Remember when making plans was easy? When showing up late was planned? Ah, yes. The days of yester-year. Of singledom and the two-hour makeup/hair-straightening, bottle-of-wine drinking get-ready-a-thon. When saying “I’ll meet you there at 10:00″ actually meant “I’ll meet you there at 11:30″ but only because you wanted to be there at 11:30.
Because it was “fashionable” to be a little bit late. Because it alluded to the fact that you were so very busy. Because weren’t you? So very busy? And important? I was.
When Archer was an infant and didn’t do anything but poop, fart, spit-up and, on occasion, smile, I was always late to meet friends for coffee/walks/walks with coffee. I had no excuse. It somehow took five hours to pack one back full of bottles, pacifiers and diapers. And then, on top of that I always forgot everything. (I once drove down to San Diego to visit my parents and forgot to pack Archer’s, um, clothes.)
But I digress. This post is about being “fashionably late” not “un-fashionably stupid” which for the record, I also am.
As soon as I mastered the art of packing up Archer’s diaper bag in 3.2 minutes, he became a toddler. So no longer did it matter how long I could prep our daily outings because, suddenly, they could no longer happen. Because between the hours of 12-4, Archer was/is asleep. Dreaming of puppies and string-cheese.
And so our entire social life is shot. I realize I complain about having no friends, but I am pretty sure I know the reason. We flake out on pretty much everyone. Because by the time Arch wakes up from his afternoon nap and I force-feed him avocado and spinach quesadillas, it’s dark outside. The museums are all closed and the parks are full of child-molesters throwing candy from white, windowless vans. No thanks.
…Although… this didn’t stop us the other day when we showed up at the L.A. Zoo 30 minutes before closing.
”Um. Miss? The zoo is about to close,” said the lady behind the counter of the ticket booth.
“I know but I’m meeting people here!”
“Well. All of the big animals have been put away and there is nothing to see, so if you want to come in you can look at nothing.”
“Well, you can look at the empty habitats if you really want to.”
“As a matter of fact, yes. I want to. We drove all the way out here and we’re GOING TO THE ZOO.”
“Suit yourself. That’ll be $20.00.”
I paid up and we pushed past all of the people leaving for the day with children asleep in their arms, and met our friends. (Because they also had a toddler with them they were also late. Just not as late as we were.)
And so we wandered around the zoo for an hour, pointing out squirrels and pigeons with excitement once reserved for elephants and rhinos.
It seems the woman at the ticket counter was not lying. The animals had been taken in. Even the goats and llamas in the petting Zoo were tied up in a row, being combed and caressed by the elderly volunteer staff.
“Yeah. Come back tomorrow.”
And then the sun went down and suddenly we were alone in the freezing cold dark.
Late? Extremely. Fashionable? Not so much.