My sister, Ann, texted me the week before we left for Texas to ask if she and her son, Ben, could ride with us to the airport. They were flying out east at 12:30 for her youngest daughter's college graduation the same day that Ed, Dad, and I were flying to Texas at 12:00.
*Ann has four kids. She's divorced. Her youngest daughter has nothing to do with her father anymore. This was a chance for Ann to enjoy a college graduation with her 4 offspring without dealing with Mr. A** Hole of the World, who had a habit of hitting Ann when they were married. While it's a mystery how this poor excuse for a man hasn't gotten his a** kicked by me or my siblings, I'll give you one guess on who came the closest.
Coach was in St. Louis to teach a PT class and I had no other drivers available. I was like: HMM, WELL - I'LL LET YOU KNOW IF I FIND A DRIVER. I made a collage banner for my friend Becky's college graduate the week before, so she agreed to swap out a ride to the airport for my banner services.
The plan: Ed was gonna work out early before picking up Dad at 9:30.
A not-drawn-to-scale, but fairly-accurate map:
X (ann's) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X (my humble abode) . . . . X (mom & dad)
. . . . . . . . . . . X(Coach's clinic)
X (A-Hole house) *I can possibly make his address available so you can send him stuff about how to stop being an A-HOLE. Just a thought.
. . . . . . . .X (O'Hare - much further north than I am demonstrating here)
I was up crazy early. Hello, SIBO - is that you still causing the 'stitch' in my side that interferes with my sleep? I have questions, but my follow up with my doctor isn't until mid July even though my procedure was in April. Very frustrating.
I worked out for an hour, showered, finished packing, and made a frozen GF pizza for my carryon before leaving at 9:05 to drive 12 minutes to pick up Ann and Ben (opposite direction than Dad, but Dad is 3 minutes from my house). I was ON time.
*this is noteworthy, because try as I might - this is not how I roll.
Ed's phone didn't charge so he'd stumbled downstairs upset that he missed his chance to workout. I insisted that he still go. "I'LL HAVE TIME TO GET DAD. JUST GO. GET BACK HERE AND BE READY BY 9:30."
Ann, Ben, and I were halfway back to my house, where Becky was going to meet us at 9:45 am, when Ben mumbled from the backseat: "OH. WAIT. I CAN'T FIND MY WALLET."
I glanced at Ann. "WHAT'D YA WANT ME TO DO?" Driving back to her house, was possible but that might screw up the rest of THE PLAN.
Ann waved me on, while she spit choice words at Ben. I wanted to crawl on top of the car and adapt my arms to be plasti-woman, so I could be far, far, far away from the SITUATION.
I'd venture a guess, OK - an educated guess, that her Ben is the equivalent of our Lad. No clue how I'd manage a challenge like that without a grounded, supportive father to lean on. I empathized with her total frustration mode. Been there. While I drove, I grilled him about where it might be.
He wasn't sure - at his apartment in Indianapolis - a good 3.5 hours away?
Yikes. I can't even drive to the grocery store without my license. Is it me? The digital age might be messing these kids up a touch.
It might be at his dad's, where he slept the night before. It might be in his car, which was parked at Ann's house. He had the keys on him, bummer -because no one else could access his car. His very responsible brother, Jake, was at his mom's house. He was flying to the graduation the next day after he attended a wedding.
Ben called Jake and asked him to peek in the windows of his car to see if he could see his wallet. He couldn't see it.
Me: OK, ANN. I HAVE AN IDEA. I'LL DROP YOU AT MY HOUSE ON THE WAY TO DAD'S. YOU HOP IN GW (former airport shuttle van), DRIVE BACK TO YOUR HOUSE AND LOOK FOR THE WALLET. I'LL GET DAD, THEN I'LL STOP BACK AT MY HOUSE TO GET ED AND BEKCY AND THEN I'LL SWING BY AND PICK YOU UP. WE DON'T NEED GW THIS WEEKEND ANYWAY, SO WE CAN LEAVE IT AT YOUR HOUSE.
Ann refused to drive big rig. She was gonna hop out at my house and uber back with Ben. SAVE YOURSELF. I told her to just stay the course and let Ben go back and look for his wallet.
We got to Dad's and Ben started to exit in order to uber. I told him to stay in the car - I could drop him at Coach's clinic which was halfway to Ann's house and on our way to the airport. I told him to text Jake and have him come pick him up there. Jake agreed.
After scooping up Dad, I pulled into my driveway to get Ed. Becky was chatting with him in the kitchen. I raced inside and quickly debriefed Ed and Becky in my kitchen. "SO, STRESSFUL CAR RIDE - YOU'VE BEEN WARNED . . . . "
At Coach's work, Ben hopped out to wait for Jake and we drove off. I told Ann that this was not within her control, and hopefully Ben would find his wallet.
Ann: I'VE BEEN PLANNING THIS TRIP FOR A YEAR (after graduation, they were going to plays in New York City, etc.). HE'S GONNA RUIN IT.
Ben alerted her that his wallet was not in his car and he was driving to his dad's house, so things were still TENSE. Becky has heard of my family dynamics but never dreamt she's be in.the.thick.of.things.
While we were in the security line at the airport, Ben texted Ann to say his wallet was in his room at his dad's house. THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING. He was waiting for an uber. His dad wouldn't drive him to the airport. How's that for nice? Jake was on his way to a wedding in southern Illinois. Ann was annoyed/worried that he wouldn't make it in time.
|At the airport Dad wanted a|
hot dog. There were
no hotdogs to be found
. . . until we got to
our gate, a hotdog stand.
Wonders never cease.
I hugged Ann good-bye before we boarded and urged her to play like Elsa and let it go, so as not to beat a dead horse with Ben all weekend. Beating of dead horses is, unfortunately, Ann's strength. She assured me she wouldn't.
As I buckled Dad in his belt, Ann texted to say Ben had made it to the gate.
I was ready for a distraction from the Ego investigation, but this was more than I bargained for. As usual, there's more. Tune in Thursday for the next installment of the Texas adventure. I'd invite you to guess, but not in a million years could you.
What's your worst airport or drive to airport drama?