Friday, my mother and I headed out to visit my cousin, who lives about for hours away. (Plus traffic. Plus A LOT of traffic.) After this seemingly endless trip (I hate car trips. They make me feel just sleepy enough to be useless, but not tired enough to sleep, so basically I just stare out the window and drool all over the seat) we arrived at her apartment, only to find she was out.
At this point, you're probably thinking- why not just call her? The answer is simple. Unlike every other person in the developed world, we have no cellphone. (I've actually never texted. Isn't that sad? What kind of teenage girl isn't glued to her phone?) We were thus forced to stake out her apartment with no clear idea of when she'd be back.
Plus, she'd mentioned fabric shopping.
The women in my family have a tendency to get stuck in a fabric store as though it's quicksand. (I am proud to be the exception to this rule. It's the one time I can sympathise with my father's impatience about shopping.) They can wander around for hours, marvelling at patterns and colours and ribbons... that all look exactly the same to me. With this kind of pattern, I was worried she might not even be back until morning. (Who knows? Maybe she'd be so far hidden under a mountain of purchases that the security guards wouldn't see her, and would lock her in.)
Now, we did have plenty of books (a staple for car rides- actually, just a staple, period) but there's only so long you can sit in a car without getting the kind of cramps that indicate leg amputation will soon be necessary. Plus, I was worried someone was going to report us to the police. (I suppose staring at someone's door with binoculars does look a little suspicious.) Finally, we decided to go knock on her landlord's door and ask him to let us in- we'd been there before, so there was a chance he might recognise us.
A chance was not enough. He met us at the door with a glare (apparently having taken offence to our hour's creeping of his house... I wonder what he was doing that he didn't want us to see?) and didn't even give us a chance to speak before slamming the door in our noses. (I barely managed to move my toes in time.) We were forced to sit around for another hour (note to self: never eat garlic bread in the car) until my cousin finally got home... and laughed at us.
Next on the agenda: learn how to pick locks.