A comedy of errors that didn’t go wrong

I was running late for a lunch, so I called my friend and left a message on her voicemail to let her know I was on my way. When I arrived at the restaurant, already five minutes late, I couldn’t find a parking place. By the time  I finally discovered the underground parking garage two blocks away, parked my car and walked to the restaurant, I was 10 minutes late.

Whew. Sure glad I called to let her know, I thought.

I ran up the stairs and told the hostess that I was there to meet a friend. “We don’t have anyone waiting,” she said, then offered to seat me.

I was surprised to learn that I was there first, but followed the hostess to a table and ordered an iced tea. While I waited, I checked my email and texted my cousin’s daughter, a student at ASU. By 12:15 I was starting to get worried. So I also texted my friend: “Fearing I got my signals crossed. We still on for today?”

No response.

At 12:30 a very patient waiter came to ask me if I was “still okay.” At that point, I figured I was on my own for lunch. So I ordered a wrap to go, tipped him heavily and headed back to the office.

Just as I was about to pull into our parking garage, I received a call from my friend. “Hey, what happened?” she asked.

“Um…I’m not sure,” I said. “Did I get the time wrong? I was there for 45 minutes and then figured I must have messed up so I’m headed back to work.”

“You were there?” she said. “So was I! Where were you?”

Turns out I was sitting indoors and she was sitting outdoors on the patio. Both of us had told the hostess we were waiting for someone and neither of us was told that someone was waiting for us.

“I tried to reach you on your cell phone,” I said. “Did you get my message?

She’d left her office without her cell phone.

When we figured out what happened, my friend laughed. “Guess it wasn’t meant to be,” she said. “I had a lovely lunch by myself and actually got a lot of things done. So I guess I should thank you!”

We’re going to try again next week. Same time, same place. With cell phones.

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