3 Days, 2 Cities, 1 Wedding and a Mustang [ 2005-02-08, 9:31 p.m. ]

I met someone pretty cool last week and I think she might kind of be a superhero.

If it weren't for my lovely new friend Jecca , last weekend might have gone down in history as "Holy Crap, How'd We Manage To Fuck Up A Trip To San Diego," but luckily Jecca swooped in with her powers of Shiny, Happy Goodness and saved the day. She doesn't even know it yet.

How did we manage to fuck up a trip to San Diego? Well, though Jecca's powers of goodness and sunshine are strong, my husband and I combined are a force to be reckoned with. Me - tense/nervous - plus him - driving in an unfamiliar town - is kind of like when matter and anti-matter collide, only noisier and with uglier outcomes.

The trip started off badly. We woke up Friday morning (except that it was totally NIGHT OUT still, something my friend Jay and I used to call "Sheila's Crack" -- it's not the crack of dawn, because Dawn? She ain't even up yet. We're getting up with Sheila, who's just coming home...we had a whole character for Shelia, this haggard old drunken whore who staggers in around 4:30 every morning and slurs, Damn Baby, why you gettin' up so early? I'm jus' gettin' HOME...y'gotta smoke? And whenever we had to get up really early, we'd say I'm gettin' up with Sheila. Anyway...), and it was sleeting, which sucks. Sleet sucks. You can like snow, you can like the cold, you can like rain or clouds or winter or fog, but no one - NO ONE - likes sleet, because it sucks. It sucks to drive to the airport in sleet, because you and your husband are barely awake (Sheila was all, Damn baby, why you drivin' in this shit? Come have a smoke with mama...) and it's impossible to see anything and your teeny little car doesn't know what things like 'traction' and 'rear defrosters' are. But we (obviously) made it to the airport, and parked 8.7 miles away from the terminal in Long Term Parking. Which means waiting for a train to take you to the terminal. Which means we got to the terminal about 15 minutes before our flight was supposed to take off. People, we cut lines. I NEVER cut in lines. I am such a rule-follower, but we had too! We had to cut into the gigantic security line waving our (pre-printed at home, thank GOD) boarding passes and saying FINALBOARDING THEY JUST CALLED OUR FLIGHT FOR FINAL BOARDING AAEEIIYYEEAAA MY WIFE WILL KILL ME IF WE MISS THIS FLIGHT FINAL BOARDING LETUSTHROUGHPLEEEEEEZE. And somehow, that worked. I got stuck in a slllllloooooowww line going through the security check machine thing, and of course my bag had to be checked (IT'S A FLAT IRON ASSHOLE), and I was freaking out so visibly that a nice lady behind me in line starting rubbing my back and telling me it would be okay. Nice lady, thank you! I ran - literally - to the gate where Kent was waiting for me with the gate agents who all looked at him as if to say, Clearly this asshole is yours. We made it on the plane with seconds (I thought) to spare, and then sat there for about an hour and half while they de-iced the plane and I tried to de-freak. I don't know how or why, but I think that was your fault, I whisper-yelled to Kent, You and your stupid 'trying to drive safely' nearly made us miss the plane. Kent pretended to sleep.

We landed in San Diego six hours later. The sun was shining. Marines at Camp Pendelton were exercising in very straight lines. Birds were probably chirping. We walked outside the airport. I'm HOT, I said, incredulously. Me too! answered Kent, delerium creeping into our sun-started voices. We peeled off outer layers and basked in the lovely warmth of the rental car parking lot. We walked towards spot #20. Kent stopped short. Oh. My. God. he said. And pointed. Our car was a brand-new Mustang (LIKETHEONEINETHECOMMERCIALWITHSTEVEMCQUEEN! according to my husband), which means diddly-doo-dum to me but apparently is cool. San Diego is the greatest! we cheered. We love San Diego!

San Diego is a crafty bitch, however, and she toyed with us ruthlessly. Like when we went to the wrong hotel. That was fun. Eventually we found our way to the right hotel and checked in, and I went into panic mode because my soon-to-be new friend Jecca was meeting me at the wrong hotel, I didnít have her cell phone number with me, and she would be there (stupid awful wrong hotel!) in half an hour. Oh, and I hadnít showered yet. So we paid $392 for 3 minutes of dial-up access and Kent did a little research in my email in-box while I turbo-showered, then called Jecca and explained. And she didnít think I was stupid or crazy or weird for telling her I went to the wrong hotel. In fact, she came and picked me up at the right hotel! And took me to coffee! And bought me coffee and biscotti, and became one of my most favoritest people ever, because she is Just. That. Cool.

