Tag Archives: Sarah

Story of the Day 3-9-11


Doin’ Time at the DMV: Part 1

When President Obama decided to try and overhaul our asinine healthcare system, the results were predictable. People on the left (like me!) argued that healthcare is a universal right that should be guaranteed by the government. People on the right said the government cannot run their way out of a paper bag – just look at the DMV. I find that to be a somewhat auspicious argument, because the government runs all sorts of things, from National Parks to libraries, that are actually quite pleasant. Besides, how often do you have to go the DMV?

Well, I went to the DMV today, and I will say, the experience has had a profound effect on my thoughts about what the government can and cannot do. And one thing they cannot do is run a freaking DMV. That place is a nightmare. There is a reason why it’s shorthand for government inefficiency. Because, wow! What a fright.

Granted, we had a bit of a complicated request. We bought a used Honda Element from one of our friends in October that we never registered. I discovered this accidentally in February when I happened to glance at our Geico bill and noticed it only included one car. Meaning we had no insurance on this car that we’d been driving for four months. Um, oops.

I tried to take care of matters online, but the DMV website is unusable. So last week we set up an appointment for the earliest available time, which was this morning. By the time we arrived, the line was around the block and there was no parking available anywhere. Once we’d parked, we found out what the appointment did: pretty much nothing. We didn’t have to wait in the long line, so that was good. But once we got up to the desk, they handed us a number from the exact same stack of numbers that everyone else got. The appointment was not a guarantee of a meeting, it was just a guarantee that we would get to do more waiting.

After 45 minutes our number was finally called. We went up to the desk and explained our situation to our “customer service representative.” He looked at the title of the vehicle, which was from Texas.

“Why do you need this?” he asked. “This title is from Texas.” As if we were experts in what kind of paperwork the DMV considered necessary.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Isn’t that the title?”

“This is from Texas,” he said.

“I know,” I said. “The vehicle was purchased in Texas. But the owner moved to California, which is where we bought the car.”

“You bought the car in California and then moved to Texas,” he said, which was the exact opposite of what I just said.

“No,” I said, “the owner bought the car in Texas and then moved to Californaia.”

“When did you move to Texas?” he asked.

“We did not.”

“Then why is the title from Texas?”

I explained the situation to him one more time, but he continued to insist that we were currently living in Texas. I shot a glare at Sarah, who was on a business phone call and paying no attention to what was happening at the desk. I have a really, really hard time dealing with stupidity. When someone gets stupid at me, my entire body tenses up, and it’s all I can do to keep from screaming in his face. I recognized this was not a good move at the DMV; we’d waited this long to get an appointment – one flick of this guy’s wrist and we’d have to start the process all over again.

He eventually figured out that whatever was happening was too complicated for him to handle on his own, so he wandered off to get some help. He returned ten minutes later, sat down at his desk, and started poking at his keyboard. After awhile, he seemed satisfied. Between sales tax, registration fees, and late fees, we learned, we owed the state of California almost $1000. On a car for which we paid $6300.

We knew the price was coming, but it was still a real pain in the ass. Why is the state of California entitled to sales tax on a transaction between two private individuals engaged in a private exchange? I don’t know, but I didn’t really feel like getting into a political argument with the guy at the DMV. It was useless trying to argue anything with this guy.

When we got the receipt, Sarah looked at all the charges. They were all described using codes like “CK-122” and “RF2.”

“Can we find out somewhere what these charges are for?” she asked. She had been on the phone during our previous confusion and didn’t know that she was just asking for trouble trying to get this guy to understand a simple question.

“They’re for the vehicle,” he said. “Those are the charges you have to pay for the vehicle.”

“Okay,” she said patiently, “but what are each of the charges for?”

He looked at her and sighed, unsure of how far back he should go. “When you buy a car, you have to pay fees,” he said. “Those fees are all listed on your receipt.”

“Right. But how do we know what the fees are?”

