I wish I could say that everything went smooth as silk today, but if I did I’d be lying. Today was a carryover from yesterday, which also didn’t go well. Yesterday, I spent countless hours cleaning and packing and cleaning some more. It was ten in the evening before I even got started on the bathrooms. My husband thought we’d be able to get everything taken care of early and get a sufficient night’s rest before climbing into our vehicles and starting our long journey east, but he was sadly mistaken. I knew better, of course. There were piles of stuff everywhere and those piles add up! Each time he’d ask if there was anything else that needed to get loaded into the trailer or truck, I’d pause and then say, “Why, yes, actually.” “There’s more?” he’d respond, completely taken aback. “Yes, there’s more,” I’d confirm, “There’s the 3 totes in the kitchen, plus the large box by the oven, plus the two Rubbermaid containers on the counter, plus all the stuff in the refrigerator, plus the tote in the bathroom, plus, plus, plus.” “We need to get started on the cleaning,” he’d remind me. “I know that,” I’d reply, “But we have to pack everything first. We cannot properly clean if there’s a bunch of stuff in the way.”
His response to that involved some verbals and non-verbals. He wasn’t happy that things weren’t moving along at the pace he felt they needed to, so each time he’d check in with me to see where things were at and I’d tell him there was still more yet to do, he’d become very dramatic and say, “We might as well forget about leaving tomorrow, there’s no way it’s going to happen!” “It’ll happen, it’ll happen!” I’d reassure him, “I’ll take care of the rest once you go to bed and we’ll be able to leave in the morning, no problem.” I knew he was in bad shape, he tweaked his back again and was in a lot of pain, and had been trying to help with the process of getting us out the door, but I kept discovering more ‘piles’ (or creating them). Each time I did, he’d grow more frustrated. He’s also grappling with the death of his stepmom and has been vacillating between anger, sadness, and disbelief ever since it happened. Needless to say, he’s down and out on all counts, and with everything going on, it’s making life doubly hard. I’m trying to be understanding but it’s difficult when he keeps baring his teeth.
This morning involved even more ‘fun’ as I promised him I’d be ready to go at 9:30 and I wasn’t. I woke up plenty early, but then I kept finding more stuff that was missed (smudges on the white entry door, clothes left on hangers in the laundry room, odds and ends that needed to be gathered up and either placed into one of the vehicles, the recycle bin, or the garbage can). “You still need to get a shower and it’s already 9!” he growled as I tried to tidy up the kitchen, “Let me take care of the kitchen, you get cleaned up!” I didn’t argue, I just did as instructed. The problem was, even though I was completely ready to go by 9:30, I had forgotten about the ‘picking up the dog’ part. “I’m going to grab the dog from the boarder and I’ll be right back!” I called to him as I hurried out the door and made my way to the car. As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat, I phoned the dog boarder. The call went to voicemail. I then received a text, “I’m on the phone, I’ll call you back,” it read. I wrote back the following message, “I’m on my way over to pick up the dog, are you home?” “Will be home in 30 minutes,” she texted back.
Oh, crap! I knew this wasn’t going to make my hubby happy. He was extremely grumpy because he hadn’t had his morning cup of ‘Joe’, as our coffee maker was already packed up and loaded onto the trailer. In my infinite wisdom, I thought if I swung by the hospital coffee shop and grabbed him a mocha, that maybe a ‘peace offering’ would prevent him from coming totally unglued. His response when I told him about the delay was, “You need to do better.” “Oh, nice!” I thought to myself. Geesh, I wonder what he would have said had I not brought the peace offering? After my admonishment, I headed straightaway (sort of) to pick up the dog. To be honest, I did make a slight detour (which I didn’t mention to my husband). Because the boarder wasn’t home yet and I had a few minutes to kill, I swung by my former boss’s house and returned the tape dispenser he had lent me (to seal up all of the moving boxes). In my defense, it only took a minute (because I just set it on a bench in front of his house). From there, I drove to the dog boarder’s house, loaded my dog into the back of my vehicle, and headed home.
