Monday, October 14, 2013

I Skipped Step 11

Do you ever have a moment that you think would be perfect for a hidden camera?

The other day, when butternut squash soup went splattering all over the place in my kitchen (borrowed a blender when my food processor broke) I had to pretend it was for a film crew.  What else?  I wasn't so amused; surely somebody should get to be.

But that's just a moment.  A big, messy, dramatic moment.

What about when your whole day starts to feel like you are in some kind of classroom where the instructor uses your story to explain Murphy's Law? Can't you just see the PowerPoint?  Exhibit A: see how the tall, full glass gets spilled at the table while the Sippy Cup will stand the ages...Murphy would have appreciated that.

So here is our day that professors of Murphy's law wish they had photo documentation of:

It is the day of The Wedding.  Our dear friend is getting married one hour and eight minutes away (by Mapquest's estimation) and we are going.

We have nothing planned but to get ourselves out the door two hours before the start time.

That was our one and only plan.  We are doing nothing else that does not support that plan, people!  Stick to the plan.  The wedding is today.  Today is the day.  Let's stay focused and stick with the plan.  (I start to sound like the wedding planner, instead of a guest, but I can't let my guard down.)

At 9am I mapquest the destination and write down all the directions, including all the "if you get here, you went too far" little tips.

We lay out outfits (some of which we bought and washed and dried the night before) and get ready for showers.

The power goes out.  Welcome, Murphy.
Ok, ok, so you can drive to your dad's house to iron your pants.  How are we going to reheat leftovers for lunch?  I've already taken a shower, so I guess I'll just style my hair in some slicked-back bun concoction that will attempt to look stylish since I can't use my hairdryer to style it properly.

While I'm still getting ready, Bill calls to tell me: our sitter has gotten a flat tire en route.  Does he change it or let her wait for her roadside assistance plan to send someone?  Change it.  Change it.  They could take forever.  Landon can have some dried apricots to tide him over.  (Unknown to me he ate nearly the whole bag)

Bill comes home.  Our sitter arrives.  We gather ourselves and our wits and are only 15 minutes behind schedule, but this is ok, because we are 1 hour, 45 minutes from Wedding and only 1 hour, 8 minutes from destination.

See how that should have worked out just fine?

But we've skipped lunch and have grown hungrier than I think will be tolerable.  (I rue this thought)  Let's just pull over and get a quick snack.  So Bill runs into Vitamin Cottage and buys food we feel too paranoid to eat and roll with so we take another 15 minutes to eat and drink and settle our grumbling tummies. I'm so paranoid about Landon spilling on his new sweater, in fact, that I have him take it off and eat shirtless.  Chocolate milk gets all over his face; crumbs spill all over his front.  It doesn't matter that we are not rolling.  This is how my four-year-old eats, and I should have remembered that.

Let's move on down the road.  We are now 30 minutes away with only 45 minutes to get there.

I read my carefully copied directions and we follow them perfectly.  We read each road sign to each other so we won't miss a turn.  And we get hopelessly, terribly lost.  Out on country roads with little to nothing in between.  We are so close, and ridiculously far at the same time.

As panic starts to circle in for a landing in our car, I start jabbing at Bill's smart phone that often makes me feel like a fat-fingered moron, and this time is no exception.  I can't get mapquest to actually search for the address I entered.

I call my sister for help.  As we get farther out toward Kansas she says, "Turn right at"

"Turn right where?!  What? Where?" I plead with dead silence.

She calls back.  She tries talking faster.  The smart phone wises up and cuts us off sooner.

Finally, like an air traffic controller landing a disabled plane, she guides us in with urgent precision, rattling off directions and crossroads without waiting for reply.

Bill drops Landon and I off at the door to go park the car in the totally full lot.  And now Landon has to "go".  Poor kid, the apricots are catching up with him and will not be ignored.  There's just no rushing some things, I'm afraid.

So finally, and at long last, after making it our only mission to get to this wedding, we slip in the back 11 minutes late looking for that last-row pew to settle into.  It is not to be.  The guests are all seated at round tables that will double for dinner reception seats.

But we saw the wedding.  The songs. The candles.  The radiant bride, the handsome groom.  It was beautiful and sacred.  Landon sat as attentive as I've ever seen him.  I settled down and enjoyed the moment.

Of course, I mislaid my glasses at the reception and had to go back and fake-casual search while Bill found them in the car and hoped our cell phones would work one last time to bring me back. But that's not really a Murphy thing.  That's kinda par for the Jodi course.

Our names are in the Guest Book.  And I was gratified to see that they were not even the last.  Had the pen run out of ink right as we went to sign I would have said Murphy got the last word.

PS: The confession is in the title.  I skipped step 11 when I wrote the directions.  When I told Bill today he said, "I wasn't going to say anything, but I was pretty sure that was what must have happened."

Dear beautiful, sparkly-eyed bride, may you live with a love that does not call you out on your mistakes at unproductive times, is not quick to blame, and just keeps driving til you get where you need to go.  Even when Murphy rides your coat tails all the way there.