Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just a Wacky Wednesday...

I am a person who seeks to cultivate neatness and organization in her life (those who know me: I'll let you decide if this qualifies as the World's Biggest Understatement). I am a (near-fanatical, truth be told) List Maker. I like writing down agenda items--in nice, even columns, in the order they are to be addressed--and I like crossing them off when they have been accomplished. Most days, my system runs fairly smoothly. Today was distinctly NOT one of those days.

My To-Do List looked fairly simple and manageable:
Riley to pediatrician (9:00)
errands: Costco/Target
Dance Class (12:30)
Volunteer in Derek's class (2:00)

We actually came out of the gate strong, arriving at the pediatrician right on time. Then Riley introduced the first glitch into my carefully orchestrated and timed plan, with a deceptively innocent comment that began "when we go home to get my backpack"...Whoa, back up, Bub! Let me get this straight: you left your stuff at home, when you're supposed to be going directly to school (a place we have to drive right past, to get your things from the house). So, add in one extra roundtrip for Mom, who after depositing Riley at school, heads back to retrieve lunch and homework, and bring them to school (the Secretaries, bless their hearts, take this in stride, nodding with sympathy and understanding instead of wondering aloud why the Crazy Lady can't bring her offspring AND his school supplies in at the same time.)

Now I'm already behind schedule for my shopping, so I blaze a trail to Columbia (further than the Gaithersburg Costco, by MUCH swankier). While I'm there, even though I have a half-tank of gas, I fill up anyway (not technically on my List, but 15 cents-per-gallon cheaper than in Olney!). Next I get distracted by the Fancy Beer Store next to the gas station, remembering we have friends coming over for dinner on Saturday. This place has a mind-boggling selection, might as well stop in and get that out of the way (I can check off something from my tomorrow list--yay, me!) I make up time by whipping through Costco--not even stopping for Free Samples, that's how serious I am.

Back in the car, I check the clock...I may JUST have enough time left to hit Target for the 5 items I need.  That's when I make what proves to be my Fatal Mistake. "I think if I take this (earlier) exit, it'll save me some time." And in an instant, I was well-and-truly L-O-S-T.  It was actually a little surreal, like I'd driven through some kind of invisible gateway into the Columbia Labyrinth from Hell. Office Park, Neighborhood, Community Center--Id never seen any of it and had no idea where I was. I felt the minutes ticking away, becoming increasingly irked by the insipid road names they hand out in this town (hey, it gave me someplace constructive to focus my irritation). Melting Springs Lane. Bluebird Circle. Ick. The very last straw was when I saw a sign that said: Traffic Calming Ahead. What the--you mean speed bumps?  (Bouncing over those obnoxious things is supposed to calm you in this Loony Town? How's that working out?)

Obviously, Target was cut from the List for today. But fortunately for me and all of my fellow motorists, I soon stumbled across a road I recognized. I even managed to hightail it home in time to unload my purchases and get to Dance Class. AND after that I made it back to the Elementary School (3rd time today, if you're keeping score at home...or if you're Derek's teacher, who actually laughed when she spotted me in the hallway...again) to shape the malleable minds of 4th graders.

The day was winding down, when--drat, I knew I forgot something important! I completely neglected to add "nap with feet up" to the end of my List. Oh well, better start making a new List for Thursday!

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