Once a month I go out to dinner with two long time friends and neighbors. In December we add a Christmas event to our dinner and end the evening going out for dessert and exchanging Christmas gifts. In past years we have seen the Rockettes' Christmas Show, A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker ballet and a spoof of Christmas classics called Forbidden Christmas.
This year our choices were limited. The big touring productions came early and had short runs. We were happy to hear about Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue at a location that is normally 35 minutes away. The daughter of one my friend's works near Second City and went there to buy our tickets, saving us $5 each on TicketMaster fees. (Don't you think $5 is a bit steep on a $20 ticket that isn't being sent to your home, just held at the box office for unassigned seating?)
You know all that snow I was tired of hearing about in the forecasts? Well the weathermen were finally right. We got snow. A lot of it. Schools were closed in the wee hours of the morning yesterday. Doctors offices closed after calling patients to reschedule. We had no mail delivery yesterday. Surely the show would be canceled last night, or common sense would prevail and our group would stay home.
At 3:30 I got a call that our plans were still on, but we'd be leaving an hour earlier. Shaking off my shock, I hurried to make the transformation from chubby skank in sweatpants to a vision of holiday loveliness.
At 4:30 I stepped out of my house and wondered how the woman driving would be able to get in our driveway. You couldn't see it, you could only guess where it might be. Her husband had used a snowblower on the sidewalk from their house down to ours (4 houses away) and had cleared their driveway. I decided to walk down to their house. First step in snow as I headed to the public sidewalk wasn't bad. Second step a bit deeper. It was the 3rd, 4th and 5th that had snow going over my cute but impractical boots.
Once I was in my friend's car we compared notes on our husband's reactions and I included my son's too. Those three wise men (three wise guys?) thought we were nuts for going. Secretly I agreed with them, but couldn't look weak among my gal pals. Peer pressure is a terrible thing!
The only thing worse than getting stuck backing out of her driveway was looking at her husband's face in the window as he witnessed her struggle to get the car headed in the right direction. A lesser man would have hurt himself shaking his head like that, but alas, he has had much practice over the years.
The good news is that it took us less time to get unstuck from the next driveway. With the daughter joining us and acting as navigator, the four of us set out for dinner and the show. The 35 minute drive took us over an hour. We saw more spin outs than I care to think about, mostly on icy exit ramps.
We were all relieved to turn into the lot of the restaurant and theater. But uh-oh....the lot had not been plowed. After 15 minutes of circling the lot hoping for someone to pull out of a space that their car had flattened, we parked and went in. 90 minutes from my door to the restaurant door!
The camaraderie was far superior to either the meal or the comedy revue and thankfully the drive home was better with somewhat clearer roads and much less traffic. I guess most people get wimpy about being out at 11:00 PM on the day of a snow emergency. To them I say HA! (and quietly add please, please, please call me with an excuse to stay home if this happens again!)
The relief of turning onto our own street took a downturn when we saw all the cars parked in the street as we neared our houses. For those of you unfamiliar with heavy snowfalls, the normal width of a street narrows considerably when plowed and shoveled snow takes up room curbside. In our current state, two cars cannot be parked across from each other in the street with room for moving traffic between them. Some inconsiderate 20-something year old was having a party to celebrate the end of another college semester. Didn't these people know there was a snow emergency?
We almost couldn't get up the driveway of the mom and daughter's house. They were willing to get out where we were stuck by the driver was determined. We finally made it up the driveway and only a little sideways. Getting out of that driveway was probably the worst of the evening's driving challenges. One of the party guests had parked directly across from the driveway.
I thought we should re-enact the scene from Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bate's character deliberately slams into a car, but it wasn't my car so I didn't get to vote.
Find some humor in whatever happens this holiday season. I know God has a sense of humor, just take a look around.