Saturday, April 19, 2014

Master of the Urban Universe

“It’s called Technology” says my youngest son, Peter, as he walks me through downloading the app for UBER and showing me how it works. We are at some groovy cafe in the Marina District of San Francisco having “detox” salads sans the chicken. “It’s Good Friday” I remark to which my cradle Catholic son snarls “So what?”

I am feeling old.

He thinks I’m out of touch with technology (although I can create a mean excel spreadsheet and share a google doc with the best of them) and my religion is regarded as dated and useless.

As I attempt to keep up with my 6’2″ son forging the steep hill towards his home, Peter gives me last minute instructions on the goldens, Lua and Willow. “Make sure they know who is boss? Don’t let them walk you! Be in charge!” I listen carefully and nod appropriately like a good student.

When we get home, Peter shows me on line how to get to the Spa International where he and Brianna have so generously made a reservation for me to have a 90 minute massage. As we discuss different routes and terrain I begin to make a rustic map with pen and paper. “Mom! It’s easy! Fillmore runs parallel to Pierce and is intersected by Green which runs parallel to Union and Chestnut where we just had lunch!” When he turns his back to rummage through a drawer in the dining room sideboard looking for a parking pass so that I am not towed from the three hour parking two blocks away, I give him a swift but gentle kick in the teezy (that’s butt in Arabic) and tell him “Hey! I raised three boys! Don’t ever underestimate the power of your 5 foot 4, 130 pound mother!”

I think he gets the message. Nonetheless, as he kisses me sweetly goodbye, I set an intention to prove to Peter that THIS suburban, durable, and low maintenance 50 something year old woman can master the urban universe! Armed with my UBER app, a double dog leash and poop bags, my homemade map and some good walking shoes, I launch.

First matter of affairs is a walk with the girls. I gather sunglasses, reading glasses, keys to the house, ID, a credit card and kleenex into a little Nicaraguan purse and hook up Lua and Willow on the front porch. I, of course, inform them that I am the boss. They listen about as well as I do..

Around the block we go as I recite to myself “Ok we took a left turn and then another left so we’ll take another left and left again on Green and we should be home.” Easy breezy. But of course I get distracted wondering what’s down THAT street. Suddenly I find my self turned around. Oh Lordy.

Thank goodness the girls know their way home. At every corner they nudge directions. I figure we are either heading towards home or to one of their other favorite destinations miles from nowhere. Fortunately it was the former.

After a quick snack, one for each of us, I anticipate the arrival of my friend, Jennifer, and her daughter Margot, the opportunity ripe for a visit being that they live right around the corner from Peter and Brianna. Sharing a bottle of fine Italian wine the afternoon slipped by and soon it was time for me to leave for my spa treatment. One more round the block with the girls and I’m off on foot up and down hills and through the maze of Friday night shoppers and happy hour partiers along Fillmore.

The massage was spectacular!

In a relaxed stupor, I manage to hail the UBER by a simple touch of an app and two minutes later Saba arrives in her Toyota Corolla chariot to whisk me home.. Feeling quite smug that I remembered to write down Peter and Breezy’s address on a post it, disaster is averted. However, not entirely.

As I was greeted at the front door by my excited granddogs I regaled in my technological success. I reached for my phone to text Peter that the spa and UBER activity went down without a hitch I clearly realized that my phone was nowhere to be found. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Now what?

The UBER website gives me my driver’s phone number but without a phone that’s not helpful. I run outside hoping to find a friendly house with lights on where I can knock on the front door, explain my situation and make the call. But no one seems to be willing to open their door at 9pm on a Saturday night. I flag down a sweet high school girl running home from her Lacrosse practice and she is delighted to help me out. Mission accomplished. I make contact with Saba and she is on her way back to Green Street with my phone.

It is now 9:30pm and my relaxing 90 minute massage has gone south. At 10:15pm I am still standing in the middle of the street wondering if I will ever see Saba or my cell phone again. Then she arrives.

Now exhausted, the girls and I sit down to watch some TV and finish the bottle of wine. (I finish the bottle of wine.)

So all is well and as far as Peter knows everything went as planned this weekend. He’ll be home late this evening and by then I will be on the road back to suburbia. Do you like the picture of the girls and me in this post? Well, that was snapped by a nice German man right before a little leashless mutt walked by and caused my pups to take quick and dirty flight. Yes, I went down for the count. But that’s another blog…

Tonight I am going to hobble into the Easter Vigil Mass at the Mission Santa Clara. I am a little sore but happy.

I mastered the urban universe Rosemarie-style.

Oh.. BTW. Don’t tell Peter what REALLY happened.

Mums the word. :) 


8 Responses

  1. One of your best yet! I loved living your adventure through your eyes (and wonderful words)! Keep ‘me coming!

    • Dawn, writing this was so much fun! Sitting at Peter and Breezy’s big Apple desk top, eating all their high end natural food snacks! Just wait… Someday they will have something called “bills”!

  2. Rosemarie, this post left me in absolute gales of laughter! Your “urban plunge” is simply too funny for words and your writing is brilliant! We must get together sometime in the not too distant future and share stories of our technological challenges! Since I still can’t follow directions to a simple recipe on an index card, you can imagine what I’m like with a computer and cell phone and all apps thereof. I should have lived no later than the nineteenth century. Today’s cybernetic world throws me way out of my comfort zone! Not good!

    • Kathy, I bought a Honda Civic two years ago with Navigation! I am so directionally challenged it is embarrassing! I have often thought that I would have been better born at the turn of the century. Washing my clothes in a stream and laying them out to dry on a rock seems somewhat soothing to me! I try very hard to keep up with everything but I love to just relax and read a real live book from the library when I get a chance!!

  3. Rosemarie, only you could take an experience as frustrating as this and turn it into something that has your readers laughing till they cry! Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a beautiful Easter!

  4. Would never work for me because I have decided I have “directional dyslexia”. Congrats on finding your way around The City By The Bay.

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