He ripped the paper out of her hand, frustrated.

“It’s right here!” he shouted. “Registration fee, sales tax, late fee!” There were about 30 charges listed on the paper, each of which was described using some obscure code. We decided to cut our losses and just go along with whatever we were being told. It was easier that way.

Unfortunately, we were far from finished. One of the requirements for selling a used vehicle in the state of California is that you have to have a smog check within 3 months of selling the car. We were so far from the purchase date that even if the seller had gotten a smog check, it would have done us no good. So we were sent off to get our smog check and return to the DMV.

“Do we have to wait in line?” I asked the guy.

“No,” he said.

“Do we need to bring the car here?”

“No,” he said. He was eager to get rid of us and get back to dealing with people who had a single, uncomplicated issue. So we hotfooted it out of there and headed back home to get the Element smog checked.

To be continued

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Story of the Day: 3-7-2011


We interrupt this episode of Professor Blowjob to bring you another true-life tale from the life of your host, Jeffrey Dinsmore.

The Potato Bug

I am no stranger to insects. Growing up in Michigan, I encountered my fair share of creepy-crawlers. I can’t say I’ve ever been into insects, but I’ve managed to peacefully coexist with them for much of my life. It helps that Michigan insects are small and unremarkable. The biggest insect I saw growing up was a grasshopper, and who doesn’t love grasshoppers? Earwigs are pretty nasty-looking, but still not enough to make me run screaming.

When I moved to New York, cockroaches became a daily part of my life. We didn’t have cockroaches in Michigan, at least none that I ever saw. The cockroach segment of Creepshow had prepared me to be terrified of cockroaches, but I didn’t have much of a problem with them once they actually became part of my life. They’re disgusting beasts, no question, but at least they’re still relatively small. And they’re polite, too: as soon as you see one, it scurries away and hides.

That’s what I thought, anyway, until the night I first encountered the Palmetto Bug. I remember the night vividly; Don and I were hanging out in the living room of 21-20, watching a movie, when we heard the flap of wings and saw a big, ominous shadow darting across the ceiling. We immediately leapt to our feet in terror. When we finally found the cause of the shadow, we flipped out. A Palmetto Bug, for those of you who have never seen one, is a giant, flying cockroach. They’re about 3 inches long and smarter than kittens and they’re horrible and ugly and pretty much the worst thing God has ever put on the earth. When we first saw it, we assumed it was the result of some kind of industrial accident. Like imagine you’re sitting around watching television and a fish walks through your living room. That’s how strange this thing seemed to us.

Don and I scurried to put our shoes on for fear that the hideous thing graze our bare feet. We each got a weapon – he grabbed a hammer and I grabbed a broomstick – and gathered up our courage to rid our lives of this menace. We knew there was no way we were going to sleep until it was dead. It was us or the bug.

For most of the battle, the bug was firmly in the lead. Palmetto Bugs can fly, but only in short bursts; their preferred method of movement is the speedy run. Seconds after we saw the shadow, the beast dropped behind the television. I stamped my broomstick around behind the TV maniacally while Don waited with his hammer poised. We finally got the creature to abandon its post, but it was too fast for us … it tore ass across the carpet and under the couch.

Neither of us was about to get down on his hands and knees with that thing poised to attack, so we decided to lift the couch and try to flush it out. This was a dangerous business, because the chances of it scurrying out and jumping on one of us were strong. I could only hope it wouldn’t be me, A) because I had no interest in being attacked by a giant cockroach and B) because the beast was so terrifying I have no doubt Don would have smashed my skull in with the hammer and called me collateral damage.

We eventually managed to get the creature out in the open and get a good crack at him. Before we flushed him down the toilet, we took some pictures to send to the cryptozoology magazines. We put him next to a Lando Calrissian figure so you could get the perspective. Like most pictures of mysterious, possibly mythical animals, our picture was quite blurry.

