Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's Your Name, Little Girl?

True story...

I excel at freaking out.

It doesn't take a lot to get my stress meter over 10 (it goes to 11!). And I'm really good at borrowing trouble. I try not to - it's been my experience thus far that "preparing for the worst" doesn't actually prevent any pain when I get to the worst, it just expands the amount of time that I'm upset - but it's been my habit for almost 30 years now, and it's not that easy to get past.

So, yesterday was... not a good day.

I got some edits done, was pretty happy with a finished story. I read it. I put it away. I brought it out and read it out loud. (I'm told this is supposed to help me. I don't know if it really does or not. I've found some errors that way, but mostly not. I think my beta readers are pretty good about catching my grammar mistakes.)

I double checked the submission requirements - I've had it pounded into my head that failing to follow any submission requirements, no matter how trivial, stupid or arbitrary, is grounds to have my submission rejected and my birthday redacted.

In between, I did my normal "day" stuff. Grocery shopping. Housecleaning. Fiddling around on various social networks. Played some Warcraft. You know. Stuff.

Got the mail.

Commence freak out.

Apparently my bank is making some changes. That is to say, they're doing away with my free-checking. $7 a month bank fee, unless I maintain a minimum balance or use direct deposit (I do). Plus a $5 fee, per check card (that's 2, one for me, one for my husband) per month, with no waivers for that fee.

About a year ago, the bank changed me over from Visa to Mastercard. I discovered exactly what a pain in the ass changing accounts is; I do a LOT of things online. Seems like every few days for about three weeks I was getting another email that said, "give us a new credit card number!" And then they cancelled our "rewards" program. It really wasn't that much of a rewards program, honestly. About once a year I could get a $50 cash deposit put back into our checking account, and that around Christmas, so it was useful, but not like fantastic or anything. Mostly they discounted any "regular" charges, so things like my rent, electric, food, or you know, the stuff I actually NEED didn't count as "money spent" anyway. Shrug. Whatever.

But taking the same (or less!) services than I have had for the last 10 years and now charging me $120 a year for it?

So, I'm spazzing.

And I get an email.

"Dear Ms. Townsend,

I think you may have meant to send this to {Contact*}. She doesn't work here at {Publishing Company}. Her address is {}

{Someone I Never Heard Of}"


I triple checked the submissions requirements. No, no, I sent it to the right email address (as listed in the submission request!) Ok, {Contact} is the person who POSTED the Call for Submissions... and {Company} is the place that's publishing them... there's no other contact information listed. There's no link to {Company.}

Freak. Freak.

I googled {Company} and discovered that {Someone I Never Heard Of} was indeed the person I wanted to send my submission to.

Lovely. Just lovely. It's not entirely my fault, but perhaps I should have been a little more careful, done the googling first... I should have done research! Damn it, freak out more! She's going to think I'm a complete idiot (you are a complete idiot!) and not want to look at my submission because I'm a moron. (and your work is terrible anyway.)

I write her an email back and explain my mistake. She seems gracious enough about it.

But of course, my brain's already in full botheration mode.

So, nothing I can do about it now... I push it aside and start making dinner. Only to realize after I've cut up the onion and started sauteing it that I forgot to take the phyllo out of the freezer. You cannot microwave thaw that stuff... I stare at the partially started dinner. Great. Now what?

Around this time, my husband comes home. I haven't quite curled up on the kitchen floor and started sobbing, but I'm almost there.

(Yes, I'm aware that none of these things are tragic. No one's going to beat me with a horsewhip for making mistakes. And everything is fixable. I know. It's part of my being bi-polar, and I can't really do shit about it. Sometimes I just fall to pieces.)

So, I'm telling him about all the stupid that's going on and he's watching me with that semi-comforting, somewhat smug look. While I don't think he likes that I'm bi-polar, I'm almost certain that he does like dealing with my little domestic problems because he can fix them.

"Wait," he stops me about halfway through my rant. "Who did you say answered your email?"

"{Someone I never heard of.}"

"I know her!" he exclaims. "I read her blog."


* Names have been omitted because I don't want to sound whiny at a particular individual if the story doesn't get accepted, because you know, that's just rude.

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