Recently, I made plans with dear friends of mine to have lunch. Greg and Julie live in Florida and they were up in New Jersey visiting family and friends. We set a day and a time and a place to meet. Sounds kind of normal and easy, right? If so, you haven’t met me.

Since I was working that day, I suggested Wildflowers, a great restaurant/bar in Pennington. It’s down the street from my office and I knew Greg and Julie would love their tomato pies. We said we’d meet at noon.

I got there at 11:50 a.m., and went in the side door and sat at a table in their main dining room. I reached for my cell phone to look at the time. No phone. I searched frantically through my purse. No phone.

I immediately knew where the phone was—on my desk at work right next to my computer. I was in such a hurry to leave so I wouldn’t be late that I forgot to grab it. I told my server that I had forgotten my phone and he told me I could use the house phone to call them. I said, “I don’t know their numbers. They are programmed in my cell phone!”

“Okay,” I thought. “No big deal. I don’t need my phone.” Note: I go NOWHERE without my phone. It’s always with me because of my dad, who is in Greenwood House’s Long-Term Care facility. If anything happens to him, Greenwood House calls my cell.

I asked the server the time. 12:40. Hmmm. Greg and Julie are punctual people. I worried that they got stuck in traffic. I went outside and looked in the parking lot. No Florida plates.

By this time, the Wildflowers staff were looking at me with pity, so I ordered a sandwich. My food arrived and I saw that there was a stack of pickles on my plate instead of the customary one or two.

I said to my server, “You gave me more pickles because you feel sorry for me, right? These are pity pickles?” He admitted that, yes, he gave me more pickles.

I ate my delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries and pity pickles. I paid my server for the meal, calling it rent for the extra-long use of the table.

I got back to my office and grabbed my phone. I saw a bunch of missed calls from Julie and my husband George. I called Julie back. She picked up on the first ring and I said, “Is everything ok?”

She said, “Yes! Is everything ok with YOU?” I said yes. I asked her where they were, and she told me they were just finishing up their lunch. At Wildflowers. Now I’m expecting to hear that they got stuck in traffic on 195. No. They were at Wildflowers the whole time I was there.

They had used the front door of the restaurant and grabbed a booth in the bar. When I came in, five minutes after they did, I went through the side door, scanned the dining room, the bar and the other dining room and didn’t see them.

Julie told me to hang up with her and call George immediately. I called him and he picked up the phone, all out of breath. He yelled, “Where ARE you?” I told him I’m at work and that I had forgotten my cell phone when I went to lunch.

He told me that Julie had called looking for me. He said that he was running out the front door to drive to my office (because he pictured me crumpled up on the floor after having fallen down the stairs), but he had to go back in the house because he had the TV remote in his hand instead of his cell phone.

Luckily, I did get to see Greg and Julie despite all the mishaps. They stopped by my office and we chatted and hugged and laughed our butts off.

There are two morals to this story: 1) velcro your cell phone to your body, and 2) order the grilled ham and cheese sandwich at Wildflowers. It’s so good. And they give you pity pickles.