October 14, 2011 by Kat Richter
Unbeknownst to me, there are three separate establishments bearing the address “312 Haddon Ave” and only one of these is the restaurant where I’m supposed to meet The Wedding Date for dinner. Ordinarily I wouldn’t care about the numerical incongruities of some New Jersey suburb but seeing as I’m already running late, this is a problem.
Why am I running late? Well, I had a bit of a wardrobe crisis. I’d planned to wear my purple empire waist top—the one with the sweetheart neckline that I was wearing when I met senior year boyfriend back in college—and I’d even painted my nails to match but lo and behold, the top was nowhere to be found.
This prompted a frantic search through my mother’s closet, not because I thought she’d taken it but because I needed a replacement, fast, but she’s recently rearranged her drawers and I couldn’t find a thing to my liking.
After much rummaging and flinging of bras, I settled on the black sleeveless blouse I bought to wear to my grandfather’s funeral three summer’s back; fortunately it’s a bit sexier than your average mourning outfit (and no, I didn’t actually end up wearing it to the funeral just in case you were wondering).
By the time I finished my hair and slapped on some mascara I was about seven minutes behind schedule. Not bad, until you take my newly developed propensity for navigational crises into account.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days. I used to have a great sense of direction. I mean, I’ve backpacked all across Europe and I’ve never gotten lost. Not seriously lost anyway, aside from that time in Sevilla when I decided to go for a “short walk” one morning and figured I’d just followed the remains of the medieval wall that once surrounded the city… (In my defense, there’s not a right angle in the entire region of Andalusia, except for the Moorish establishments, and I would have been fine if I’d thought to bring a map.)
I’ve navigated more foreign cities than most people twice my age and my room is decorated with maps but lately, I seem to be losing my touch. My attempts to locate 312 Haddon Ave., therefore, were about as fruitful as my attempts to return to my apartment in Sevilla after three hours of aimless wandering.
I call The Wedding Date fifteen minutes before we’re supposed to meet to tell him the bad news: Hey, it’s me. I’m slightly… lost. He laughs and tells me, “That’s okay, because I’m slightly stuck in traffic.”
Three hours, an entire meal and two Turkish coffees later, he kindly informs me that Route 70 is literally five minutes away and suggests I follow him.
I stare at him blankly.
“Route 70?” he prompts. “Which leads directly into Route 30?”
I’m still not getting it.
“Route 30 takes you directly to the Ben Franklin Bridge. Didn’t you take the Ben Franklin Bridge to get here?”
Finally a light bulb goes off. “Yes! I did!”
(On an unrelated note, The Wedding Date also took the Ben Franklin Bridge to get home from our first date… I told him he could get to it via Route 76… this, it turns out, is not true.)
“Why don’t you follow me?” he suggests again.
“But don’t you have to go the other way?”
“Yes, so when we get to 70, you follow the signs for Route 70 west.”
It takes me a few moments to wrap my head around the fact that an east coast state like Pennsylvania is actually west of New Jersey, but eventually it sinks in and I make it home safe and sound.
What happened in the interval? Well, you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow for that.
Happy Friday, everyone