On Saturday, Rhiannon and I played in our final Christmas concert of the season. The concert was at 7:30. Warm-up was at 6:15. It was a Saturday, meaning there was no work and traffic should be light. We also wanted to stop by Rhiannon’s school, which was on the way to the concert. Easy, right? After doing whatever it is we do to manage to lose the better part of a day on the weekend, our conversation turned to the schedule of events that was to come. Around 2 pm, our proposed schedule looked a little something like this:
4:00: Start to get ready for the concert 4:30: While Rhiannon finished preparing, Chris can prepare a hearty and nutritious supper. 5:00: Eat supper. 5:20: Leave the house. 5:50: Stop by school. 6:05: Arrive at the concert and assume places for warm-up.
Here’s how the afternoon really went down.
3:15: The following conversation takes place:
“What should I wear tonight?” “I’m wearing the same suit I wore last night.” “You are no help and you’re not funny. Hey, remember that outfit that I saw in the JCPenny’s flier that was on sale and the shoes that went with it?” [Has no clue what outfit she is referring to.] “Yes.” “Do you think I could go get that and wear it tonight? And then I could also wear it for a Christmas outfit this year. Would you want to go to mall with me right now and get it?” [Has been watching some sporting event on TV and not listening to his wife.] “Yes.” “Ok, let’s go.” “Wait, what did I just agree to?”
3:30: We arrive at the mall. We realize that this will not be a quick trip. It is in fact a Saturday afternoon at a shopping mall in December. This is most likely the worst combination of time and place ever created. We park approximately three blocks from our house and hire a group of sherpas to guide us the rest of the way in.
3:45: We make it to the store (which was on the opposite side of mall from where we parked).
“Do remember what the skirt looks like so you can help me look? It was black and lacey with the cream underneath?” [Still has no clue what outfit she is talking about.] “Yes.”
3:50: Rhiannon locates the clothes she was looking for. It turns out I probably walked by them without ever knowing it. I refer to this as “Securing the Area”, which is a vital part of any operation.
4:00: The clothes are tried on and approved. Onto the shoes. [Note: I’ve been shoe shopping with Rhiannon. I do not have high hopes for this being at all quick.]
4:10: Shoes are picked out, tried on, selected, and paid for. Rhiannon helps me up off the floor after I fainted and we trek back to the car.
4:13: We stop to look at some home audio systems that we have no intention of buying. But they look really cool…
4:15: Head for home. It takes about as long to get out of the parking lot as it does to drive the rest of the way to our house.
4:30: “You have 50 minutes to get ready. Can you do it?” “It’s just like every school morning, only now I’m actually awake. Of course I can.” “Good, we’ll plan on leaving the house at 5:20 after we eat some sandwiches.”
5:20: Rhiannon is still upstairs, apparently painting her toenails (which no one will see since she sits in the back of the orchestra, but it’s the principle of the thing).
5:21: I load the car with our instruments.
5:26: I make two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for supper (nutritious!) and eat one of them.
5:29: I fill our water bottles.
5:30: Rhiannon comes downstairs, grabs her sandwich, a paper towel, and heads out the door. We get in the car. I attempt to hand the water bottles to Rhiannon. One of them is open. It spills.
5:31: I get paper towels. The whole roll. Rhiannon attempts to dry herself. We leave.
5:32: Rhiannon realizes she doesn’t have her watch or rings on. She also has jelly on her skirt that was purchased just over an hour ago from trying to not sit in the spilled water. We turn around.
A week or two ago, Rhiannon had bought some of the Tide To Go pens as a gift for a coworker that always seemed to have something on her clothing. We watch as she begins to dab at the jelly spots with the pen. It looks like it is just being spread around. Awesome. This thing doesn’t work anything like they show in commercials, as usual.
But then, something nearly magical begins to happen. The jelly fades, a little like the old Star Trek shows where the crew would be “beamed up”, only without the glitter and blue light and sound effects and Scotty. Ok, it wasn’t anything like Star Trek. But it fades just the same. A few minutes later, the spots are gone.
5:36: Rhiannon throws the rest of her sandwich away and puts on her jewelry. We leave again. She tells me it only takes her 25 minutes to get to school, even during morning rush hour traffic. She licks the last of the jelly off of her arm. We depart.
5:37 – 6:05: We hit every light and slow moving car possible and take nearly 30 minutes. Murphy’s law seems so very real at moments like this.
6:15: We arrive at the concert site and walk in the doors just in time to hear warm-up start.
It turns out it really wasn’t a big deal. The concert went well. There was good food afterward. But the highlight of the evening was the Tide To Go pen*. Seriously – white polyester skirt with purple jelly, and not a spot left on it. No washing. No water. Without it, 6:15 would have been more like 6:30 and no stopping at school.
*I am not being paid to say this (but if someone wants to pay me to say this, I will accept donations). Really, the thing works on jelly. Maybe other stuff too.