25 May 2012

Because if I schedule this to be posted on the internet, I will be too afraid of being publicly exposed as a coward to chicken out on my super-awesome surprise plan

Alternate Title: Hopefully this will all work out okay

Alternate Alternate Title: Is this what losing your mind feels like?

Friday, May 25, 2011 2012 <-- WTF, BRAIN?

Noblesville, Indiana

11 AM

I am not sure what is happening to me.

I was feeling trapped in Virginia, trapped in my life, trapped far away from my family and my young man. Trapped by hilariously high airfare coupled by the need to meet savings goals. Trapped by not knowing when things will get murderously busy at work.

So when a coworker pointed out that Memorial Day was a vacation for us and it was in two short weeks and asked me if I was going home, I thought I want to go to there. I hadn’t seen my dad and brother and sister since Christmas, a visit that had been abbreviated because I’d promised to visit my young man’s family in California for 4 days before New Year’s. And due to planning to use most of my vacation time for a 2-week writing conference in July, I didn’t know if I would see my family before Thanksgiving. That’s a long time to me. A very long time. And my parents remodeled the kitchen. And damnit I wanted to go home and spend a weekend at home!

So I looked at plane tickets again. $600-$800 for Memorial Day weekend. I couldn’t justify the expense. My parents would probably help me out if I said I wanted to go home, but that would be pathetic. I’m twenty-four years old with a full-time job and one-fourth of a rental, I thought. I don’t want to be relying on my parents to help me visit them, especially as it would probably come out in a totally undignified teary fit of “I wa-ha-hant  to go ho-o-o-ome!”

I’m probably going to cry this weekend.

I am a very ugly crier. I checked once in a mirror while sobbing uncontrollably and decided I should probably always hide my face when I cry or everyone will think I’m some kind of sasquatch snot monster.

I just drove 10.5 hours last night. I went in to work very early so I could leave at 2 pm and sneakily drive west. Maryland. West Virginia. Pennsylvania. West Virginia. (The fuck? Did I make a wrong turn? This is too long a trip to go the wrong way. Where’s Ohio?) Ohio. Oh hello land of a thousand cornfields. Indiana. My friend’s parents’ house in a neighborhood nearby my parents’ house. Sleep. 8am wake up. Drive to Starbucks. Work. Call in to weekly status call. Assure coworkers that I am alive & not still driving & in fact the drive was not so terrible. Hometown public library. Set up in the YA section, where I spent an absurd amount of time in high school. Librarian informs me the kids will get out of school at 2.30. I wonder why she is telling me this. Notice signs saying “Our TeenZone is for Teens!” Feel extremely sad.

I have not told my parents I am visiting. I am pretty sure they would tell me not to drive that far alone. There’s a chance they’d insist on buying me a plane ticket or tell me not to come at all. 

I have not told my brother I am visiting. I do not think he will exhibit extreme shock. We are very alike. When my parents gave me a car, I was so surprised I didn’t react at all & I think they were very disappointed. I am not the type of person to jump up and down and scream until I’ve processed what is happening & at that point people think you’re just humoring them. My brother will not jump up and down & scream. He’ll probably say hello but then later he will show me his latest computer game and we will talk about computers or maybe books and maybe play video games.

My sister knows I am coming. She is my sneaky colluder on this scheme. She thought it was a great idea. I am still not sure. I am thinking about pretending I was never here and driving back to Virginia. I am totally freaking out in the YA section of the library where I used to hang out all the time and read some of my favorite books in the stacks but which I cannot be in after 2.30 because I am not a Teen and Our TeenZone is for Teens!

Now I have to go because I am having lunch with my sister and my friend & they will probably be all “we can’t believe you did this!” in a totally positive way, like I’m liberating myself by being totally spontaneous and driving home to surprise my family. Instead of, you know, possibly having lost my mind. Probably in Ohio. There are a lot of cornfields there.

3 PM

I’ve already forgotten what we talked about at lunch. Pancakes, maybe. Did I talk too much? Did it make any sense? I hope I wasn't some kind of word-vomiting weirdo. 

My sister is incredibly tanned from working outside last week or something. Today she is doing a parking survey downtown, which I think means she is counting the parking spots in the City of Noblesville to determine how many are in different areas and how many are 2-hour parking, how many are metered parking, etc. She works for the city engineering department in the summers.

After lunch, I went to the local coffee place. Now I am back at the library. Also, I stopped and got the car washed. Because it looked dirty, and I didn’t want my parents to think I didn’t keep the car clean. Of course, I did just drive through a ton of states, so it would probably be understandable if it was a little dirty. Was this carwash here before? And when did the library join the twenty-first century and get free WiFi, anyway?

Apparently my sister is going to text or call me when I should come to the house. I wonder if I should park my car elsewhere and walk up to the house. Should I ring the doorbell? Or just walk through the back door casually? I think my sister has a good plan for letting me know when everyone is there. I was thinking I should just go to the house and be there, but then jumping out at people might cause them to have heart attacks. I’m not sure anybody in my family would actually like that kind of surprise. Surprise! Heart attack!

