I am now making a conscious effort to stop worrying so much about other peopleand what they think of me, but old habits die hard. I did have a massivebreakthrough the other day, however, when a friend from the UK came to stay.She was on a course in Los Angeles and said she would come and visit afterwards,although we had not arranged an exact day. I was on tenterhooks all week waitingfor her call, but it was not until Friday at 5pm that she rang saying she was at LAXairport and about to buy a ticket to San Francisco, arriving at 9pm, and could Icome and collect her please!
(Just so you don’t think she was very rude, she had tried to contact me
beforeFriday but had used the wrong area code and left copious messages on a complete
Omigod, I thought.
The house was in a complete mess, I hadn’t asked my
daughter yet if she minded giving up her bedroom and there was no food in thehouse. What should I do?
The ‘old’ Clair
e would have immediately agreed towhatever arrangements suited my friend, regardless of how they affected me.
The ‘new’ Claire took a deep breath
“Actually, no, sorry, but it’s reallynot convenient tonight.”
In utter horror I clasped my hands over my mouth to stop myself saying anythingelse. After a pregnant pause, my slightly shocked sounding friend said she wouldlook into alternative arrangements and call me back. About half an hour later sherang to say that she had decided to take the night bus from LA to SF, which tookcare of where she was going to spend the night. We agreed that was an excellentidea and I told her that she should get off at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal.Extending my new-found courage, I suggested that she might enjoy taking theferry to Sausalito, where I could pick her up at 11am and would save me drivinginto the centre of San Francisco on a Saturday morning.Finishing the call with a big smile on my face and a huge feeling of relief, I realizedI now had the entire evening to clean the house, talk to my daughter, wash herbed linen and tidy her room. The next morning I also had time to buy some foodand prepare a lovely lunch before leisurely driving down to Sausalito.