Two years ago, I found myself sitting unexpectedly (and uncommonly) next to a fascinating and friendly woman (“Kara”) on a flight to Costa Rica.
This evening, I found myself trying not to sneeze on her.
The genuinely pleasant dinner with her aside, I’ve not been having the best of luck lately.
Late last week, I was away for Kara’s birthday party while I was (ironically) playing Aggravation with my parents in Southern California. I also missed a hot tub party, a huge and highly lauded Lindy Hop / blues party with a live pianist (the dead ones just can’t swing), several other dance events, a scavenger hunt, and more.
Tuesday night at Broadway Studios (for swing night), I forgot to put my dancing sneakers on, and then wondered for three hours why I wasn’t quite “in best form.” Mind you, I’ve been dancing hundreds of hours over the last year, and before this week, had never been quite so absentminded in this way. It’s kind of like walking into your workplace in pajamas. Your less observant colleagues may not notice, but you’ll feel downright funny. Especially if you can’t figure out why ’til you’re on your way home.
Additionally, I was decidedly a huge dork because I failed to introduce myself to a woman competing at Broadway, whom I had chatted extensively with over IM during the past week. She’s busy preparing for the contest, I told myself, so I can’t bother her now. She’s resting after the contest. She’s bummed about not winning the contest. Oh, wait, gobs of top Lindy guys are asking her to dance constantly, I can’t interrupt. Then she went home. And the next day, I got a puzzled IM from her asking why I never bothered to show up, despite my promise to be there and introduce myself. Ouch.
Wednesday morning, I discovered that I had apparently been cursed by the prior evening’s performance of the opera “The Nose,” since my own personal schnoz had become quite unruly. Sniffling literally and figuratively, I ditched my kickboxing class and felt annoyed and guilty.
This morning, I felt more sick and pondered whether to cancel on my long lost airplane friend. Determined to be strong — and understandably reluctant to last-minutely cancel plans with a busy woman like this — I did the next best thing: I drugged myself. Cough expectorant, decongestant, zinc tablets, extra vitamins, and a hella strong antihistimine.
Running late (of course), I still couldn’t help but notice the alarming state of my formerly white car. It looked like a Gateway cow-spot box that had baked in the desert sun, complete with evil birds contributing to the auxilliary “paint” job.
Timing be damned, it was clear that I had to do something, and I was relieved when I noticed only three cars in front of me at the nearby gas station autowash. I hadn’t taken into account, however, that two out of these three would contain complete nitwits.
The first lady didn’t quite have the pre-pay concept down. She figured, I’m guessing, that she could run her car through the automated car wash thingy and pay afterwards. I don’t know. All I can attest to is the fact that she was repeatedly punching in likely random codes into the keypad there, hoping that she’d somehow hit the magic 5 digit jackpot to activate the car wash. Having failed to accomplish this after seemingly an eternity and probably noticing the increasingly pissed off mob of people waiting behind her, she then resigned herself to sticking quarters into the machine to pay the $4 fee. She, however, had only $3.25.
How do I know this? She got out of her car and began panhandling the rest. I kidd you not.
Secure in my assumption that the next two drivers could not be half as stupid as this woman, I was unsurprised but thankful that the next car zoomed right through. He had a code, and knew how to use it. Amen!
The fellow after him, however, was perhaps a relative of the first bozette. He had trouble grasping the necessity of aligning one’s left tires with the moving trackway so as to have the car guided along through the wash and then (thankfully) out the exit, wonderously making room for OTHER people to get their cars washed. Including other people who were already running late for meeting a friend in Berkeley across the bridge.
But, as I suggested, he DIDN’T quite get the picture. So he punched in his code, hit the start button, and waited. And waited. And no doubt wondered, gee, why wasn’t his car moving?
I shouted helpful instructions to him the best I could without shouting things that would not be considered “instructive” in a car wash sense. He then succeeded in getting ONE of his wheels along the track, albeit at a 45 degree angle. His car was dragged along for a few inches, but no more.
“MORONS LIKE YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED OUT IN PUBLIC UNSUPERVISED!” I screamed.
Okay, so I instead yelled in a more friendly way for him to try again, back up, and get both tires on the track. Miraculously, he eventually did so.
A few moments later I was in the car wash and out of the car wash. Yet my windshield still had big funny spots on it. Halfway down the street I realized, OH NO, these were spots INSIDE the car! I spit in a kleenex, doing my best to professionally buff the spots away, but what I ended up with were huge colorfully messy streaks instead. I gave up. If this woman judged me solely by the cleanliness of my car, then she was not worth having as a friend, I defiantly reassured myself.
I wish I had thought of that before going to the carwash, though.
The trip to Kara’s apartment wasn’t any smoother.
I was plagued with mondo traffic getting across the bridge, and MapBlast directions that cheerfully instructed me to turn right when I needed to turn left. I got lost, and shamelessly called Kara for help. Clearly she was not going to like me for my sense of directionality or my (non)possession of paper maps, either.
I had barely eaten all day, and so by the time I finally met up with Kara, I was starving. Luckily, she and I walked quickly to a restaurant and found a table. When she ordered a before-dinner beer, I reflexively ordered a drink for myself… a nice glass of white wine. Mmm.
An hour later, I harshly recalled that big scary looking warning on the antihistimine bottle: “DO NOT TAKE ANTIDEPRESSANTS OR ALCOHOL WITH THIS DRUG.” Let’s just say I blathered dumbly even more than usual. I think the only remaining quality she can admire in me now is my dashingly handsome looks. Er, or maybe my vivid sense of imagination.
So here I am, past midnight blogging, still not tired, but still sick. And also praying that my friend has a good sense of humor, especially if she reads this entry 🙂
I also wouldn’t mind some better luck coming my way.