Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Me Day

My Saturday was lining up as a totally perfect selfish day.  No doing laundry, no paying bills, just one full day of me-time.  I'd even planned to write a journal entry afterward, extolling the virtues of having a Me Day, and recommending that everyone try it out.

The plan, as it developed, went something like this:  Friday, I was out late, got home around 12:30 a.m.  While normally that's a little on the late side, it suited my purposes perfectly.  I'd put a bowl of wet food out for the cat, run down to the bookstore while she was eating it, pick up a copy of the new Harry Potter book, come home, wash out the cat food bowl, go to sleep. 

That's what we call the Preparation Stage.

Saturday itself was to work something like this:  Sleep in.  Wake up.  Have lunch.  Go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with friends.  Stop off at the market on the way home and pick up a carry-out dinner.  And lots of dessert.  Pick up the shuttle bus to the Hollywood Bowl.  Read book on bus.  Meet friends for a picnic before the show (sharing the dessert I conveniently bought a lot of).  Enjoy the show, reading more Harry Potter during intermission.  Come home.  Journal about what a totally cool day I had, what with enjoying cultural events spanning film, music, and literature.

This is what actually happened:

I showed up at Borders at 12:45.  They were calling numbers 161-180 to buy the book.  The next numbered ticket you could get was 351.  I realized that if I took 351, I wouldn't get the book until 1:30.  I was already not happy with the way this was turning out, but I reluctantly asked the guy with the tickets (he was hard to miss, what with the pointy hat and all) for 351.  He wouldn't give it to me.  You could only get a ticket if you'd pre-ordered the book.  Those who hadn't pre-ordered had to get into (he actually called it this) the "bad people line" -- which was outside the building.  They'd only get their books after everyone who had pre-ordered (and shown up) was served.  He had 1000 pre-orders.  He guesstimated they'd get to the bad people line around 3:00 a.m.

I went home.  Cat hadn't touched her food.

So far, we were off to a rollicking good start.

Saturday morning, I overslept.  Met my friends for the movie but missed lunch.  (Well, no.  It was a Me Day so I had ice cream for lunch.  Well....technically, the ice cream was breakfast and I had popcorn for lunch.)  After the movie, I went to the grocery store and picked up my sandwich to go.  And a box of chocolate chocolate chip muffins for dessert.  Which didn't seem quite enough for the three of us, so I got a box of lemon muffins too.

Before heading off for the shuttle bus, I checked my email.  My friend -- who I was meeting at the Bowl for a pre-show picnic -- had to work late so wouldn't be going.

Now it was extra important that I pick up the Harry Potter book, seeing as I had a picnic dinner (with tons o' muffins) I'd be eating all by myself.  I put my picnic basket in the back of my car, and headed back to Borders.  Where there's a big stack of Harry Potter books.

"Can I buy one of them Harry Potter books please?"
"Did you pre-order it?"
"I'm sorry; we're sold out except for pre-orders.  We can put you on the waiting list.  You should get the book by Tuesday."

Tuesday?  TUESDAY??  That's like watching the Rose Parade on January 6th.

I walk out and drive to another bookstore -- one which is not part of a chain.  The upside is, they had many copies of Harry Potter they were more than happy to sell me.  The downside is:  full price.  OK, fine.  My own stupid fault for not pre-ordering.  Still -- you want to get in on the cultural phenomenon when everyone else is, you gotta cough up the cash.  Besides, I had a perfectly good Me Day I was trying to salvage.

I arrive at the parking lot to get the shuttle to the Hollywood Bowl.  Toss the book in my picnic basket and run down the stairs ... only to find some moron has locked the gate at the bottom of the stairs and I can't get through it.  I run back upstairs and try a second staircase.  This one actually gets me down to the street... just in time for me to see the shuttle bus fill up and pull out.

So I wait around for the next shuttle and cram myself on that one.  Get to the Hollywood Bowl.  Find my seat.  Open up my picnic basket and start in on my sandwich and side salad, while balancing Harry Potter on my knee.  By about four pages in, I'd dribbled dill all over my full-price hard cover book.  But it's my book and it's a Me Day dammit, so I don't effin' care!

I cram the rest of my dinner down my face -- saving a pair of muffins for dessert at intermission -- and get one chapter read by the time the concert starts.  (A Gershwin celebration.  Very nice.)  I'm really getting into this pianist dude who is totally rockin' Rhapsody in Blue when I start to feel not so good.  I don't want to be all Too Much Information with you people, but maybe it isn't such a good idea to start off the day with ice cream and a large popcorn, and then top it all off with a meat sandwish and fruit salad that have been baking in the back of your car for an hour while you drive to half the bookstores in town trying to find someone willing to sell you the most popular book in America.  It dawns on me that perhaps I want to get to the Ladies Room like now, excepting I'm sitting smack dab in the middle of a row and would have to hurdle at least ten people on either side (all of whom are enraptured by this Rhapsody in Blue dude, who really is quite good).

By some miracle I make it to intermission without any unfortunate incidents, and damn near fly to the restroom.  I return to my seat for the second half of the concert -- I don't dare touch the muffins at this point -- and while I'm enjoying the music and the stars overhead and the cool breeze ... I promptly doze off and am only awakened by the raucous applause around me and the house lights coming up, telling me it's time to go home.

Hmmm.  Perhaps this whole selfishness thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.


onemoretina said...

The last mile is always the longest, isn't it ??  lol    Sounds like a nightmare I have lived through on more than one occasion.  Will we ever see a day when there are wide aisles, and enough stalls in the Ladie's restrooms?  "To dream the impossible dream .... "    Tina

thinkingoutloud said...

Reading this entry...exhausted me. hahaha

Don't give up on a "Me Day". Maybe just take 2 instead of one to fit it all in.
That would be a "Too Day Me" :)


andreakingme said...

Ohmigod. I haven't laughed this hard in a while. Poor Z Girl! I'm so glad you decided to blog about your crappy Me Day. Pfft!

olddog299 said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of lactose intolerance, sweet cheeks. LOL


tammyg22 said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but you do realize that if you'd actually *answered* me when I asked if you'd ordered the book, it would have arrived on your doorstep, all nice and neatly packaged in an amazon box made especially for it.  The moral of the story, m'dear.