I bolted from my bed at nine this morning, a full hour longer than I wanted to sleep. I was in the kitchen making breakfast before I was entirely awake, but somehow managed to keep the eggshells out of the waffles.
Feeding four teenage boys is like feeding twelve adults, but I managed to feed both of mine plus their two friends with minimal hassle and a little boost from my good friend Peet. Well, Peet's coffee, to be more accurate.
I began the process of pulling my clothes out of my drawers and closet, hoping that I had enough socks and underwear for a twelve day trip (I do) and that I could successfully triage what clothes were appropriate for the "Casual Elegance" the cruise brochures keep talking about. You know, there was a time in my life when I hated getting dressed up, then there was a time when I really liked it. Today? I kind of hate it, because it involves bringing an extra pair of shoes (total: 4 pair. Call me Imelda) and getting out that one suit I own, which I always wear under duress. Oh, sure, I can pull off a suit, but I always feel like I'm playing dress up, rather than actually dressing up, if that makes any sense.
Selecting my really geeky T-shirts was much more fun, and I realized that my wardrobe is essentially one huge shipment from Think Geek. Somehow, I managed to land myself a wife who is not only hot, smart, and puts up with me, but is also cool with the fact that her 33 year-old husband would rather wear the <geek> shirt, or The Shirt, than the stuff the rest of our adult friends wear.
I also realized, as I stood there in my bedroom, my dogs looking sadly at me from atop the bed (Riley) and leaning against my leg (Ferris), that I've been so stressed out because I'm so bi-polar about taking long trips: I absolutely love to see the world, and I can't wait to see how these two Eventful events work out -- to say nothing about how amazing the cruise is going to be -- but at the same time, I miss my dogs, and I miss my family, and my house, and my garden, and my bed, and even that spot in my back yard that keeps trying to die. I, uh, guess this is a pretty good problem to have, isn't it? I'm not complaining, just puzzling out why I'm not jumping for joy 24 hours before my plane takes off. I would have felt much less freaked if I'd started my packing a few days ago, but doing that seems to hasten my departure, and forces me to face the reality of being away from home.
Around noon today, while I was out trying to find some shorts (because I discovered, the day before I leave for the goddamn cruise that I have two pair of shorts, and neither of them are in good enough shape for polite company), Anne called to remind me that the kids both had dentist appointments at 3.
"You didn't forget, did you?"
"Uh, of course not." I said, phone tucked between my shoulder and ear, as I tried to decide between the green shorts and the blue ones.
"Okay, good. You're so freaked out, I thought it may fly out of your mind."
I decided on the blue ones, because I could wear them with my oh-so-ironic orange Wheaties shirt. I could probably wear the green ones, too, I realize now, but I'm more of a blue shorts kinda guy, because it's hip to be square.
"Yeah, just as soon as I pay here, I have to . . ." I looked at my list, and read off everything left on it.
"Oh crap," she said. "You'd better get going, and I need to sweep up before my next haircut gets here."
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you, too."
I shoved my phone in my pocket and let the panic monkey out of his cage, but just for a minute. On the same auto-pilot that got the houseful of kids fed this morning, I finished all of my errands over the next two hours, dropped Nolan and his friend at the pool, took Ryan to drop off some important project at his school, so he gets a good grade in one of his classes, and had them both at the dentist in time for their cleaning.
While I sat in the waiting room, I tried to read a magazine, but I just couldn't focus; I felt like I was going to pass out, and realized that I hadn't eaten a single thing all day. Even when I'd made breakfast, and put the leftovers in the fridge, I forgot to feed myself. It's been like that the last couple of days.
I pulled myself out of the chair and walked down the street to get a taco, which my stomach is currently reminding me was probably not the best thing to put into it, when it had only had coffee in it all day.
After the kids were done (no cavities. score!) we headed home, and I further triaged my clothes. My goal was to eliminate 25% of the T-shirts, and at least 10% of the other shirts, and though it came down to a very difficult decision, I ultimately left "Choose Your Weapon" at home, in favor of my Earnest Borg9 Multigalactic Tour shirt, which is much more appropriate for this trip, anyway.
I remembered to eat dinner, and I've gotten myself entirely packed up into just two bags plus my backpack, with minimal cussing. I've gone over all my lists, and double checked everything, and I'm 99% sure I haven't overlooked anything, even though Ferris hasn't left my side since the suitcases came out of the garage, and she realized that dad is going on a trip. She must know I'm writing about her, because she just sighed heavily and rolled over to rest her head on my foot.
I can't believe it's already here. I can't believe that when I get back, I'm only home for a week before I head right back onto the road again, for most of July at the WSOP.
The car comes in eight hours. I hope I can sleep for some of them.