Chasing Cars

Late last year, Husband had to go in to work early on a Saturday. That, in and of itself, wasn’t such a big deal; it happens a lot because of what he does, and it usually means I get a day to watch my very own “Law and Order” marathon and bake delicious things. But this particular Saturday also included a work Christmas party mid-day (it was the lamest party I’ve ever attended in my life so frankly that was something of a low point), which I needed to be at, and we agreed that our best option was to have him drop me off at Temple Square in Salt Lake City to kill time. He’d pick me up after he was finished working and then we’d go to that work party together, hand in hand.

It was a pretty flawless plan.

One thing happened that morning, however, that set an entire debacle into motion. As soon as I closed the passenger door of our car, right after saying goodbye and grabbing my temple bag (I’m Mormon, I go to the temple, it requires a bag), and leaving the door open just long enough to fog up all the tinted windows, I closed it, turned around, and promptly realized I didn’t have my purse (that had in it my cell phone, my wallet, and that special little temple recommend that would get me into the temple).

It didn’t seem like such a big deal at the onset of realization; Husband was still there at the stop light, so I turned back around and started waving my arms around, only to see him turn onto the adjacent street. Good thing he’s not a pilot because there’s entirely the possibility he’ll ignore the air traffic controllers, too. We’ll never know. I figured there was no way he couldn’t have seen me waving my arms around and assumed he was going to pull off to the side of the street and wait for me to get there, but it took him continuing on for me to realize he in fact had not seen me jumping around like a crazy person and I needed to catch up. At this point, I started talking to myself, like maybe I was narrating this tragic event taking place in my life. Because you never really know when you’re actually starring in a reality television show due to a writer’s strike.

It was 7:00 am, pitch black outside, just me, my temple bag, and early morning construction workers. So I did the only thing that made sense — I hauled butt down the sidewalk. I’ve got to say that in all my years of avoiding any physical…anything, I really impressed with my sprint in below freezing weather, a knee-length pencil skirt, and ballet flats. It should also be mentioned here that Utah blocks are about three times as long as regular city blocks (thanks for that one, Brother Brigham), so when I say I ran about a block before giving up, it’s a lot less pathetic than it sounds.

Photo courtesy of

Husband never saw me, not once. He just kept driving along, going through green lights like I wasn’t trying to catch up. And so, about a block and a half later, I gave up, screaming at some construction workers for a cell phone. I called Husband, telling him the situation, and gave him my exact location as I heard the phone disconnect.

I probably should have called him back, but I assumed when he heard I’d been following him the entire time that he should just turn around and follow his original trail. But when a few minutes passed and he never showed up, it occurred to me that I should a) never assume anything about Husband at 7:00 in the morning and b) he probably went back to where he originally dropped me off. I trudged, literally, up the sidewalk and was about 25% of the way back to where I’d began, when I saw the car drive off. I wasn’t willing to run again, so I did the next thing that made sense.

I began to cry quietly, demurely, so as to not bother anyone really loudly, sobbing, snot-nosed, and muttering all along, “Whaddo I dooooooooo???” I just didn’t care who saw/heard me. In fact, there was a part of me that thought someone would hear it and feel particularly charitable, but I walked by one homeless man who didn’t look as though he was in the mood to help a sister out.

In the end, things worked out fine. I got into the temple (they don’t just let anyone in, but after calling my bishop to confirm I was a-okay, and noting my tear-streaked face, also my small hysterical breakdown, and the fact that I was otherwise a harmless seeming individual, I was admitted in), called Husband from a phone in the operator’s office, and was able to kill the next four hours in Temple Square before he came to pick me up. I didn’t die — not once — no one scary attacked me, and I proved to myself that, in the face of extreme danger not having a cell phone, I can sprint like an Olympian.

The Low Point

The best part of this entire experience was finding my purse on the trunk in our bedroom, just sitting there, smugly. Jerk. It’s safe to say that I will never forget my purse ever again. Ever.


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