When I learned that Palmetto Bugs were an explained phenomenon and relatively common in New York, I felt no comfort. I still encounter them from time to time in LA, and they continue to be hideous and terrifying. In fact, I would say they were the most hideous and terrifying insects in the world, if I hadn’t encountered something even more hideous and terrifying just two nights ago.

It’s called a Potato Bug, and it looks like this:

The Potato Bug - Actual Size

How horrible is that thing? I stepped out onto my porch to see that awful, murderous beast crawling slowly down the wall, a mere six inches from my head. The only way I can describe the texture of its skin is “gelatinous.” If that information makes you want to vomit, you’re not the only one. I got a pit in my stomach looking at it, as if I was seeing something man was not meant to see. It was like looking into the face of Hell.

I quietly closed the door so as not to alarm it and ran to the Internet. In this case, the Internet did its job, giving me the context I so desperately needed. If I hadn’t been able to track down the Potato Bug, I would have surely gone to bed thinking the Apocalypse was coming. Luckily, a simple search of “hideous giant ant California” led me to pages of information about the Potato Bug. According to potatobugs.com, this is the “most universally feared, hated, and disgusting creatures on the planet.” So at least I’m not alone.

The Potato Bug, I learned, lives in gardens and dark places and does not come out during the day. Which explains why I have not seen one until now; I don’t often garden at midnight. And now that I know this thing exists, I will likely never garden again. To be honest, the chances of me going outside again, period, are about 50/50.

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Story of the Day: 2-20-11


The Unkindest Cut

On Friday, we hurt our baby. I sat on this one for a few days because I didn’t want to jinx anything. But now we know everything is going to be okay and we can all laugh about it. When it happened, it was no laughing matter.

What happened was this: Sarah decided to clip our baby’s fingernails for the first time. Clipping baby fingernails is a surprisingly onerous task. We have several pairs of baby fingernail clippers, but basically what they are is adult fingernail clippers with giant handles. So you can more accurately position them, I guess. They’re not at all like safety scissors, which can barely be used to cut paper. They’re razor-sharp little snipping tools designed to be used on flailing, unpredictable fingers that are about 1 cm in diameter. And babies aren’t cats; you can’t wrap them in a blanket to calm them down while you do your clipping. You just gotta go in and hope for the best.

We’d avoided using the clippers for as long as possible. Instead, we’d been biting her nails off. I know that probably sounds insane to anyone who isn’t a parent, but we are parents and it doesn’t. Earlier in the week, though, Sarah watched one of our friends cheerfully clip her 2-month-old’s nails while she was engaged in conversation. It looked so easy, Sarah thought it was time to give it a whirl.

I left Sarah in the living room as she was just about to begin the de-nailifying. A minute later, I heard her shout out, “I cut off her finger.” I ran back into the living room to see a very frightened mother holding a wailing, thrashing Hazel. Blood poured out of the baby’s finger like Coke from a soda fountain. The baby’s screams pierced through our eardrums and into our souls.

“Jesus,” I said, “that looks bad.” I knew my job was to be the strong, supportive one, but it really did look bad.

“Is she okay? Is she going to live?” Sarah asked, in a state of shock.

“I don’t know,” I said. I honestly didn’t know. “I’ll call the doctor.”

I called the doctor. Even though I was filled with anxiety about my daughter’s health, I was excited to present him with a problem that couldn’t be solved by eating more meat and fruits.

“We were clipping my daugher’s nails and we clipped off part of her finger and now it’s bleeding all over the place,” I said, breathlessly, when I got the doctor on the phone.

The doctor is never phased by anything. “Put pressure on finger,” he said in his calming Lebanese accent. “If still bleeding, come in. Before 2. After 2, is busy.”

“Okay,” I said, “what about Band-Aids?”

“Sure, okay. Whatever you want,” he said, and hung up.

Hazel was in worse shape than I’d seen her since my misguided attempt to let her cry herself to sleep when she was 3 weeks old. “The doctor said to apply pressure,” I told Sarah.

