Are you familiar with the term “go big or go home”? Well, last night, I went big and THEN went home.
It was a colossal epic fail of an evening — an ideal example of “pushing on a rope” — and a most appropriate ending to a particularly harried day and even crazier week.
And there’s really no one to blame but myself.
I was looking forward to my first staff outing with the other instructors from Jazzercise of Southwestern Connecticut. In fact, after several days of post-vacation digging out of tasks, made more difficult by Irene, I had been counting the hours. Food, fun, socializing with a bunch of really terrific women at what sounded like a fabulous hotspot. I was stoked.
It had been one of those days where I ate lunch with one hand while typing with the other, then careened, pinball-style from one priority task to another. What a relief to get dressed up (heels even!), grab directions via the Wilton venue’s website, and head for the car.
Now you must understand that my lack of mathematical and navigational skills is legendary. I’ll not bore you with details about the former; they are between me and my calculator. As for the latter, Basil, Catherine and my parents still get a rip-roaring laugh out of the time I misunderstood adjacent ads in the New York Times Travel section and asked about taking a bus to Bermuda.
Growing up, I heard — many, many times — that if I had half a brain, I’d be dangerous. Last night’s events may have proved that to be so.
A thinking person would have looked more carefully at the directions; eschewed Bing for tried-and-true Mapquest; checked with her spouse or a friend; taken the car with GPS, even asked to split the gas money and hitched a ride with one of the other attendees.
But, the printout had the proper address for the venue. I was focused on the words, not the map. After all, I don’t get into Wilton very often and have no real sense of the area. I didn’t question it, but rather inched my way into rush-hour traffic.
Little did I know that like Gilligan (Maryann?), I was in for a three-hour tour.
Special thanks to the very nice lady in the liquor store in Shelton who had the grace to try to mask her surprise (mirth?) at my predicament, when, an hour after I should have been whooping it up, I threw myself on her mercy. Amazingly, I didn’t bawl as she sketched out new directions.
But the 45-minute pep talk started about then: I am, after all, a 45-year-old woman who keeps a household running, is raising a child, is gainfully employed. Everyone else found the party. I could DO this.
I made an apologetic phone call to my host, then tried to get there for the last part of the party. But traffic on the southbound Merritt Parkway ground to a halt to accommodate the overnight construction shift. Once again I was inching along, one eye on the clock. Then it turned out Liquor Store Lady was several exits off in her instructions.
With just 20 minutes left to the party, rather than continue to drive aimlessly in the dark, it seemed best to stick with the parkway, which I knew would get me home.
There, I had my own party of the pity variety, but even a big bowl of mint chip didn’t ease the pain of missing the fun or the sting of making such a bonehead move.
Today we took a quick run across the Tappan Zee Bridge to check in on my parents. Basil drove.