Wednesday, 26 October 2016

You Know What They Say About Assumptions, Right?

At some point in the weeks leading up to Burning Man, I gave my cell number to a few people.  One was the fellow who had connected me with the camp and the volunteering, the others were both members of a couple of social media groups I'm part of.

One of the two, a guy, had offered that I could camp near them if I needed to, and the other is a super cool chick that I really wanted to meet.  We'll call her Lacie.

Lacie wasn't arriving til Tuesday at the earliest, but had given me her general landing location.  (Where they were hoping/planning to camp.)  I got a text from Lacie mid-way through my travel week asking me how "my disaster" was going and I told her... disasterously!  But that I was hoping to make it by Tuesday.

Lacie texted me on Monday (yes... this was one of the "things" this week... extra cell towers put in nearby... so.... cell phones on playa.. sigh... I didn't take mine out, but did check it in the mornings to check in with Jason and let him know I was ok, etc.) and asked if I had arrived ok and sent me her camp co-ordinates.  She'd told me to look out for a giant pyramid type shape with their camp name on it and so at some point on Monday night I went to that area looking to see if I could see a pyramid, but no luck.

Tuesday (I think... who knows... let's just go with it k?) as I was running my errands, I stopped by the location where Lacie had said they were.  No pyramid... just some random guys hanging out.   "Can we help you?" they said, in neighbourly fashion.  "Um, sure, is there a Lacie here?"

Nope.... no Lacie, not in any of the camps nearby.  What location was I looking for?  I told them what she'd sent me.  Yep... right there.  I was in the utterly correct spot, but no Lacie.  Oh well.

Wednesday morning, Lacie texted me "are you in your van?"  Yes.  "Can I come there and meet you?"  YES!  Awesome!  I was going to meet in person the sweet, awesome friend I'd made.  Lacie and I had exchanged photos so we both knew who to look out for and I was just getting dressed when there was a knock on my van door.  Yay, Lacie's here!

I gleefully opened the door and looked out at a rather large, bald-ish, bearded man in a dress.  Not.  What I had been expecting.  "Victoria?"  He said.  "Uh... yeah.. hi!"  I said... covering my utter confusion as we exchanged hearty hugs... Who the hell this was and why did he know who I was and how had he found my (admittedly kind of hard to miss) van... who else had I given my camp location to?  Who could this be?  AND WHERE WAS LACIE????

I told him I had to "slip back inside to put on panties" because it was true I had none on yet under my ... whatever I had thrown on... and I grabbed my phone and texted my camp mate friend "I HAVE NO IDEA WHO'S AT MY VAN IF YOU GET THIS HELP!" but I knew it was unlikely he'd get to his messages in time and I took a deep breath, told myself to be a grownup, stepped back outside and said "yeah, so I'm sorry but I have no idea who you are!"

He looked at me... "Victoria, right?"  I nodded... "From (insert social media forum here)?"  I nodded... my brain still frozen in "wha?" mode.  I'm (insert his name here).  OH!

"OH!"  I said.  "YOU!"  And then I gave him a GIANT HUG OF FOR REALS I KNOW YOU NOW.  Because it was the fellow from the other site who'd offered to have me camp near them if I'd needed.  Awesome.  How cool!  Even better in person than what I'd imagined from online!  I told him that I'd forgotten I'd given him my number and that when he'd texted I'd just assumed it was this gal Lacie and so when I opened the door to "not Lacie" my brain froze and my "I'm in a social situation" niceties kicked in.  So, "Hi, nice to actually meet you, I'm so excited!"

And then I put it together even further.  He and his camp mates were the ones I'd talked to the day before.  And *that* was why I hadn't found Lacie in the EXACT location she'd given me... because it was him!  In the exact location... but none of us clued in because... I was looking for Lacie!  Hee!

So, yeah, that was how I met my first new playa friend from this year.


Jason Langlois said...

I am laughing hard at this story, because it feels like something written for a sitcom.

And more cell towers on the playa? What a world we live in.

Victoria said...

I wish someone had recorded what my face must have looked like when I opened the door!

And, well, the cell towers aren't on the playa itself, but the surrounding areas (somewhere) As in, for the three hours heading towards the playa I had no cell service whatsoever, but once I reached a certain closeness... bam... full bars. Sigh. Reverse that on the way out. Sad, strange world sometimes. Money talks... and all that.

Anonymous said...

what a fun mix up, and um, why was he wearing a dress??? - a burning man outfit??

also, can i ask what is playa ???

Jason Langlois said...

From the Burning Man Glossary:

Playa: The Spanish word for beach, also used to describe dry lake beds in the American west such as the Black Rock Desert.

Victoria said...

Solo, he was wearing a dress because, and I quote "they are so damn comfortable I don't want to take it off" And hey, you can at burning man while maybe not so much at your day to day job! :D

And yes, as Jason said, "playa" is the surface of the old lake bed (now desert), and is the technical term ... here are a couple more definitions, glad you asked! :D

- an area of flat, dried-up land, especially a desert basin from which water evaporates quickly.

- Western U.S. the sandy, salty, or mud-caked flat floor of a desert basin having interior drainage, usually occupied by a shallow lake during or after prolonged, heavy rains.

- the flat-floored bottom of an undrained desert basin that becomes at times a shallow lake