After 21 years of marriage, Sam and I do many things together. Today losing our minds was one of them.
It was an early morning after a week of early mornings and late nights — up at 5:30 to drive Daughter to a soccer game 35 minutes away in suburban Dublin, which at that hour on Sunday might as well have been Vladivostok. We had a good plan, which was to bring his biking gear and let him have a leisurely cycle home while I rushed back to get Daughter to San Francisco to meet her boyfriend for a music festival.
The problem was toward the end of the soccer game, when Sam took my car keys to fetch his bike, suited up in his lycra bike clothes, and pedaled off. You know what he took with him.
So there we were, on a soccer field in the distant suburbs surrounded by tract homes and empty patches of land that had been destined for more tract homes until the collapse of the housing bubble. I left a furious voicemail message on Sam’s cell, but it did no good: He turns it off when he rides.
Fortunately another soccer parent was able to give us a ride. And even more fortunately, at an intersection near the freeway, there was Sam, pedaling back (backpedaling?) to the field since he had belatedly remembered the keys. If we had been a minute earlier, we would have been on the freeway already and completely missed him.
So happy ending, right? I got the keys, our soccer friend drove us back to the field for the car, I raced home to allow Daughter time to shower and change, and then we tore across the bridge into the city to Boyfriend’s house in the Haight. The traffic gods smiled on us, mostly. We arrived, and Daughter and Boyfriend went off to their festival. I sat down for a cup of tea with Boyfriend’s congenial mom. Sam left me a voicemail saying he’d made it home safely.
After an hour of pleasant chatting, I drove home.
And realized — as I turned off the engine in my driveway — that I’d left my purse at their house.
Moral of this story: Hmm, maybe you can tell me. Is it the old “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” Is it that after enough time passes, married couples not only start to look alike but become equally demented? Is it that we all would benefit from a little more sleep?
In any case, Sam lucked out. When I came in from the car he cringed, ready to eat humble crow for taking my keys. But it’s hard to be self-righteous when your purse is sitting under a kitchen table on the other side of the Bay Bridge.