Friday, December 14, 2007

A Tragic Tale

I hate to confess this, but today I was lamer than I remember being at any time during my grown up life. I completely zoned on a lunch date, leaving my friend John Currie twiddling his thumbs waiting for me for almost an hour. Stunning. Can you believe I have such lameness in me?

I made plans last week to meet John -- The P-I's recently retired business manager, a savvy businessman and a nice guy -- for lunch. He's one of those sharp guys who sees the lay of the land, and how to best maneuver it with great success. I still have a lot to learn about being a manager, so I had asked him if he'd mind giving me his thoughts on how I could be better at my my job.

We made plans to meet today at Maggie Bluffs, just 10 minutes from work.

What could be easier?
I put the appointment on my calendar, of course, but my Outlook on my home computer thinks midnight is noon, and noon is midnight. So last night at 11 p.m. it started telling me every five minutes "Meet John Currie for lunch. Meet John Currie for lunch. Meet John Currie for lunch." I kept dismissing the reminder, until finally I told it, look, snooze for eight hours.

Jump to this morning. As I'm getting dressed and remind myself -- don't wear the usual Friday jeans -- going to lunch with John. Don't know how fancy the restaurant is.

As I was leaving the house, I ran back in to get the camera. Having lunch with John. Need to take the standard M&M blog lunch portrait.

Jump to 10 a.m. Jump to 11 a.m. Does the Outlook remind me to have lunch with John? No, it's snoozing.

Do I remember to have lunch with John? Somehow -- after all that self-reminding -- somehow I do not.

I'm meeting with some students from PLU, then the news meeting starts. I'm riding the flow of the day, and forget, for some reason, that this day is special, I'm having lunch with John Currie.

The news meeting ends. I sit back at my desk. It's after noon. I think, okay, what next?

In the back of my mind I hear my cell phone softly tell me that a message has been left. "Beep."

Who could that be? I think mildly.

I glance at the ripe banana sitting on my desk. Lunchtime, I think. Wonder what I'll eat today.

And the realization dawns. Horrifingly.

How embarrassing. How stupid! What a rookie mistake.

John was so gracious. He was either not too mad at me, or a real good pretender. But I couldn't stop being mortified.

I had a burger and fries, and felt ridiculous through about 80 percent of our visit. What a dope. He was seeing the lay of the land, allright. At 43, there I was being as lame as a person could possibly be. Poop.

Even though I was pretty much self-loathing the whole time, it was great to see John. He's looking muy refresco and relaxed since his retirement. He has an awesome tugboat just a few steps from the place where we had lunch, and filled me with stories of all the amazing tucked away places he and his wife have been able to go on it.

I particularly admired -- is it a wheel house? -- the place you sit to drive -- and the bathroom, which is super teeny but still managed to have a shower, toilet and sink.

I sat in the driver's seat, put on John's boat driving glasses, and pretended to take the tug out for a little spin. It reminded me of Waaay back in the day when I was 13 and living on Wonder Drive in Fort Worth, and me and my brothers and sister used to pile into my dad's station wagon in the driveway and pretend we were driving to Rome.

Besides Red Light Green Light and Statue, going for a drive was one of my all time favorite games. Playing it again for just a second on John's cool tugboat made me forget all about being mortified.

For just a second.


Mark said...

Man, that is tragic. I'm sorry baby. You're right, John is a great guy.

freda said...

My sympathy, I know how embarrassing and frustrating that is. I use a planner, a big book that I can't mislay, though I still do, with everything listed, because I know that if it isn't in my book I will forget it. I left my book in Dulles airport last year, and my life was total chaos till I got a new book and tried to remember everything I had committed to. I talked to my doctor about my memory, I was afraid there might be a bigger problem, but she said it is just stress. I love that tug boat, I wanted to get a boat when I retired, to travel through Europe, but with all my kids spread all over the States who has time to go to Europe. Well, except for my annual visit of course.

Rita said...

Forgive yourself. I'm sure Good Guy John has.

kateco said...

poverina ... bouts of lameness happen to us all ... especially to those with the Tina Fey days ... Claudio would say: walk it off.

Also: I am totally jealous of John's boat