it had been a great day. i got off early from work and took the whole family to san francisco to meet up with some dear friends for an afternoon of fun and re-connection. we took our big circus tent full of children down to crissy field armed with the the mary poppins carpet bag of outdoor games and boy did they put them to good use. the adults all sat and chatted in the warm afternoon light snacking on fruits and cheese and chocolate. it was truly a magical afternoon.
when the sun went down, we packed up and headed to our favorite restaurant, park chow. boy, do we love this place. we developed our affinity during our 3 month residency with jillie-bean at UCSF. it's warm and friendly. inviting to anyone who dare walk through the curtains out front. oh...and the food is amazing! we ate, we laughed, we danced...ok, we didn't dance. but we had a great time! everyone did. it was the kind of night that no one wanted to end. but as all good things do...
here's where things got interesting. i had all the boys (dads and kids) in my car and sharon had all the girls (moms and kids) in her car. before we left the restaurant i had gotten the lecture...uh, i mean reminder about "driving like someone was following me" as i left the city for oakland to take our friends back to their hotel. so, i drove slow. well, at least as slow as you can drive in san francisco. there is certain prerequisite for "assertive driving" when turning the keys of your ignition within the city limits. that being said, i kept watching my review for my beloved wife and her party while i navigated the great concrete jungle...safely...at night...with two boys making light saber noises as loud as they could in their own virtual backseat battle. as i approached the final intersection before we entered the freeway i realized (too late it turns out) that the light was yellow as i entered the intersection. i immediately looked behind me only to see sharon's car way to far back to make the light.
we picked up the phone and called. "hey, sorry...uh...yeah, just make sure and take the bay bridge exit on the freeway...ok?....cool....heehee....(nervous)...uh, ok. love you." i'm sure you can get the picture. for the next 10 minutes across the bridge i drove critically slow. i'm talking far right lane, passing cars honking at me, the whole bit, just so i could guarantee sharon catching up with me. no such luck. the next thing i know, we were taking the exit for oakland and i knew...i mean, i knew that sharon wouldn't know to take it. we called again, but it was too late. they were already headed off into dark, scary, "let's grab our gat and kevlar vest and stand on a corner to capture some moms and their kids in a surburbia suv" downtown oakland. the next call and subsequent calls as we located and rescued our lovely wives weren't nearly as cheery. i knew i was in trouble when we found them parked at a gas station and i pulled up next to them. i smiled charmingly and said, "are you guys ready to follow us? (yeah, i said that) the response from the car was "are you ready to drive slower?" uh...yeah. yes! i was ready to drive slower. and i did, all the way back to the hotel.
when we arrived back to the hotel we all smiled and hugged. i profusely apologized to both our wives taking all the blame on myself. all the while reminding them of what a fun evening we had up until the last 25 minutes. :-) any how, the point of this story was that the best thing i could have done in that moment was fall on the sword. don't argue. don't justify. just apologize. here are some words that most men could benefit from when facing similar experiences. "i'm sorry...i know i was wrong". that's it! use them...it will save you in the future. don't drag things out or hold on to your rightness...apologize and keep things clean. your relationship with thank me.
less of me...