Friday, July 9, 2010
Well, they're off. George the Younger and Henry boarded the plane this morning at 10:00 and are off to New Hampshire for the next five weeks. This is the only photo of the two of them that came out with Henry smiling. Not because he didn't want to go to camp, but because we had to get in the car before 8:00 in the morning AND he was forced to take a shower before we left. Both crimes against humanity when it comes to Henry in the summer. That kid is a pill. I wanted to yell at him and say "wouldn't it be nice if the last morning we spent together before you left for camp you weren't such a total ass", but I just sighed, shrugged and decided not to get on the pissed-off-henry train. By the time we drove 20 minutes to the airport he was right as rain.
As luck would have it, I left earlier than I had originally planned, waking up to the feeling that I should factor in the "unknown." The "unknown" in this case was our check in guy. A box of hair might have recalled the process of checking in two unaccompanied minors better than Ray. He was well intentioned. He was trying to provide excellent customer service. He just took about an hour longer than he should have trying to do it.
I think the problem was two-fold. A - With all the new check-in kiosks, gate agents are becoming less and less familiar with how to handle actual live passengers and more and more familiar with how to handle electronic gadgets. B - Ray was one of those naturally perplexed and in-a-tizzy kind of guys. Hands shaking, talking to himself, asking his neighbor gate-checker to confirm he was taking all the right steps. But, while it was maddening, I recognized quite early on in the process that my being snarky or pushy was only going to prolong the transaction. I chewed two pieces of gum back-to-back just to vent frustration quietly. Any sharp movement and it was likely to send Ray right over the edge. Tears would not have been a surprise.
Luckily when all was finished, the boys were outfitted with the requisite neck pouches (with sharp, itchy and generally uncomfortable plastic beaded chains) and hospital-esque wrist bands that visually proclaimed them as unaccompanied minors. For his part, Ray had markedly messier hair and conspicuously larger underarm sweat stains on his gate-checker uniform shirt. And, in a new twist to the unaccompanied minor SOP, they also have a password to remember. When they are retrieved at the airport this afternoon, they must say the password and the picker-upper must say the password. I'm not exactly sure what will happen if either party does not remember the password. Do they put them on the next plane home? Wait in the waiting room until one of the parties remembers the word that they forgot? E-mail "help" to be reminded of their password? Administer truth serum to be double sure that the guy in the Winaukee t-shirt is there to pick up the two boys in the Winaukee hats?? I have no idea. The boys have all manner of emergency phone numbers just in case.
But, now the question looms....what the heck am I going to do for the next five weeks now that my "job" has left town??? This is their FIFTH year at camp. This is my FIRST year when, during that same time period, we are not moving house. In other words, I have no all-consuming project. No closets to clean out, no boxes to pack, no decisions to make about what stays with us or goes in to storage.
The townhouse unit two doors down from us just came up vacant. I know there is a dishwasher in that unit. There are rumors that there may even be a washer/dryer in there lurking about. I briefly considered orchestrating a move from here to there. The lure of either a dishwasher or w/d was all consuming. But, it dawned on me pretty early in my imaginations that I was thinking just a little crazy. So alas, my normal summer activity is not a consideration. What now?
It's true that I do have the CMR to deal with. That will take up about 10 minutes every day. There are a few more minutes in a day to fill up. I may join a gym. Please, consider that a "may" when it turns out that I don't join a gym. I have never held a gym membership, nor gone to a gym for longer than one or two classes. Having said this, I recently viewed a photo that Henry took of me surreptitiously while we were getting ready to go the waterpark on Monday. A gym membership might be a solution to that back-fat I couldn't help but become fixated by. And, it's too bad that Henry's not here right now cause I have a great big THANKS! for him for taking such a flattering shot of my wobbly bits on the back-side.
I may try to sort through all our digital photos of the past 10 years and put some in to albums. I have been meaning to do this for about 10 years. Then again, I may become addicted to Hulu and catch up on the past three seasons of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. That is, once I have figured out how to use Hulu.
Oh well, I will think about that more tomorrow. For today, I will catch up on some miscellaneous "business" stuff and wait for the phone call from New Hampshire that says that the boys have safely arrived. One thing at a time....