I suppose. Except the soy sauce was crappy, and I missed a big comeback by the Grizzlies to win their NBA playoff game, and I felt lost and frustrated sitting outside for three hours next to a car that I couldn't enter. I can only pray that my subsequent experiences driving alone will be much more pleasant.