I have a plan for most emergency situations. First thing I'll do if I happen to OOPS, drive off a bridge over water, is hit the automatic window button. It'll save my life, people. In a previous post, I discussed my plan to run in the opposite direction if my roommate and I are attacked while running. I also think if I'm one of those unfortunate people that witnesses a man beating a woman, or man/woman beating a child, I'll approach and scream, not ignore and walk away. Now whether or not my adrenaline derails this plan in the heat of the moment is a whole other story... but the point is I have one.
So last night I found myself in an emergency situation with no plan - the cardinal sin for Type A's
I was stood up (sort of). Yes, this is an emergency for me. I like to have an obvious purpose in whatever I do. I'm just not the meandering, loitering type. I don't go to bars to enjoy watching other people have social interactions... that's what Creepers do (HOWEVER, I derive an insane amount of joy people watching at airports, but that's completely acceptable because I still have a purpose: I'm waiting for my flight and people know this). Sitting alone at a restaurant or a bar for extended periods of time is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. A true emergency. And that's what I did last night.
I was supposed to have happy hour with two new friends I met at a conference in San Antonio at 5:30pm. I was raised that "10 minutes early is on-time", and OH how I wish my parents weren't over achievers like that, because life has taught me that we're the minority in that thought process..... in every avenue of my life, most people are 10 minutes late. So I went inside, took a seat at the bar and ordered a margarita, occasionally glancing over my shoulder at the door to greet my new friends. 10, 20 minutes go by. I start getting anxious, looking at the door more often, even took a stroll around the restaurant to verify their absence. Nothin. So I scoured my blackberry for a number to call. No answer, but I kindly waited 5 minutes for a return call. Nope, nada. At this point, they're 30 minutes late and haven't tried to reach me at all, so I texted bitterly, "I'm leaving after this margarita if you guys aren't here!" even though I didn't really mean it....... if these were old friends, I would've walked out 10 minutes ago, but I can't just leave like a biatch on a new set of friends! I have to give them the shadow of a doubt -- there MUST be a valid excuse for this madness.
Thus, I've made friends with the bar back that can hardly speak english, so we're actually just exchanging awkward glances. I've looked through menu 4 times for the meal I'm not planning to have. I've chatted with my sister about her impending childbirth, chatted with my other sister about her impending travel for soccer, and chatted with my mom about how embarrassed I am that I've been sitting here alone for 38 minutes. I've responded to emails, texted friends, even pretended to enjoy the baseball game on TV.
I mean, REALLY, what in tarnation keeps someone from calling with an explanation or at least responding to my fake-threatening text?? Then, I got a call. They told me some BS story that made no sense, but ended it with "we'll be there in 10 minutes! so sorry! soooo sorry!"
Fighting back my critical instinct to scold them immediately about how being late is selfish and rude, I took a very, very deep breath and realized my social pain would be over in 10 minutes and I was happy again. First time, shame on you; second time, shame on me. I should've known "10 minutes" didn't mean 10 minutes. 25 minutes later, a total of 1 hour and 5 minutes late, they walked through the door. I smiled and hugged them, "so good to see you! It's no problem!" After all, we're all adults here and I'm a forgiver sometimes, but after an honest discussion about the real reason for their tardiness. . . . . . .
a previously scheduled hair appointment
. . . . . . . . . I presented them with the opportunity to buy my drinks and the chicken fajitas I decided to have since it was now dinner time. They happily accepted, so I think this friendship will last. And thanks to this little emergency, I now have a plan for being stood up:
1) I'll have a Glamour magazine in my car at all times for entertainment during the 10-15 minutes my friends normally make me wait
2) If our friendship/relationship is established, I will wait no longer than 30 minutes, no exceptions (well, maybe termination from a job, a car wreck or anything requiring hospitalization)
3) If you're a newby to my life and my rules, I'll wait for you, but after 30 minutes... you will buy me things. With a smile.