I was invited to 2 events on Superbowl Sunday.
Event #1 - Friends had their baby blessed in church and were inviting a bunch of people to attend the service followed by a luncheon at their home. This is the same home in which my Ex lives. These are mutual friends. I could not attend the service, as I had my own Sunday obligations. I thought about not going to the luncheon as it might be awkward for me. But, I decided to stop in for a quick appearance as not to offend. Plus - event #2 was the perfect excuse for me not to stay.
Event #2 - I was invited to watch the Superbowl with a family up in Logan. Well, I argued. It would probably take me an hour and 15 minutes to drive. Then again, nothing better to do, and I was feeling up for an adventure; y'know, to lighten my mood. So, I thought, "What the hay?" and decided to go. It was just going to be this family (with 4 kids) and RocketGuy. RocketGuy's the brother. The single brother; divorced like me. Has kids like me. Perfect opportunity to meet, right? A group setting in a casual environment. No pressure, right? Things would/should go smoothly, right? Wrong. There's more.
Anyway, I was off. Dropped in to see the baby. Ate a bite of something I couldn't pronounce or spell, and headed up to Logan to watch the game. I was excited. I hoped that the Cardinals would at least put up a good fight. A few times I glanced down at the CD clock display. I secretly congratulated myself on the awesome travel time I was making. When will I ever learn...
In my car I have an audio connection that allows me to hook up my phone to the stereo, thereby allowing me to talk "hands free" with surround sound/speakerphone. I love this feature. I can drive and talk,
Crap! I call. RocketGuy answers. I tell him I miss the exit. He tells me it's ok and to go to the next exit or two and get off where it says "Riverside". I continue heading north. I don't see a Riverside exit. Next thing I know the signs indicate I will be in Idaho shortly! Double-Crap! At this point, I figure I'll turn around and go back to the original exit. I know this exit well, and have taken it many times before. I figure, this little turn-around will make me about 20 minutes late.
I am nearing the correct exit, when suddenly my nostrils and lungs fill with a rubber-smelling-like smoke. I see sirens ahead. There are about 4 police cars, 1 firetruck and a big-rig with a thick black smoke-cloud overhead. They were pulled over and blocking my exit! Figures! I pass the correct exit for the second time. Ugh! I continue south and take the next exit, so as to turn around and come back to the exit I should have taken from the start. (Is your head spinning yet?) By this time I figure I'm adding at least another 15-20 minutes to my already late arrival. I debate going home. But decide I'm already up here might as well finish out the adventure, right?
Finally, I take the correct exit and head into the canyon as I had done so many times before while visiting old college roomies. However, I was not used to driving in the canyon in the dark. There are lots of curves so I did take it a bit slower than usual, adding at least another 10 minutes. Finally, I make it to Logan, and call the awaiting par-tay. I am instructed to go north of town into the "country" and look for "such-and-such" road.
Well, this road was apparently numbered by the County Road system. I, however, was still within the city limits on a different street numbering system. I slowed a few times to check street signs. Once determined it was not the correct street, I continued on my journey. I was well aware that there weren't any other cars around me, so I didn't worry about irritating any other drivers with my slow-downs and speed-ups; all but one that is.
Next thing I know there are flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. Triple-Crap! I pull over to the side of the road. Barney Fife mosies on up to my window and asks for license and registration. While I am fishing for said documents, he says, "You were driving suspicious back there. Want to tell me what's going on?" I decided now was not the time to point out his use of an adjective in place of an adverb. "I'm sorry, officer. I am looking for an address." He asks me what street. I tell him. I hand him my documents and he tells me to stay put.
After several minutes he returns to the vehicle and asks for my proof of insurance. I suddenly have a sick-to-my-stomach, deer-in-the-headlights, yogi-bear moment. Quadruple-Crap! I left my insurance cards on my desk at work on Friday. I explain to the officer that just a few weeks earlier I was pulled over and they said I had no insurance, even though I did, and all of my insurance stuff is on my desk at work.
He says, "Well, the dispatcher said that the insurance database does not list this vehicle as having coverage. Now, perhaps you have coverage and it takes a while for the system to update. Then again, perhaps you don't. I very well can't verify it without your cards. Did the last officer give you a ticket?" I reply, "Yes sir." He pulls his pen from his chest pocket and while handing his clipboard to me, smirks and says, "Well, you just got yourself another one."
It was all I could do to keep myself from crying hysterically at this point. Did he not know that I am a poor single mom? Did he not realize that I have NEVER been pulled over for anything with the exception of the erroneous insurance citation just 3 weeks earlier? Did my perfect record mean nothing? Did he not know that I had to drive more than an hour, miss my exit twice, pass an on-fire semi and was now going to be nearly 2 hours late??? No. He didn't know and he didn't care.
He did tell me that he wasn't sure If I'd have to drive all the way back up there to attend court. But that maybe I could call the courts after a few days and see. Oh - and then he wished me "good luck" and told me the address I was looking for was still about a mile up the road. Gee, thanks!
I finally get to the party with only 2 1/2 minutes of the game left. I feel like crying. I feel sick to my stomach. I don't feel like eating. Nevertheless RocketGuy had baked his famous chocolate chip cookies, and they had all of this other food too. Everyone empathizes appropriately with my situation. They talk me into eating a little. So, I eat and watch the last few minutes of the game.
Following the game, we watched Wipeout on ABC. This was the first time I had seen the show. It was hilarious; Big obstacle courses and relay races for money. The object is NOT to wipe out, which is hard while dodging big objects coming at you. It was the Cheerleaders vs. the Couch Potatoes. It was funny! This one Couch potato was a big Japanese guy. He continuously wiped out in the mud, swamps, and rivers of Gatorade. Then he would get up, show a few "ninja" moves and try again. It was the comical relief I needed.
So at 9pm, I start my way home. I had a few return phone calls to make, which I do on my lovely surround-sound, hands-free speaker system. Well, I was talking and laughing so much that when the road divided ... you guessed it... I took the wrong way! I quickly realized my error and luckily was still heading the right direction and luckily there was another chance to get on the freeway. Only about 5 minutes of lost time that time. For the record, I am not one to usually miss exits or get lost. I guess it just wasn't my day.
I think next year, I'll just stay home!
Missing my exit twice and using up more gas........ $10
Incurring a "driving without insurance" citation....... $400
Taking an adventure and watching my sanity go out the window... Priceless!