There’s this song by Bowling for Soup called ‘Almost’–some of the lines are pretty great:

I almost got drunk at school at thirteen
And I almost got lucky with the homecoming queen
Who almost went off to be Miss Texas
But she lost with a slut with much bigger breast-as
And I al-most had you…

But we’ll get back to that.

Anyway, today we were going to the Maker Faire in San Mateo–it’s about 120 miles away, and we gave ourselves 2 1/2 hours. It could have been something that just Chicken and I did–and then we would have left at 7:30, and given ourself 3 1/2 hours, but it looked like a lot of fun could be had by all, so Mate and I packed most of the famn damily (T stayed at home), and left at 8:30 instead.

Now, the event that I most wanted to attend was at 11:00 am, but there was another event at 12:00 a.m. that would have made up for it if we’d missed the first one–and we were going to make it! We were–we were 5 minutes away from the San Mateo fair grounds at 10:40 am… and that’s when traffic ground to a halt and our car didn’t move for 45 minutes.

The short people went insane. We were just sitting there. On the freeway. “Move move move!!!” Both of them, shouting and screaming and losing their little baby nuts because, damn it, they’d been in the fucking car for 2 1/2 going on 3 hours and…and…

And I had to reassess my obsession.

Now, considering how very badly I wanted to attend that event, my next words to Mate were pretty fucking heroic: “So, uhm, do you just want to cut our losses, get out of this mess and find the off-ramp to turn around and go to the San Francisco Zoo?”

And so we did. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the zoo–and once we told the short people where we were going, there was a lot of laughing instead of screeching, so that was good. It was worth it. It was worth it when we had to buy defective diapers at two bucks a pop (that’s two bucks A DIAPER) because we forgot the change of clothes backpack at home, and it was worth it when Mate kept getting us lost on the quest for the tiger cage. (The Cave Troll distinguished himself in “Woman of the House” bitchiness here–“DAAAA–AAAAD… You got us lost a-GAIN, and now we have to find ANOTHER MAP!!!” The little man nags better than I ever have, I assure you!) It was worth it when Ladybug insisted on riding on our shoulders (have I mentioned I have neck problems on occasion? OU-UCH.) It was worth it when the Cave Troll dragged me into the umpteenth souvenir shop, looking for THE perfect stuffed toy. It was especially worth it when our lovely and materialistic little Chicken proclaimed rather sententiously that “We’re going to have to fix him, mom, he’s totally obsessed with toys!” (Mate and I almost wet ourselves laughing at that one!) And, it was worth it when we took them to a strangely still and silent black beach and threw abnormally shiny rocks into a sterile ocean. (Oil spill about six months ago…there were no birds, and it was horror-movie creepy that way, but the kids didn’t notice and they had a good time.) It was worth it when we got Ladybug an Ooh-Ahh (stuffed monkey–and yes, she really calls them that and it’s so cute that we’d all go without meals just to give her a damned stuff monkey and have her call it an Ooh-Ahh!) and she played with it while sitting on Chicken’s shoulders, and I said, “Look–you’ve got two monkeys in your hair!”

It was even worth it as we tooled around the city–the Polk Street Market, specifically, which was a tremendous experience in eclectic people watching , and then the Embarcadero which had a cruise ship as big as a city in the dock, which was also tremendous– looking for the freeway, with mom hoping to find some random yarn store to make up for the event that she missed.

Alas, it was not to be, but then, we probably almost passed one and didn’t see it.

So all in all, it was a really good day, and probably worth all the ‘almosts’ on the planet. Still, and as much fun as we had, I can’t deny, I’m a little depressed we didn’t end up at the Maker Faire. I wonder if my unwillingness to sacrifice my family’s happiness isn’t some sort of defect in me, you know? I mean, if I can’t make them sacrifice a little for this one thing that I’ve coveted for three years, how am I supposed to be a driven artist? How am I supposed to spill the blood that’s going to get me into mainstream publishing? How am I supposed to be a strong, badly behaved woman? (Because the well-behaved ones don’t make history, right?)

I don’t know. I know I had a good time, and I wouldn’t change this day for anything.

And I also know that I really wanted to go.

You all know what event I ‘almost’ got to see, don’t you?

Yeah. I thought you did.

0 thoughts on “Almost…”

  1. Donna Lee says:

    So sorry you missed the harlot. Look in the dictionary and under mom find the word “sacrifice”. The kids will remember it as a good day and in their memoirs you’ll be a hero instead of a shrew. Joan Crawford, anyone?

  2. roxie says:

    Oh. My. God. You are a freaking, self-sacrificing hero! If your family ever starts to starve to death, I fully expect you to make them some stew from a chunk of your left thigh. You passed on seeing the Harlot? You passed on going to the Maker Faire? And you know your family will never truely appreciate how much you have done for them. I am so proud of you for doing that and even more so for enjoying the day after you made your sacrifice! Proud, proud, proud! I would have sulked for the rest of the month. It was an inspired solution and a wonderful thing to do, but oh, my heart bleeds for you!

  3. Galad says:

    Glad to hear you had a good day with the family despite having to give up your dream. Those events do sometimes become special memories, revisited in family stories for many years to come.

  4. gemma says:

    The squibs grow up far too fast, as you have no doubt realised by now. Hugs, gem

  5. Siercia says:

    Oh, how disappointing!

    I had to just miss her when she was at Webs last weekend for much the same reason – it was my little one’s birthday, and there are some sacrifices not worth making. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t disappointed, though!

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