Engagement is defined as "A promise or agreement to be at a particular place at a particular time." It’s also defined as "A battle." Our lunch date with Alice and Tim, when they finally got to the restaurant, was LOVELY. Getting there was a battle and it was all my fault. Fortunately, it turns out Tim is Special Forces so this battle was a relative piece of cake.
I LOVE hearing someone say, "I’m Special Forces." Unless it were my son saying it, of course. That would not be so wonderful. But I want to be Special Forces. In fact, I’m going to start telling people I’m Special Forces. I’m going to say it in low tones, that I’m working undercover. Who would believe a short chubby 50-something could rip out your heart with her bare hands? Nobody! I’m a perfect secret weapon. And I could probably get paid for THAT. Need to chat with Tim about that scheme. If I ever see him again…
I made a huge mistake – several actually – which caused them to be an hour and a half late to lunch. While I was waiting that 90 minutes, pacing back and forth in front of the restaurant while the boys sat in side eating appetizers, berating myself for being such a dummy, I didn’t know Tim was S.F. I thought he might just be a regular guy. Maybe even one of those guys with no sense of direction. Oy vey, it was a miserable 90 minutes.
See, I set up lunch at a restaurant in San Jose to which we’d never been. But, I reasoned, we had a good address. San Jose is set up on a grid with Avenidas [ah-vey-KNEE-das, avenues] and Calles [KA-jace, streets]. This restaurant was on Calle 9 y Avenida 15. How hard could this be?
HAHAHAHAHAHA. I picked the one place to eat that is tucked back in an area with dead-end streets all around so there is only ONE way to get there and it is damned difficult to figure it out. We finally parked and walked to the restaurant – we knew we were close but could not figure out how get there driving and the traffic was horrendous. This was not a good sign…
In Costa Rica, there are tons of one-way streets and they are not in any particular order. Sometimes you’ll have three streets in a row all going the same way. Then a dead-end. Then… well, when I say sometimes you can’t get there from here, I am not kidding.
PLUS I had sent A&T a map that had all the one way streets outlined on it. You know, to "help"… While we are driving to the restaurant, I realize that this particular map, the only one I had online and had never actually used myself…. oh god, I am so embarrassed… this particular map had all the one way street arrows POINTING THE WRONG WAY. God, I’m a big help.
While we were waiting at the restaurant, I was surmising that, if they actually found the place – OH, that’s something else: we picked the one restaurant THAT DOESN’T HAVE A SIGN OUT FRONT. NONE. NADA. A residential looking house in a residential neighborhood, surrounded by a high green wall, a small gated opening, lots of mature landscaping so you can’t even see the tables… nothing, nada, zilch to indicate it’s a business at all. Oh, yeah. PERFECT place to meet someone their first day in Costa Rica.
So I was thinking while pacing, that if they can find this place with all the hurdles I’ve put in front of them, much less San Jose traffic, they will do just fine in Costa Rica. If they can’t find it and give up, well, this was never going to work. Trying to find the silver lining to my incompetence. Trust me, you need a few problem-solving skills to live in Costa Rica.
Well, they did finally arrive – thank goodness. Then I found out Tim is Special Forces – he better have problem solving skills! Tim spent the whole time talking to the boys about guns, what he gets to shoot and when… they were in heaven. Alice is no slouch herself, we talked about – what else – real estate. They are both very interesting and interested. We ended up having a good lunch and a good time. They went off to have their week exploring. I haven’t heard back (hint, hint) but I’m assuming they lived. I didn’t give them any other directions or maps which I’m sure was a huge help…