When my marriage ended, I made a decision to be a bit less… boring. More spontaneous. Less mumsy.
So I’ve ridden around on motorbikes and got a little tattoo (more on that in another post) and done other things that have led to dark mutterings of ‘mid-life crisis’ among my family and friends. In short, I’ve tried to say ‘yes’ more.
So when, mid-phone-conference with my fantabulously awesome web designer, he offered to show me around Adelaide sometime, it was the perfect opportunity.
“Yes,” I said firmly. “How’s Thursday?”
There was a gulp from the other end of the phone. It was the kind of gulp that says ‘I was really only offering to be polite’. Poor guy. Dangerous game, with me in my mid-life crisis phase.
He rallied manfully. “Thursday! Perfect! Let me know your flight details.”
Which is how I came to be sitting smugly in the car on the way to Sydney airport this morning, kids squared away in before school care. God, I’m spontaneous, I congratulated myself. I’m so FUN!
The smugness lasted for two full minutes until I turned out of my road and saw the traffic.
I had forgotten about Sydney traffic when it rains. Sydney drivers, normally speeding, teeth-gnashing lunatics, turn into creeping little grannies when the first drop splashes onto the pavement. Much careful indicating and preemptive braking. And very, very sloooow.
It was a full hour and a half before my flight but I already had a sinking feeling.
I phoned the web designer and tried to explain that lunch might be about to become dinner. Or possibly breakfast tomorrow. But because he was in Adelaide, with Adelaide traffic, he didn’t get it at all.
“But it’s AGES till your flight!” he complained.
I tried to explain that traffic was so slow that truck drivers were leaving their vehicles and gathering mid road to have a cup of tea and a catch up.
Sighing, he asked me to turn on that iPhone stalker’s app, find my friend thingo.
Big mistake. Massive. Because all that happened was that there were now two of us getting stressed out about the journey.
A terse sixty minutes followed. I was dodging in and out of different lanes, earning myself beeps and fist shakes (the drivers just get slower, not less aggressive) and he was barking out a countdown till gate closure and sending me screenshots showing just how far away I was from where I was trying to get to. The friendship was on the brink of breakdown and I haven’t even met him yet.
Seven minutes before gate closure I screeched into the car park. At least, I hope it was a car park. Quite frankly, I was paying so little attention I might actually have left the car in the middle of a runway. Never mind. I’ll sort it out tomorrow.
Six minutes before gate closure I was spinning in a pointless little circle trying to work out how to get to the terminal. I might still be there if a business man hadn’t taken pity on me and pointed me in the right direction.
Four minutes before gate closure I was shouldering my way through the security line, hurling my bag on the conveyor belt and daring the guard, with slitted eyes, to have an issue with my tube of toothpaste.
Two minutes before gate closure I was running in high heels the length of Sydney airport, scattering small children and elderly people.
One minute before gate closure I was arguing with the check-in staff that although my bag LOOKS big, it is in fact within their advertised acceptable dimensions. I won, which means they’ve probably paid the air hostess to spit in my coffee.
Five minutes after gate closure I slunk guiltily aboard, ignoring the tight lipped virtue of everyone who does life a little better than me.
And now I’m sitting in an exit row. Make up sweated off, mascara on my cheekbones, drinking a truly disgusting five dollar coffee and ready for a nana nap.
Maybe I’m too old for spontaneous fun.