Yesterday was an a rough day for me as I experienced many highs and lows while riding the Emotional Roller Coaster.
I had been standing in the line since Saturday so you’d think I would have been more prepared for it but I obviously wasn’t.
Not a Good Call
Tammy’s cousin Dixie called Friday night to let Tammy know her Dad’s brother, Neil, had passed away. On Saturday Tammy found out the funeral was going to be on Tuesday.
Most of Tammy’s family lives in/around Ocala, Florida which made attending the funeral difficult, but not impossible.
Tammy began looking for flights that would get her down there to be with her family and to pay her respects to her uncle Neil.
We had made it down to visit her family in 2010 and I was glad I got to meet everyone, including Neil. Looking back, I know that trip is especially meaningful for Tammy since it was the last time she got to see Neil.
A Long Goodbye
Tammy took care of her reservations and got a flight that left O’Hare at 3:20 on Monday afternoon which meant she had to pack quickly.
I say that because typically when we go somewhere Tammy starts packing her suitcase 3-4 days early and is the stereotypical woman with overstuffed luggage.
Tammy’s track record of being late and taking forever to pack had me worried since she hadn’t made much progress when we went to bed Sunday night, but I decided it would be in my best interest NOT to say anything.
I picked Tammy up a little after noon and we were off to the airport. We were both getting sad during the ride down because we knew we wouldn’t be able to see each other for the next few days. (Editor’s Note: Spending Saturday in the basement doesn’t count because I come up for supplies throughout the day and can see Tammy.)
We pulled into O’Hare around 1:30 and I got Tammy’s suitcase out of the car. After we hugged, kissed and said our goodbyes I watched Tammy and her suitcase disappear into O’Hare’s belly.
As I pulled away I couldn’t help but think of the poem If I Knew.
From bad to worse
I already felt bad about leaving her there by herself so early and felt even worse knowing she had to wait longer.
Then she said she couldn’t get her laptop to connect to the internet. I felt horrible.
It was as if I had just abandoned her in a third-world country with no contacts or money, like I had dropped off the family pet on some country dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
I fought off the onslaught of questions that flooded my mind.
Brain: Will she make it back? If she does, will she be the same person? Will she even recognize me?
A 3-Hour Tour, A 3-Hour Tour
Savannah was surprised to see me at home so early but that quickly faded when I put a little peanut butter in one of her toys.
I sat down at the computer and began tracking Tammy’s flight, which was scheduled to be around three hours.
At times it seemed as if the flight was literally stuck in mid-air and I had to do something to keep from becoming a nervous wreck.
I took Savannah outside where she played with the nice Nicor gas people who had surprised us by digging a giant hole in our front yard. (Editor’s Note: Don’t get me started on how the land between the sidewalk and the street is the city’s yet it’s my responsibility to maintain it.)
I’m not sure who enjoyed the interaction more, Savannah or the Nicor worker (I’m leaning toward Savannah because she’s a slut like that) but they eventually had to get back to work so we headed inside.
I kept the flight tracker up and started doing stuff around the house so I wouldn’t just sit and watch her painstakingly-slow flight.
I finally was able to relax when she let me know she made it and was getting her rental car.
Since Tammy wasn’t going to be home I decided to make something for dinner that I usually reserve for nights when Tammy goes out with her friends, who I affectionately nicknamed The B!tches. (Editor’s Note: Despite what Tammy tells me (kidding) I don’t really think they are b!tches. I just like saying stuff like, “Oh yeah, I forgot you’re going out with The B!tches tonight.)
It’s not like Tammy won’t let me eat my comfort food when she’s around. It just evolved into a tradition of sorts that when Tammy isn’t home I make corn dogs or corn dogs nuggets.
I usually pair my corn dogs with mac and cheese, but last night I went with chicken wings and spicy bean dip instead. She’s gone until Friday so what do I care.
A Land of Confusion
My coming home early had surprised Savannah but Tammy not showing up confused her.
