Last week, I got a text about a sleepover birthday party for one of Jack’s friends on Saturday night. A night to ourselves without having to pay a babysitter? Hellz yes he would be there! Tyler and I quickly conspired about what we would do. Check out the Wyld Dock Bar? Chow down on crab legs at Love’s Seafood? Maybe zip over to Hilton Head or Bluffton for the eve (just because we could!)? The possibilities were vast and exciting (clearly, we don’t get out much off-island, except for work!).
Saturday arrived and my idiot light for low oil came on (side note, I have had an oil change appointment for about 3 weeks that I had to cancel, then he had to switch, and so on…I swear I’m going this Thursday), so Ty said he would do it before we left to take Jack to his friend’s house. Great teaching moment for Jack on the importance and how-to of car maintenance!
So we popped the hood and Ty put me in charge of holding it up (just in case) while Jack assisted him. He unscrewed the oil cap and poured in the first bottle, noting that a funnel would be handy but he was talented enough to not need one. Halfway through the second bottle, a neighbor pulled up and we all got distracted. Tyler dropped the cap into the sandy soil, cussing and getting oil on his pants; I turned away and the hood came crashing down. Luckily, no one’s fingers were involved, but my car keys had been resting on the edge of the engine. I panicked, trying to get the hood open again from the front, and Ty reassured me that I would need to pull the lever inside the car again. Of course, he was right. No one seemed worse for the wear and we finished our maintenance and were on our way.
I stopped to check the mail on our way off-island and realized that my house key had borne the brunt of the force from the hood slamming down. Ruh-roh. That wasn’t going to work anymore.
Of course, since I was driving, Tyler had left his keys at home. Once upon a time, we had a hide-a-key in the back, but apparently needed it one too many times and forgot to put it back. The empty case was sitting on the table outside the back door!
I called my mom to see if she still had a spare key (chances are, she still has keys to our house in KC and we haven’t lived there in almost a decade!). I could hear her rooting around in her desk and she said she had found some that she wasn’t sure what they went to. I told her we’d be back for them and she promised to keep looking and offer up any other orphan keys.
We dropped Jack at his friend’s house and decided to return to get the house unlocked as it was starting to rain and get dark. We swung by my mom’s place and my stepdad greeted us with two keys that I was 90% sure wouldn’t work. We tried comparing them against my mangled key, but it was a tough call. We got home and sure enough, they were not the right keys.
Fortunately, we found an unlocked window on the first floor* and, with the help of a kayak paddle, were able to get it open about 18″. I grabbed a wrought iron bar stool from the back yard and shimmied up, wondering whether to go in head first or try to go in one leg first. There wasn’t enough room to put one leg in first, so I lurched in head first like a graceful worm (anyone who knows me knows that the word “grace” will never be used to describe anything I do). Mission accomplished!
Once we retrieved Ty’s keys, it was still only about 5:00, so plenty of time to enjoy the night ahead. We decided to go to the mall to get Ty some new shoes (I know, right, so romantic!) and then eat somewhere on that side of town. Driving downtown on auto-pilot, Ty completely missed the turn onto the Truman south, so we decided to jump on 16 and go to the outlet mall in Pooler.
When we arrived and parked, I was impressed that Pooler was getting an Apple store–how had I missed that news? But upon closer inspection, I realized it was just the white apple outline of the stylized new logo for Applebee’s.
We stopped in at Brooks Brothers, a staple in Ty’s sartorial selections, but were quickly turned off by the young hipster sporting head-to-toe BB attire paired with a messy man bun and scruffy beard. The horror!
Our next stop, at the Johnston & Murphy store, we clearly showed our age (and lameness) by commenting on how delightful the service was (someone still gets the shoes for you and does the laces up!**), how hip the music was (70s soft rock that we knew all the words to), and talk of previous (we’re talking decades) J&M shoe styles.
After checking out a few more stores (obligatory visit to Clarks–their shoes are so comfortable!), we decided we were hungry. There’s a ton of “fast casual” places like Panera, Wild Wings, and Cheddars in Pooler, but there’s also a Panda Express right there on the outskirts of the parking lot, and it waaas almost Chinese New Year, so we caved for the sake of convenience (and because we were spoiled by BoLing’s in KC and there is nothing remotely comparable in Savannah). It was a new restaurant, clean and well lit, with an attentive staff and the food presentation made everything look great. They even offered a sample for anything you wanted to try. After gorging ourselves on orange chicken, kung pao chicken, fried rice, and egg rolls, we rolled out and belly-ached about how our bellies literally ached from having eaten so much.
Drinks at a hip bar en route home? No way…the couch was definitely calling our names. We queued up San Andreas on-demand and snuggled in. Around 10 pm, Jack called to say he wanted to come home, so we headed out again, happy to have skipped a crazy night and been available for him when he needed us most.
*It’s locked now, so don’t think you can come break in or anything.
**My mom said she was in an Atlanta mall before Christmas and the department store shoe department actually gave you a pager to let you know when someone was free to help you.