“Like this?” Sarah asked. She squeezed Hazel’s finger. Hazel exploded in a new round of tortured wailing. It was all Sarah could do to keep it together.

“That sounds right,” I said.

After about ten minutes of torturous squeezing, her finger stopped bleeding and she settled down. We took a look at the damage. It was hard to tell how hurt she was, because every time we tried to hold her finger, it set off a new round of bleeding and screaming. Finally, we decided to put a mitten on her hand and take a look at it later. Out of sight, out of mind.

She seemed to be in okay shape so I went into the office to do some work. On the way home I stopped by Rite-Aid to pick up some children’s Tylenol and baby Band-Aids. To my surprise, every box of children’s Band-Aids they had in the store was covered with product placement for toys and cartoon characters. I know kids love that shit but I’ve gotta draw the line somewhere. My baby does not need to be wearing somebody’s product on her finger. I ended up buying some liquid bandage goop that I brushed onto her finger and never bothered to remove.

The next day the top of her finger was covered by a big, black scab. Two days later, the scab fell off and her finger appears to be back to normal. Lesson learned: babies have Wolverine-like healing powers. As for how to tame her unruly nails, we’re back to biting. It’s not that big a deal, really. Everyone knows baby fingernails taste like lollipopsicles and marshmallowmars.

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Story of the Day: 2-14-11


Stranded in Brooklyn

Today is Valentine’s Day. It is also my parents’ anniversary. So it is as good a time as any to pay tribute to three of my favorite people in the world: my parents and my wife Sarah. My other favorite people, in case you were wondering, are my daughter Hazel, my sister Mandy and her family, and Bristol Palin.

My parents were great about visiting me in New York, even though it was almost always a miserable experience. My dad came to visit by himself once during the greatest heat wave in New York history. He ended up having to rent a hotel room because he couldn’t handle staying in my un-air conditioned Brooklyn apartment and I didn’t know how to tell my girlfriend at the time that she wasn’t welcome so she stayed over on the fold-out couch, making all of us somewhat uncomfortable. The hotel he rented was my suggestion; it was incredibly cheap for Manhattan but it was essentially a youth hostel. His room was about four feet by four feet and he had to go down the hall to use the bathroom. It was an incredibly sad state of affairs for all involved.

On another trip, my dad and I went out to a bar in Manhattan with some of my friends and he left earlier than I did. The train he needed was out of commission, but he only found this out after waiting an hour for it to arrive. He figured out how to take another route, but by that time it was after midnight, and I lived in a sketchy part of Brooklyn where even bums were afraid to walk around after dark. He managed to get home without getting mugged, but I’m sure the trip did not exactly take place within what he would call his comfort zone.

Another time, back when I was still living at 21-20, the whole family came to visit. The morning my sister was leaving she woke up to find Scary Gary’s horrible snarling monster of a dog trapped in our foyer. We called the police, but right before they arrived, Mr. Talgot returned from his morning frut run and took the dog into his apartment. My sister missed her plane and the dog missed his one chance to escape from under Gary’s iron fist, so again, lose-lose.

I don’t think it was mere coincidence that things always went off the rails when my parents visited. When my parents are around I magically transform into the image they’ve had of me since I was a small child. For instance, I used to lose things when I was a kid. I don’t really do that anymore. I am mature now, and responsible. But every time they come to visit, I lose things. So they will always see me as the kid who loses things, because when they’re around, that’s who I am. And there’s something about my parents being around that negates all my responsibility and self-discipline. When they come to LA, we always get lost. I try so hard to not get lost that I end up second-guessing myself and getting lost. I have no explanation for this phenomenon, but I am sure it is real and it is full of science.

Maybe the worst example of things spiraling out of control in New York occurred the day they met my wife Sarah for the first time. She wasn’t my wife at the time, of course. I wouldn’t get married without inviting my parents. They raised me better than that.

