If any of you read Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events as a child, then you may be able to sympathize with falling victim to a farcical string of bad luck. No doubt many of you have found yourselves being followed by a dreary cloud of misfortune to which no efforts of your own could impede. Sometimes it’s a bad day, sometimes a bad week, or in the case of Kirstin Davis, just a bad winter break. Although she did not have to save her two younger siblings from a monstrous fire in which her entire home was burned to ash and her parents were killed, only to be stalked by a bizzare bearded man determined to devise clever plans to steal her inheritance-she did experience her own, real life, series of unfortunate events.
Unfortunate Event #1: The Runaway
It all started out with Kirstin’s sister running away from home. Wanting to spend more time with her first real boyfriend, 17-year-old Ashley decided to skip a test at school while also missing curfew with him one night later that week. After finding out about the missed test, her parents were enraged and tried to set down more ground rules. Tired of her parents’ rules, about two weeks before her winter break, Ashley ran away to stay at a friend’s house. “I knew she was okay,” says Kirstin. “I was more pissed than anything because she upset my mom.” Everyone in Kirstin’s extended family was concerned about Ashley’s behavior. Only showing her face twice during the entire winter break – once while the family visited her grandmother’s nursing home and once on Christmas day – she didn’t return home until after Kirstin returned to FSU. “She didn’t show up until six o’ clock at night on Christmas day.” Kirstin stated. “Christmas was really awkward.” Needless to say, the elephant that took Ashley’s place at Kirstin’s home over break made things less than pleasant.
Unfortunate Event #2: Oh My Land-Lord
Kirstin and her roommate Sarah moved into their Tallahassee home in July. In October, the weather turned for the colder. One night, Kirstin turned on the heat only to discover that the heater was broken. In December, after two months of living without heat and no response to their several complaints to the property manager, Kirstin and her roommate decided they would refuse to pay that month’s rent. Sarah began receiving calls from their landlord in California, claiming that they were going to be evicted if they did not pay the rent by the end of the week. After hearing this news, Kirstin consulted an attorney and after entering into a legal battle, Kirstin and her roommate unfortunately still had to pay the rent.
Unfortunate Event #3: Driving Under the Influenzzzzzz
The third event in this unfortunate series of bad luck occurred while Kirstin was home in Jacksonville. While following a friend home from the Ritz after a fun night out and an exciting Jaguars game against the Colts, Kirstin found herself getting very woozy at a left turn lane. She woke up to the TAP! TAP! TAP! of a police officer outside her window. A surprised and scared Kirstin reached for her purse in the passenger seat as the officer asked for her ID, only to realize that it was gone! While sleeping, someone had opened her door and stole the purse right out of her car! She told the cop that she had a glass of wine and he routinely he took her to the station downtown. “It took him four hours to write me up and take me downtown,” but “everything went pretty smoothly other than me making a fuss about giving him my name.” At the jail, she was given a bag of necessities and, as she was tossed into the cell, she quietly grabbed a cot. “I was in there with the women that had been there for like months,” and one woman called to her “Oh girl, you too pretty to be in here. You leavin’ tonight?” Instead of embracing the potential friendships of these women, she just cried and slept. Later on, Kirstin was led into the courtroom baring shackles on her wrists and ankles with her parents and grandparents there to witness the dishonorable moment she was convicted of a DUI. Afterward, her grandmother solemnly claimed that was “the second worst day” of her life. The other was when her mom died.
Although this unfortunate series of winter break events could have been much more unfortunate than it was, no one wishes for a winter break to be such a calamity. However, when that gloomy cloud of misfortune is hovering over your head, there’s not much you can do but ride out the storm.