I like to write. My mom also likes to write. Sometimes she writes for me...
My family has long teased me about the fact that I am singularly unaware of my surroundings. I can be driving home from work, and they pass me in the opposite direction, all of them waving and making faces at me, and I never see them. Or if I am watching television at home, and someone speaks to me or about me, I don't hear them. I think it is a partly biological thing; extreme focus, or poor multitasking ability, however you'd like to phrase it. Anyway, this lack of awareness has unfortunate side effects. For a supposedly intelligent woman, I often come across as quite ditzy. Here then, for your enjoyment, are some of my classic clueless moments over the years...
1. Bubbly Conversation
On my wedding day, at Lake Tahoe, I am gesticulating, talking with my hands as I tend to do, and I knock my new mother-in-law's champagne glass right into her cleavage. There she sits, to the left of me, bodice soaked from bosom to waist. Oops.
2. Interview Day
On a job interview, in Miami, I lock my keys in my car. Here it is, the one day of all days when I want to make a good impression, and there they are, splayed on the drivers seat in plain view but totally unreachable. Luckily, the company is large enough that the IT Department, on the 7th floor, has no idea that building maintenance is busy down below rescuing their new job candidate from her own stupidity. And I actually end up getting the job.
3. Flat Tire
Driving to work, still in Miami, the folks in the car next to me roll down their window and point down at my left rear wheel. "You have a flat tire!"
Oh. "Can I drive on it?"
"Lady, it's totally flat!"
Oh. Once again, luck comes to my rescue, because I am eight months pregnant at the time, and a good Samaritan stops to put on my spare for me mere moments after I pull over to the side of the road and hoist my big belly out of the car to stare despairingly at the problem.
4. Teaching Moment
Pulling out of the KinderCare parking lot in Kennewick, Washington, I run over the curb. Two blocks later, the right rear tire goes flat. Convinced that this is the perfect time for a lesson in self sufficiency, I pull out my spare tire and my jack and gather my youngsters and toddlers around me to witness the tire change operation. Another horrified good Samaritan stops my teaching moment in its tracks, saying "Lady, I'll change the tire. Please put the children back in the car." Oh.
(I've just noticed that most of these stories involve motor vehicles. Hmmm...)
5. Good Samaritans
After driving my children and my visiting mom to Gettysburg, PA through an hourlong downpour of rain, my van sputters and drifts to a halt on the corner of a road outside of town, completely dead. As we sit there wondering what to do, a local man stops to help. After he he and his three brawny sons push my Windstar several hundred yards up an incline to a safer place, he offers advice. Do you have roadside assistance? Triple A?
Oh. Yes! Maybe I should call them, huh. What happens when you turn the key? And the engine starts right up. (I swear, it wouldn't before, honest! I guess it had dried out enough in the meantime to start working again.) The expression on those poor young men's faces was priceless.
6. My Lane
Two weeks ago, in Kennett Square, PA, my friend and I spot the restaurant we are looking for just a bit too late, as we are driving past it. No problem, I say, I'll just pull up a few blocks, make a U-turn, and come on back. On the way back, I notice the other cars driving very strangely. Two separate ones pull into my lane, coming head on toward me long before they make their left hand turn. Then a third car comes into my lane. And this one flashes his brights and waves his arms at me. And I finally realize I'm going the wrong way down a one-way street.
I don't feel so bad about the U-turn and being in the wrong lane. This could happen to anyone in an unfamiliar town, particularly if they have been watching the roadside businesses more closely than the road while trying to find their destination. But I am mortified that it took so long for me to realize my mistake.Sigh. Another clueless mom story destined to become family legend.
Have you ever driven the wrong way on a one-way?
What clueless moments have you had?