I had a great date today. We went to Napa for the afternoon and had lunch at a fabulous restaurant, Tra Vigne. We drank Prosecco and ate pizza with goat cheese and figs. Had good conversation. Laughed a lot. Enjoyed perfect October weather. Left the reality of Sacramento and single parenting for a few hours (we are both single parents to small children).
Fast forward to the return trip home. Bad timing and traffic jams on 80 resulted in some last minute plan changes. I canceled my Thursday night clients. My date stopped to pick up his daughter before dropping me off, instead of after, as planned. No big deal with the child; we've met before and she's young enough (3) to believe that I'm just a work friend.
Things were rolling along just fine. The 3-year-old played with my Blackberry and told me about her birthday plans. We stopped at Rite Aid so that my date could get some Bendadryl for her. She and I hung out in the backseat, looking at pictures of Molly and Ben on my phone.
Then we pulled into my driveway. Meeting my mom seemed like a natural way to end the date (we had the 3-year-old in tow, so things had to stay pretty innocent anyway). The three of us walked up to the front door and as I was pulling out my house key, I caught the stench of something burning. Badly. And then the unmistakable sound of my house alarm going off. Loudly. Relentlessly.
Convinced that one of my mom's Halloween candles had ignited one of her goblins, spider webs, or other Halloween crap, (I do mean "decorations"), I threw open the door and ran in.
Fortunately, the house was intact and the item that was causing the horrible burning smell and the ruckus was none other than a scorched Marie Callendar's chicken pot pie. But, of course.
Mom, meet my date. I'll be back in the bedroom, dying a slow death of embarrassment and pondering how life can take you from a lovely lunch in the Napa Valley to burned chicken pot pie in the mere course of just a few hours.