I normally get home first and ask Savannah “Who’s here?” when I see Tammy pull in.
Savannah runs to the kitchen to look out the door before eventually heading outside to greet Tammy.
Last night she sat in the kitchen looking out the door for well over an hour.
When Tammy didn’t appear she headed down to the door for a closer look.
After sitting by the door for almost another hour, passing in and out of consciousness, she gave up and decided to wait for Tammy on her spot on the couch.
Nothing Like A Cup o’ Cooch in the Morning
Savannah perked up when Jake made it home and eventually they both joined me in the basement to watch Monday Night Football.
Jake and Savannah played football together for a while and around 9 we made out way back upstairs.
Tammy had texted to let me know she made it to the hotel but that it wasn’t the same one she’d stayed at a few years ago and that it was “not nice at all.”
A little later this was her description of the hotel: Crappy breakfast, staticy TV so close to the interstate she could hear trucks all night.
She went on to say that she had to drink “tap water because they don’t have bottled water” (Editor’s Note: We are water snobs as well as TV snobs) and that her “coffee smells like vagina.” (Editor’s Note: No comment.)
A Visit from the Cookie Monster
Around 9:15 I got a text from Grace saying she was “coming over to surprise Jake with cookies” and that she wanted him to answer the door.
I kept myself out of the living room so I couldn’t hear the door and Jake would be more inclined to answer it.
Jake: Somebody’s here?
Me: Huh? Really? Who is it?
Jake: I don’t know.
I followed Jake to the back door and I stayed at the top of the stairs when he peered outside.
Jake: Uh-oh. What is this?
He opened the door to get a better look and just as I saw what it was, Savannah pushed the door open and headed to investigate
Me: Don’t let her get it.
“It” was the display of cookies Grace had made on the patio. Jake grabbed Savannah and started looking around for Grace who eventually popped out from beside the house.
She had made a giant heart shaped cookie that said, “I love you as much as…” with six other cookies (below) sitting next to it.
You Got Some ’splainin’ to Do…
We brought the cookies inside where they would be safe from Savannah and we could read them better.
Grace: Did you see what all they say?
Grace: The first one (upper left) is for that couple on How I Met Your Mother.
Jake: Um, you mean Modern Family?
Grace: Oh yeah, that’s it. Did you see yours Jason? It says Jason loves Hagar.
Me: I did. That’s pretty sweet. (Editor’s Note: I’m a big Sammy Hagar fan. I’ve seen him so many times I’ve lost count and so many times Tammy won’t go with me anymore. No, I haven’t been to Cabo. Yes, David Lee Roth is fine, I just prefer Sammy.)
Me: But why does Tammy love Walter?
Grace: She loves Peyton, Walter Payton, right? Oh wait, I don’t think that’s right.
At this point both Jake and I had burst into laughter and I had already begun the process of sending the picture to Tammy.
Grace: Oh man!! It’s not Walter Payton. I can’t believe I put Walter Payton. I’m so stupid. Why would I do that?
A few seconds later Tammy texted me back after she looked at the picture.
Tammy: Tammy luvs Walter. Who’s Walter? haha
Of course that prompted a phone call to Tammy so she could hear Grace’s reaction.
She’d Grown Up Just Like Me
Before we got off the phone Tammy asked if I had seen her Facebook status. I told her I hadn’t but I’d check it before I went to bed.
I couldn’t help but smile when I saw it because she had found a way to have me next to her even though I was 1,100 miles away.
Workin’, Slavin’ Every Day
I grabbed my cookie and started getting ready for bed when I heard Grace talking to Jake.
Grace: Are you gonna eat your cookie?
Jake: I dunno, maybe.
Grace: Geeezzz!! C’mon!! I’ve been slavin’ over a hot stove for you to have cookies and you aren’t even gonna eat them?
The next thing I saw was Grace following Jake to the table where he tore off a piece of his cookie.
I chuckled at how similar their relationship is to me and Tammy’s.
I headed off to bed and night 1 without Tammy.