Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Long Arm of the Law...

I had dinner with one of my oldest and dearest friends last night. (Well, she’s not technically my “oldest” friend – but you get the idea.) It was so good to get together and catch up on each other’s lives, but we realized that it had been nearly a year since just the two of us got together. How do I know this? Well, because the last text message I sent her was almost exactly a year ago.

With my amazing ability to string words together into pearls of wisdom I had texted: “I am here.” And, no, I am not usually so succinct when texting, calling, writing, or smoke signaling people as I tend to think messages are better when the reader knows what color socks I’m wearing and what I had for breakfast a week ago.

However, I was simply letting her know last October that I was parked in the alley behind her office building waiting to pick her up so we could go to dinner and talk until the server gave us seriously dirty looks indicating that we should probably leave.

My succinctness was due to the fact that I had my eyes peeled for cops as there were big signs all over the alley that read “NO STOPPING EITHER SIDE OF THE ALLEY.” I think they were serious. Yet there I was breaking the law – along with a half dozen other people who were also stopped in the alley awaiting their party.

Last night I left her – word for word – the exact same text message. Wow. And here I thought that with all these blogs I’ve written in the past year that I’d improved my writing skills. Guess not.

Nevertheless, those three little words were clear enough to let her know that she should leave her desk on the second-to-highest floor of her skyscraper office building, get on the two elevators, escalator and set of stairs needed to reach the ground floor and hustle on out to my car before a cop decided to turn an eagle eye down the alley and zero in on my license plate.

This is unlike my office, where I spy my ride out the window, walk three steps to the door, and then walk 10 steps to their car. By the time someone has had the chance to text “I am…” I’d be at their car door ready to hop in. Cops usually don’t patrol the street near my office anyway. What’s the point? There is a 2-hour parking limit and no sticker is required, so they’re not liable to catch anyone loitering.

Anyway, my friend reached my car, hopped in and we sped away like Thelma and Louise before any Boys in Blue decided to exercise their ticket-writing authority.

Even though the cops would’ve had to write an awful lot of tickets to drivers besides just me, I was relieved to move along as I’m just not comfortable breaking the law whether it’s of the minor variety or not. This wouldn’t bother Vince as one of his many mottos is: “I’d rather ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.” He obviously did not grow up Catholic.

I, on the other hand, grew up asking for forgiveness before I even did anything bad. Oh, c’mon. I never did anything bad – I was just funnin’ you! If I ever even thought about doing anything bad, I’d break out in hives and then the heart palpitations would begin. I’d have a guilty look on my face – just for thinking about misbehaving. Probably I wasn’t too much fun to be around.

I’d be the ‘narc’ without ever opening my mouth. A parent or a teacher would take one look at the guilt written all over my face and start searching for the real perpetrators. Man, it’s a miracle I grew up with any friends at all, isn’t it?!

Anyway, once my heart rate returned to normal last night and we were well beyond the alley, we headed toward our destination and then had a lovely meal together. We talked in code only familiar to long-time friends and laughed about silly things we did in our (relative) youth. We asked each other about our families and mutual friends and just had a grand old time.

Well, at least until the bill had been paid and our water glasses were sucked completely dry and the waitress (who pointedly did not come back to refill our water glasses) shot us a dirty look for the umpteenth time. We sort of took that as a hint that we should probably be moving on.

Wow. Someone thought I was doing something wrong – and there wasn’t a single hive or a heart palpitation to be had. Maybe I'm finally getting over the guilt thing, eh? Hey, maybe I should do something reckless - like jaywalk or something?

Nah. Baby steps… I wouldn't want to get all crazy and somehow end up on America's Most Wanted. I wouldn't want to get that John Walsh after me - he is one scary dude!

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