Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Our Whirlwind Visit to Seattle, Part 1
So, we caught a late afternoon flight, landing in Seattle at six. Dinner was at seven. This meant that we had to fly dressed for dinner, and not check any baggage. No checked baggage meant that I had to pack everything required for a formal wedding, including my dress, into a 24" x 17" x 10" canvas box on wheels.
Once we landed, we dashed off the plane, but our gate was not in the main terminal. A short, crowded, and nausea inducing train ride later, we were spit out, one floor above baggage claim. Where we did not need to be, as we had no baggage to claim.
"My parents always wait at the Starbucks," Hubband said.
The Starbucks? There are seven Starbucks at Seatac Airport. But, he knew which one. Great!
It occurred to me to ask, "If we are in such a big hurry, why don't they just pick us up on the curb out front?" It occurred to me, but I did not ask. They are not my family of origin. Their ways are not my ways. Their ways sometimes make no sense to me, but that does not mean they make no sense to Hubband. I had to trust him.
We found the right Starbucks. The traditional familial gathering place. His parents were not there. We called them. They did not answer. We waited.
I took the opportunity to use the bathroom. While in there, I got a call from my mother-in-law, who was calling on behalf of my father-in-law, who was waiting at baggage claim (not Starbucks), even though he knew we had no baggage to claim. I hustled about, as fast as I could, drying my hands so hastily that I was still carrying a damp paper towel when I returned to the Starbucks to tell Hubband we needed to go down a floor. And we had to hurry.
Down stairs we went. Hubband told his father that he should be waiting upstairs at the Starbucks. His father told him that he should have stayed on the train until the last stop. If he had, we all would have met face to face as soon as the doors opened. I said nothing, but I was thinking, Who cares. Let's get moving!
We got to the parking garage. Paid at the kiosk. Walked to the car. All precious time. Why didn't they pick us up at the curb, again?
It was only once we were in the car that I realized, my mother-in-law and Grandmother (the family matriarch) were not with us. "Are they already at the restaurant?" I ask.
No. They were at the hotel. Waiting for us to pick them up. Whaaa? I thought we were in a hurry! I have a dress wadded up in a ball for this? (Well, this and the twenty bucks Alaska Airlines wanted to charge me to check a bag.)
Whatever. Crazy not-my-family-of-origin. I had done all I could to get where they wanted me, when they wanted me, appropriately dressed for dinner. I wasn't going to worry about it anymore. I decided to call my mother. She had all three kids. It had been four hours. Definitely time to check in.
Uh. Where's my phone? Can some one call my phone? Nothing. My phone was not in my purse nor on my person nor in my un-checked baggage. Think, think, think, Tracey. Where was the last place you had it? In the bathroom at Seatac. My mother-in-law's call rang through while I was, well, indisposed. So, she left a message. I checked my voice mail while I washed my hands. It was not easy. I was worried I would drop the phone in the sink. I dried my hands so hastily that I was still carrying a damp paper towel when I returned to the Starbucks to...
Nooooooo!!!!! I kept the damp paper towel and threw away the phone!