Shortly after we moved into our Wisconsin house, I called the garbage collection company to ask them about our trash pick-up schedule. I gave the guy my address and asked which day I should plan on hauling the big container up the driveway.
“That’s in Middleton?” he asked, sounding fairly confident that it was.
“Well,” I said, “Our address says Cross Plains.”
“Right,” he agreed, as if this was obvious, “But it’s Town of Middleton.”
“Um, sure,” I allowed, not really wanting our call to turn into one of those that’s-not-Lincoln-Park-it’s-Lakeview neighborhood border arguments that Chicagoans can make last for hours at a time.
After all, I’d already realized that, despite the Cross Plains address, my kids were attending West Middleton Elementary. Located, of course, in Verona. That makes sense, naturally enough, since the only neighbor whose house I can see from my bedroom window also lives in Verona, in a different zip code from mine.
The day that was today started when the bus didn’t come. And it just went on from there.