The Sunday morning right before my husband leaves for a week long work trip out of town, I am looking for my missing indoor cat outside (long story) and notice water pouring out of our water heater. I take a wild and crazy guess that this is a very bad thing, and yep, $500 later and a lost morning, my handy hubby installs our new water heater. Only, despite all of his manly greatness, he cannot get the pilot lit. I schedule an appointment online with the gas company, and get this, no appointment until Friday, with the customer friendly (ha ha ha) time range of 7am to noon. Fine, whatever, do I have a choice? Luckily we have another water heater that supplies the kitchen, laundry, and guest bathroom, so at least we are not totally up a cold creek.
Slowly fade to Friday morning. Finally. I get up, get dressed, make coffee, and what? What is that?! Could that be the sound of the gas company truck in front of my house at 7:19? Hooray!! Happy dance!! I don't have to spend my entire morning held captive for an appointment that will take five seconds!!
I take it as a gift from the universe. There is no way I can just putz around and clean, or play on the internet, or be a boring recluse. It means I should get my butt outside and do something something artsy and cultured and sophisticated. Or totally indulgent? I research my many many options online. I pose the question on my facebook status, and a friend mentions a foot massage...ooh aaah. All of those ideas sound nice.
In a flash, it's two hours later.
I'm frozen. I can't peel myself away from staring at the tv. Those nice ideas don't sound right anymore. I want to cry. What is wrong with me? What am I not taking advantage of this glorious gift? Get up! Get out, girl! Go be fabulous somewhere great!
I turn off the tv and the computer. I march my butt to my bedroom and tell myself "just get on your favorite new sandals, fix your hair, lip gloss, and get moving! Just drive. Just do it!!!!!"
And, that's exactly what I do.
On a total whim, I drive to a thrift store a few cities away that I always wanted to explore. Turns out, to my happy surprise, it's on this neat funky street with vintage/antique shops, mom and pop stores that have been there forever, a prop/costume store, and many other little gems that cater to the nearby entertainment studios. My first stop is the thrift store and it doesn't thrill me at all. Oh well. Unfazed, I stroll down the neat street, window shopping, browsing, admiring the warm weather, daydreaming...
And, of course this leisurely stroll works up a major appetite and at the end of the block I see this legendary bakery/casual cafe that I've read about so many times.Every table outside is full and people are eating on benches. Inside, every table is full, the place is crowded, bustling with cool pretty studio industry people everywhere - obviously a very popular lunchtime destination. Ya, I'm like so hip and happening like that.
I take my order 'to go', never expecting to get a table in any decent time. I figure I'll go back to my car and find a nearby park or something. As I'm walking away outside, I spy in disbelief an empty small bistro sized table with one chair. It can't be. No fricken way. I look around and no one is waiting. It's like there was a "Reserved for Daria" sign on the table. I want to do my I'm So Happy to See the Gas Guy at 7:19!!! dance, but I decide it's best to just sit down and quietly smile.
My roasted veggie with hummus sandwich is totally yummy. The weather is almost as good. I start thinking about the long proven fact that I'm waaaaaay too hard on myself and usually the best things happen when I least expect it. I want things to be perfect, and then I get stuck because it's just too much to bear. It's like the ten loads of laundry screaming at you or an overflowing sink full of dirty dishes. So what if I'm not at the world famous Getty? Who cares if I'm not strolling through a museum exhibit or the cultural event of the decade? Those things are lovely and all, but so is my unplanned, spontaneous, simple, low key and cool, very me kind of day.