Monday, February 25, 2013

Slow deep breaths....

Here's a math problem for you.....A woman plans a trip. Initially the woman is very excited about this trip, however, as the time to depart draws nearer she finds herself having not only horrible anxiety, but also panic attacks at the most inopportune moments. (Everyone knows there's a RIGHT time for a panic attack and in the middle of Target ain't it.) How much Xanax will this woman have to consume before she is finished with the delightful "vacation" she has planned? And if the woman doesn't actually have a prescription for Xanax how many travel sized bottles of Maker's Mark should she plan on putting in her carry-on bag?

I've always hated word problems.

On Friday our son is graduating from Navy Boot Camp. Doesn't it seem like just a few days ago I was freaking out over his leaving? Time flies....time to freak out over something new! We're flying into Milwaukee on Thursday morning and plan to spend the weekend in the Chicago area. I can't wait to see Wesley. We've only spoken briefly on the phone twice while he's been there, but he's written to us every week and he sounds like a changed man. He seems really happy and excited about, well, all of it. In his last letter he told us he had gotten his orders and after all of his training is finished he'll be stationed on an aircraft carrier in San Diego. Which, YAY! Close enough to home that we can see him fairly often but far enough away that he can feel like he's on his own. Because he is. Holy cow. He's a grown man who's on his own. My gosh! When will it end? WHERE IS MY TIME FREEZING MACHINE?!

Anyway, enough about that. The boy is doing well, we're proud, excited to see him, blah blah blah. Can we talk about me now? Because I'm not doing so well. Which, no doubt, comes as a big surprise.

When we planned this trip I was sooo excited. That's what I do. I forget that I'm not a great traveler who's relaxed and rolls with the punches. No, I am the opposite of a great traveler. I am a neurotic crazy person who must plan for every contingency and visualize all worst case scenarios at 3 a.m. in graphic technicolor (to the soundtrack of my husband's violent snoring as he lies next to me completely unconcerned about the impending disaster that awaits us at soon as we leave the protective cocoon of our home on Thursday morning. How could I have married someone so insensitive? What was I thinking?!)

Here are the things I'm worried about.-

1. The children we're leaving behind. Our 3 youngest kids are staying at home. They're 17, 14, and 12. I have arranged for them to be transported to and from school, laid in a massive supply of Totino's pizzas and ice cream, and set up 37 different responsible adults to check up on them while we're gone. They will be monitored more closely for those 4 days than they have been at any other time of entire their lives, yet I am certain, CERTAIN!!!, something is going to go wrong. And not just a little wrong, but terribly, terribly WRONG. Like an episode of Rescue 911 wrong. I'll return and our relationships will never be the same because they will have forged everlasting unbreakable bonds with William Shatner and the paramedics that swooped in and saved them from eating undercooked frozen pizza while I was away.

2. The weather. We don't really have weather here. Sometimes it's hot, other times it's not. That's basically the extent of it. I'm afraid I'm going to be so miserable because of the cold that I won't be able to enjoy the weekend at all. I have 30+ pairs of shoes. Of those 30 pairs of shoes ONE pair MIGHT be warm/dry/comfortable enough for a weekend in Chicago. Don't even get me started on the warm clothing I do not own. How could I have been so irresponsible all of these years as to not buy a coat?

3. Sightseeing. I know that this is a silly thing to worry about, but I figure if I'm going to a city I've never been to I should try to pack in as much....EVERYTHING...as I possibly can. We'll have Thursday afternoon and evening and most of Saturday to do whatever we like. My Clark Griswoldness has activated and I am determined to make the most of every SINGLE moment. I've talked to a couple of people and done a little bit of research online, I'd really like to go to Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Chicago Art Institute, and maybe Lincoln Park, if there's time. Have any of you been to Chicago? Is that too much to cram into a day and a half? The rest of my traveling companions (my husband, son, and daughter-in-law) are mostly concerned with making sure they get to eat pizza/brats/White Castles/hotdogs, I'm guessing it won't be an issue to find food, right?

4. Meeting new people. Remember how I joined Facebook so I could get the lowdown on the Navy stuff? Well, there are all of these people (parents, wives, girlfriends) who have gotten the idea that since we are all going to be at the same place at the same time for the same thing we should meet. And have conversations and crap IN PERSON. Why? WHY?! If you think I'm awkward on the internet you should see me face to face sometime. I seriously don't know if I can do it. On the other hand I can't NOT do it, I don't want them to think I'm some kind of jerk. No, it's much better for them to meet me, then when they get home they can start a secret Facebook group where they can discuss their fun weekend, except for the part when they met "that one crazy lady".

5. Everything else. I hate not being at home. I hate not having my own stuff around. I'm a picky eater. I just know I'm going to be late for something or offend someone or lose something I love IN ANOTHER STATE and never ever see it again.

I'm trying stay focused and remember that the most important thing is that our son has done this really great thing and in just a few days we're going to be with him, but, ugh, it's not easy. Ya know?

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Oh boy, do I know! Are you secretly related to me and I not know about it? :)

You will do great. Your kids will be just fine while you are away. I know they won't die from undercooked Totinos cause mine haven't yet! ha ha... And if you meet those people and they don't like you?.... pffttt! Who cares! If they don't like you, they must be weirdos!

I hope you have a great time!