Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Best Of Times
It is true that we drove 17 hours to Huntington Beach, California in one day, stayed there for one day, turned around and drove 15.5 hours (curious) home.
It is also true that every single hour in the car--hours with my parents, going on four hours sleep, legs and thighs cramping up, tummy growing most unhappy--every single one was worth it a billion times over.
We wound through the snowy mountains at 5 in the morning, and my dad couldn't let up about all the FedEx trucks.
It started like this. "FedEx." . . .(ten minutes pass). "FedEx." . . . (seven minutes). . . "FedEx!"
FedEx was in Golden. FedEx was in Idaho Springs. There were two FedExes on the road near Georgetown. At the Eisenhower Tunnel we hit the snow. Signs warned us ICY ROADS. WILDLIFE ON THE ROADS. SNOW REMOVAL VEHICLES ON THE ROADS. EVIL TROLLS WAITING TO EAT YOU ON THE ROADS. OSAMA BIN LADEN IS ON THE ROADS.
But all we saw was FedEx.
"There's another one! What are they DOING here? Look, another! It's five in the morning. What is with all these FedEx trucks? What are these bozos doing?" and I think at one point he even accused FedEx of trying to take over the world.
He went on and on. FedEx was in Avon, Vail, Glenwood Canyon, Parachute. "Where are they all coming from?" my dad said, like FedEx was some kind of alien enemy adept at hiding behind trees. Finally my mom threw up her arms and cried:
"Brad, what is the matter with you? They are delivery trucks. It's their job to be out on the road. It's their purpose. Are you going crazy??"
And my dad quietly said, "There's just so many of them". And we'd been in the car for five hours and Noah and I laughed until we cried.
It went on about like that for 17 hours.
We hadn't eaten breakfast and we wanted to stop for lunch and my mom was all disbelief and said, "How many times a day do you people EAT?"
And I told my parents I wanted to find a rest stop and they started the Rest Stop Chorus. It goes like this: "You have to find a sign that says rest stop. Usually they're marked with a sign. There will be a sign before the rest stop. The sign will say 'rest stop'. There should be a sign. You should look for the rest stop sign. It is the one with the words 'rest' and 'stop'--"
Stars without makeup.
You want my parents at your wedding because they dance with wild abandon. Usually my parents are the only ones at the wedding dancing a storm. They are actors in their blood, see? And they don't mind--really, they don't--being the center of attention.
But this wedding was different. Because theatre blood runs on both sides of the family. So, whereas usually meine Mutter und mein Vater are the only ones shimmy shaking with their arms in the air and their elbows pointed skyward, boogeying down without a care as to how they look or who's watching--actually kind of enjoying being the center of the frenzy--this time there were lots of show people out on the floor. I don't know if I've ever seen such dancing. Conga lines, twirling circles, the two rows with everyone getting their groove on down the middle. It was like being at a wedding with all the kids from Glee. Except they all got kinda toasted and forgot the choreography.
Seeing family, some of whom I hadn't seen in eighteen years, and some of whom I had never met, made me happy right to bursting.
I am not kidding. I was first in line for the--I thought they were calling it the honey dance, but it turns out they were calling it the MONEY dance. Which makes a lot more sense, looking back. And I was supposed to offer money to dance with the groom. Ha! Not I. I conned his best man into letting me dance with him for free, and then, when it was my Almost-Cousin-Big-Sarah's time to cut in--I tell you the truth--I pulled that poor groom's neck to my lips and kissed him. Kissed him! But I was not drunk on liquor, nay. I had only had one beer.
I was drunk on joy.
It was all so happy, and so poignant, that I find myself unable to talk about it here.
Everything fell apart, and we couldn't go.
And then everything came together. And we did.
I saw my cousin get married. And it was beautiful. And I was drunk on joy and accidentally flirted with the bartender and kissed that poor groom. (Sorry Corey. Sorry Sarah.) I got to see my Sort Of Uncle Eric, who I had such a crush on when I was ten that I could not speak in his presence. And there was a while there when I could have done the ugly cry.
Because it was just so unspeakably beautiful.