The night before the out-of-control day, I had spent the night at Sarah’s apartment in Park Slope. I’m not sure where my parents were staying, but it was far enough away from Brooklyn that once they got there, they weren’t about to leave. I lived in Greenpoint, which is a good 1/2 hour train ride from Park Slope on a good day. The day in question was not a good day. We had told my parents to meet us at a restaurant in Greenpoint for brunch at 11:00. We hopped on the F train with plenty of time to spare. The F train went blazing past our stop. We got out at the next stop and took an F in the opposite direction. Then we waited 1/2 an hour for the G to arrive, and had to transfer to another train, which took us to a bus, which took us to Greenpoint. All told, we were about 45 minutes late.

When we arrived, we apologized up and down. My parents were very nice about it, still eager to meet this girl I’d been raving about for the past few months. The three of them got along famously, because, of course they would. I would never marry a girl my parents did not approve of. They raised me better than that.

After brunch, we parted ways with Sarah at the subway entrance and my parents and I headed back to my apartment. She was on her way down to her friend Rosten’s apartment to practice with her band. Oh, which, now that I’m remembering, was why we couldn’t leave Brooklyn … because we were going to see Sarah’s band play in Park Slope at 7:00 that night. That’s how New York works; when you’re in Brooklyn at 12:30 and you have a show to go to at 7:00, you have to find a way to kill 6 1/2 hours. If you try to go back into Manhattan, something’s bound to go pear-shaped.

A few blocks away from my apartment, I realized that my only set of keys was in Sarah’s purse. I called her. No answer, of course, because she was on the subway, underground. I did not know where Rosten’s apartment was located. Thinking quickly, I decided that our best option was to get on the subway and head in a general southerly direction in the hopes that she would realize what had happened and get off the train at exactly the right station and miraculously find the car we were in and hand off the keys to us.

This didn’t happen. Attempts to contact one another by cell phone were met with dead signals. What we did was go to her apartment, where she wasn’t, and wait in the park until she called us. We waited for about 1/2 an hour. It started to sprinkle. Things were not looking positive. Finally, she called and gave us a somewhat central location where we could meet. We didn’t want to get all the way back on the train and head up to our place, only to head back down to see her band later that night, so we decided she would give us the keys to her apartment and we would hang out there until it was time to go to her show.

We all hopped back on the train. Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the station near the coffee shop where I was to meet Sarah. The rain was coming down in buckets, so I told my parents to wait at the subway and I’d brave the storm myself. I found the coffee shop, met up with Sarah, got her keys, and returned to the subway with three $4.99 umbrellas in hand. It’s always raining in New York, but the rain often catches you unawares while you’re out on the street, far from your home. The solution is to always carry an umbrella with you, no matter what the sky looks like in the morning, or buy a street umbrella. Street umbrellas are a flimsy, one-time use item that you buy only under the direst of circumstances. You use your street umbrella to get to wherever you’re going and then you throw it in the trash or the back of your closet. You don’t carry a street umbrella with you as your umbrella of choice. The next time it rains, you just buy another street umbrella.

We then got back on the subway and took the train back to where we’d just come from, walked to Sarah’s apartment in the pouring rain, geting soaked even though we had umbrellas because the umbrellas we had were truly abysmal. There was a moment of panic when I couldn’t get the front door to Sarah’s building open, but I banged furiously until one of the neighbors let us in. Neighbors always let you in in New York, even if they’ve never seen you before.

The adventure was pretty much over at that point. It was now 4:00. We hung out at Sarah’s apartment for 2 more hours then got back on the train and headed to her gig. Where she was brilliant, of course, and my parents were suitably impressed. To their credit, they rolled with the punches, even though I’m sure the minute they finally got some time alone they banged their heads against the wall for raising such an irresponsible child. Ah well. In the end, in all worked out for the best. I got the girl, and they … I’m not really sure what they got out of it. A wonderful daughter-in-law, a brand new granddaughter, and a couple of useless umbrellas.

