I run late. Because of this I know all the best ways to get somewhere fast. Because of this I try to tell my husband where to go.

Last night we saw a documentary about the architect, John Lautner. I was at my daughter’s track meet and just as I was leaving to get home in time to go, another mom showed up, Eileen, whose mother had invited me to go to New York with her. I hate flying, so I was trying to find a way to get out of it nicely. “What’s with your mom wanting to go to New York?” I said.

“It’s the craziest thing. She’s decided to do this whirlwind trip. She just got over breaking her foot. We’re beside ourselves.”

“She asked me to go with her,” I said, “But I’m not too thrilled about it.”

“You’re off the hook. She found someone else.”

That was great news! Then I was ready to get up and leave, honest, when Gina said, “What do you know about Father Tom?”

I’d forgotten about him. He’s our priest, or he was until a couple of weeks ago when he up and quit. He wrote the whole parish to tell us he couldn’t take the celibate lifestyle. I can’t blame him. He’s a nice looking guy, very athletic, lots of personality. But of course we’re all curious what’s going on and if there’s a special someone.

“Well, I don’t know anything in particular except,” Eileen says. There was no way I was going to leave then.

“Except what?” we asked.

“Except that he’s a nice guy who’s probably interested in someone, don’t you think?”

“It’s hard to say,” I said. “Are you sure he didn’t say anything to your mom.”

“Well, if he did, she’s not telling. But she thinks he’s got a girlfriend.”

“Why does she think that?” Gina asked.

We speculated for a while, and then I remembered. “Holy crap, I’ve got to go!”

I arrived home ten minutes later than the agreed upon time.

“We might as well not go,” my husband said. “With the traffic and parking, I’d just as soon not bother.”

“It will be fine,” I said. “Let’s go.”

“You know it’s pretty selfish of you to be late.”

I didn’t even bother telling him I got off the hook for New York. We got in the car and got downtown pretty quickly, except he missed the exit. “Why didn’t you take 6th?” I said. “Where are you going?”

“To 12th.”

“12th?” I said with the tone of voice that says, “Are you that stupid?”

He didn’t answer. He’d been pouting the whole way. We eventually got to 12th, then he started making turns and saying, “I think I turn left here.”

“Why did you take 12th? 6th is a straight shot? Turn right here.”

He kept going straight. We got to the Art Museum and got a great parking spot. He started down toward the pay station. “You don’t have to pay, it’s 7:00.”

He kept walking. He tried to put his credit card in and it wouldn’t work. He turned it over.

“It won’t take the card because it’s 7:00 and pay to park ends at 7:00.” He still kept trying. I walked over there and showed him the sign on the pay station. “Pay to park 6 am to 7 pm.”

“I thought it was until 10:00.”

We got inside and there was a line to get tickets, and one of the ticket machines wasn’t working so it was moving slow. Our friend came out looking for us and led us in to where the others were sitting. We exchanged pleasantries.

“We were on Suzanne’s time.”

“But we got here on time,” I protested.

“I still think it was pretty selfish.”

“But we got here on time. The movie hasn’t even started.”

Just then the lights went out and the movie started. All in all, it was a most satisfying evening. I did not give directions on how to get home, though I sure wanted to.