Yesterday, the shower only turned icy cold twice. And I wasn’t shaving my armpits or trying to rinse off conditioner (a near-impossible feat in cold water), so, you know, score!

As I stood away from the frigid trickle, choosing the cold air over the cold water, I tried not to think about all the water I was wasting waiting for it to get warm again, and instead wondered what the hell was up with it. This has been a problem ever since Mark overhauled the water system on the property. I mentioned it to him, and he said to call him when it happens. But even if I had a phone in my bathroom, I think I’d refrain for both our sakes.

Megan, Rob, the dogs and I carpooled greenly to town as my hair dried. I felt like a kid in the back seat, while Megan and Rob discussed car repairs and other grown-up topics in the front seat. Even though I’m older than they are. Schatzi curled up in her dainty fashion, while Star took up most of the seat and sprawled all over me. She is under the illusion that she is a lap dog. Also, I think the person who comes up with a way to train dogs not to lick you all the time would make a million billion dollars.

Megan and I checked out the local pool, which is new and fancy. It even has a bathing suit wringing machine in the ladies’ locker room. How’s that for modern science? Their pricing info runs to two pages, so I will have to study it carefully before I can figure out if I can afford it or not.

Although the library emailed me yesterday to tell me that I have several items waiting for me there, they were closed at the time, so I couldn’t pick them up. I imagine my annoyance at this is equalled by the librarians’, who have Friday and Monday off, but not Saturday.

Megan dropped Rob off and then me, while she went to hang out with Monica and talk about dogs. I unfortunately had to have a check-up, which meant wasting valuable hours of what’s left of my life, first in a waiting room equipped with hunting and fishing magazines, along with “American Cheerleader” (“Your best pep rally ever!”), which failed to cheer me in the slightest, and then in a hot little examining room. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wear one of those dignity-destroying little people wrappers.

One of my many high school boyfriends* had a father who was a doctor, and he told me that however many exam rooms they have is how many patients they book for that time, hence the endless waits at the doctor’s office. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I certainly had enough time to consider that and how you truly realize how downwardly mobile you are when you have to go to a clinic with all the other uninsured dregs of society. I looked back on my days of doctors, dentists and specialists with elegant offices and glossy magazines in their tasteful San Francisco waiting rooms and could barely hold back the tears.

One thing I have learned the hard and expensive way is that when you don’t have money, that means you have to pay more. Can’t pay the entire, enormous Amerigas bill? You get to pay additional service charges as you pay it off! Don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to get any? You get to pay $70 for sitting around the clinic surrounded by howling babies and homeless people. Yay! Because you make too much money to get a discount. You make too much money for anything like that, though mysteriously, not enough to pay all your bills and rent. Just another of life’s bitter little mysteries.

*I may have taken him to the curb prematurely. His parents had two Rolls Royces and invitations to every coronation from Queen Victoria onward. Also, he now works at NBC-Universal in London.