Ready. Set. Move!

I think the fastest four minutes in the world must be the time between when you call for either Uber or LYFT to come get you, and when they arrive.. I know, I know, they tell you ahead of time to be ready to go once you call, but who, in California, gets anywhere in four minutes?

Right, your driver.

I am a real stickler for being on time, although, I will admit I have built in a bit more leeway since my arrival in CA many years ago.

I had a standing rule back in Philadelphia.  YOU DON’T KEEP ME WAITING FOR MORE THAN 20 MINUTES. I usually extended it to three times in a row. From then on, if you didn’t arrive by the time we’d agreed on, I was already gone when you finally DID arrive.

         My sister didn’t have this particular time tic.  She was ALWAYS late.  I hated that.  So one day I set out to be the late one.  I almost drove myself crazy arranging to be later than Jackie. And even then I failed.  She came five minutes after I arrived.  I think she hid out and waited for me to get there first.

         But here? In California?  There is no way to know what the Freeways have in mind for your journey.   I do know that one night it took me 35 minutes to travel one block from the freeway to The Other Side.  By the time I got there I was a complete disaster. But even worse -no one had even noticed I was late. That hurt.

         Even more irritating I think is the fact that you never seem to find out why or what happened ahead of you to cause the breakdown in another wise smooth journey.  There you are, driving along at – well – say it’s a crowded evening and you are stuck at 35.  But still you are moving, right? And then all of a sudden you are not…moving that is.  Instead you are sitting there in a sea of frustrated drivers waiting. That’s all.  Just waiting.

         Then, all of a sudden, you are moving again.  You are immediately sailing along at 65…with no explanation what-so-ever! I’ve been stopped for 10 minutes, I want an explanation.  A smashed up car or two, preferable sitting upside down in the middle of the road.

         But no!  Nothing!  Nada!  Everything is just smooth sailing.  It’s like a miracle!  But I don’t want a miracle.  I need a gory explanation about why I am going to be late.

         My next move is to turn the radio on…Or, if it is already on…to turn it to the all-news station and find out what happened.

         Good idea. But it doesn’t work.  It seems that while you were not moving on the 101, stuff was happening on every other freeway in town.  You can know in just moments what’s happening on the 110 or the 134.  And god knows what that was on the 210,but it’s better now.  However, on the good old 101, everything is FINE!

         IT IS NOT! 

         Even the next day, when I search the newspaper or tune in the morning reports…there is absolutely nothing about a stoppage on the 101.  I find that frustrating in the extreme.

         So now I am a passenger.   All I am required to do is be ready when the driver arrives. Sounds easy.  It is not!  No matter how I plan, I find myself rushing breathlessly around my Tiny House, gathering up – What?  

         Just what happens to me when I see that warning:  “Your diver will be arriving in Four Minutes!”  Easy peasy, right?  

         Wrong! But why and how?  Well, let me tell you.  I decided to calmly follow my movements once I have placed my LYFT order.

         First things first. Cell phone in to purse so I can make my call for a return trip…Cell phone. Got it!

         Blue Purse got…No!  Damn all!  I can’t carry a blue purse with a purple shirt!  Dump blue purse grab purple shirt.  It’s the wrong shade but it’s too late to rethink by now.

         Your driver will be arriving I three minutes.

         Keys!  Where did I see the freaking keys?  I just had them!  OH, right. There they are on the table….Grab keys, upset cup of cold coffee  I forgot to drink.  Grab paper towels and mop frantically before it drips over on…Too late.  It dripped already.  More dabs and growing hysteria.

         Mop.  “Your driver will arrive in one minute.  One minute?  Whatever happened to two minutes?

         Race to the door, open it and I’m out.  Still have time….But no!  Boy thinks we are going for a walk and he races past me to the – thank heavens – locked gate.

         Grab Boy, drop keys. Pick up keys, drop indignant Boy.  Toss Boy into house and slam the door.

Your driver is here.  Don’t bother to lock the door!  Being prompt is the important thing.  I run out just as the car with the LYFT sign in the window drives slowly past the house.

I wave my cell phone frantically at the driver.  He sees me and stops and backs up.  I open the door and hop in, ready to apologize abjectly for keeping him waiting.

But wait.  My driver is apologizing. It seems he drove past the house because he didn’t see the address.

I was very gracious.  Assured him I wouldn’t hold 30 second against him.

It was a short ride but a pleasant one.

         One more thing.  I still demand strict observance of deadlines.  Except sometimes. Like this month’s Blog.  


Thank you for understanding.

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