Boy, what a difference a few minutes make! My husband was talking to the neighbor and was all smiles when I returned. I wasn’t, however. The words he spoke to me before I left were still rolling around in my head. “How are you doing?” he asked gently, “Are you ready to say goodbye to the house?” “I’m not doing so great,” I responded, “I’m anxious because you’ve been on my case the last few days, and the last thing you said to me was that I needed to do better.” He immediately apologized and then said, “I’m an *sshole. I’ve been really impatient and I know you’re doing the best you can.” As I’ve mentioned before, the one thing I admire about my husband is that he’s willing to admit when he’s wrong. That said, it took a while before the ‘sting’ from his earlier remark subsided. You know, I would have been perfectly happy if that was the one and only wrinkle in the day, but it wasn’t. My friends, there were plenty more! The first thing that happened was the brand new Coleman 1/2 gallon jug that I put water in spilled all over my front passenger seat. It sucked, but at least it was water and not something sticky like soda.
I kept hearing a gurgling sound and when I lifted the jug to investigate, I noticed that the passenger seat in my car was completely soaked through. Sigh. The next wrinkle was pretty minimal. Seriously, it was nothing. It is just something I thought I’d share so you don’t do the same thing. Being the kind of person who always has ‘food on the brain’, I make a point to bring plenty of stuff to munch on. A couple of the items I brought in my lunch bag were a chicken sandwich and a banana. In case you weren’t aware, if you put a banana and a sandwich in a lunch bag and refrigerate them overnight, the sandwich will absorb the scent of the banana. I didn’t realize this when I did it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have. A banana-flavored chicken sandwich was not the most appetizing meal I’ve ever had, but I was so hungry that I ate it anyway. There are worse things, right? The next ‘wrinkle’ was definitely worse. First of all, before I say anything more, I want to emphasize that I’ve never had issues with booking rooms on Priceline before. I’ve been able to get incredible deals on beautiful accommodations. What I found out today is that adding a dog to the mix complicates matters a lot.
I have to tell you, when I booked two different ‘pet friendly/pets allowed’ hotel rooms, I had no clue that anything could possibly go wrong. I checked to see whether there were any restrictions and all I read on the website was that dogs could not exceed 80 pounds. Oh, but it’s not so simple. After driving for nearly 10 hours, only stopping long enough to fill up the fuel tank with gas (or empty my bladder), I wasn’t in the best of moods, especially after what the desk clerk told me when I called a few minutes before arriving. The fact that I was hungry and tired certainly did not help matters. According to what I was told by the desk clerk and the manager (which made me bare my teeth), “You booked a King room and dogs are not allowed in King rooms, they are only allowed in Queen rooms, and the Queen rooms are all sold out. You can stay in the King room but your dog cannot; you will need to leave it in the car or stay elsewhere.” What???!!! I was totally shocked. “When I booked the room through Priceline, it said pets were allowed,” I argued. “They are,” the manager said (after the desk clerk handed the phone to him), “But they’re only allowed in the Queen rooms.”
Arrrggghhh!!! Here it is, pitch dark and after 9 in the evening, and now my husband and I and our dog find ourselves without accommodations. Good grief, I’ve gone on and on and haven’t even got to the heart of the matter yet. Guess I’d better cut to the chase. Needless to say, once I got the crappy news, I immediately called Priceline. You must remember that at this time, I’m sailing down the freeway (where the signal comes and goes). The first customer representative had me on the line for 20 minutes before the signal/call dropped. She was just getting ready to refund my money when I lost her. I didn’t hesitate to call back, at which time I was connected with a completely different representative. After going through all the nitty gritty details yet again (about the hotel and the dog), the same damn thing happened!! I could not believe it!! I called back a third time and it happened yet again!! I literally felt like screaming. Hang on. You know what? I hate to do it, but I think I’m going to have to make this a two-parter. This is the best part of the story and I have only scratched the surface. Not only that, but I’m exhausted and have another 500 miles to drive tomorrow, so I really should wrap this up and continue later. If you wish to read more about my ‘fun’ day, join me again on the 12th.