(He looks innocent enough…doesn’t he? Don’t believe it. He’ll call the cops on me, in a heartbeat.)
There’s a spot right outside Greenlife Grocery Store, in Asheville, that’s marked forever, due to me. It happened a year ago, on the night of the Oscars, when a group of us got together for a party.
My best bud, Cynthia, and I decided to meet at a grocery store parking lot and then go to a fringe region of Asheville where another friend was hosting an Oscar Party.
We took her car and stashed mine, in that lot, where I’d pick it up later. The plan seemed a good one.
Well, for the next several hours, we whooped it up, hysterically-laughing, voting Siskel and Ebert style for the Best Actor, Best Movie…whatever. We even cast votes on paper ballots the hostess provided.
Apparently, during the course of the evening, my cell phone rang twice, but I never heard it…Too much going on. We tend to be a frenzied group.
Anyway, we said our “Goodnights” and proceeded to go home. Cynthia dropped me off, and I then took my own car, for the last leg. Since I was 15 minutes away, I decided to call my husband, suspecting he was probably asleep on the couch.
But that was So-Not-the-Case.
The voice that met me on the other end sounded frantic. “Where are you?” he said.
I replied, “What do you mean, where am I? I’m in my car heading home.”
Then, he added: “Well, I’ve got the police here and I’ve just filed a Missing Person Report.”
I thought he was kidding, until he put an officer on. “Ma’am,” said she…”Are you all right?”
I answered, “Yes, of course…What’s the problem?”
Her reply: “Well, when your husband tried to reach you twice, he got worried, and called us. He apparently feared you’d gone off-road, ending up in a ditch. We’re in your kitchen right now.”
Mortified, I told them I’d be right there.
I then called my friend who was somewhere, in her car, behind me. When I told her what happened, Cynthia said, “Oh, yes, I saw two police cars tailing you (OJ-Bronco-Chase -style) as you left the parking lot.” “I wondered what was up.”
It wasn’t bad enough that my husband called Weaverville Police (we live in Weaverville), but apparently that department contacted Buncombe County Police. Now, the whole regional force was looking for me!!!
I know that because I next got a call from the Buncombe County dispatch officer who asked: “Ma’am, are you all right?”
I want to say “No…I’m not all right. In a panic, my crazy husband directed police everywhere to find me… all because I somehow missed the magical curfew he created in his head.”
More insane than that: They all did it.
The real irony: In any other town/city across America, a person must be missing two whole days before officials do anything. But not in Asheville.
Be forewarned and check in with your husband, if you’re out later than expected (they get into real trouble if they’re left alone too long.)
***Here’s my Best Asheville Bud and apparently Partner in Crime, Cynthia….Doesn’t look like a felon…now does she? But we do believe the “Do Not Park for More Than Two Hours,” outside Greenlife, is because of us.