I should have gone home with Jecca. When I got back to the hotel, Kent was asleep and there were barbeque potato chip crumbs everywhere. Never a good sign. I watched television and read and waited and waited and waited for my husband to wake up. Heíd stir and look up at me with a puffy, bleary face and promise he was getting up and then fall back asleep immediately. I finally had to kick him in the shins and push him off the bed. ďI know you got up about 65 hours ago, but so did I and Iím starving and all Iíve seen so far is the wrong hotel and the Nordstrom downtown, and WE. ARE IN. SAN DIEGO. AND I WANT SOME DINNER PLEASE,Ē I said. But alas, dinner was not to be. Because by the time we got in the car, (Look at everyone checking out The Car, Kent would say, about every 3 minutes. What? I would ask in response.) it was about 8:30 p.m. and when we got to the downtown area, we discovered that 6,442,786 people had beaten us there, and they came with Hummers and slutty clothes. We drove around and around and around looking for parking and decent food and instead found slutty-looking tourists and hari krishnas. We parked near something called Seaport Village which turned out to be hideous, oh and also? Closed. We looked and looked and looked for a place to eat and had no luck. And after leaving the hotel with dreams of fresh seafood and cocktails, we returned and ordered a pizza and watched HBO. And in case you thought we were driving around laughing and laughing, you are very wrong. We were driving around tired and hungry (Hello! Up almost 24 hours! Thanks a lot, Sheila!) and we were pissy. Thank god for Jecca, Kent kept saying, at least there was Jecca. WAH! AM HUNGRY! WANNA GO HOME, I whined back.

And then I passed out in my pizza. Pretty much.

Saturday was better. We drove to La Jolla and contemplated never, ever leaving (worse places to be homeless!), especially when we found Codyís and ate the biggest, best breakfast ever assembled. Kent got a special dose of California when the woman seated next to him and started chatting on her cell phone about the 2 miles she had just swum in the ocean and the 4-mile run she was about to take. Oh, she was at least 65, by the way. Kent shook his head and ate more omelette. I sucked in my belly and regretted the previous nightís pizza. We thought about calling Jecca and inviting her to form a cult with us, devoted to brunch and shopping and staring at the ocean. We drove to Coronado Ė Kentís lasting impression was of the perfectly-mowed lawns Ė ďHow do they get it SO SHORT?Ē We went back to the hotel, I primped and got beautiful for Angís wedding. We got stuck in traffic on the way there and I freaked out, imagining I would miss seeing her walk down the aisle. Kent invoked the power of Jecca and traffic parted. I saw my friend get married. I shook with nerves when I spotted my old college friends, I cried when I saw Ang, I breathed deeply when we got back in the car to head for the reception.

On the way to the reception Kent and I were joking around. So I was thinking Iíd get really drunk and take off my shirt on the dance floor, he said. Oooh, you should tell Rich (the groom) you love him! I suggested. Or Iíll tell Ang I love her, he said. Maybe you should make a toast and then throw up? I said. Ha ha ha, we laughed. Ha ha ha, as in, HA HA HA THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. But these are the times that try a wifeís soul, and HOLY CRAP, I was so mad at my husband by the time we got back to our hotel room that night. First, the wedding was lovely. The reception was loads of fun. I caught up with old friends and held the baby girl of a former roommate with whom I used to share blue toenail polish. Strangers complimented my dress in the ladiesí room. I laughed, I cried, I danced to Justin Timberlake. While my husband threw back free drinks and made friends with the other husbands, always a dangerous game. All was fine until we tried to leave. Let me just say that many, many stops were made for my groom to barf, which is really, really hot and sexy. Charming too. The amazing new Mustang car was baptized with vomit. As were his shoes. And mine. And our entire hotel bathroom. I left Kent embracing death on the bathroom while I fell asleep fuming on the bed.

When I woke up my anger was much more focused. You do know we have to fly to Oakland for my grandmotherís 80th birthday party in two hours, I hissed at him. GRFSLUGGFDDBHPHHH, he said. GET UP AND CLEAN YOURSELF UP, I said. mmmmmggrrrIWANNADIE, he said. I left him and went down to the lobby for a paper and some coffee. When I came back upstairs, he was retching in the bathroom again. Seriously, we have to go to my Grandmotherís party, and we have to FLY ON AN AIRPLANE to get there, and we have to take a car to the airplane. CAN YOU PULL IT TOGETHER? MGFRLTYSHHHBLRCHHH came his reply from the bathroom. Just please get in the shower, I implored. PLEASE, please please be good for my Grandmother.

And he was, eventually. We took a short flight up to Northern California and went to my grandmotherís house for her birthday party, which my mother planned. A million other people came. My grandmother had fun, my mother had fun, my whole family was there, my brother told me heís about to propose to his girlfriend and Kent sobered up. I forgave him for the debauchery of the night before. Then we gathered our bags again and went BACK to the airport, got on a redeye, and spent a shitty night flying back to New York. We got home with Sheila ("Damn baby, where you all been?"), then turned around and went back out to work.

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