I like to be on time. I like to know where my keys are. I like to remember my appointments. I don't like to get to a party only to realize yesterday's underwear is balled up against my thigh in the right pants' leg. And I definitely don't like to meander when I have some place to be.
Last Thursday, I had a concert ticket, and since my husband was out of town, I'd booked a sitter. Ruby and I were eating dinner, and as the clock ticked past the sitter's arrival time, Ruby said, “Mama, I don't think Mimi's coming.” I had the same feeling and sent her a text.
She didn't answer her phone when I called her a few minutes later. Even though she'd confirmed this gig three hours earlier in a message on my landline, I knew she wasn't coming. She's a stoner.
I quickly phoned every sitter on my roster until I found a backup, who arrived exactly when she said she would, 45 minutes later. This girl is not a stoner. Though grateful, I was already stressed when my friend Stacy arrived to pick me up.
“It's a party: I brought the minivan!” Stacy was slowly scooping school projects and clothes and half-filled water bottles from the front seat and tossing them into the back. We were supposed to be having drinks with some other friends at that very moment, but Stacy was running late. I could feel my stress level building but was trying to hit the reset button. Being a few minutes late wasn't going to kill me.
“We've got to pick up Jenny and make one other stop,” she said. “Tell Gayle we'll be there in 30 minutes.” I took a deep breath, hit “send” on the message and climbed into the car, trying to be cool, to roll with it, to shrug off the frantic, running-late angst that was attacking me.
“So, we're going to grab Jenny—oh, shit!
I need to get gas!” Stacy realized. “But that will only take five min—oh, shit! I left my ticket back at my house.” I began to feel the need to breathe into a brown paper bag. She was driving like a nana in her minivan, and I imagined reaching my left foot across the console and stomping down on the gas pedal, her foot pinned beneath mine.
“And after we get Jenny—who you are going to love, by the way—we need to make a quick stop at the dispensary for a couple joints.”
Oh, Jesus Christ, you've got to be kidding me! Really? A dispensary? We're grown women. Couldn't you have taken care of this earlier?
I bit my tongue all the way to Jenny's house, which was lovely. I got a partial tour—met the husband, two kids, two dogs and a cat, wasn't feeling nervous at all about the time, no siree!—and then we loaded back into the minivan. Jenny, a sexy, free-spirited blonde with her peasant shirt, sandpapery voice and nowhere to be, passed around her to-go mojito while recounting a wild story about being punched in the face at a Brad Paisley concert she was recently bribed into seeing. I checked my time machine to make sure it wasn't set to 1985, made sure my seatbelt was fastened and pondered whether the fist of a redneck or the headliner was more horrific.
We motored on down the road well under the speed limit—which was probably good considering the open container—got gas and drove aimlessly for a few blocks looking for the dispensary. It was high school all over again, and it dreadful.
“Oh, shit! I think I passed it,” Stacy said.
The words “oh” and “shit” were beginning to have a Pavlovian effect on me. Two very big and very slow U-turns later, there we were, three utterly conspicuous (and relatively hot, if I do say so) moms in a minivan the color of obligation, sharing a cocktail while parked in front of a marijuana dispensary.
Which was closed.
“It's supposed to be open 'til 9!” Stacy was genuinely perplexed that stoners didn't honor their stated business hours.
“Call the number—maybe they're not really closed and it just looks closed.” Jenny began to recite the phone number. Stacy dialed, then shifted her body toward me and offered what currently occupies the top spot on my Best Quote of the Year list.
“Aaryn, quick: Google ‘marijuana dispensaries, 92115.'” Dear reader: These women? They are stoners! Stone. Ers. They are Spicoli. They are Cheech and Chong. They are Edina and Patsy! Which is cool if you're them, but unbelievably, infuriatingly un-cool if you're not. To be honest, I wanted to punch both of them in the face.
Instead, I put the kibosh on a subsequent dispensary hunt, grabbed my phone and fired off a text to Gayle.
“these guys r going back to jennys for weed. we're going to be thirty minutes.”
At this point, I couldn't see clearly through the rage in my eyes. There was some discussion about rolling papers. My flaky sitter called, apologizing profusely. And I ended up waiting in a line for will call while the girls worked on what surely had to have been one of the best white buffaloes ever created. Bitches.
I like these women, I do. But I'm too square for such antics. Next time, I'm taking my own car.
Send comments and / or a list of local dispensaries (including business hours) to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Like she did with her friends, she promises never to use your real name when she writes about you.