The call of shame

Last week I completely forgot to take Louie to his vet appointment, a make-up appointment for one I had to cancel.  I got a somewhat irritated message on my machine ("I don't know what happened, but you didn't come for your scheduled appointment. Please call and schedule another.  It's important that he's seen regularly." ).  Because I don't love using the phone (and especially when the other person is irritated with me), I waited until this Tuesday to call and make another appointment. As soon as I said my name, the receptionist knew who I was.  

"Oh yes, Louie's owner.  I have you right here." (translation=you are on our black list now).
I apologized profusely and tried to be charming.
Maybe it worked, maybe not.  But she offered me an appointment at 3:45 that afternoon.
"Great!  I'll be there."

That evening, we're having dinner and I look down at Louie.  I've looked at him all day but that particular glance reminds me.  Oh my WORD. I forgot to go to the appointment today

What kind of person can't remember to go to an appointment she has made that very day? One who is losing her mind, that's who.  They didn't even bother to call and leave an annoyed message.  If I was on the black list before, now I was on the outer darkness list.

So it had to be done.  The call of shame.  To make a THIRD make-up appointment for my dog in less than a week.  Was the frosty reception on the other end of the line my imagination? No.  I oozed humility and shame and apology.  We made the appointment and I could tell the receptionist was thinking "I won't hold my breath."  Ugh.  So it's come to this: I'm that person now.
Side story: When Lauren was 4 or 5, we went on a road trip.  Greg worked at a crazy-hours DC law firm so every stitch of the packing was left to me.  And the food for the car ride. And the entertaining games and coloring books.  And the beach toys.  We finally got in the car and were about an hour into the trip when Lauren asked "did you bring Pink Bear?"  I slapped my forehead.  "Oh, Pink Bear!  No, honey, I forgot.  I'm sorry."  Silence for a moment.  Then Lauren piped up "Geez, Mom, can't you even remember two things?"  Of course, it did no good to explain that I had actually remembered 10,497 things and had forgotten one.   

So, of course, here I am again.  The vet thinks I can't even remember two things.  But I want to make a copy of my calendar and bring it in and say "look here...these are all the appointments I did remember this week!  This is everything I'm keeping track of, so if I blew off the 5-minute shot appointment, I'm sorry.  But I'm really actually quite dependable."  

Instead, Project Help Mom Remember was instituted, a shock-and-awe reminder system. Maddy made a sign for the fridge LOUIE VET 9:30 TODAY.  Lauren texted me at 9 "remembr Louie 9:30."  Greg called from work.  Everything short of a string around my finger. Mission accomplished!