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The Flu, Winter Formal, Dumpster Diving and the NBA All Star Weekend

by Ilana Angel

February 21, 2011 | 8:47 am

I have been sick for over a week.  I convinced myself that it was just a bug and would come and go quickly, but it’s been lingering forever and so I must just admit that I got the flu.  Having the flu is horrible, but having it when you are a single parent and self-employed, is a nightmare.

If you don’t go to work, you don’t get paid, so you go to work.  You can’t tell your husband to make dinner, or help with the house and kids, because it’s just you.  So, you suck it up, order in a lot, stay in bed, and tell your kid to hold his breathe when you hug him and send him off to school.

I finally started to feel better this weekend and it was just in time as this weekend my son went to a Winter Formal.  It was his first high school formal dance and while he was really excited to go, I about lost my mind.  It was so much fun to take him shopping for an outfit and a corsage.

He chose his own look and it was gorgeous.  He selected the corsage for his date and it was perfect.  I took him to get a haircut and he was so handsome I almost busted.  I am in love with this boy and as he gets older I miss my baby, but am insanely proud of the man he is becoming.

After we ran all our big day errands, I took him out for lunch and we had a really wonderful time.  He is great company and our relationship has turned into a friendship and connection that I never dreamed could be so great.  It was a wonderful afternoon to mark a very special night.

We went home and I ironed his clothes, he shaved, took a shower, and all was well as we were on schedule.  He was in his room getting dressed when he came out in shorts and a t-shirt and asked me what I did with his dance tickets.  I told him I would find them and not to worry.

Cut to ten minutes later and I cannot find the tickets.  He hung onto them safely for over a week but the moment he gave them to me for safekeeping, I lost them.  I looked everywhere and was totally freaking out that they were missing.  My son was calm and never got frazzled.

We thought about when we had them last and it turned out there was a slight possibility that I had thrown them away.  Normally that would not be a reason to panic, but I had already thrown the trash out which meant it went down the shoot and was in the dumpster.  Oh.  My.  God.

My son was amazing.  He went downstairs to check out the situation and told me to not worry.  He did not want me to come with him, simply went downstairs and told me to wait.  He came back ten minutes later with the tickets in his hand.  Both the tickets and my boy were rather gross.

He was covered in crap, had banana all over his shoes, and had an expression that let me know he was not amused.  He handed me the tickets and went to take a shower.  Again.  Before he showered for the second time he shared his dumpster diving on Facebook.

That he would tell his friends about his pre-dance excitement let me know he saw the humor in it.  He is a great kid and while he certainly did not blame me for throwing the tickets away, I am certain I will be paying for that mistake for a long time to come.  He’s going to hang onto that one.

I can jump ahead in my mind to a year from now, when he asks to borrow the car, I tell him no, and he says, “Remember my first ever Winter Formal and you threw my tickets away and I had to dive into the dumpster to get them?”  He will get the keys every time he reminds me.

We headed to the dance with his date and her mom.  Two of my favorite people.  She looked gorgeous and us moms planned to go out for dinner.  A few of the moms decided we would rendezvous after drop off and have a drink.  A great idea in theory but there were issues.

It was pouring rain.  Seriously pouring rain.  It was also the NBA All Star Weekend in Los Angeles.  Not good.  We were headed to LA Live, which is by The Staples Center, and by the time we realized what was happening it was too late and we were stuck.

It took 40 minutes to drive a mile and we could not even turn around, as it would have taken another hour, and every parking lot was full.  We somehow ended up at an open lot that was pre-paid parking for people at the game.  It was the VIP lot and we wanted in.

We asked an attendant if we could get in.  We were funny and charming and he waved us ahead and said to go down the ramp and see the supervisor.  We were so excited to have made it through the first check point and we headed in.

When we got down the ramp it was over.  The lady at the second stop did not think we were charming.  She told us tickets were $30, had been pre-paid online, and the lot was full.  She instructed us to leave immediately and let everyone know we needed to go.

As we drove out, every worker we passed looked at us with disgust for trying to crash the lot and told us to keep moving.  When we got the exit we noticed there were a ton of spots available.  They totally could have sold us a spot, but instead decided to send us back out into the madness.

Maybe it was our frustration, or the pride we were feeling for our kids, or because we were a bunch of moms who were excited to have a night out, that we could not go.  We were so close to a bar that had drinks with our names on them, we just could not bring ourselves to leave.

We pulled into a spot, got out of the car, and went into secret agent mode as we made our way out of the lot and into the All Star craziness.  We totally crashed the lot and if we felt bad about it, we let that all go when we took the first sip of our fancy rum drinks at Trader Vic’s.

We drank, ate, and for an hour, forget about the pouring rain, impossible traffic, and the fact that we broke the law by stealing a VIP parking space.  We had a lovely time and made it back to the kids right on time.  From dumpster diving to illegal parking, good times people.

Sidebar:  The four of us walking to the car after our drinks, was hilarious.  We were certain the car would be gone, or booted, and cops would be waiting for us.  We were freaked out and when we finally made it to the car and were safely out, it was as we just escaped from prison.

I am finally feeling better and think the flu has passed.  The kids had a great time at the dance and memories were made.  My son guaranteed his getting the car for at least 6 months, and it has finally stopped raining. Happy President’s Day.  Enjoy the holiday and remember to keep the faith.

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