Mike and I had a date night this past weekend. It turned out to be a mix of terror, embarrassment, and loss.
The new babysitter was coming at 6, so we made dinner reservations at our favorite sushi place for 7. We showed her around and gave her the low down in a record-setting 6 minutes, and we were out the door.
“Maybe they’ll seat us early,” I said.
“Uh, slow down there, my optimistic friend, ” said The Powers That Be.
It turns out that they are doing quite a lot of road work in downtown Seattle, and by “quite a lot” I mean that all we could see were cones and arrows and signs telling us to do things we didn’t really understand. So my husband did what any confused driver would do — he decided to follow the guy in front of us. Because really, what were the odds of there being TWO clueless assholes in a row on this street?
“I’ll take those odds,” said The Powers That Be.
We got into a lane behind our fearless leader, who appeared to be taking his cues from the South Lake Union Streetcar that was in front of him (known forever to Seattleites as the SLUT: the South Lake Union Trolley), which means that — technically — we were on the trolley tracks. But at this point the tracks were embedded into the street, and there were no signs saying NOT to be there, so we figured it must be ok. Till we followed our fellow idiot as he followed the SLUT around a corner and past some “DO NOT ENTER” signs onto some real, honest-to-god trolley tracks.
We were on the tracks, y’all. ON THE TRACKS.
Needless to say, as soon as we figured out that we were in the wrong fucking place, we went into a mild panic. Mike went all “Dukes of Hazzard” on me and almost threw the car in reverse to get off the tracks. I screamed, “Mike, we can’t! Go there! Go THERE!” Our fearless idiot leader, no doubt also panicking and now feeling horribly responsible for the lives of the dummies who had followed him onto train tracks, had found an opening in the cones that lead into the parking lot of a restaurant.
I said, “Oh my lord. Oh my goodness. Now where do we go?”
Mike said, “I don’t know. I’m gonna keep following this guy.”
“Good plan. Because he certainly has not steered us wrong so far.”
Against all odds, we managed to get to the restaurant just in time for our reservation. We settled into some ridiculous chairs that looked awesome but are not meant for actual sitting, took some deep breaths, and I discovered I had lost my driver’s license.
So I emptied out my pockets, right there on the table. I thought nothing of it till Mike whispered, “Uh, can you get the poop bags off the table?”
I looked at the pile of stuff I had placed on the table of this expensive, shi-shi restaurant. My cell phone. My frequent drinker coffee card. My debit card. A couple of dog treats. And a few bright blue doggie poop bags.
I realized in that moment that my general lack of shame had perhaps gone too far. I was now that woman who says, “Well, I know it’s in here SOMEWHERE” as she pulls out pill bottles, used tissues, a broken cat collar, and wrapped “extra absorbant” tampons out of her purse in public.
Keeping it classy, that’s Meredith Bland.
The rest of the night was uneventful. The sushi was awesome (nom nom nom), the new babysitter was great, and our kids behaved better for her than they ever have for us. I even ordered a new license that very night. It was a total win. Especially since my obituary doesn’t have to read:
“Ms. Bland died after she and her husband followed a trolley car onto the tracks like a couple of goddamn lemmings, drawn to their deaths by an instinct they could neither control nor understand. It’s because of people like this that there is a warning on your shampoo bottle telling you not to drink it. Anyhoo, bless their souls and whatnot.”