I have a college degree. It really seems like I should be able to manage the comprehension skills required for time zones.

But, oh my great day, if there is one thing that will take me down in this career path, it will be time zones.

Timezone clocks

What the what? When? I’m sorry. CST. EST. MST. ESP. It seems like I never know where I’m supposed to be at what time – two hours ago or from now or yesterday or tomorrow. If you have an appointment with me and we’re not in the same lines of longitude, then it’s fair to assume that I don’t know what time you really plan to talk to me.

I had a national radio interview this week.

You’d think that would be something a girl would keep track of, right? You sure would. And here’s the thing: it was rescheduled because I missed it the first time. A national radio interview! I was handling some kind of emergency with the boys (don’t think hospital; think malfunctioning Wii), and I missed two – not just one, two! – calls from Minnesota.

You can imagine my horror when I checked my voicemail and heard two – not just one, two! – messages from a radio producer. They were all set and ready to record, and the author was nowhere to be found.

Dear Tricia.
It’s a national interview and an epic opportunity. Go ahead and show up.
Love, Yourself

It’s like saying, “The Obamas wanted to stop by, but you know it’s such a bummer – I just couldn’t fit it into the skedge.”

So, take two. Thanks to the grace and masterful scheduling of all the people involved who are not me, I got a second chance yesterday. I set alarms and reminders and flashing lights on my phone: Radio Interview at 1:15.

I neglected to note: CST.

It was Monday, Tyler’s lunch day. I had just picked him up from school, and we were geared up for 40 minutes of noodles and togetherness. And then my phone rang. Caller ID: Minnesota.

(What? I though I had one more hour… Ah! Time Zones! Foiled again! Time Zones, get thee behind me!)

“Oh, Tyler, I’m so sorry, buddy, but I have to take this call.”

“No. Please don’t.”

“Honey, I really need to.”

“No. No! Please don’t answer that phone! This is my time! I am more important!”

And suddenly he was wailing, the phone was ringing, and we were stuck in the car. I had nowhere to go and nowhere to send him. I found myself promising him the world if he would please just be quiet and let me take this oh-so-important phone call.

He sniffled an okay just as I answered the phone and went live to a radio station. And he spent the next 15 minutes climbing over the seats, turning empty bags of dog poop into streamers for some kind of halftime routine, and he even yelled, “Mommy! Someone outside just said that very bad word – f*ck!”

(I agree with you that it would be awesome if he didn’t know that word or its significance. But I had stalled for as many months as I could and finally couldn’t buy anymore time in explaining why we couldn’t play The Name Game with Tucker.)

And so of course he came out with this discovery right that very moment. Of course. In close quarters on record.

All the while, I was fielding questions like, “Tricia, tell us about the day your husband died. What was that like for you? What was your support network like? Where have you seen God in this? What have you learned that you couldn’t have learned any other way? What words do you have for women in crisis?”

And it turns out, this was kind of a preliminary interview to see if I would be a good candidate for a nationwide hour-long call-in show. This was a test of sorts.

They have no idea how much of a test this truly was. I’d say I passed. Nailed it. To the freaking wall. The word ‘aplomb’ comes to mind.

And now I would like to never do that again.

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