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A Blur

May 20, 2010

You might know this already, but I’m just going to describe the last few weeks in broadstrokes detail in case you don’t, so that you can marvel, wide-eyed, at my relative calm. And so that if I refer to some life events that you didn’t know were happening, you will be prepared.

Purchase of a Home

In April, twelve days before the first time homebuyers tax credit expired — well, the part where you have to get into contract on the home you are buying — Matthew and I walked into the first for-sale apartment that we both really thought we could make our own. (We’d love to buy the place we live in now, but since it is part of a million dollar house that both has some crumbly aspects and is also not at all for sale, we’ve given up on that dream.)

Ironically, our friend Andrea was with us that day. Andrea is the mutual friend who introduced us six-ish years ago, and the fact that she happened to be traipsing around with us that Sunday was easy to construe as some sort of sign. And she is very discerning, and she loved the apartment as well.

We had nothing lined up: no mortgage broker, no other kind of broker, and it was being sold by the owners. So we had to figure a bunch of stuff out — STAT! We quickly made a bid, and then haggled and haggled around until we found a price that we fear is too expensive and that the sellers fear is too cheap but we are both going to try to live with.

We, two writers who depend hard on deadlines so that we can just miss them in order to get our work complete on sort of time, had to make a real and actual deadline of a contract. Somehow, we did it with 5 hours to spare. For that, we felt pretty smug.

Yay being in contract! The next step is that we need to close by 6/30, another ridiculous deadline to make. Ehh, no problem, suddenly, we are great with timing and deadlines.


The morning after we’d settled the contract we had to leave for vacation in Austin, and getting ready for that had fallen by the wayside, since the time we should have been spending packing and planning had been spent sweating and squinting at tiny legalese. But somehow, we got ready. For the first time ever, M and I were standing around and waiting 10 minutes before the car service was scheduled to arrive. He started to gloat and I started to moan, fearing he’d jinxed us.

And then, the car did not come. And then, the driver called and said he’d be there soon. He was there soon, but he drove us straight into a very large pile of unmoving traffic. The Belt Parkway was like the Belt Parkinglot. Finally I had to call Jet Blue and— what, ask them to keep the plane on the ground because I really wanted to go on vacation?

I got someone on the line. She assured me that we’d miss the plane, since it was slated to leave in 26 minutes and we were still 5 exits from the airport and the car was not moving forward. She also assured me that there were no other flights until the next day. We could arrive the next day, midway through the brunch that had been planned in honor of us. I handed the phone to Matthew so I could switch my attention to crying and he could listen to the end of the spiel.

At one point, while on the phone with her, he said “wonderful,” in that way that you do when you are talking with someone who is being vaguely helpful. Channeling my inner kittycat, I hissed at him. “This is not wonderful! Don’t say that it is WONDERFUL under any circumstances!”

At that point he fed our baby another piece of puffed corn, the baby’s 9,000th kernel that morning, and, envisioning the scary corn blowout that was apparently going to dominate my afternoon in stead of my flight, I switched modes from sulking to pragmatic to suggest that he switch snacks. Mightn’t we add some cheerios to the mix? Then Matthew blew up at me. I sobbed. The driver looked nervous. The baby looked around for corn. Matthew looked at the heavens.

We finally arrived at the airport, where we’d decided to go in order to change our plans for the next day. The driver waited for us in the parking lot. Matthew kept asking Jet Blue employees if there was any hope, and they kept saying no. I kept sobbing, and text our friends that we had, with 100% certainty, missed our flight. After I exacted a promise from Matthew that he would buy me two margaritas that night, even if it was in Brooklyn, I toned it down and we had a sort of truce.

Finally it was our turn at the counter. Matthew explained the situation. The Jet Blue guy asked for our IDs, and looked at our bags. “You can try to gate-check them,” he advised, and when we just looked at him, and explained “there’s been a slight delay because of engine trouble. Run!”

You’ve never seen 2 people so eager to put their progeny on a jet with engine trouble. I asked if we could cut in the security line, and everyone moved aside so we could rush through. Suddenly, the world was on our side yet again. We were whooping and laughing and in love again, stomping and tears and corn fight forgotten.

When we arrived at the gate, we were ushered straight onto the plane, since they had just started to board people with children. This may have taught us the wrong lesson about being late. (“See, when you’re late, you don’t even have to wait around!”)

I retexted my friend in Texas that we had somehow unmissed the plane. They’d pick us up. We’d get the hot blast of Austin air. I could show a place I love to a man I love.

We hugged and kissed. We were on vacation.


It was great, for a while. Well, we might have been a little stressed. Can you blame us? Our child would not sleep at all for the first several days we were there. And unfortunately, he requires chaperoning when he is awake. But we crammed bat viewings, Barton Springs, other swimming, lots of Mexican food, barbecue though not my favorite barbecue, fun with friends, and walks into a few short days. Matthew returned home on Tuesday evening. Wednesday I just played with a nude Henry in a babypool, which might sound boring but was basically the most fun I’ve ever had.

Thursday morning I received an email that my sister, who I’ve written a lot about here, had been hospitalized for pneumonia. I rescheduled my return flight to later that day.

Pneumonia (and Car?)

Regardless of what I thought I was ready for, suffice to say I was not prepared to see my sis in an oxygen mask with a nebulizer. She could barely open her eyes, and if you imagine a terrible cough, imagine a terrible cough when you cannot move your body to optimize it.

I can’t write too much about it here but I feared the worst. We all did. I spent as much time as possible at the hospital with her until Wednesday when I left for Brooklyn for a few days. With Henry, in my car.

Someone smashed into the car. We’re ok, but I’m still stiff and achy.

Beth did well in her recovery and is ready to leave the hospital but could not be fully cared for at home at this time — so she has been discharged to a “skilled nursing facility.” How do you like that euphemism? We’re hoping she will only be there for one week before she can return to her own home, where she’s been cared for very well by family and a group of caretakers.

We’re awaiting a mortgage, getting the car fixed, planning to get back to Connecticut as soon as we can.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April permalink
    May 20, 2010 2:44 pm

    Oh baby. That’s a lot of different kind of tears in a pretty short amount of time. I advocate salt on the margaritas to replenish. Love.

  2. marie permalink
    May 20, 2010 2:52 pm

    i thought i wasa bit tired before i read this. now i’m plum tuckered out. WOW.

  3. May 20, 2010 6:15 pm

    Oof. Just *one* of those events would send me into a tailspin. I’m glad your sister is out of imminent danger. Now get yourself another margarita.

  4. Victoria permalink
    May 21, 2010 7:07 am

    We had such fun seeing you last night. Your line about “The baby looked around for corn. Matthew looked at the heavens” is perfection. I think I have quoted it to just about everyone I know and I will collar a few more people today. Stay the course!

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