Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Decisions, Decisions and Disasters, Disasters

Leading up to the first major panic attack occasion in June were a series of minor freak out moments and an overall faster beat of the heart.  Trevor was on the job market, and was physically or mentally busy for most of the time and in the midst of my day dreaming about what kind of life I will live in whatever corner of the country we move to next, we also had to decide what type of wedding we wanted.

Did we want to do it in the US or go somewhere international?  Should we do a destination wedding and keep it small?  If we do it in the US, would we do it on the west coast were we have been living for the past 7 years or on the east coast where the majority of our families live?  Should we do it in a church?  Should we do it on a boat?  Should we do it in a museum?  A circus? A vineyard? A campground? A courthouse? A backyard?

"They" first tell you to get a rough estimate of your guest list before you start looking at wedding venues.  So I gather my sister's guest list from her wedding and Trevor's sister's guest list from their wedding.  I start picking apart just the family side of the guests and got up to a count of 206, before I started shaking.  I can't do this right now.  Mini-meltdown #1

Trevor proposed this marriage thing during the summer we were out in Montana.  On the drive home from Bozeman to Santa Barbara, we stopped in Sacramento at our friends Evan and Ashley's house.  Evan perhaps jokingly mentions that  he has his certification to perform wedding ceremonies.  On the long drive from their house to ours, one of us jokes "wouldn't it be funny if both Evans did the ceremony?"  The other one laughs, but thinks it is a seriously good idea.  Seed is planted.  Evan, we will be taking you up on that offer.  That was an offer, right?

Last Christmas arrived with a few more mini-meltdowns.  We decided to focus on east coast venues and looked at a couple places while we are in New Jersey for the holidays.  My sister and mother had weeded out a few potential venues before we arrived including one that looked like a prison camp, had dirty plungers in the sink, and a creepy owner who was trying to set up my sister with his redneck son who had just recently been left at the alter.  Even though that place was in our price range, my sister begged me to never make her set foot on that place again. Fair enough.

We settled on Trout Lake, which was our favorite place from the start, although we were initially deterred by the price of their typical 3-day package. They mentioned they can also do 1-day weddings. Finally a decision had been reached.  We e-mailed the venue to let them we will take it.  Their last available weekend was Sept 20-22.  We will take Sept. 21, for the 1-day-only, please.   They then replied that they only do Sundays for 1-day-only weddings.  Panic, panic!  Do not want a Sunday wedding!  Then they go on to say that they will see if they can move some things around for us.  And they do...Phew...

By spring, things are shaping up.  We have our venue, our bridal party, I even bought a dress. Trevor now knows he is going to be in the Boston area, which reminds me, oh yes, that's right, we are going to be moving across the country in a couple of months and we do not have a place to live yet.  And I do not know what I am going to do for work.  And oh yea, how are we going to get all of our stuff over there?   It was right around this point when I had a legit nervous breakdown.

Leading up to this trip from hell, Trevor is trying to finish up his PhD.  A few weeks prior we were in Sacramento for a 30th birthday party and another wedding. Then the following week we were in NJ for my Grandma's 90th birthday.   The week after that his parents were visiting for his graduation.  Then we split up.  Trevor went to Italy for a conference and I went to Boston for yet another wedding.  The "plan" was that we would spend a few days after the wedding to find an apartment.  Trevor was going to meet me in Boston on Sunday, the day after the wedding, and we would look for a place to live together.  Perfect.

The wedding was awesome, and so was the after party.  Too awesome however, and after endless rounds of slapping, then chugging from a bag of boxed wine, two post midnight trips to the fast food joint down the street, a 5am bedtime and an 8am wake up time, I woke up Sunday morning in a horrendous state.  At least Trevor will be here in an hour and he will cheer me up...

I start heading from the wedding hotel to Trevor's college buddy's place in Boston where we will be couch surfing for the next couple days.  Then I get a text from Trevor: "will probably miss my flight.  will keep you posted."

Ok.... keep me posted.

"It is starting to look like I am going to miss Boston"

"Earliest I can get in is Tuesday night"

Tuesday night I will be on my way back to Santa Barbara...

Now if I was not so deathly ill at this point, I probably would have lost it.  But my focus right then was on not puking, not dying, getting this headache to go away, and sleep.   Trevor's buddy picks me up and brings me out with his friends for his roommate's birthday.  At least I have someone I know out here.  I tell him Trevor's not going to make it and he offers to take off work and show me around Boston to help me find an apartment.  I am starting to feel like I can still do this.

We need to find a place to live.  It is one major "to do" that I really need to cross off this massive, ever growing list in order to feel sane again.  I know I am not going to feel in control of anything until we can at least know where we are moving and then can plan how and when we move. And I don't want to leave Boston without a sense of things working out.  Monday morning I get up early and start contacting craigslist posters and making appointments to see as many places as I possibly can, which turns out to be four: two today and two tomorrow.

I am in our friend's bedroom since he politely gave me his room and slept on the couch in the living room. Did I also mention that it is 105 degrees out and they do not have air conditioning?  No?  Did I mention that they have cats?  And that I am deathly allergic to cats?  No?   I go into the living room in the morning.  Couch is empty.  Bathroom is empty.  House is seemingly empty.  Maybe he went out for a run?  Maybe he had to go to work?  Maybe he forgot about going around Boston?  Maybe he wasn't serious about showing me around?

