Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dinner with Dorothy, part I

Tucson Arizona has about 520,000 people living there.  That comes out at about 2,800 people per square mile.

Fairfax County, where I live, has about twice as many people in about twice the area.  But Fairfax is weird.  In the middle of the county sit the cities of Alexandria (where I work), Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, and Fairfax City.  Fairfax is pretty big and there are sections which are pretty underpopulated as opposed to the close-in suburbs.  Alexandria and Arlington together are about a quarter the size of Tucson but have over 340,000 people.  That's around 8,300 people per square mile.

I didn't know these numbers when I drove from Sierra Vista to Tucson but when I was warned there would be "lots of traffic," I considered that A Good Thing.

It meant I could leave early and co-workers will think I was smart because I was beating the traffic.  It also meant I didn't expect my trip to be any longer than usual.

Tucson traffic is to Washington-area traffic as a home aquarium is to Sea World.

So I started my day extra-early and left by 3 or so.

The plan was to meet Dorothy around 7, for dinner.  If I could get there early, Meg would join her.  If not, well, that was less than ideal but a possibility too.

I got to the hotel in plenty of time and Andrea (the "A" of recent posts ~ she said I could use her name) checked me in.

I'm probably going to repeat some of what I wrote starting with this post ~ I was pretty busy and disjointed last week and I'd like to try to be a bit more orderly.

At 5, it was time to get started.  I was in my room early enough to shower and moisturise and shave my face and touch up arms and chest ~ just a little bit.  I did my makeup and dressed and loaded my purse and put on my wig and jewelry and slipped into my shoes exactly at 7 ~ just as the phone rang.  It was Dorothy.  She had arrived.  She said she was going to look for a parking space but I said I could come out to the parking lot.

I stepped out of my room to an empty hallway.  I got into an empty elevator.  On the main level, I thought the lobby was to the right, but it was to the left.  I took a step to the right with my left foot, then realised I was going the wrong way so I crossed my leg and stepped to the left with my right foot.  I probably looked pretty stupid doing that, so, of course, I had an audience.  Someone was close by, also heading towards the lobby.  I walked on, with the gentleman right behind me.  I wonder if he would have offered to help me up if my manoeuver resulted in a fall.

Andrea was still behind the desk, and I saw only one other person ~ a woman sitting on a sofa which faced away from the front desk.

I have a habit of focussing.  I don't know if it's a bad habit, but it has served me poorly on occasion.  I am known to walk into a room of people I know, talk to the one I was planning on talking to and walking out ignoring the others, even if they're riding tigers or on fire.

My focus was on meeting Dorothy in the parking lot.  I smiled and nodded to Andrea, I looked at the woman on the sofa who said "hi."  I said "hi" back, because that's what Meg should do, right?  Internally, I noticed that she had a deepish voice, like mine, and maybe my voice is OK after all.  But I kept walking.

I didn't see Dorothy's car in front of the hotel, just the airport shuttle.  I went out to my car to grab something (I can't remember what now) and looked around.  Then I had a flash of insight and I called Dorothy.  She said "hello?"  and I said "did I just walk past you sitting in the lobby?"


I didn't pick her.  She picked me, but thought I was trying to lose the guy who was close behind me!

I went back in, we said hellos, and went on our way.


  1. Could the fact that you missed recognizing Dorothy but Dorothy instantly pegged Meg be due to the fact that you have become somewhat of an internet sensation, at least among the many friends who follow your blog.

    PS: Nice photo

  2. That's a wonderful thought, Pat.

    I'll take it and you can have my smile, since you put it there.


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