Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Absentia

My family has some problems with absent-mindedness. It strikes to different degrees with each person, but rarely does it skip someone entirely. In my instance, I am one of the rarer victims, but I think I get disproportionately angry when it does happen.

Take today for instance. Erika and I are heading out on vacation, which is awesome. Given that I still can't drive, Erika was behind the wheel while I was navigating our way to the long-term parking. Due to its cheap and long-term nature it isn't exactly directly adjacent to the airport.

We brum down the highway.

ERIKA: Which way do we go now?

ME: Just move over a lane and go straight through.

ERIKA: Really?

ME: Yep!


We continue sailing down the highway.

ME: Take the next exit here.

ERIKA: It's the same exit as the airport? That doesn't sound right.

ME: ...

ME: ...


There's always a moment that everyone goes through when they've done something stupid where their brain searches desperately for some way to partition blame. "I can't be that dumb," their brain reasons "someone else MUST have had a hand in this!" And so you can see why I was so choked that not only had I managed to take us a half hour out of our way by directing Erika to the airport instead of the parking lot, but I had somehow managed to do it all on my own. Don't get me wrong though, it's not like my brain didn't try to share the credit:
"She really should have been reminding me that we were going to the parking lot"
"How was I supposed to know that the shuttle service was for people and not cars?"
"If it turned out they were having free parking week at the airport I wouldn't seem so dumb now, would I?"

Alas, but in the end it turned out to be my fault alone.

At this point things were still ok though: We weren't that far (according to the map on my phone), and we had buffer left to burn through because, much to our chagrin, we seem to be that couple who doesn't estimate time very well. Heck, according to our map we were only one U-turn and a 4 mile drive down International Boulevard away from getting parked, checked in, and on our way!

Now folks, let me tell you what I learned about International Boulevard today. This god-forsaken stretch of pseudo-highway is the most painful hunk of red light misery a human being can be subjected to. I don't know which Cro-Magdon urban planner got drunk and decided that there should be a 5 minute light every 200 feet, but they should absolutely be sentenced to drive this broken stretch of pain and misery until they are capable of little more than shaking, crying, and begging for mercy from the people who use it every day. Not that they're likely to get it.

And another thing... you know those lights you get to where you're thinking "Why can't I drive right now? NOBODY IS COMING THE OTHER WAY!" Every light was like that, and 5 minutes long to boot. I swear to god that a family of ducks crossed the intersection while we were waiting, and that was just during the left-turn signal. Aaaargh!

In conclusion, we did get there, I am on a plane, and the only way I ever drive down International Boulevard again is in a back-hoe. Unless I absent-mindedly drive down it again. Dang.

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