I start planning my route to get to the first apartment when the friend's roommate comes out of his bedroom.

Me: "Oh hey, do you know where our friend is?"

Roommate: "Yea, he drove himself to the ER last night.  Turns out he has super sever kidney stone problems and needs some emergency procedure done.  Yea, he's going to be in the hospital for a few days."

Of course he is, poor friend!  Shocked, alone, stressed...but on the bright side, at least I am not passing kidney stones...and at least I don't have a crying toddler on my hip right now, right?  I tell myself I can still do this.

I looked at two apartments.  One was an awesome location, but 4 stories up with no elevator, laundry in the basement, and perhaps most A/C.  The second apartment was in an awful location, but was clean, had an elevator, had a fitness center and pool on site, had lots of storage, and despite the awful location I would have signed the lease right then and there because it had central air.

I go back to my friend's house and hangout with his roommate who lets me tag along with him and his beantown buddies.  We visit our friend in the hospital, grab some take out Indian food and beers for dinner, and head home to watch the Bruins Stanley Cup finals game.  They lose.  Although this trip is turning out to be the worst trip ever, I am pretty happy I am making new friends and am starting to feel like I am living in the movie Good Will Hunting.

The next morning is the day I am leaving.  It takes about an hour to get to the apartments I have lined up and then it will take another hour in the opposite direction to get back to the airport.  It is going to be a tight schedule.  No time for error.  I schlep all my luggage and belongings across town in the 105 degree heat and am hustling down the bumpy cobblestone sidewalks and arrive at the first apartment 8 minutes late.  The guy is not there.  I panic.  I missed him!!!

I dial the number I called him at yesterday.  I apologize for being a little late and beg him if he can come back.  He has no idea what I am talking about.  He just got out of a meeting.  I say "I spoke with you yesterday.  I wanted to look at this place at 17 Pine st.  You said to meet you here at 11am."  He says "Yes I remember the conversation, but I don't think we confirmed this because I don't seem to have this on my calendar".......  "Wellllll, when someone says meet me tomorrow at this time, that is confirmation to me!!"  [smoke is starting to come out of my ears].  He suggests a later time and date.  I not-so-politely decline.  Hang up.  If I was that kind of person, I would smash my phone in the street.  But I am not.  I put my phone in my pocket and sit down on the dirty curb and have a good cry.

A man walks by staring at me, concerned.  No my best friend didn't die, no I am not dying of some rare terminal illness, no I did not lose my puppy, I am just sad that this trip is not working out the way I expected.  I smack myself, get up on my feet, and head to the airport to fly back to Santa Barbara with the same size to do list as when I arrived...

During the trip back to Santa Barbara, the second to last flight of my journey gets held up for 45 minutes so that more passengers from an incoming flight could board.  I have a 45 minute connection that I now know I am going to miss.  I ring the flight attendant button.  I know this is not her fault, but I have to let someone know I am pissed.  Are they going to hold up the flight from LA to Santa Barbara for me?  No!?  Exactly.

Amazingly, we get to LA with 15 minutes to spare.  I have to board a shuttle bus from one terminal to the next, but I am the first one off the plane and the last one on the shuttle bus.  The bus zooms to the next gate and I am the first one off the shuttle bus and I am at the next gate with 10 minutes to spare only to find out that "I'm sorry mam, the last flight out to Santa Barbara tonight left 15 minutes early."   "ARE YOU F@#*$%~ KIDDING ME!!!!"  I could have strangled that United worker. Who leaves early!?!?!?!? After giving them a piece of my mind while fighting back tears, then realizing the last bus to Santa Barbara left 5 minutes ago, I calm down...defeated, dejected.  I accept my voucher for a free hotel in LA and boarding pass for a 6am tomorrow morning flight.  Great.

I head for the hotel shuttle bus when I spot the Santa Barbara bus.  I sprint for it.  They haven't left yet!!!  I get on the bus and ask the driver if he's going to Santa Barbara tonight?!  He's flustered and in a bad mood.  I then realize they haven't left yet because they were in a minor accident and lost their side view mirror.  They can't leave until they get a new one.  I park myself in the back of the bus.  I am getting myself home tonight!!!

Twenty minutes later the bus is all fixed up and the bus driver comes around collecting money. That's right this isn't free.  I only have $10 cash.  I hand him my visa credit card. "I'm sorry we don't take credit cards after 10pm"  (it is now 12am).  Do you accept check?....No...Cash only.... Oh please for the love of god do not kick me off this bus I so badly want to get home tonight I really don't want to stay in LA!!!!......Alright, you can hop off at the first stop, there's an ATM there you can get cash at.  Oh Thank You Santa Barbara Airbus Driver, You Are The BEST!!!!!!!

Trevor meanwhile left Italy on a Sunday and after a 10 hour layover in Turkey and 5+ flights zig-zagging the globe, he also missed his last connection on Tuesday and didn't get home until Wednesday night (3 days after his initial flight).  He was home for 24 hours and left the next day for his next conference in Baltimore.

It was not the least chaotic time of our life.


Breanna said...

Reading this stuff still makes me super stressed even though I already heard all of it! Man! Don't know how you did it, but at least there were good positive times from our wedding weekend!

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