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Story of the Day: 1-28-11


The Waterbug

I wanted to go into this weekend caught up on my stories for the week, so I’m recycling this old story I sent to Matt, back when I lived in Brooklyn. Enjoy!

Jesus Christ, man… last night Sarah and I were just settling down to bed and she looks up and screams – there’s an enormous waterbug near my ceiling. Do you know what those things are? They’re like 3 inch-long flying cockroaches. It was the filthiest, hugest, flyingest thing I’ve ever seen.

Sarah ran into the bathroom and shut the door while I was left to battle the monster alone with my shoe. “Turn off the light! It likes the light!” she screamed. “I’m not going to be alone in the dark with it!” I shouted back. I stood in front of the bathroom door with my shoe, she stood behind the door, which was cracked just a little bit. Neither of us are wearing pants.

The thing flew toward my closet. Suddenly, I couldn’t see it. I stand there waiting for it to make a move. I can’t wait any longer, I peek my head under the door frame and see the thing perched there on the ledge, just waiting to strike. I reach my hand around the frame and give it a quick wack. “Got it!” I screamed. The bug falls to the ground and immediately scurries into the corner underneath my dartboard. Sarah starts heading out of the bathroom.

“Stay in there!” I scream. “It’s still kicking!” After another 5 minute tussle with the thing running back and forth under the step ladder, trying in vain to fly, I finally counter it as it makes its way up the ladder and I crush the living shit out of the bastard. It was a fierce battle. The rest of the night, I kept feeling something crawling on me and slapping it away.

All I could think was that the heat, the insects, the fact that I had to carry 4 distinct, heavy bags home with me last night (workbag, gym clothes, Staples purchases, groceries), all of it was saying to me – “Get out of this city NOW, motherfucker.”

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Story of the Day: 1-27-11


On Poop

I never gave much thought to poop before I became a dad. Even the word is difficult for me to say. It’s so round and bouncy and cutesy. As an adult, you can’t say, “I’ve gotta take a poop.” You just can’t.

It is an awful word because poop is not cute in any context. And contrary to what you might assume, baby poop is absolutely no cuter than adult poop. It is not like adorable little baby toes, or puckered little baby lips. It is a smeared sheet of turd that coats their butts and their baby genitalia and spills out of their diapers and gets all over their clothing and yours.

Which is not to say that cleaning a baby is the same thing as wiping an adult’s ass. If given the choice, pick the baby. I mean, unless it’s your own ass. If you must do both, I recommend cleaning yourself before handling the baby.

Hazel has not had a poop since Monday. And before that, the last one was the previous Monday. Before you freak out and call child services, please note that it is actually rather normal. We asked our doctor. We weren’t just like, “well, I guess that’s what babies do.” We sought professional advice. And he says it’s fine. His advice was for Sarah to eat only fruits and meats. That’s his advice for everything. “Before bed, apply heat pad to breasts. Take warm shower.” He’s Syrian.

The first time we went to this pediatrician was when Hazel was about a week old. She looked a little yellow to us, so we asked him if she had jaundice. He produced a chart that had been photocopied so many times it was difficult to read. It listed ages and jaundice levels. So like, if your child is 1 month old and at a level 12 of jaundice she’s fine, but if she’s only one week old, that’s too high.

I asked the doctor how he determined these jaundice levels.

“You look,” he said, pointing the pen at the baby. “You see, here 10 jaundice” — pointing at her arm — “here 3 jaundice.” — pointing at her forehead.

“I see,” I said, even though I didn’t really see.

“Here 8 jaundice” — her leg — “here 13 jaundice” — her cheeks — “here 5 jaundice” — her feet. “So that’s …” doing some quick calculations in his head, “7 jaundice.” He looked at the chart. “She okay.”

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“It’s okay. It’s no problem,” he said.

