When I have one project or chore going on, it always seems like a good idea to add one or two others into the mix while I’m in the mood.
Yesterday I had a meeting down in Cincinnati. I thought to myself, Well, while I’m down in Cincy, why not stop at IKEA? We needed a couch, and there just so happened to be a floor model couch hanging out in the sale room. I couldn’t resist the half off price tag.
While some guys loaded it into our station wagon, I continued e-mailing with a guy about a washing machine. It was only a few years old, and the price was pretty irresistible. I told him I’d be there later that night.
After sitting in gobs of traffic, I zoomed into our garage, dumped off the couch, and set off for the washer. As it turned out, the seller lived about 45 minutes away from us in the deep, dark country.
I meandered along back roads, searching for the seller’s mailbox. On the first pass I missed it. I caught a glimpse of it the second time. Finally I rolled into his driveway on the third try, puttering past an imposing fence with a “No Trespassing” sign. I drove down a gravel driveway surrounded by fields and trees with only darkness before me.
It didn’t look good.
“This is where people go to get murdered,” I thought to myself.
I imagined a ramshackle home with a huge tree stump in front of it where a bloody axe rested lazily, waiting for the next buyer.
On my most optimistic days I’m a jumpy, stressed out person. As I approached a dark hill, I dialed the seller’s number, and he picked up.
My mind went blank. What the hell was his name? I just picked one, got it wrong, but recovered by identifying myself. He probably thought I was nuts.
“Yep, it’s a long driveway. I should have mentioned that,” he said. “You’re almost there.”
A few seconds later I drove up to a beautiful log home with huge lights illuminating everything. There weren’t any axes dripping blood into tree stumps. I only found a courteous farmer who helped me load the washer into my car and shook my hand.
I drove home marveling at the disconnect between my anxiety and reality as thick sheets of fog descended on the dark country road.