Sunday, January 30, 2011

would you follow him if he jumped off a cliff? (m)

  Friday night.  Sam's team is in from New York playing a team in Maine.  My husband is in North Carolina with Harrison who went back to watch his friends and attend the big competitors' party.

I need a Sam fix, so I went by myself.  I am terrible with directions, even with a GPS system (my family would tell you that's because I don't listen to the GPS and sometimes argue with it thinking I know better).

Left Boston at 4 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game.  GPS says it should take just over 2 hours.  I stop in Kennebunkport for gas and a diet Coke.  I decide to sit at a table and read USA Today while drinking my diet Coke.  Realize I haven't had dinner, so I get a veggie burger at Burger King, without the roll.  The very overweight girl working behind the register asks if I want fries with that.  I look at her.  " fries".  Gee, I should keep that visual in mind whenever I'm tempted to eat something bad.  Go to the bathroom, re-apply lipstick and then leave.  5:30 p.m.  Plenty of time.

I'm doing well by my standards as I haven't gotten lost yet.  I'm not even nervous even though the sun has set and it's dark outside.  I get off the exit and, at a red light, glance at the paper directions (belt and suspenders...paper and GPS).  It says to follow Route 114 for almost the rest of the way, with one turn.  Route 114 winds.  At one point, it seemingly ends.  I start to break into a sweat.  No, wait, I just have to go left.  I start to memorize markers for the way back, i.e. turn at house with the broken tractor in the front yard.  GPS says I have just 2 more miles.  Straight shot.  Come to an intersection and I see a grocery store.  Look at the clock in the car.  6:15 p.m.  Plenty of time to stop and buy something for Sam and his team.  Go in the store and get a few bags of fresh oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Long line at the register.  Only one clerk.  Go to self check-out.  Have lots of trouble with the self scanner.  Need assistance.  Press button for help.  Ten minutes later, a clerk with dead eyes saunters over.

Finish the transaction and head to the car.  Start out and forgot which street I was on.  How could I have screwed this up?  Guess wrong and head out in the opposite direction, realize my mistake and correct my course. 

6:58 p.m.  Just make it to the game on time.   Ridiculous.  I'm so bad.

I sit with the other parents whom I don't really know.  One mother eyes my Shaw's grocery bag with the store bought cookies.  "Oh, you bought some cookies?  How nice.  I made some peanut butter bars and some Toll House cookies.  The team (note: the entire team) loves them."

I debate whether or not to even bother giving the team my cookies.

Just then, my brother-in-law walks in and joins me.  He lives in New Hampshire and drove about 60 miles to see Sam which is nice.  We have been estranged from this brother for a while so I really make an effort to talk to him and thank him for coming to see Sam.

"S", my brother-in-law, knows I am bad with directions and offers to lead me out after the game.  I am relieved and say yes.

Sam's team wins the game.  Afterwards, Sam comes out to see his uncle and his mother.  He looks so handsome in his suit, freshly-showered.  I give him a kiss, the cookies and some clementines and leave.

My brother-in-law leads the way.  To tell you the truth, I think I could have done it on my own.  Everything I burned in my brain (left at the blue sign that says EAT HERE; right at the house with the broken tractor on the front lawn, left by the house with the red door and the ugly-ass wreath) was just where it was supposed to be.  So far, Uncle S is right on track.

And then it happened.  I see a sign for 95 South.  Uncle S, however, goes 295 North.  Wrong road? Wrong direction?  Two things cross my mind at this point:  1. Well, he lives in these parts; maybe it's a shortcut to 95 South and 2. I don't want to offend him by not following him.

The upshot?  We went 25 miles out of our way before he realized his mistake.

I got home after midnight and ate a bagel.

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