Sleep deprivation is a powerful thing. I, without being a total showoff, am an obsessively organised person. I have to be … I’m a Mum to two kids and have a 40-hour-a-week job organising things. Not only is it in my nature, it’s in my job description.
So when I start being a complete ditz, the world can be a dangerous and chaotic place. And when I’ve had two weeks of very late nights and very busy days, followed by a week of very broken, interrupted and scant sleep, I become a complete ditz.
Let’s see … last weekend, I decided hubby and I should go to the movies – this was a big deal; we go to the movies about once a year. I had purchased a deal online that meant I could get movie tickets for $8 if I also bought them online. EIGHT dollars – crikey, that’s almost how little I used to pay when I first started going to the movies. So despite being perpetually broke, I decided that was worth it. So it came about that about midday Saturday I took to the phones, found us a babysitter and bought some tickets online.
Now, the first problem was that the only lovely friend I could find to watch our kids lives in West Auckland (and we live in quite-far-north-Auckland – about 30–40 minutes’ drive away). And she could take our kids if we went to the 1.40pm movie. Now the other problem was that at the time of purchase, it was midday. Not so bad, but we’d opted for the slow-start kind of Saturday morning and we had yet to get showered, dress the kids, feed the kids lunch, return the DVD to the shop and put petrol in the empty car. So we panicked … bought the tickets, had the showers, made sandwiches for the kids to eat in the car, zoomed to the video shop and took off down the highway, praying we’d make it to the petrol station on the way. I didn’t want to go to the local petrol station, I wanted to go to the one that was halfway there … get a bit of mileage under our wheels, so to speak. So we ended up at a petrol station we’d not been to before. When we went to leave we discovered that, instead of an exit to the right, back onto the highway from which we’d come, there was only an exit to the left. Into the wilds of suburbia, full of ‘no exit’ cul-de-sacs and curvy crescents. Being late for a movie, sleep deprived, stressed and … lost … is not a good mix. We remained lost for about 10 minutes until a random guess got us out onto a highway on the other side of suburbia. When I get a moment, I am going to write to that petrol station and tell them that a simple sign would be nice! Some direction along the lines of “How to get the heck out of here” would be good. Please.
So, we were on our way, finally. I concocted a great plan. I’m really good at fast plans. In fact, together, hubby and I are great at fast plans. And back-up plans as things change – which they do when you have two kids. You have to make plans up on the run. So that’s what we did. I said “I’m going to drop you off at the movie theatre, you go and pick up our tickets, while I go drop the kids off, then you see the first bit of the movie and I’ll text you when I get there and you come out with my ticket and let me in – okay?” Once I repeated my plan, he got the idea and reluctantly agreed. So, we had a plan. And then I missed the exit for the mall. Why the sign didn’t say “Mall” instead of “Henderson” I’m sure I don’t know. So then it was onto plan ‘c’. Which was actually plan ‘a’ back again in a slightly faster form. This one entailed pulling up at our friend’s house, turfing the kids out and burning rubber back up the highway to hopefully catch most of the movie. It mostly worked. We even found a park right outside the theatre! We quick-marched into the theater and gabbled “we’re really late, but can we still get into this movie – we bought tickets online”. The lady was really nice. But her words weren’t. They went something like this “You’re at the wrong cinema. These tickets are for the cinema in Massey.”
Sigh. We listened to the directions for Massey (supposedly about a 10-minute drive – if you know where you’re going … we didn’t). We listened to the alternatives (buying tickets at full price for this movie and hoping for a refund on the online tickets. Even in my ditzy hopeful state I figured a refund for being an idiot wasn’t likely and I sure as heck didn’t want to shell out full price for a movie I’d already bought at half price!). We decided to go for it. So we took off like our tails were on fire. And discovered that you can’t turn right out of the mall to get back on the highway (sound familiar?). You have to go left, drive to the roundabout and do a giant u-turn. So when we got to the roundabout and saw a sign for ‘Massey’ we figured to throw all caution to the wind and ‘go the back way’. To a mall we didn’t even know existed. While the map reading, prone-to-road-rage-and-stress-when-lost half of this relationship was driving. And the hard-to-stress-out, I’ll-be-calm-if-it-kills-me-but-not-particularly-good-at-giving-directions-to-the-driver half was reading the map. Yeah – I know – recipe for disaster wasn’t it! But we actually made it!
