One of my favorite humans on this planet decided to pick up and move to San Francisco. Needless to say, anytime she makes it back to the East Coast, I do my best to get to where ever she is, if only for a brief time. Since moving to New York, all real conversations with friends have been subject to forgetfulness. So it’s no wonder that Friday, June 29th, Lindsey calls me in the morning to say hey! Just letting you know I get in tomorrow! Me, all baffled (see forgetful comment above) is like: Oh! shit! I forgot! Since I’m single and have a cat, my schedule is pretty flexible. I reach out to Linds’ brother and his girlfriend who are also going up for the weekend (and live in New York), call their sweet mother and basically invite myself up that night, with 2 1/2 weeks worth of laundry. (It was bad. I was on the reserve underwear. I hope you all know that i would not have lugged nearly 60lbs worth of laundry to another state had it not been that dire of a situation).
As I’m wrapping my Friday up, exiting a great meeting with a client, I check my phone and there are 9 texts from Jesse, Lindsey’s older brother. One says: You’ll earn immunity from my teasing for a month and the last one says: Answer me. At this point, it’s 5:15, my train is at 7:45 in Manhattan and I still need to pack my shit at my apartment in Brooklyn then get back in to the city, as I didn’t realize I would be away for the weekend. Call Jesse (who’s all: Hey! How are you? How are things?! So...I need a favor...I forgot my backpack at the office...if I messenger it over to your apartment in Brooklyn, could you bring it with you tonight??) I of course say yes. Jesse: really? I mean, you’ll take my backpack?? Me: sure! it’s just a backpack, dude. Don’t worry about it.
Turns out Jesse the wonder-kid didn’t messenger it over to Brooklyn, he had a loyal co-worker hop in a cab and deliver it to me. On a Friday night. During rush hour. In New York fucking City. The time is getting closer to 7 than I’d like I’m still waiting and I get anxious so I call his friend who STILL hadn’t made it over the bridge yet. Panic beginning to set in, I said: I’ll hop on the subway and meet you at Atlantic Avenue. I myself have: my work messenger bag, my bag full of weekend stuff, and let’s not forget my 890 lb bag full of dirty clothes. (And I’m in a dress. In literally 99 degree heat.) I get out of the subway stop, see the cab, and what happens next in my mind is a montage of torture rooms, psychological warfare and a very dark vivid red color, because Jesse’s backpack? The one he so innocently asked me to carry? It’s not a backpack like I was envisioning. This wasn’t a Jansport that you carry around campus with, oh no. This was a: I’m going off to discover who I am for 7 months as I trek across the outer mountain chains of Northern Mongolia backpack. Laura, Jesse's co-worker, handed it off to me like a kid she was glad she was done babysitting, and I pointed my finger in her face and said: I am going to fucking murder Jesse MacDougall. Laura (the chick) giggled nervously then hopped back in the cab. So I strapped the fucking beast of a backpack to my back, slinging my other bags around me and went back into the subway. It’s 7:25, and I’m still in Brooklyn. I have to be at Penn Station in the next 15 minutes, other wise my 7:45 train is a joke. As I get on to the subway, I sit down, taking up approximately 4.6 seats and realize that when I put Jesse’s backpack on, the hem of my dress went with it, and I’d been walking through the subway station with my ass exposed.
And ps: who the fuck forgets something as important as the bag they carry away for the weekend?
Long story longer, I had resigned myself to missing the train, but thank christ it was delayed. I hopped on and began to relax.
Get off the train, Jesse picks me up and is like: awww, thank you! here, let me help you. fuck that, dude. don’t you touch a thing. if I made it this far, i’m gonna carry it all the way to the fucking house, you slick mother fucker.
The weekend was amazing. I was able to spend time with Lindsey, catch up, laugh, sleep, and laugh some more. Summer at its best: egg tosses, volley ball, beer, family and happiness. Paula and Kevin (Lindsey and Jesse’s parents) are so lovely, kind and welcoming. I love the way the MacDougall’s only have one speed: go. Whispering to them means not using a megaphone. Relaxing to Paula means wearing a bathing suit and shorts while she vacuums the whole first floor at 8am. While most consider yard work to involve a rake and a bucket, Kev gets one of those electric company buckets to hoist himself in to cut down a branch. Lindsey wakes up, wants to go for a 10 mile run then plans her day.
The first time I ever visited the MacDougall compound I noticed a few signs around the house: DON’T LET SHAINA IN. After having no luck figuring this mystery out on my own, I asked Lindsey: Who’s Shaina? (I’m thinking it’s like, the town nut who stumbles into people’s homes to sleep on their hallway floor) and in an ever so nonchalant response: oh, Shaina’s our cat. She’s so lazy, doesn’t kill enough mice, so we try and have her stay out as much as possible in the summer. WHAT?? A synonym for a house cat is lazy. Not on the MacDougall watch, no sir-ee. Shaina needed to pull her own weight.
I get home from the weekend, make my bed with clean sheets, sleep soundly. Wake up the next morning covered in hives. I have never used fabric softener before that weekend, and now I know why. Head to toe hives.
I guess my father called my godfather (his brother John) and told him the story. Uncle John calls me on Tuesday night and says: MAH-GRETT! YAH FAH-THAH TOLD ME WHAT HAPPENED! JEEZE! WHO YA BEEN DATIN’??
All in all, it was a successful weekend; I got to see a best friend, hang out with her awesome family, and do laundry get hives and get made fun of by my godfather.