Recently, I had an appointment with a lasik surgeon; because nothing says “happy birthday me” like eyeball surgery.
Since I live in farsville nowhere, it took an hour to get to the town where the doctor was, and I had K with me. Forethought is obviously my strong suit.
The doctors office is located in a “plaza” and specifically in “building one”, so my GPS got me there.
As it turns out, “There” is an enormous maze of unnamed and complicated looking buildings with no real structure or organization.
Plus, “There” was the wrong place. In my extensive experience with being lost, (and it is quite extensive) I have found that when street numbers go from 105 straight to 120, and you’re looking for 110…
Fuck it, ask somebody.
And who better to ask than the mail lady?
“Oh, you want plaza one”, she said, waving her hand vaguely to the left.
“It’s that tall building over there behind the Sheraton.”
“Oh, okay!” I said, having no real idea what she was talking about.
A follow up question might have cleared things up for me, but in my vast experience with asking directions after becoming lost (and it is vast), instinct said a follow up would only leave the both of us unfulfilled. So, instead I turned left and hoped that left was the correct way, since she was behind me. After my vigorous affirmation that I had understood her vague directions, had I immediately turned the wrong way… Then I would be a liar AND an idiot. Both were true at that moment, but I really really didn’t want the mail lady to know. Just in case I run into her… Ever. Which will totally never happen.
Inyhoo, left was correct, so I need worry not. I found the Sheraton, as had seventeen thousand other cars. Good thing there were four parking spots.
By this time I was monstrously late. I called the secret Lasik office, told them I was lost, and the man on the other end said I was close. The office was in the completely unmarked and unnamed building just on the other side of the Sheraton. (Like the vague mail lady had said) In fact, I could just park my car in the only space available within one hundred miles of the hotel/lasik surgeon, go in through the Starbucks in front of me, go around to the back of the building and find my doctors office. No problem.
The first problem came upon exit of the car. K was in no mood to screw around. She teetered dangerously on the edge of a tantrum.
“We’re almost there” I lied.
There was a fuzzy Cheerio stuck to her shirt. In slo-mo, It fell to the wet ground, bounced, and came to rest in that crevice just between the curb and the street. You know, the one that gathers a pool of dirt and unmentionable microorganisms so ghastly we won’t even discuss them. We lock eyes.
She knows she’s in the drivers seat on this one. Before my lips could form “Noooooo”, before I could get my hand out of my pocket to stop what I knew to be the inevitable conclusion to this scenario, the Cheerio (honey-nut, of course, so it was sticky) was back in her grubby little paw, where it was immediately shoved into her little pie hole. It was gone before I had even a chance.
Feeling dejected, I trudged on.
As instructed, we went into the building by way of Starbucks, home of the only signage I had seen since our arrival at the multiple plazas.
The Starbucks. Of course the Starbucks.
In we go.
I ask at the Starbucks. They say: “I think you can get around to the back if you go left by the elevators”.
They lie, they lie, and I think they just did it to see me wander around like an asshole. Worse.
K, now entirely against this whole operation, is dangling from my arm like a dead animal. She is screaming alternately “No Docker” and “screw this shit”. Okay, maybe not the last one, but she was still pretty pissed off.
Inside the Sheraton there were several different conferences happening. Every company ever was having some kind of meeting at the Sheraton in their large lovely conference rooms that morning. They all looked businessy too, in their crisp pants suits and ties. I had arrived in a black hoodie featuring peanut butter on the left breast, and my formal yoga pants, the ones without any stains, whilst dragging a screaming child by the hand who had gone to dead weight. I totally fit in.
I asked someone in a tie if he knew where the drs office was. He looked at me like I had sprouted four extra heads. (One of them might have been the peanut butter stain) I found the elevators. Dead end.
I’m positive the Starbucks lady just wanted to see if I’d fall for it.
Ks’ screams were drawing attention from the “paid to be here” crowd. I asked again, this time someone in a Sheraton uniform. I wish I could tell you he was wearing a fez, jauntily askew, but alas…
He did inform me, however, that I’m the only asshole trying to get to a drs office that’s in a whole other building through a hotel.
I ask for new directions.
This is a brief synopsis:
Drag your child back out to the car, open the door. Pry the hands and feet of your screaming child from the door opening and shove her in. Negotiate the removal of her white knuckled hands from the bars of the headrest above her carseat, count to three to get her to sit down. Bribe her with cookies to get her to be still enough to strap her in, and then drive 500 feet, to the other side of the building. There is no possibility of walking, just in case you were tempted. Find a parking spot on the other side of the building, which will be impossible since there are only four parking places for the whole building, and half of the east coast is here. Then pull your screaming child out of the car and go into the entrance on the other side, where you will find no indication of where, of even if, there is a lasik surgeon in the building.
I call the guy in the hidden lasik office again and inquire whether keeping the office a secret is working out for them financially. I also let him know that his prior directions had been oh-so wrong and held the phone to the back seat so he could hear first hand why I would be canceling my appointment and finding a new eyeball surgeon. One that has a sign.