Today I dropped my daughter off at some obscure pool in a park that I was unfamiliar with and got lost. Twice.
Sure I had the GPS plugged in and it was telling me to turn left and right in places that didn’t seem the simple and straight forward way I had looked at earlier on the map. The street I wanted to turn on had the same name as the park so why was the GPS giving me directions that made no sense?
My 11yo was getting frustrated in the back seat.
“Next time, you sit up front with me and help me navigate,” I told her and she rolled her eyes at me. She wasn’t impressed with me navigational skills. Driving adventures, she calls them.
She had a thing at that pool that went for three hours and I had been out all morning and then walked two dogs so I was starving. I figured I’ll go find someplace to pick up some lunch, get my grocery shopping done for which I had made a list and packed a cooler with ice, and then return in enough time to watch her in the pool for a bit.
I got lost trying to find my way back out of the park.
Finally I got to a road that I recognized. I went to the Loblaws, a big grocery chain, and looked at the take-out meal options.
Nothing really appealed to me.
There was a line up for the hot counter so I decided to get back in the car and drive someplace else.
Construction made me detour through other obscure areas I was only casually familiar with so I decided to head to another mall where there was an option of fast food outlets.
I suddenly had a craving for salty fries.
Well I don’t know what they did to that mall but the only fast food option left was an A&W and the lineup was really long too. Lots of elderly people waiting for their burger meals…
There was a Greek outlet which had a lineup and a Thai food express which had no lineup but for which I really didn’t have any desire. I mean, I love Thai food, but I just didn’t want any today.
I should have had it. Because once I got back in the car I was caught in more construction until I ended up only 10 min from my home and on a strip that was incredibly busy for a weekday middle of the afternoon. With construction at every other traffic light, as is to be expected.
On the way toward the Ikea I saw a Wendy’s. This is another fast food place that makes similar food as McDonalds and kind of hits the spot when you crave that kind of food.
I rarely crave that kind of food.
I am not a fan of Wendy’s but the family is. They go on about how it’s better than McDonalds.
Well, it was right there and the parking lot was only half full and I had been driving for over half an hour since I dropped the girl and it was going on 3 pm so I pulled in.
I bought the meal.
I was quizzed a million questions (what is this, some sort of an inquisition?) by a woman who had a very heavy accent and when I finally pointed and spoke my desire for a simple burger, fries and a gingerale she wanted my name.
They’re copying Starbucks now. Sheesh.
I told her it and she wrote down Claudia.
I picked up my meal, sat down and ate a bite of my burger.
I immediately regretted it. Should have had the Thai food.
Anyway I sat there and ate most of the burger, all of the fries, and sipped at my gingerale. Then, I planned my next stop: grocery shopping.
I dug around my bag to find my list and realized I forgot it.
Should have taken a photo of it.
What is wrong with my brain these days?
On the way toward the grocery store in my ‘hood and nowhere near my daughter’s pool I texted home. Someone whose voice I didn’t recognize answered with a rude remark.
“Can you do the pickup at the pool, I’m about to head to the No Frills,” I said into the phone. I don’t know what they were doing back home, or who they were with.
I heard a loud crash and then something rustling, like paper, followed by silence.
Suddenly my partner’s voice came on. What’s up, he wanted to know.
I explained what happened and he offered to do the pickup. He’d been stuck in the basement office, and apparently the rude person who answered the phone earlier was my son.
Oh, I said. I didn’t even recognized his voice…
By the time I got home my stomach was hurting. There’s obviously a reason why I don’t eat fast food anymore…
Anyway. As I’m typing away here I’m pondering my situation. While I was aimlessly driving around the bowels of western Toronto suburban roads I felt an odd kind of freedom.
I was all alone, in a car with a tank full of gas.
I started fantasizing about driving out of the city with no plan or goal in mind. Just driving away from here and see where the road will take me.
It’s a nice fantasy, but unfortunately, not reality. Because here I am, sitting in bed with the laptop on my knees, at home.