Sunday, May 25, 2008

The hurrier I go...

That was fun the other day, how Howard set up my blog so you could click and watch my plane making its way across the country back from California. The miracles of modern technology!

But really, it's just as dramatic watching me trying to get through the course of a normal day.

This morning, I was trying to get to church. And all was pretty much lost from the second I got up. First I let myself sleep too late. Next I needed a major infusion of coffee so I didn't get into the shower on time for my hair to dry properly. My hair takes hours and hours to dry. Then I hadn't decided what to wear. I am like a hopeless school kid. Someone should make me lay out my clothes the night before. I couldn't find my shoes. I couldn't find my keys. Or my prayer book. I need my prayer book for Mass. I am lost without it.

Ten minutes to get downtown and there I was with wet hair and no prayer book. Great going! In desperation, I grab this ancient prayer book I inherited from my dad. It is like trying to interpret ancient Hebrew scrolls but still, better than nothing. Then I jump in the car. Naturally I parked the car sloppily yesterday so getting out of my driveway, I shoot two minutes right there. Stuck at the signal. Cop sitting right there. Right there! What are the odds? So I couldn't do what I would otherwise do in such a situation, which is blow off the light and hope no one is watching.

Then I realize: The reason the cop is sitting there is there is a race going on in the park. Unfortunately I don't realize this until I am at another corner, this time stuck for good with some crossing guard, drunk on his own power, holding up a whole line of cars so a couple of walkers can straggle across the street. I did a three-point turn and got out of there. By then I had gone several blocks out of my way but hey, as Bills games tell us, it ain't over till it's over.

I should probably explain my panic. Because people are probably thinking, you're a couple minutes late for church, big deal, right? The thing is, I love the opening prayer they do. I hate missing it. I mean, if I miss it I get mad. And I feel it gets my week off to a negative start. So now I am in danger of developing full-blown road rage. These races. What in the world? Do they have to be on Sunday? Do they have to start at what, 7 a.m.?

This particular story has a happy but harrowing ending. Some klutz had blocked my way to my usual parking lot. So I used another parking lot. As I exited my car --stuffing things into my purse, trying not to destroy my dad's old missal -- I saw the priest and altar boys forming up into their procession, making their way outside the church up toward the front door. I had a chance. I had a prayer. I ran in my high heels -- of course I had to wear my heels -- toward the door, just beating the procession. My cell phone, did I turn off my cell phone? I got into the church and as I'm dipping my fingers into the holy water, I actually went, "Whew!" The ushers were laughing at me.

Why is my whole life like this???

My flight home from California went the same way. I was an idiot. I didn't get up till 5 a.m., even though my flight was at 7:20. We are used to the Buffalo airport. The San Diego airport is different. When I got there, all I could see was this eternal line for security. I mean it was at least a mile long. I could not see the end of the line.

Things seemed hopeless but I got in line anyway. I am not going to think about this, I decided. I am not going to check the time. It won't make any difference. There is nothing I can do. So I kept up a brave, happy front, chatting with the woman in front of me. But all I could think was, what an idiot I was today! Sleeping till 5. Drinking coffee. Showering. I had even wasted time getting out of the car rental van, chattering with that kid about the pianist who had written "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Remember, I wrote about that a couple of days ago. What had I been thinking, taking my ease like this? Where was my mind?

About an hour later, I finally got through security. (Isn't it weird that my braces don't set off the metal detector? But they don't.) I didn't check the time. I didn't even try to get my laptop back in its bag. I just made my mad dash toward the gate. Naturally my gate was the absolute farthest gate away. Naturally, just like for my mad dash this morning, I had on my heels. I just ran. I kept picturing Bette Midler. Movies always show her running while weighed down with all this stuff. Finally it appeared, as if in a dream: Gate 41! They were just starting to board. I couldn't believe I made it. Overcome, I dropped to my knees. And I held out my arms the way Evita does when she sings "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina."

"I made it!" I exclaimed. And just like in church this morning, people are laughing at me.

I have this feeling that sometime, back when I was 12 or 13, I lost something like 45 minutes. And I will never be able to make it up. All I can do is keep trying.

You would think at least I'd be able to lose weight along the way.


Bill said...

Girls that say they love newspapers should read the newspaper. Even though the coverage of the Buffalo Marathon was paltry, it was in the paper yesterday. And the Buffalo Marathon has been on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend for at least the last ten years. It's not like they just sprung it on you.

Perhaps the solution is for Sunday masses to be held later in the day, when drivers won't interfere with the runners.

Howard Goldman said...

"Girls that say they love newspapers should read the newspaper."

I agree. It is also true that a good prosecuting attorney knows the answer to a question before he asks it.

The previous day Mary blogged, "...I didn't get my newspapers delivered today. For the second day in a row! ..."

Bill said...

I didn't get mine delivered either (what's up with that?) so I bought one at Wilson Farms.

But I already knew that I'd be disrupting traffic, because it was the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and that's what I do.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the Rector of a church on or near the race route was asked whether he might consider cancelling services this Sunday because, after all, you have church every week, but the Marathon only comes once a year. Oh yeah.