I said my sister is my colluder. A few weeks ago, I was casually like “I’m thinking about driving home for Memorial Day weekend.” And she was all “Everybody would be thrilled to see you.” And then she sort of strong-armed everybody into a beer-brewing weekend that they all seem relatively excited about. She also told my young man that he is coming down from Chicago to brew beer with the family. He is on his way down now. I think he suspects that something is up. He’s been pressuring me to come home this weekend, like the beer-brewing should be something that tempts me to come home instead of a cover for getting all of them there. Muahaha. My sister is brilliant.

My young man told me earlier this week: “I was kind of hoping I’d go down this weekend and you’d magically be there.” Ha ha. I was hoping that, too.

I’ve been trying to quash this all week because I think he knows. But he doesn’t know know. As long as I don’t confirm it and try to convince him that I am still in Virginia, he’ll still be surprised. He totally surprise-visited me once, and I’m not giving up the effort that this took for this surprise. IT’S MY TURN FOR THE SURPRISE VISIT OK? I put 10.5 hours into this, and I’ve been freaking out all day. I WILL NOT CONCEDE THIS VICTORY.

He’s trying to convince me via text to look into a plane ticket. “I can pay for part of it.” So sweet. “Ask your parents maybe?” Oh dear. I say I have to work in the morning, but agree to look into flights for Saturday night. I don’t look. I’m sure they’re still $600-$800. Also, I’m kinda already here.

God I hope this isn’t a complete flop.

3.30 PM

I have had too much caffeine today.

4 PM

My hair looks terrible. I considered straightening it in the bathroom, but the bathroom in the library doesn't have outlets. They probably don't want anyone to accidentally electrocute herself with a hair straightener, because the library would probably be liable for that and then nobody would want to go to the library because it would be haunted by a crazy ghost lady eternally trying to straighten her ectoplasmic hair. Is ectoplasmic a word?

Where ARE all the outlets in this library? Don't they expect people to need to plug in hair straighteners computers?

You can totally see my roots. I should have gone and gotten my roots touched up earlier this week, when I was still in Virginia. Maybe I should just wear a hat. But then my parents will want me to take it off in the house, and then my hair will look totally worse because of hat-static and also it will draw attention to my roots (since it will look like I was trying to cover them up (which would be exactly what I was doing)) which is the opposite of the goal here people!

When did I become somebody who thought about her roots? Why did I dye my hair?

I should cut it all off.

4.10 PM

My young man is apparently actually just now leaving Chicago. I claim my mom wants to know when he'll be arriving, and he said he'll know when he is out of Chicago.

"There is a gun man in valpraso"

"Hostage situation"

The internet tells me that there is indeed apparently a gunman who is believed to be holding hostages at an office building in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Apparently this is affecting traffic. I mean, obviously it is.

It's a Prudential Real Estate office building, CBS News online informs me. They also say there are reports he has shot two people. The whole hostage situation has been going on since 10.30 AM apparently.

Insanity: shooting two people and holding one or more hostages in a real estate office building.
Whimsy: secretly driving 10.5 hrs in order to surprise-visit family


4.30 PM

I hope we have a bonfire this weekend. Maybe I should pick up some firewood. And some beer. Should you pick up beer to drink while brewing beer? Probably. I could get some from the local brewery. My dad and my young man both liked it, and so did I. My sister might like it; I'm not sure if she's had it before.

No. I should get margarita mix. Everyone likes margaritas!

I'm probably not going to get any of these things. Margaritas do sound good though.

I should have eaten the other half of my lunch. I'm hungry again. My sister says they are grilling meatballs tonight. I'm not entirely sure how that will work, but apparently they've done it before and everyone liked it. I'm sure it will be delicious. My mom is an excellent cook. And baker. I mean, my mom makes the best everything. And I know you are probably thinking "No my mom makes the best food" or "My wife makes the best food" or even "Everybody says that about their mothers." NO. My mom would wipe the floor with your mom/wife/whoever.

I will fight you.

You mom might make good food, but in a double-blind taste contest, 10 out of 10 chefs would agree that my mom makes the best food. And I'm really not sure how you would have a double-blind taste contest.

My mom would totally win "Chopped!" And those cupcake war shows. And she doesn't even like cupcakes.

4.40 PM

I found an outlet. It is in a study room. Wondering if I would get kicked out of the library for straightening my hair in the study room.

Now wondering why I would care about getting kicked out of this library. Especially since Our TeenZone is for Teens! & apparently I am no longer welcome in the YA section.

I apparently am the kind of person who would drive 10.5 hours to surprise-visit her family and young man. I don't think I am the kind of person who would straighten her hair in the library in order to show defiance of being unwelcome in the YA section which is now apparently reserved for Teens!

But then, I didn't think I was the kind of person who would drive 10.5 hours alone for a surprise visit.

Who knows what kind of person I am? I don't even know anymore.

5 PM

I have to leave the library. Because apparently it's closing or something. Because apparently the librarians don't work late on Fridays.

I guess we'll never know what I would have done with the hair straightener.

Time to go and kill time elsewhere until I get the call/text from my sister to come surprise and/or scare the crap out of my family. I'd say "wish me luck" but by the time you read this, it will have already happened. 

Frankly, I'm surprised you've stuck with it this far. KUDOS TO YOU. You are some kind of awesome person who is full of freakin' awesome. GO YOU. I pretty much only wrote this to keep from completely losing my nerve. So thanks for putting up with the crazy whimsy.