So last night I had a leadership meeting down on Southside, I am what we call a West End Snob, this means I look down upon the Southside for many different reasons. The number one reason I dislike the Southside though is fear, fear of getting lost. I don’t know the Southside at all, why should I? What does the Southside have that the West End doesn’t? Now South-siders may make the argument that they know the West End, but I don’t feel bad about not knowing the Southside, they don’t really know the West End; they know Short Pump and all the major parts of the West End. They know enough to get around, well; Southside is just too big to know all the major parts of.
A long time ago I was able to help a friend understand why I don’t like Southside when we went to a friend’s house. This friend happened to live in one of the many Southside ghettos. We were hungry so we stopped by the Wendy’s right before we got to her house, we waited in a relatively short line only to come up to a cashier who may not have had all her marbles with her. I ask how she’s doing because I’m a big customer service freak (remember, I used to train teenagers to do this stuff). So she proceeds to tell me all the things she shouldn’t tell me in our customer/employee relationship. Then she hits the wrong button, mumbles some swear words, yells at one of the other workers to come over, and keeps swearing about her mistake. I told her it wasn’t a big deal. Then we finally finish with me and it’s my friend’s turn, pretty much the same thing. We get in the car and I turn to my friend and say, “Welcome to the Southside.” Then we went on to our destination and I was able to relate the story to Rub, who truly thinks I’m a West End Snob, and why shouldn’t I be?
Anyway, back to last night. So I print off the directions to get to the Bishop’s Storehouse from my house. Everything looked pretty easy, relatively few turns involved and not as far away as the drive seems. So I start on my way at 10 to 7, first mistake. If you are ever going anywhere on the Southside you should leave at least 20 minutes if not more, before you have to be there, but hoping traffic would be light, and having my map tell me it’s only a 20 minute drive, I thought I could get there in 10. So I’m driving down Chippenham Parkway and I take the exit for Ironbridge Rd. I look at my map, every other direction had how long I would be on that road in the “miles” measurement. This one however suddenly converted to feet. Feet? How the heck am I supposed to know how far that is? So stupid me, I think possibly they put it in feet because it was so short a distance they couldn’t even put it into miles (475 feet by the way for those of you who are less numerically convertibly challenged than I am). So I’m driving along and I’ve gone quite a ways and I call up Natalie, the RSP, and leave her a distressing voicemail about how I’m not all too surprisingly lost. After I leave the voicemail I turn around, thinking that at 475 feet I’ve already passed my turn. Then Natalie comes back, I’m sticking to my 475 feet idea that the my turn is near the exit I took from Chippenham and I’m asking her if it’s near the shopping center there, she’s never heard of the shopping center (turns out she came from the opposite direction). She tells me it’s on the same road as the Chesterfield Airport….I didn’t know Chesterfield had an airport, much less where it was! She gets one of the volunteers at the Store house to get on the phone and give me directions. The lady asks where I am at, I tell her and then she says, “You want to head East.” Lady, I don’t know my east and west from my north and south. So I tell her, “I don’t know which way is East.” As easily as it was said, it was tough for me to admit. So she finally just tells me to go away from Chippenham, we call that taking a right. So then I drive back in the direction I thought had been wrong. I go past my turning around point and get to the Chesterfield Airport. I take the turn and head down the road (my directions are back to the “miles” measurement at this point). I turn into the building that has the address I’m supposed to be looking for. I pull into a parking spot and look at the door, “LDS Family Services” that’s not the Bishop’s Storehouse. But I get out and walk towards the door anyway; there are a lot of cars in the parking lot. So I walk up to the door and then I feel certain it’s the wrong one. I look around, I see Natalie’s car and console myself that I’m in the right spot. But who isn’t to say that someone else in the world actually drives the same car? So I get in my car, pull out of the spot and go back to the road and follow the sign that had an arrow pointing ahead towards the Bishop’s Warehouse. I follow the signs only to loop around the building and come in on the other side of the parking lot. I look for a spot but it’s pretty packed, I keep driving on and suddenly, I’m parking in the very same spot I had been in only moments before! I get out of the car, wanting to scream and I walk around to the other door. I walk up and through the glass it looks like a little grocery store, that can’t be it, I thought to myself. There are a million doors all the way around this building! So I call Natalie again, she doesn’t pick up, I hang up and am so tempted to throw my phone at the wall, I believe I kept saying, “I hate this place, I hate this place,” and then I took a couple deep breaths, considered signing myself up for some anger management class, and tried the glass door. It opened without a problem, but there was no one around! I saw a clipboard and tried to see if I was supposed to sign in on that, I didn’t; I started to walk through the store, trying to hear people talking so I could find them, but it was so quiet. Finally a lady in a purple sweat suit sees me and comes up, “are you the one I was on the phone with?” That made me feel good, I knew I was in the right place. She pointed me to the room I needed to be in and I sat down. I was in an incredibly horrible mood at first, I was missing institute for this and I couldn’t figure out why I had to come. I calmed down enough until a guy across the aisle was rude to me when I tried to pass him the “attendance” clipboard; he got some ugly thoughts directed at him. I was thinking that the meeting would last an hour and half tops, but as an hour and half trickled past, then an hour and forty-five minutes, I started to get annoyed again.
Suddenly, I see this man two rows up from Natalie and Mary and I think, “From behind that guy looks just like my dad!” and then I realize, it is my dad! So after the meeting I went right up to him and gave him a big hug, so even if I still don’t know why I had to be at that meeting I was sure glad I got to see my dad. I hadn’t realized that it’s been over three weeks since we last saw each other. I was in North Carolina one week, the next week he and my mom were and then this past weekend was Conference and I was going to go over but feel asleep around 5:30 and when I woke up I was cranky, best not to see my Aunt (who for some reason lives at my parent’s house) when I’m cranky, I might tell her how I really feel. Anyway, so the meeting finally ended around 9:30 and it took me half an hour to get back home because I took a way that I thought would be faster. Glad it’s over; I think I’ll tell Natalie I can’t make it to the next one though.
P.S. 475 feet isn't even a quarter mile, heck, it's not even an 1/8 of a mile! (there are 5,280 feet in a mile, I googled it).