there’s a silver lining buried in here somewhere

The phrase “going to Hell in a handbag.” Now that I think about it, I’m not entirely sure what it means. Sort of like the phrase “built like a brick shithouse.” I used to say that a lot until I realized that nobody I said it to seemed to have heard it before, or to know what it meant. Then I realized that I didn’t really know what it meant and that I should probably stop referring to people as shithouses (even if they were the swanky sort made from brick).

So, I may not be entirely clear on what this means, but I feel like my life for the past week has been “going to hell in a handbag.” I was plugging along so well, and suddenly, everything seems to be going not quite right. My inability to manage real life (like an adult) is mostly to blame. And, as usual, I’m free to tell you ALL about that. Some outside forces, having to do with work and/or people who may read words published on the internet are also to blame, and you will NOT be hearing about those on here. (But don’t feel too sad. Probably it’s all my fault in a roundabout sort of way anyhow. It usually is. I’m just full of excuses.)

Here’s a story to illustrate how I can’t manage my life:

ANNA ATTEMPTS TO BUY A SMARTPHONE

This is, by no means, an attempt to keep up with the rest of the world. Both of my parents already have iphones AND ipads AND laptops. I’m clearly so far behind that I will never win this race. Also, I can’t figure out how to get my current phone off of a permanent vibrate setting even though I’ve had it for four years; I will clearly never be able to use half the functions of a smartphone. I just needed to change phone plans and realized that it would be more work to cling desperately to my dumphone than to join the rest of the 21 century.

Step 1: I don’t know how to do anything with electronics, so I thought I’d go to Best Buy and make them do it for me.  I walk into the store and say, “I want to change from carrier A to carrier B and I want to buy phone X.” I had at least done some cursory research about this.

Best Buy guy says, “We don’t have phone X, but phone Y is just as good and only a little more expensive.” I waffle a little bit, but get talked into it. As he’s ringing me up, Best Buy guy informs me that he can’t actually connect the phone for me, but that it will only take me two seconds to do on my computer. I immediately forget the reason he can’t connect me, but remember that it seems legit. Then I have the panicked thought on the way out of the store that my mom is going to ask me why they couldn’t connect my phone and judge me when I can’t tell her, and I think that I should pay more attention when people talk to me.

Step 2: That night, I try to connect my phone but keep getting various error messages. I do this for an hour and a half. I hate talking on the phone, but I eventually call customer service. Apparently, they don’t answer the phone at ten thirty p.m. I give up and go to bed.

Step 3: I call customer service at SEVEN THIRTY the next night, and they answer. The guy I end up talking to is German, or possibly speaking to me from underwater. I have to ask him “WHAT?!” about 70 times. This is only compounding my hatred of talking on the phone. Mr. Marbles-in-his-mouth informs me that the Best Buy Guy has sold me a phone that does not support the carrier that I TOLD HIM I WANTED TO SWITCH TO. I’m furious. I go rant to Roomie about it, and she says, “Yeah, I thought as much when I saw the box. But I wasn’t going to say anything.” Guys, my best friend is mean and unhelpful. (Just kidding Roomie!) But really, she’s probably just trying to make me learn to do grown-up things on my own.

Step 4: I order the phone I actually wanted online, which is what I had originally planned to do before Best Buy sabotaged my life. The phone is out of stock everywhere, but I eventually track one down. After wasting another hour on the computer.

Step 5: I bring the hated OTHER phone back to return it, hoping to get the cruel person who sold it to me in trouble. There is a manager at the store who is very interested in finding out which employee was so unhelpful, but I suddenly feel guilty about incriminating anybody and give a vague description that probably fits half of the employees who work there. I don’t have to lie about not remembering his name. I’m terrible with names.

Half way through the return process I realize I can’t find the receipt. I have a distinct memory of taking it out of the bag the night before and thinking, “Good. I definitely have the receipt.” I have no memory of putting it back in the bag. Because I didn’t. I apologize to the nice manager and say I’ll come back tomorrow with the receipt. When I get home that night, I find it sitting on my desk.

Step 6: I bring back the phone the next day during my lunch break. I have B with me from work because we went to lunch together. I promise him it’ll only take a minute and that he can pretend to be my bodyguard. He says he’ll look intimidating and threaten the Best Buy employees if they give me any trouble. It ends up taking us 20 minutes because I, apparently, threw away the part of the packaging with the bar code on it. Seriously though, I don’t recall any label on that part of the box saying, “WARNING: IT WILL TAKE YOU TEN TIMES AS LONG TO RETURN THIS PHONE, WHICH YOU DIDN’T WANT IN THE FIRST PLACE, IF YOU THROW AWAY THIS BAR CODE. ALSO, YOU WILL PROBABLY BE LATE IF YOU TRY DOING THIS AT THE VERY END OF YOUR LUNCH BREAK.” So, really, how was I to know?

Step 7: I finally get my new phone in the mail and realize that I shouldn’t set up the new phone until my contacts are all on there. I also realize that I’m going to have to type them all in manually because Best Buy is useless and probably wouldn’t do it for me even if I went back there and offered them my first born child in return (whenever I have said child, that is). Also, they probably wouldn’t help me because of whatever legitimate reason they gave me in the first place for not being able to activate my new phone. Dagnabbit, I REALLY wish I could remember what it was now.

This is the night that I also realize that I don’t know how to type on a touchscreen.

I fail at technology. And remembering to put the receipt back in the bag. And noticing that the guy at Best Buy is trying to sell me a phone for the WRONG PLAN.

There. That’s one thing that happened this week. The only one I’m going to talk about.

Does anyone know what going to Hell in a handbag actually means? I think I’m using it wrong. Maybe I should just say I had a shitty week. But there’s no alliteration in that.

UPDATE: Ok, so apparently, the phrase is actually “going to Hell in a hand basket.” But, seriously, who uses a “hand basket” in this day and age? I’ve never even heard of one. Going to Hell in a handbag is much more modern.

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One thought on “there’s a silver lining buried in here somewhere

  1. ‘Going to hell in a handbag’ is a nice expression. It’s portable and chic, and has definitely got an iphone compartment for taking pictures, griping and foursquaring all the way down. Like the Fashionista’s Guide to Perdition. You should definitely keep the expression, and find a nice handbag to visualise it better. 😉

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