I typed a text that we could have it at my house and had just hit 'send' when I glanced at my watch and realized it was starting in 45 minutes. Once I removed the brown paper bag from my face I told myself it would be ok and my house could pass for clean as long as no one turned on the lights or used the bathroom.
"I wonder what kind of kid-friendly snack I can make out of Chex Mix and blue cheese?" I thought as I turned my walk into a run, clutching my chest with one hand and pushing a double stroller up a hill with the other.
It was only me and two other Moms - my Fussy Friend Stacey and her next door neighbor, Andi. Somehow Andi and I were talking about where I used to live, and we discovered that Nick and I lived next door to Andi and her husband a few years ago when we lived in a condo.
Andi: What number did you live in?
Andi: NO WAY! We lived in 1664!
Me: Wow... what a coincidence!
Andi: What a small world! *Furrows brow and looks pensively at sky, eyes light up as she suddenly remembers something* Wait a minute. Did you have a cat that got out once?
Me: No, well unless you count that one time he fell 30 feet off the deck.
Andi: Are you SURE you didn't have a cat that got out? Maybe when someone showed up at 5am to ask you to turn the music down?
I looked again at her face and my mind flashed back five years ago to when I had employed a new tactic of pumping myself up for work by listening to hair metal full throttle on my sound system. I would do high knees and shadow box in front of my full-length mirror yelling things at my reflection like "DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'!" and "YOUTH GONE WILD!"
Nick was actually the one who encouraged this ritual; when I told him I thought the music was too loud and the neighbors could hear he pointed out that we've never heard anything come from their side of the wall so the walls must be sound proof.
I know now that was because they were just good neighbors.
Well, one day I had a really big and important meeting and I needed to really hair it up to go the distance. I was just finding my groove when I heard a knock at the door.
Me: Nick! Someone's at the door!
Nick: Well answer it!
Me: I can't! I'm naked! I can't do high knees with clothes on!
He walked downstairs while I grabbed my robe and hid behind a plant at the top of the stairs. I knew I was in big trouble.
He opened the door to a bleary-eyed woman in her bathrobe as well, who politely asked us to turn down the music. It was 5am, after all. Just as she finished her sentence our cat made a mad dash out the door, discovered it was raining, turned around and bolted back in and Nick slammed the door in her face.
We just stood there and looked at each other for a second, knowing that girl just got a face full of knocker.
Me: Open the door and apologize!
Nick: Nah, we'll never see her again.
And we didn't. Oh, wait, that is until that one time our kids are in a play group together every week and I've been busting my ass trying to play it cool to get the other Moms to like me.
The good news is that she told me that we left an apology letter in her mailbox. Which I have no recollection of but I'm taking her word for it.
Well, all's well that ends well at least that's where the story ends.
Oh wait, except for the part about how I found out she's married to the son of Nick's mentor... his old boss... the man personally responsible for Nick's entire career.