Thursday, July 9, 2009


So, I'm on a roll. There have been several situations in the last 24 hours that have left me feeling like an idiot. Today we were looking for a way to get tickets to see Wicked in San Francisco, and I trotted over to the concierge next door and asked him for inside info. He told me to just go to the box office, that you couldn't get tickets over the Internet or phone the "day-of." I ran back out to the car (Craig got it from valet and picked me up) and he said, "Do they have a map?" So I jumped back out of the car, ran into the hotel and asked the concierge where I might find one. He, of course, had one, and circled the civic center for me. I cheerfully thanked him, and was surprised that he seemed stand-offish and didn't crack a smile. I thought, "Aren't concierges supposed to be nice??" I got back in the car and Craig asked me if I tipped him. Oops. Was I supposed to tip him? DUH! Apparently everyone knew that but me. Sorry!

Second, we drove down to the civic center and of course in downtown San Francisco there is no parking. So Craig jumped out and I got in the driver's seat to circle around while he got tickets. BIG MISTAKE! If you're keeping a list of things Laura does not want to do, be sure and add, "Drive in San Francisco." What a confusing experience! There are all of these lanes, some of which are for buses and taxis only, and then there are bike lanes, but quite often they meld with the only other traffic lane, which left me guessing where the hell I should go. And then there are signs galore - about not parking here during these hours, about when and where you can turn, about cable cars, about pedestrians, about street washing, etc… I was trying to read them all and make sense of what I could and could not do, all the while motorcycles and bikes and people were darting out of nowhere, right into my path. Seriously. Two guys on bicycles cut in front of me much like an SUV would nose its way into a traffic pocket the size of a smart car. My bumper was less than 6 inches from their wheel when they cut in. I was so stressed out, because people kept looking at me, like, "Don't you know how to DRIVE?? Geez, lady, get a clue or get off the road." And I wanted to say, "I've never been here! I don't know how this works! I'm trying!!!"

Finally, I've been feeling very disjointed and disorganized and scattered lately, drained, foggy, way-too-much-on-my-plate, and that I cannot possibly keep up with everyone and everything that vies for my attention. One of the things that adds to this is Facebook. I've added friends and been added as a friend sometimes just to communicate about something quick. For example, a woman who is a friend of a friend of my daughter's in another city (yeah - that far removed) wanted to inquire about my shooting her sister's wedding. Within minutes we had determined that it wasn't a good fit for either one of us, and that was that. Except that we just stayed friends. Multiply that by at least ten or twenty, maybe more. And then there are folks that I've accepted a friend request from, or requested as a friend, and then we never even said two words to each other. Ever. We don't really communicate at all over Facebook and yet there's info on about 100 such people that filters through my news feed, and I get a headache trying to process and sort through it all. Having 550 friends makes me feel overwhelmed! I joined facebook for two reasons: to keep in touch with folks I have had a relationship with in the past, and as a business networking tool. When I got married and changed my name, I thought I'd just go through my friends and let some of the ones that I never communicate with go. It was an attempt at regaining some feeling of control over all of the chaos that is swirling of late. With very few exceptions, my removing someone as a friend had nothing AT ALL to do with whether or not I think they're a cool person, or worthy of being a friend. It was sort of like when you start cleaning out a closet and you get a little over-ambitious, not thinking about the ramifications of what the purge will do. Anyway, I heard through the grapevine that a relative of a family member somehow thought that my removing her was a bit of a slap in the face, and I was shocked. I mean really, why wouldn't I even think about how that might be taken by someone? I'd like to chalk it up to my age (i.e. us old folks don't quite know the lowdown on facebook etiquette.) But maybe just for that day I was clueless, not thinking about how it would feel to be removed. So with this person, I blew it. And now instead of feeling lighter for having cleaned out my "facebook friend" box, I feel heavier - like I have somehow offended folks. Man, isn't technology supposed to make our lives easier? Anyway, I sent her a note apologizing and asked to be her friend again, but I'm not holding my breath that she'll say yes.

All this to say, I wonder where we get the idea that we're supposed to know everything. I have this secret rule in my head that I should always "get it," and if I don't I'm a loser. Truth is, I don't get it sometimes. And I'd like to think that's just a part of the human condition. Problem is, when someone like me doesn't "get it," others often turn that in to a statement about them. And you know what? I can't blame them… I do it too. Like when I'm behind someone in traffic and they're being uber slow or changing their minds about turns - I'm inwardly ranting, "GEEZ! Go people! Why are you doing this TO ME??" But in reality maybe they're from another city, in another state, that is much smaller than where I live, and they're scared and confused.

To some degree, I think we're all scared and confused.