The National Symphony Orchestra is playing tonight at the USC Convocation Center in Aiken.
They only travel to one city each year. This year they happened to pick a city in my area. When I first heard about it I was so excited that I leveraged my media contacts to get myself a pre-sale password. I bought two extremely good seats.
For weeks I looked forward to the concert, gazing fondly at the pink tickets that had arrived in the mail and sat waiting for that fateful day atop my desk.
Those tickets are in my purse right now.
For the past several days, I’ve bragged to friends and coworkers alike that I was going. I was so excited I couldn’t hold it in.
So why, pray tell, am I not there, taking advantage of what might very possibly be a once in a lifetime chance to hear the official symphony orchestra of the United States of America in person?
You want to know? It’s a really, really stupid reason.
I couldn’t find the place.
Matter of fact, I couldn’t even find the city of Aiken.
It’s all my own fault. I’ve only been to Aiken once before, and I’ve never been to the Convocation Center. I should have gone up there to find my way sometime before tonight. Or I should have gotten good directions from someone.
As it was, I was following my Google Maps printout when all of a sudden I hit a detour somewhere around Graniteville, and after that I was nothing but royally screwed. I couldn’t find the next road. I actually passed a sign with the highway number on it, but there was no arrow or anything letting me know if I was on the highway or if I needed to turn somewhere. I kept going straight, and to tell you the truth I have no idea where I ended up. I do know that when I turned back around and stayed on that same road, I ended up in familiar territory…back in North Augusta, just as the concert was scheduled to start at 7:30.
The whole experience was so humiliating and frustrating that I just want to curl up and die.
But I’m having friends over tomorrow, and there are chores to be done. Maybe I can just pretend it was meant to be, so that I would have time to prepare for company.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t make me feel any less stupid.