Jun 22, 2006

The Previous 12 Hours

Guy and I are going to be out of town starting this evening--we are celebrating his 40th birthday by going backpacking in Olympic National Park.

Yes, you read that right. I have recovered from The Tick Incident (or anyway I've bought some tick repellent that is NOT approved by the FDA), and I am ready to go forth and walk miles, ford streams, and sleep with the sounds of the wilderness. We're taking our packs, and completely roughing it--no time for Seattle sightseeing; we're only going for four days.

However, somehow this simple get-away-from-all-the-hellishness vacation has turned incredibly complicated. First of all, we're not entirely sure where we're going. We're supposed to go to a road called Duckabush, but Mapquest and I have counted five Duckabushes in a little culdesac, and well, that'll make things interesting, won't it? Also, we're taking four giant bags for four days. Most everything would fit in our backpacks, but then they would be too big to take as carryons, and their strappiness prevents them from being checkable. So, last night we unpacked them enough to make them small enough to fit in the overhead bins, and stuffed everything into a separate, checkable suitcase.

Unfortunately, said checkable suitcase exceeded the weight limit. So we unpacked half the stuff and put it into another checkable suitcase, thereby giving us four bags for four days. See, it makes sense. Really it does.

After we've finished all this shuffling and reshuffling, Guy calls the car service to tell them to come pick us up at 4pm. We do a quick idiot check, and then go to bed.

The phone rings at 4:10am. "Where are you?" the car service asks. "We're here to pick you up!"

I can't get back to sleep. And then some amorous bird (it's the males who chirp, right?) decides to call repeatedly for a mate--you know, just in case some chica from out of town who wasn't quite aware of how grating his voice becomes after ten seconds happened to land on our windowsill. He didn't seem to be having much luck, but he kept trying for a good two hours.

Grrr. GRRRRR. I am sitting here operating on four hours of sleep. This is unacceptable.

And this morning at breakfast, I'm trying to read Boy's writing assignments over the past year (which I've already read, but his teacher has given us homework. Really.) while consuming as much coffee in the shortest time possible, while answering Boy's innumerable questions about what sentence I'm on, while trying to eat whenever my mouth is not talking or swallowing coffee. I'm also trying to get Girl to eat her blueberry waffles, and when I say "Honey, you have to eat your dinner" and this is, of course, wildly funny to the under 5 ft set, I find myself coming dangerously close to snapping at them. So I get up and walk away to go sit in the corner to drink my coffee, and Guy tells them to leave me along for a bit.

Which is, of course, a Gold Leaf Invitation to come ask me what I'm thinking about, or whether I'd like to hold a rock. And when Girl comes to ask me whether I'm thinking about yarn, despite Guy's strict and repeated instructions to give me a minute, I tell her she needs to listen and let me finish my coffee.

Which prompts a flood of tears. Oy. I'm running late, but seeing as I'm going to be away for the weekend, I hug and kiss her back into smiles, and go downstairs to brush my teeth. Which prompts more tears. The yarn issue hadn't been resolved. No Girl, I wasn't thinking about yarn, I was thinking about birdshot. And now I really do have to leave. I say goodbye, which prompts more tears (you're shocked, I know) until Girl comforts herself by saying "I'll see you tonight."

Uhoh. All this, and she doesn't remember that we're going away? I'll leave my exit to your imagination.

As a postscript, I'm so tired that when I was on the train this morning, I saw a man stand up and ran to snag the seat. A far more together-looking woman haughtily said "excuse me!" and elbowed me away. I was hurt and a little miffed (couldn't she see I needed that seat? I was swaying with exhaustion, not train-rockage).

But then I realized she was probably even more hurt and miffed, when I saw that the man in question did not get off at the next stop. He had stood up to offer her his seat because she was pregnant. I tried to steal a seat from a pregnant lady.

I glanced up from her abdomen to her face, and she glared at me. For the rest of the ride.

You Never Can Tell, Chuck Berry

Xander: Dammit. You know what? I'm sick of this. I'm tired of being the guy who eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm through being everybody's butt-monkey.
: Check. No more butt-monkey.

1 comment:

guy said...

Brutal morning! Good thing there's an all-too-rare Hostess Blackberry Pie (courtesy Laurie) in your near-future, after the Continental dinner (how quaint, they're serving us food!).