Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saga of Seattle

The Final 48

In the lead up to our trip, Johnno and I planned out our own Christmas game plan. I wasn’t keen on the idea of bringing gifts to Seattle to open in front of his parents—mostly because it was something that was meant to be personal and for us alone. So I made a plan for us to have a private Christmas the Sunday before we flew out—it worked out well because we would be doing Griffith Park Light stroll the night before then the next day was a holiday dinner party at Kelly and Johnny’s so it would feel very Christmasy.

Of course, I didn’t plan for the fact that on Saturday we would both be all over the place, tying up the loose ends for our trip. Lola and I had to exchange gifts, Johnno had to pack and clean up his apartment, I had to balance out check books and bills to send. So because of that, we just made it to the Light Stroll but still left things unaccomplished. And though I had fun at the Light Stroll, and at Johnny and Kelly’s post Lights, I knew there was still so much to do. So even though we kissed and wished each other a Merry Christmas, I was still worried when it came to me and Johnno’s last day.

So I woke him up Sunday morning with ‘Get up and get dressed bitch.’ Or so Johnno claims—which I kind of believe.

We made our way out of the house to run our last few errands. I really just wanted us to be able to settled in, no pending to-do list, once we decided to open our gifts. Johnno really wanted to go and buy an ornament for our first year together over the holidays and I really wanted to get the food we needed for the dinner party later. We made our way to Pier One and had an amusing exchange about how we both liked the same ornament but both thought the other would find it tacky. But he is cute.

His name is Arturo.

After we nailed down Arturo and food for the party, we came back and switched back into pjs for the gift swap. I think we both lucked out between clothes, cds, gift cards and various other items but more importantly, we made a moment just for us. Champagne and cuddling, music and a little bit of making out before we had to pull ourselves out of the moment and get out the door.

Then we headed off to the dinner with all the LA peeps still in town. Ali, Robin, Dominic, Thomas, Kelly, Johnny and a handful of other people made a night of it which felt very Misfit holiday in all the right ways. There was karaoke and cocktails, jokes and advice, and last minute holiday wishes between everyone there before Johnno and I headed out. We doubled checked our travel plans before he went home and I made some last minute to-do lists before bed.

The next day was pretty easy; I only had to wait for the super shuttle since Johnno had the suitcase with him so I spend my time doing all my last minute grooming between shaving and deep conditioning before making my way out. I was a bit worried because I can tend to get stressed out when traveling with other people but I made the airport in good time and found Johnno easily in the hustle and bustle of LAX.

What I wasn’t expecting was to be delayed.

Turns out the crew for our flight was somehow trapped in San Francisco so we were delayed about three hours—for a two and half hour flight. I was annoyed but mostly due to the fact that the announcer for Virgin America kept saying that we were delayed but that “all the other pending flights were on time, even those going to the East Coast since there was no weather issues so only Seattle had to wait.” I wanted to punch him.

It didn’t help that it finally set in that I was about to be dealing with Johnno’s folks and I was not really ready to accept whatever was about to happen. This led to me being in a pretty snotty mood and one that was wearing on Johnno over the course of the delay. It wasn’t until he snapped at me that I tried to get myself out of my funk—mostly because I realized that with the delay I would not have to share a supper with his parents once we arrived.

Even still, I did almost punch the Virgin American announcer when he pushed past me later. I mean, he did continue to make announcements about how we were stuck because they did not have a crew for our plane—it was just annoying to have that said constantly in a chipper voice. But we finally made our way to the plane and took off.

We held hands the entire flight—it seemed to help with the nerves.

Now I love flying so I was able to calm down by just staring out the window at the clear and pretty sky. Johnno spent the flight rocking out to music and I practiced taking deep breathes as we made our way up the coast. Once we landed, I basically didn’t even try to get off the plane because I needed more time to prep myself for what was to come. What can I say? I was a mess.

Eventually we had to get off the plane or risk looking like security risks.

Johnno and I made our way through the airport, me keeping one eye out for his folks why Johnno was more concerned about finding our luggage. He had worked so I think he was just very tired but I was worried his parents would spring out behind a column or up behind us. I wanted to stay alert and prepared.

I saw his mother first, alone and in a jaunty hat. I kept one eye peeled for his father since I was about being prepared. I hung back as Johnno greeted his mom and distracted myself by looking out for our luggage. I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

His mother came up hugged me—taking me by surprise.

The weird thing about this was that his mother barely said two words to me when we met last summer—matter of fact she only spoke to me when we left the restaurant and she suggested I looked tired and that Johnno should take me home. So the hug was weird.

So, sticking true to form, I made my way outside and had a smoke while updating my Facebook. I took the moment to try and adjust to the friendliness before heading back inside—but I somehow managed to blow past Johnno’s Dad outside and ignored him in the process. I only found this out after I headed back inside.

I will say I did feel bad.

Then we made our way out to Johnno’s sister’s house. We were staying there because the parents didn’t want us to stay at their house—which was fine with me. While the family made small talk, I stared out the car window into the darkness of Washington. It was very beautiful and woody, like ‘Twilight’ promised with a light fog and bright stars filling up the space between the thick trees—and as we continued I realized that Johnno really did live out in the middle of nowhere.

Eventually I chipped in little comments during the car ride but spent most of my time just trying to take in the scenery. His mother was friendly while Johnno and his father made conversation about sports and politics and local things—I didn’t really have much to add. But after a long ride, we finally made it to his sister Siobhan’s house which left me pleasantly surprised.

Johnno had, at the last moment, told me that she lived in a trailer park which I was weirded out by because I am a bit of snob. (I know) But it turns out that her house was just in a module home park and I would not need to be afraid of the house rolling off in the middle of the night. So we said our good byes and I began to prep for bed as Johnno caught up with his sister. She seemed tired so I just kept out of the way.

That and it had been a long day.

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