I went from brushing him off in June to barely being able to wait until Thanksgiving. On the day he was to arrive, another girl friend came by after work so we could chat about what might happen, what I’m hoping to happen, how I’m feeling, etc etc. You know, girl talk. Butterflies danced. Palms were sweaty.
I get a text message: I’ve landed. Would you like join us for dinner?
What?? Join “us”? as in his brother and wife? While I knew them, I had never told them about anything going on with Skywalker. What would they think?? Plus I was completely unprepared. I work from home so I was in sweats, hair barely brushed, no make up on.
Me: When is dinner?
Skywalker: We’re getting a table now. Clay Pot in Richmond.
Oh my. I lived in Vancouver…it’s a 25 minute drive to Richmond from where I was.
Me: Um, it’ll take a while for me to get there, I would hate to interrupt your dinner.
Skywalker: It’s totally ok, you can join us whenever you get here.
I freeze. What to do? My girl friend pushes me towards the washroom….GO!! Do your hair and make up! I’ll pick an outfit for you!! And I’m out of there in 10 minutes. Only to be snagged by rush hour traffic over the bridge into Richmond. And then a slow crawl towards the street that Clay Pot is on. It’s a Friday evening and the streets are FULL. As are all the parking spots.
I see a tight spot next to some bushes so I pull a great parallel parking job and take it. A traffic cop was just writing a ticket nearby. He sees me and says, “Have you noticed the fire hydrant?” Oh! In the bushes! Ok….I get back in my car, wait for a long string of cars to pass and then I pull out. There’s another empty spot so I pull in. The same traffic cop is there. He points at the curb, “Notice the painted curbs?” I notice but I don’t know what it means. “You can’t park there,” he says. I thank him, point at my Alberta plates and explain I’m not from here. I pull into a parking lot for the plaza. It’s full and cars are idling everywhere, waiting for someone to leave. I drive to another lot, but there’s a sign saying they’ll tow you if you’re not a patron there. A few more unsuccessful attempts to park later, I land a metered spot, threw in some coins and rushed into dinner.
I was an hour late. Flustered. Adrenaline racing. I collapsed into my chair and declared, “I HATE PARKING IN RICHMOND!” What an entrance eh?
Dinner went well otherwise. And we all went for some dessert afterwards. I tried not to worry what kind of impression I was making that evening. Mostly I just wanted to get to our official first date lunch the next day….but first some sleep.