“Alright,” I said. I assume he’s had some kind of training. She looks pink enough nowadays, so I suppose he probably knows what he was talking about.

But we asked around about the poop issue, just to get some other opinions. We know about 3 other parents who have dealt with the same poop issue. Yes, we’ve spoken to at least three other sets of people about this problem. We talk about poop now like we used to talk about movies and bands.

Some people have been aghast when we’ve told them our baby only poops once a week. These people’s babies pooped far more than once a week. The only people who say, “of course! That’s totally normal,” are people who have experienced the same phenomenon.

I admit, it sounds abnormal. It doesn’t make much sense to me. But I guess all she eats is breast milk. If milk was the only food I consumed, I might be able to get down to once a week, too.

The downside of her not pooping is that she farts like a linebacker. She is so, so farty. And she’s always got this tight swaddle around her, so she just hangs out all day, bundled up like a mummified worm, filling her swaddle with farts. The farts are not cute either. We went to a party on New Year’s Eve and Sarah brought incense, just in case. More than a few people have, after holding her for a few minutes, said to us, “I think she has a dirty diaper.” Unless it’s Monday, you don’t really have to worry about that.

On the plus side, she’s healthy, she sleeps well, and she doesn’t whine much. And given the choice between farting and crying, I will gladly take farting. That is where I am, having to choose between farting and crying, with farting being as good as it gets.

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Story of the Day 1-25-11


One Wedding for the Price of Two

Sarah and I got married on October 20, 2008 in a state park near Malibu. We rented the park for the weekend and invited our friends to stay with us in the dorm room style cabins that were normally used for Girl Scout getaways. To our delight, we filled the place up, and ended up having a jam-packed party weekend full of parties and jam.

The wedding was beautiful, wonderful, best I’ve ever had. &c. But this is not about my wedding. This is about one of my wedding guests. 

A week before the wedding, I got an email from my friend Nathan. He had sent his RSVP in months before saying that his wife, Emma, would not be able to attend. He told me that things had changed and she would be able to come after all, and wanted to make sure it was okay. “Of course!” I said. “The more the merrier!” What I didn’t say was that she would be responsible for buying her own meals. Ha ha, that is not true. But so at the end of the email exchange, Nathan said “remind me to tell you a funny story when I see you next weekend.”

As it turns out, I did not need to remind him, because Nathan’s funny story was the talk of the wedding. The weekend before our wedding it poured rain in LA. We didn’t have much of a contingency plan (read: NONE) if it had rained during our wedding, but thankfully we didn’t need to worry about it. The clouds parted and the sun opened up for the weekend, and then immediately afterwards the entire city of Malibu was engulfed in horrendous flames from forest fires. 

The weekend of our wedding it did not rain. Yet, when Nathan showed up at our wedding, it was pouring rain. How does this make any sense? It’s elementary, Bugs Meany! Nathan got the date wrong. He flew all the way from Michigan to California the weekend before our actual wedding, flew back to Michigan, and then came all the way back again with his wife the next weekend.

According to legend, he got to the airport, picked up his rental car, and drove all the way out to the wedding site – a good 1/2 drive from LAX, probably more in the pouring rain. He parked his car and walked around the park in the rain for about 20 minutes. Not finding anyone, he called our mutual friend Abby to find out where he was supposed to meet us. “Um,” Abby said, relaxing in front of the fire in her beautiful cabin in Vermont, “the wedding’s next weekend, dumbass.” So Nathan drove back to the airport, rented a hotel room for the night, and returned to Ann Arbor in the morning, only to do the whole thing again 7 days later.

Now, no question this is a funny situation. Some might even say a legendarily funny situation. But, it is also the ultimate sign of friendship, and for that, I will always be grateful. Nathan didn’t just come to my wedding once. He came twice. And what’s more, he paid last minute ticket prices to bring his wife with him the second time. And that is a true friend. A dumbass friend, perhaps, but a true friend, nonetheless.

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