But – remember, this movie started at 1.40 … it was now 2.20. How long are movies these days anyway? On the way, I could actually physically feel the decline from ‘this is funny and we’ll miss a bit of the movie but who cares, we’ve got time away from the kids for the first time in months’ through to ‘this isn’t really funny, but it’s a bit of an adventure’ and off the edge into ‘I’ve wasted my precious pocket money and we’ve missed the movie and I’m such an idiot and I’m going to cry’. So when we got to the movie theatre, my shoulders were slumped, my sad face was on and I was quite prepared to cry on the ticket person. But I didn’t have to! The nice man told us we were not alone; that about ten people a day go to the wrong movie theatre! Oh – I forgot to tell you, the one I booked was at WestCity and the one I went to was WestGate. Or vice versa. I’m actually still a bit confused. But you can see how it happened, right? Anyway, he issued us tickets for the shoot-em-up American rubbish we’d been hoping to see and then promptly swapped them for the next movie about to show, which happened to be Sione’s wedding 2. So we saw a movie. We had ice creams (the ice creams were better than the movie, but by that time I’d moved back up to “who cares, it’s time away from the kids” so it was ok). And we had a story to tell.
Moving on to a bit later in the week … I had a dentist appointment after work. And after the dentist appointment I popped in to see my friend who had a baby last week. I had a lovely time. I helped out a bit. I held the baby. I gave some advice. I listened a bit. I talked a bit. Then I realized it was 7.30 and my own kids would be in bed by the time I got home, so I thought I better get on my way. I was halfway home when I realized … my hubby was supposed to be in a rehearsal at 7.30. In the city. It takes about half an hour to get to the city. Which meant that by the time I got home, he would be about … ooh … I dunno, quick calculation … AN HOUR AND A HALF LATE. Oh. My. God. Worse than the horror of realizing what I’d just done to his evening, and that of the band with whom he was rehearsing (or not, as the case may be) was the horror of realizing what I’d just done! Things DON’T just slip my mind. I don’t just forget stuff!! In my head, I have entire filing cabinets of useful things going on. I have wall planners lining the insides of my brain. I have entire issues of journals lined up and ready to publish. I have work meetings, appointments and deadlines stacked in neat piles. I have Ruby’s school schedule all mapped out. I have our social calendar on tap at a moment’s notice. And I know when his rehearsals are, when his nights out are and where I’m supposed to be. And I had stalled. I had got a ‘no files located’ message. I drove home with my mouth hanging open in shock. Me – human? Fallible? Surely not. Tired – yes, ok, I’ll go with tired.
It actually got worse. When he came home that night, at 11.30pm, I was still up. Funnily enough, I was writing the previous blog post about not getting any sleep. Go figure. We chatted (he’s very forgiving, my husband!), we talked about the coming week. I talked about going to see my friends with the new baby tomorrow night and taking them dinner. About the same time as he realized I thought I was having the car, I realized he needed the car. Tomorrow was Wednesday. Wednesday is Kindy day. Kindy is miles from nowhere and you need a car to get there. My mouth went back to hanging open in shock. Strike two – was I getting Alzheimer’s??? We went through plans a, b, c, d, and finally got to e – where I worked from home on Wednesday until he got home from kindy and then I took the car. Thank goodness I work with a truly enlightened team leader in a family- (and idiot-) friendly workplace.
Happy with the new plan, we got into bed. And then he said “Oh, by the way, happy Valentine’s Day” and I said “oh shit”