We were supposed to have a family meeting today. By 'we' I mean my extended family. The meeting was to take place at a relative's house located about 75 miles from my house. All week I had planned to go and another relative asked if she could ride with me. I agreed.
Then today, I woke up and the weather was bad. The Hubs said we shouldn't go. But then he annoyed me and I thought it would be a good idea to go and leave him and the children at home.
So, at the last minute I called my cousin Dee and confirmed that we were going, that I was leaving a little late and I would call her when I was close to her house.
But then I got in the car and saw the low fog that was hanging, the rain and the traffic. And I thought about having to drive all the way there and getting there late and then having to drive all the way back. I thought about spending three hours traveling for a one hour meeting and how I really didn't feel like going. I looked at the little sticker in the upper left hand corner of my windshield and, comparing the figure with my odometer, I realized that I'm nearly fifteen hundred miles overdue for an oil change. I listened to the squeal of my brakes as I approached a traffic light. I felt an overwhelming urge to do what I said I was going to do, what I was expected to do and what I had confirmed I would do not even twenty minutes earlier.......and I really, really, really didn't want to . So I hedged....I called Dee and asked if we could conference in to the family meeting. I told her that I didn't realize the traffic conditions until I got in the car and I really didn't feel comfortable driving all that way considering both my cars ailments and the rain slicked roads.
She was......not very understanding. And I see her perspective. As it turns out, other family members had canceled earlier and if she had known that I was not going to make it, she would have simply canceled the meeting altogether. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until after she talked to me and I confirmed that we were going that she let the host family know that the meeting was still on. She told me that the hostess had already spent more than a hundred dollars buying refreshments for a family meeting that was now canceled at the last minute.
I felt awful.
She went on to say that she had done a lot of research in preparation for the family meeting....had printed out information....in color, and it wasn't feasible to try to conference in.
She ended by saying that it was simply too much trouble for her to try and cajole the family into meeting every month and she wasn't doing it anymore. She hung up without saying goodbye.
As it were, I just so happened to be passing a shopping center that I used to frequent. I turned in and headed straight for a little coffee shop that I knew had WiFi. I ordered a tall hot chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie and promptly planted myself in a booth near an outlet. I didn't tell the Hubs that I decided against the meeting. I just plopped myself down with my laptop and a book and snatched a comfortable, self-indulgent day from the jaws of obligation. I've been here for nearly four hours.
I totally suck, right?