I had planned to hitch a ride down to Santa Barbara with my friend Paree and meet up with another gardening fanatic friend, Jennifer, to tour Lotusland. The day before I left, I called Lotusland to make a tour reservation. The phone call went something like this:
Unknown Garden Docent or vagrant sleeping next to phone: “Hello, Lotusland.”
Garden Vagrant: “Oh, sorry you can’t.”
Me: “I can’t what?”
Vagrant: “You can’t make reservations.”
Me: “Why can’t I make reservation?”
Vagrant: “Cause we are booked.”
Me: “Well what about for Wednesday?”
Vagrant: “Oh no, not on Wednesday either.”
Me: “Well when can I make reservations?”
Vagrant: “We are booked until the end of the season. We will open again in February.”
Me: “February? I wont be here in February. Is there a waiting list I can get on in case someone cancels?”
Vagrant: “Oh no, we have a limited use license because we are in a residential neighborhood.”
Me: “Why does that stop you from having a waiting list?”
Vagrant: “Well because we have a limited use license.”
Vagrant: “You have to call back in February to make a reservation.”
Me: “ So There is nothing you can do to get me in to see Lotusland this week.”
Me: “So that’s it then”
I had the strange feeling that I was interrupting her favorite morning show, like “My Strange Addiction,” or “Here Comes Honey BooBoo.” Or maybe she had just pulled a fresh, gooey Cinnabon out of the microwave, and was just getting ready to wash it down with a hot cup of Folgers.
She is probably a docent who has never been paid, who harbors some weird hatred toward tourists. Whatever her story was, she wasn’t the least bit interested in helping me (or anyone) gain entrance to Lotusland.
So I had to put my dream aside, and content myself with making up stories about the creepy, unhelpful woman on the other end of the phone.
My girlfriend had a much healthier attitude about the whole disaster. She said, “Hey, that means is we are going to have to meet again in the next few months.”
That made me feel much better.