It’s been nice out this week (relatively speaking), so on Monday I took Our Best Friend to the park. OBF gets very excited the minute he gets in the car, and if the kids aren’t there to restrain him, he jumps all over the van. In the three minutes it takes to drive there, he had gotten himself good and tangled. I had to lean my whole body over the back row of seats in the van, presenting a lovely view to anyone in the parking lot at the time (which, thankfully, was no one), and tug his leash free.
I had exactly 30 minutes before the Eldest got home from school, so I stuck fifty cents in the parking machine and put the parking stub on the dash. That’s when I realized I had left my cel phone at home. As my watchstrap is broken, my cel phone is also my timepiece, and now I had no way to know when the 30 minutes were up.
I went in, hoping there would be at least one person there who a) had a watch and b) spoke English. Thankfully, I saw one of my friends, a young woman who works at a geriatric care centre. She threw balls for the dogs, and we chatted about her work until her phone said 2:31, when my time expired. As we turned to leave, I reached for the car keys, only to find they weren’t in my pocket. I immediately realized I must have put them down in the back of the van when I was fighting with the leash.
Now I had to ask this lovely young lady for her cel phone, which she handed over immediately. (To her credit, she did not make any jokes about seeing enough “senior moments” at work.) I called the Spouse, who of course didn’t pick up, so I started leaving a message: “Hi, it’s me, I’m using…” And then I had to ask what her name is.
G-d bless the dog park, where it’s okay not to know people’s names after knowing them over a year, and G-d bless dog park friends, who understand and accept this. She just laughed and said, “Yeah, we all know the dog’s names!” (And we do– she was with her friend’s labradoodle Koko; her own dog, an Italian greyhound named Lea, is too fragile for winter. I knew all that, but I didn’t know her name.) She let me make five calls: one to the house to see if the Spouse was home, one to the friend doing carpool so she could call my daughter and tell her where I am, and three to the Spouse’s cel phone. Then I let the poor girl go.
I waited at the park for a bit to see if the Spouse would show up, then walked home to check on the Eldest and get the cel phone. Halfway there I realized I could have at least paid for more parking. Clearly, my brain needs more memory installed: no phone, keys locked in the car, didn’t think to replug the meter. By the time I got to the house, the Spouse had gotten the message, so the Eldest and I went back to the park (OBF’s best day since winter started). By some miracle there was no ticket; I paid for more time, but I had to stick the parking stub under the wiper blade and pray no one would steal it and use it themselves.
The Spouse finally came at 4:10. I was able to drop off the kid and the dog, and still make it to school for the 4:30 carpool. One of those days where you manage to mess it all up, but it turns out all right in the end.
And for the record, my friend’s name is Denise.