In a stellar BuyWithMe deal, I found tickets to a magic show for a certain husband's birthday. Now, said husband has wanted to go to a magic show FOREVER, and these steeply discounted tickets landed in my lap. And I was overjoyed. I was overjoyed in secret for several months, and then I FINALLY told Justin, as it had transformed into (one of) his birthday present(s) (how this became Year of the Justin, I have no idea. Between Jim Gaffigan and this magic show, coworker lunch AND surprise friend lunch at Buca di Beppo, this birthday season has been celebrated extensively.). So the Races have been extremely excited, together, for a couple of weeks leading up to the actual Magic Show Night. We leave ridiculously early due to my fear of finding the hotel and getting good seats. We trek downtown in rush hour. We make it to the swank hotel to find Glenn Gary's showroom. The staff doesn't appear to know what we're talking about. Then other staff murmur something about how they hadn't seen him today; yes, we're in the right place; yes, he's usually here Wednesdays and Fridays -- oh, is it Friday already? -- hold on, let us get the manager. The manager verifies what has become increasingly apparent: No Glenn Gary tonight. We sadly stumble downstairs, bumble through an explanation of why we don't need a refund, yes, we'll call for future Wednesdays and Fridays to make sure he's there and reserve a spot. SIGH.
Other disappointments were far sillier, like walking the mile and change to the ATM only to see that the lines were too long for us to wait before turning around so I could drive to the animal shelter. Or that our mini-golf outing was less putt-putt and more wait-wait. Or that Largo Capital Centre Boulevard is actually a super lame excuse for an outdoor mall, or that Golden Corral is not only really expensive but also shrewdly in charge of all your drinks, severely dampening the buffet experience. Or that no one at CVS knew how to handle my raincheck for a free box of self-sealing envelopes. Or that the DuPont Farmer's Market was, unbelievably, still overcrowded and still overpriced. But they were still disappointments, and even though I was with my adoring husband, I still felt them more deeply as they progressed. I tried to remember to be peaceful. I was successful at times.
But then. But then! We're walking through DuPont to kill some time before our 1 pm Buca lunch. And there, there before my very eyes! is a group of friendly-looking Indians, apparently from Karma Kitchen, exploring new outreach adventures while their restaurant was under renovation. They have a table filled with paper bags (that, it turns out, are filled with bags of chips and granola bars) and bottled water, all free for the taking, asking only a smile in return. I see a cardboard sign leaning against their info board. COULD IT BE?! IT COULD!! There it was, spray painted in its dripping glory, "FREE HUGS." I nearly bulldozed the girl holding one of the signs, and got my own free hug, and apparently begged with my extremely eager face to hold the other sign. I had about ten glorious minutes to be part of a Free Hugs site. I got some funny looks, some skepticism, some smiles, and some free hugs. Thank you! they would exclaim. No, thank YOU! Have a fantastic day! I would answer. I got complimented on my hug. I hugged a small child. I was basically Juan Mann. It is all downhill from here.
In other news, am also still trying half-heartedly to find a bike. A used bike. A cool bike. Craigslist is slow and ironically way too serious for what I'm thinking, and (speaking of disappointments) some guys who always go to Georgetown Flea Market to sell bikes weren't there last week due to ridiculous heat. Here is me in Baltimore (speaking of disappointments), on the day we didn't know that the Twins/Orioles game was moved back three hours, trying to ride a statue bike. I am not getting very far.