City of Starkville Water Tower

I’ve mentioned it before. Everything here moves slowly. Slower than slowly. Slooooowly. Like molasses. Or a snail stuck in molasses.

I’ve discovered that every date or time promised in Mississippi is merely an approximation or a best guess.

Now, don’t get me wrong. These Mississippians might be slow moving, but they’re nice as can be. When everything is running at least 48 hours behind schedule, they’ll trip all over themselves to apologize to you. It’s tough to be frustrated when they’re smiling and calling you “Sugar.” But the Yankee in me still wants them to move a little faster.

Cable guy coming between 9 and 5? Well, not if he has a “mishap” across town that he wasn’t ‘spectin’. Then he’ll arrive at around 8:30 PM. Right when my head is blowing up because my kids haven’t eaten, our dinner plans have been canceled, I can’t access my blog, and the red wine has run out.

Oh, and those loft beds we ordered for our kids? They were supposed to arrive last Wednesday. So, I waited around the house all day on Wednesday to find out that they weren’t actually arriving until Thursday. They were then supposed to be delivered anywhere between — yup, you guessed it — 9 and 5. The driver pulled up to the house at 5:45 — just as the torrential rain began. But that was not the end of the excitement, my friends. We had what looked like an entire lumber yard loaded on a single pallet. The driver had the pallet loaded onto a pallet jack and was ready to lower it to the street. But he forgot to set the brakes while he rearranged a few things on his truck. And like a slow motion catastrophe, the entire pallet dropped five feet to the ground and exploded all over the wet road.

“I don’t think that was supposed to happen,” George remarked from the front porch.

“I think somma this might be damaged,” the driver mentioned nonchalantly as he crawled out of the truck. “Yup, some of this is definitely gonna be damaged.” Indeed. The new desks are on order. They’re supposed to arrive tomorrow. That means they’ll be here by Friday. Or September.

And the mattresses for the aforementioned loft beds? They were promised to us by the end of last week. When I went to check on them yesterday, the Mattress Lady had to call back to her warehouse to investigate. “It’s jam-packed back there,” she explained.

But not with our mattresses.

“I’m so sorry, Honey, but those mattresses aren’t here yet. They’re in Biloxi. They were supposed to arrive on a truck today, but for some reason, they didn’t get loaded.”

The mattresses are now promised by Wednesday of this week. If my kids are sleeping in their own beds with visions of sugar plums on Christmas Eve, I’ll consider that a victory.

After all, sleeping on air mattresses pales in comparison to the torture I subjected them to yesterday afternoon. While registering the kids for school, I discovered that the Oktibbeha County Health Department must approve all vaccination record transfers before kids can be admitted. So, I schlepped all their Indiana records to the Health Department last week to get the transfer papers.

Of course, there was a glitch.

Apparently, George’s 2nd Hepatitis B shot was given 5 days too early when he was an infant.

“These are national immunization recommendations, Ma’am,” the nurse explained.

“Then why was it okay in Indiana, but not okay here?” I asked.

“Because we’re real strict.” (And just for the record, that’s re-ul — two syllables, not one.)

So, I reluctantly scheduled an appointment for George to receive another Hepatitis B shot for today at 1:45. I promised the kids a trip to “Local Culture” — the fabulous yogurt place we’d recently discovered — and they all came along for the ride.

At 1:40, we settled in to watch “Happy Feet” which was playing on the TV in the Health Department waiting room. At 3:42, the movie was looping back around for the second time, and we were finally called back for George’s shot. My kids actually cheered when George’s name was called. At 3:43, we were done.

We waited over two hours to receive a 30-second shot that we’d already administered 9 years ago.

“Why didn’t you just yell at them?” Mary Claire asked.

“Yeah, you’re really good at yelling at us,” George agreed. “Why not them?”

Maybe I’ll go back and yell at them tomorrow. After all, I’m not in a hurry.

I’m in Mississippi.

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