Yesterday, Parker (yes guys, my husband finally has a name on here, there you go!) informed me that our friend and writer of The Inquisitive Loon was coming to town early. As an added bonus, Parker explained that I wouldn’t have to drive. That was two things to look forward to, because I hate driving to the fraking airport. I was actually more excited that I wouldn’t have to drive to the airport than I was to pick up Til early. Here’s why:
We have two airports, but it’s damn near impossible to book a flight at the Good One. I always fly in/out of the Good Airport, but Til (the Inquisitive Loon) always flies into The International Airport for Easily Confused Drivers. Last time Til flew in, Parker texted and said, “I’m at work. Til’s flying in. Can you please go pick him up?” I was about to get off work, which gave me approximately the perfect time to get there in time for him to step off the flight and into my car.
However, I am the most directionless driver ever. In my hometown, which is a small city and nowhere near the top 6 biggest cities (we live in one now), I can get lost and within half an hour know where I’m going. But this place has a trillion highways. The worst part is everyone who lives here always tells me, “It’s easy.” Those people are liars. They have GPS or they’ve lived here a long time or they actually drive places, whereas I stick to my normal routine, or they have little elves who they pay hourly to take time out of their busy cookie and gift-making lives to help navigate.
I left work with some directions. This was last year, and it was already getting dark when I left. Shit, I thought. Now I have to drive in the dark. To the International Airport. Nah, it’s cool, I can TOTALLY DO THIS.
I ended up on the outskirts of Houston. A giant truck was side-by-side on the freaking service road with my car, and I was screaming obscenities inside the safety of my own car and singing and yelling to myself about not knowing where I was. The truck revs his engine at the stoplight, and I’m getting ready to turn and bitch out some dude in a massive truck who probably has a gun rack in the back, when I see a man grinning his ass off trying to flirt with me. I couldn’t help but laugh.
It took me about 2 hours to actually get to the airport. When I got there, the letters all threw me off, and they’re always fast, like “You want this? Aaaaaand now you’re missing your lane.” I told Til I was picking him up at Gate Z or whatever the last one is, because I had no other option. “Ummmm, I’m totally not there. I have to cross a bridge to get to where you are.” It’s a whole other building away and a BRIDGE. I wish I was making this up, but I am NOT. There is an overpass in between buildings at the airport. What the HELL airport? What kind of Labrynth are you running? I started looking around for David Bowie or some muppets to sing to me or a giant Bludo to throw in the car. Except as we know from the movie, Bluto smells. At this rate, I was going to end up in the Bog of Eternal Stench. Or worse. I’d have to leave the airport and get lost trying to get back to it. Desperately, I pulled into the parking lot and hit the button.
“I DON’T WANT TO PARK HERE!” I yelled into the intercom. “I want to pick up my friend!”
It took entirely too long for her to assure me that if I left the parking lot in less than 15 minutes, I’d be easily able to leave the structure without paying. Then she directed me to get back to the gate I needed. Channeling Jason Statham, I pulled some Transporter moves, and prayed that no human was in the parking lot as my car squealed its way out. I had to call Til multiple times and freak out and have him guide me with his phone GPS. Once I picked him up, we got lost coming home. So it took us about 1.5 hours to get back. Parker called me, because by now it was totally dark and everyone was starving and Til was using his GPS, but we were navigating in the dark, and it’s not like Flight of the Navigator in there. Because neither of us knew how to get out or what direction we were heading in (whereas in F.o.t.N at least the robot knows). When Parker called the first of like, three times, we ended up in a random parking lot trying to decide if they wanted us to take a hard left or a slight left out of it to get back on the freeway and where that was exactly. Well, no, maybe that was the second time he called.
By the time we parked, we were completely exhausted from traveling, and I was frazzled from being lost/in the car for what some could consider the length of a road trip. We can’t park at our building, because we’re on a main street and the driveways are for multiple cars and incredibly steep. Both Parker and I would tear out the entire underside of our cars if we parked there. It’s THAT bad. So we have to street park around the corner, sometimes further. There are tons of signs on my street that all say, “No parking to the corner” with arrows on them. I couldn’t park on my normal side, so I parked across the street since the connected side of the block requires a permit. We exited the vehicle. The “No Parking to the Corner” sign faced away from me. We numbly walked to the house, and I was glad that Parker did not have to drive to find us then lead us home. We ate and relaxed and everything seemed fine.
The next day, I tried to leave to go to work. I panic when I park in a different place, because our street is really big on ticketing, and I’m always worried I’m going to get towed. That day, I was confidently thought, Oh, I must’ve parked on the other side, when I realized that it WAS where I’d parked. Frantically, I ran to the sign which faced away from me. What happened was that at some point while I was at work, the Greek festival had told the city to designate short term parking for their festival thus displacing EVERYONE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. No one told us or even left a freaking note. The sign was in the exact same place, but now instead of saying, “No Parking to the Corner,” it said, “Violators will be towed.”
I called about 4 different numbers over the next half hour just to find out who towed my car, because the sign was keeping secrets. I had to wait for Parker to come home, pick me up, and take me to my towed car. Til calmed me down by watching tv and using the same voice the Hostage Negotiators use to keep everyone from going over the edge, and I had to call work and tell them I literally had no way to get there. Them picking me up would not help, because if I waited a day, the tow company would cackle and add another charge for continuing to use their non-negotiable, uncalled for services.
We picked up my car. On it was two tickets from the city. Which I totally had to pay, because when the city makes up rules, you obey or else they add late charges to your ticket. So I was over the moon pissed, like Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar. At the end of his trip, I took Til back to the airport, got lost on my way home, and had to have him guide me.
Fortunately, this time, I did not have to drive. I was allowed to sit in the passenger seat and zone out until it was time to take exits, so I could study for a test when I eventually have to take Til back to the airport.