Sunday, June 27, 2010


I don't know how to title today's piece.

"The Clothing Swap" or "Out and About" or "A Good Day In A Dress" don't tell the whole story.

"Unexpected Civilian Encounter" ~ travelling will have LOTS of those, but sometimes there's an encounter neither of you expects. I had one. But that's not the most important thing.

"Catastrophe" ~ yeah, that was my first thought, but it wasn't one, really. It's just an unexpected occurrance that can be handled. Handling it is a good lesson. And I was laughing about it before I arrived home.

"Inconvenience" ~ well, that's certainly milder than catastrophe, but it was more than that. Maybe it was an opportunity.

Skip the swap stuff if you want to get to the interesting stuff. Or read my blather and be patient. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to write.

The Swap

I left about on time today, so I could get to Safeway and then the swap and be there at 11.30, when I said I'd arrive to help set up.

I stopped at a Safeway to get soda and ice for the swap. Soda was easy; I picked up 5 ($5 instead of $1.69 each) but couldn't find ice. I went to the service desk and a man came up and said "yes, ma'am, can I help you?" so I asked for ice and that, as they say, was that. One woman I had a close encounter with gave me a big smile. She was wearing slacks and a very pretty black-and-white blouse, and I like to think she was either smiling at my dress or maybe at my nerve. It certainly was a wide smile. I had to "excuse me" to a couple of other women as I negotiated the store. The cashier asked how I was. I said "great. How are you?" instead of just cutting the conversation off.

I arrived at the swap before anyone else so I opened up, brought in the soda and ice and clothes and waited about 10 minutes for Kim. Her co-host is a rarity ~ a cd with an understanding wife (she was there too). She (the co-host) wore a white mini and looked great.

In addition to clothes and food, there was a woman who did hair and nails, a lovely Korean lady named Audrey. There was also a Mary Kay rep doing makeovers: a beautiful woman, beautifully dressed, named Tatiana. I had my nails done first and chatted quite a bit with the manicurist. She kept praising my nails and I told her about flying. She said she'd LOVE to be my seatmate ~ she'd talk about my dressing the whole time. She said "would that bother you?" and I said "that would be my best-case scenario."

I passed on the makeup (she had a queue) and a woman (Allie) started chatting with me as she ate and I took some pictures. We engaged in some girl talk, and I felt GREAT. This is what life is about.

I didn't pick up any clothes, but I did notice that almost ALL of my clothes were gone. I consider that a vindication of my sense of style. That's my story anyway.

I noticed another tg picked up a dress I left ~ I kept it for YEARS even though I never expected to wear it again. It was the first dress I ever bought. I got it from Fredericks, in a "grab bag". Pay a low dress price, specify a size, and they send you what they want. It was actually a nice dress, but it's time to move on. I miss it already though.

(There were about four tg's there.)

Post Swap Disaster(?)

My car is new, with 12,000 miles on it. Today is sunny, clear, and dry. I was driving on the highway in a stretch where the next exit is about five miles away. Suddenly there's a bang and my car is behaving pretty much OK but there's a lot of noise coming from the back right, and it's getting louder. I start to move over to the right and slow down a bit, to under 50. The right lane is eventually an exit lane, so I get off, drive to the first right and make the first left after that. I park and put on my four-ways and get out.

My right rear tire is pretty much detached from the rim. It's floating in the wheel well and the rim is kinda clean. Click om the picture to get the full beauty of this. Added bonus ~ you can see me in the reflection!

Before I left this morning, I put the following in my purse: camera, foundation, lipstick, lipliner, tissues, cash, two credit cards, my driver's license, my health insurance card, my auto insurance card, and, what the heck, I'll take the 24-hour-emergency-roadside-service card.

I felt less stupid at that moment.

I called the number and, after a seven minute call, the woman assured me help would be there in about 45 minutes. In 40 minutes, I had a call from someone who had the wrong town. A couple of minutes later, I got a call from a truck in the right town, with the wrong street name.

I listened to my iPod, watched cars, and changed into my flats. Driving in heels was no problem, but I wanted to change anyway. I'm not sure why.

An hour after my first call, Matt showed up in a station wagon. I got out of the car, and walked around to the back with my camera so I could get a picture of the damage. Then I turned to the auto guy who screamed "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU?"

No, Matt the car guy is, I believe, unflappable. I know when I opened my mouth any doubt as to what was inside that dress went away, but he acted like this is a normal occurrance. I had an hour of sitting in a car in 97 degree heat to think of a story, but I didn't like the lies I'd have to tell so I figured if he asked (unlikely), I'd wing it, based on his attitude. If it was like my above comment, maybe I'd go with a story. If it was "so why are you dressed like that?" I'd probably say "it's something I do, sometimes. I was at an event that was all women, so I used the opportunity to join in."

The truth.

I would love to read the minds of people just from the moment they first see me until they realise Meg is probably not my original name. I'm hoping it's "nice legs" or "nice dress" or "whoa! MILF". I'll never know, so I'll go with the last one. :)

Tire changed quickly, no charge, and I'm home again, an hour later and a bit sweatier.

When I'm delayed, or stuck in traffic, or I miss a long traffic light by seconds, I like to think that there's a reason ~ maybe if I made the light a car would've crashed into me. Something like that. I try to accept it, and use it as a chance to listen to more music or a radio show.

Today, when I arrived home, the street was deserted. There were lots of cars, but no people. I like to think that, an hour earlier, all of my neighbors were standing in my driveway chatting and they would have seen me drive up and....

Overthinking, I'm still not sure if I'm optimistic or delusional.

It was a good day in a dress. And the exploding tire and unexpected encounter could be either a warning to Not Do This or it could be another test for Meg, one that she passed. I hope if a guardian angel or something is guiding this, that I'm reading it right.


  1. First, I see you wore your favorite dress (always a good choice), and I hope sweating in it did not ruin it.

    Second, this is precisely why my wife is terrified of me going around town as Leslie. I'm to a point where I'd need about five minutes to pull myself together and make a plan, but I think I could handle the people part.

    You managed the situation quite coolly. I think you got a taste of worst-case, and came through great.

    Will you be sharing this story with your wife? I told my wife about my police stop last month, leaving out the fact I was wearing wedges and lipstick. The story is a little different that way.

    Rock on, Meg!

  2. Everything happens for a reason. I never leave home without my AAA card, and I'm waiting for the day I have to use it en femme. The people they send out are usually pretty efficient, have a job to do and the faster they get through with you the sooner they get another job...

    Good that you didn't freak out. Fix the tire, have the others checked (bet there's a recall if it blew that way without damage). And get ready for your trip!

  3. Cool as a cucumber. Flying will seem duck soup after this. Well done m'dear, and thanks for sharing!

  4. I think you are FABULOUS! I was reading some of your previous entries and I have no doubt that you will have an awesome flight and charm everyone! It was really nice talking with you, I'm sorry about what happened with your car after the swap though! As you say though, it happened for a reason!


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