Thursday, September 17, 2009
I wish I'd brought my slicker.
You remember my telling you that Marilyn and I made a pact about taking advantage of activities, festivals, authors, and "Anything Free, I'm All Over It" since we retired?
If not, you need to catch up on this blog. I haven't got time to reblog that. What do you think I am? A school teacher?
I don't think reblog is a word.
Last night, Marilyn, her friend Linda, my friend Celia, and I headed downtown to hear the author Anne Diamant read from her new book, Day After Night. Scheduled to speak at the Margaret Mitchell Museum at 7'oclock, we decided to beat the traffic, get there early, and grab a bite to eat at one of the cute little eateries around the corner there on Peachtree.
We met at Barnes and Noble parking lot at five o'clock--- how appropriate for two ex-teachers and two librarians, [Celia and Linda are librarians].
On the way over on Barrett Parkway, I noticed the darkening skies and thought, "I should have brought my slicker."
Marilyn offered to drive the four of us, and the night got off to an inauspicious start when I couldn't get out of my car, much less in to Marilyn's, without a good soaking. Umbrella dropping rain down my back, sandals squishing, and the bottoms of my light colored pants soaked to the knee, I thought -- so much for trying to look nice. Eh. Looking nice is always overrated.
I got in the car and said, "This is why old people don't go anywhere. It's a hassle when the rain gods are against it."
Marilyn nodded and noted, "I hope you know how to get there."
Me: Oh sure.
We got on 575 then 75 and the driving was treacherous. Cars slamming on brakes, 75 north backed up for miles, cop car lights and emergency vehicles lights flashing here and there, rain hitting the windshield in buckets like it was slung by the fire brigade, and the lines on the road hard to see, Marilyn buckled down like the captain of the Andrea Gail and drove us to the 10th street exit.
Marilyn: Is this the right exit?
Me: I think so.
Linda: I have Internet on my phone, but I've never use it. I don't think I know how.
Me: Crank it up. Learning curve.
Celia: I'm sure this is right. This exit. I think it's right. It looks right.
So,we get off the exit and we are packed in like sardines with the commuters trying to get the heck out of Dodge City and fight our way over the bridge and onto 10th street and to the Margaret Mitchell house. Cars and buses clogging the way, traffic lights out, and pedestrians fighting the weather and the cars, the scoot over the bridge took fifteen minutes.
So naturally, since we were guessing where the Margaret Mitchell house was and we didn't have the address, we missed our turn -- so we did some Alabama lefts until we got Linda's cell phone to google the address and get us on the right path.
Marilyn: I knew we should have turned back there.
Me: Uh, where did all of these building come from? They weren't here the last time I was down here.
Linda: Lookee! I got the MM's house address. It's on Peachtree.
Me: I knew it was on Peachtree.
Marilyn: I knew I should have turned back there.
So in the pouring rain, four suburbanites did the battle and accidentally ended up where they were supposed to be with an hour to spare.
Marilyn: I'm gonna park here. It's right in front of the museum.
Me: No, park around back.
Rain pouring down like mad, we parked in the back, get out our respective umbrellas, and walk over to Taco Mac for some good bar food before the reading.
Me: I should have brought my slicker.
Marilyn : Bwhaha. What are you? In third grade?
Me: Well, what do you call it?
Marilyn: A rain coat.
Me: But it's not a rain coat -- it's a slicker -- rain wear-- raincoats have pockets, liners, and are made by people like London Fog and are worn by professional exhibitionists.
I crossed the street without the crossing light.
Well, there was nobody coming. I was totally by myself as the other three waited on the opposite corner.
Those three: We are done following you.
Me: Don't blame you. If you had listened to me, we'd be in Decatur.
Marilyn: We also would have been parked right in front of the museum.
Me: But it has a meter.
Celia: I don't think you have to pay after 5.
There was no doubt that following anything I said that night was wrong. I couldn't find the museum, I advised us to park in the parking lot, and I was crossing streets without the pedestrian crossing lights. I was living on the edge. What was wrong with me?
After a round of some good bar food, ice tea, and a pumpkin beer [Linda has a Taco Mac card with some kind of drinking all kinds of different beer and she wins a free beer or something], we headed over to see Anne Diamant.
And since it was still raining, I wished I had brought my slicker.
This is a slicker. This is what I have.
At least, I didn't say "oilskin."
For you, Marilyn...
Part II of I Wish I Brought My Slicker, later.