Saturday morning, we got up really early and took an uber to Midway with Karen (my MIL) and her boyfriend (Nordan) to go to DC. I was crabby because J and I had been sick for, no fucking joke, over a week. We both had chest infections that somehow migrated to our sinuses, and it was sooooo fucking disgusting. I was going through a box of tissues a day. The only silver lining was that I hadn't been able to eat in 4 or 5 days, so I felt like the cold was accelerating my diet nicely.
Our plane was delayed, and then we had 3 hours of traffic once we got to DC, so we didn't wind up getting to the hotel room until about 20 minutes before we had to leave for dinner. I had booked us reservations at the Old Ebbitt Grill, which is kind of touristy but really nice, and J's parents had their first date there in 1980. I knew he had really wanted to go.
"Do you need the bathroom?" I mumbled, hopping around the room and pulling off my leggings. J didn't answer. I looked over, and he was lying on the bed with his eyes closed. "Honey?" I tried again.
"Mmn?" he didn't open his eyes.
"Do you still want to go out to dinner?"
"Yeah," he mumbled, yawning. I could feel myself start to deflate a bit. I'd really been looking forward to this, but I definitely thought we'd have more time to relax beforehand. I hate being rushed. It drives me crazy.
After taking the world's quickest shower, I threw on a dress and my favorite heeled sandals (I'm so hard on shoes that I never want to spend more than $100 because they get chewed up so easily. Can someone teach me not to do that?) and we left. Karen had given me the keys to her rental car, and after almost killing us on 395, I left it with a valet on 15th St. My blood sugar was so low that I felt like my stomach was going to cave in on itself. J looked at a menu for all of five seconds before practically jumping down the waiter's throat and ordering us a spread of oysters, seafood, and steak. I don't even think I said anything until we got the bread basket and I'd eaten half of it. Diet, be damned. I was too fucking hungry.
"Honey," said J slowly, after devouring half of the oysters. "We really, really need to get out of the Midwest. These are fantastic," he closed his eyes again, and trailed off. I was used to seeing him in a state of orgasmic bliss over food, but he definitely had a point.
"I know," I wrinkled my nose. "Something about being back here is really doing it to me. I miss DC so much, sometimes."
"I know," he looked at me. "Would you want to move back here, instead?"
"No," I said, slowly. I wanted to make sure I could give him a thoughtful response. "Not really. It felt a little too small by the time I left, and it's really not affordable for us. I think Florida is a better plan," plus, not gonna lie, the idea of being that close to the ocean again was making me want to move, like, tomorrow.
"Me too, princess. All this fresh seafood, so close to us! And the beach.. and our pool..." he leaned back in his chair and relaxed. Seeing him look that way put me more at ease, and finally I started to calm down and enjoy myself. I honestly can't believe how hard it is on me to be rushing around all day.
After dinner, we took an uber over to U St to meet Matt. We had planned on going to this bar that I used to love because a) they have no TVs and b) they don't let people stand, either you sit down or you have to leave. So it's never very crowded. It's basically the perfect bar for someone who hates both people and technology (me.) But they were closed, so we wandered around and found a wine bar instead. Matt was talking about his work (he's still getting his PhD in nuclear physics)--he works on lasers, and was talking about building this neutrino coil in a way that no one had been able to do physically before. So he would be the first in the world, and then he could copyright it and work on that for the rest of his life. I was kind of awed listening to him. My friends are so goddamn smart, it kills me.
"So this is a little weird, right?" Matt said, spreading his hands out. I looked at him warily, waiting for him to start popping off in front of my husband about a time where I made a fool of myself.
"A little," I grimaced, hoping to move on.
"No, no, chill," he laughed, and patted me on the shoulder. "It's just.. uh, it's been a year! And you're back, and you're married."
"This is the guy you heard me gushing about nonstop for a little bit before I left," I explained, wrapping my arms around J and nuzzling into his neck. "We're crazy about each other,"
"Ah," said Matt. I could tell he didn't really remember. I guess I can't really blame him, though. And he is used to me racking up guys like you wouldn't believe (remember when I was slutty and not boring? lol.)
After that, we started talking about this new girl that Matt was dating. He said he's kind of freaked out because he found out that she's Muslim (he's an atheist, and she knows that, so I guess she must be pretty liberal) and he's not sure what's going to happen. I have no idea how he winds up in these situations. His last girlfriend, Helena, was pretty cool on the surface but obviously turned out to be crazy because she just stopped talking to him completely. She lived in London (they had always been long distance) and apparently one morning he woke up and just found out that she'd blocked his phone number and email. She never even explained why. She had been scheduled to come back over to the States for another 6 months and she just never showed up. Weird!
When we were leaving, Matt hugged me and slipped a baggie into my purse. Pot is legal in DC now, did y'all know that? We bought some rolling papers at a 7-11, and I got a six pack of grapefruit shandy (#girlbeer) and we went back to the hotel. J rolled us a really nice joint and we sat around in our underwear smoking and watching The Sopranos while I drank beer. It was just like being at home!
The next morning, we cuddled in bed until we absolutely had to get up. J was spooning me and I kept drifting in and out of sleep. At one point, his hand moved against my belly and I thought it was the cat, and when I realized it wasn't, I started missing her a lot. I'm such a loser, I don't really think you're supposed to miss your cats when you go on a trip.
I drove us over to my parents' house for brunch, and J met the rest of my family--my two uncles and their girlfriends. My stepdad made us screwdrivers, and we talked to him and one of my uncles about how they'd sat up all night drinking Makers Mark. Anyone who thinks I have problems with drinking should probably look at the rest of my family.
The party was really fun. Almost all of my friends showed up, and it was really nice to see people again. It doesn't even feel like a year has gone by since I moved. It was a little awkward, a couple of people made jokes about how quickly we'd gotten married (rude!!) and I didn't know how to respond other than like, no, it wasn't because I got pregnant, because that's clearly what a lot of them were thinking. One of the only people who didn't say anything is my friend Barry, who is in kind of a similar situation. He had dated this girl, Alice, for a few years until she turned out to be literally batshit insane. Then they broke up, and he met another (amazing) girl right away, and they got very serious quickly. He and I used to commiserate over it on gchat together. Admittedly it kind of sucks when all your friends think you're crazy, but you do get used to it after a while.
Barry brought his newish girlfriend, Julie, to the party, and I loved her right away! She's a vet and has the most laid-back sense of humor. I grabbed her hand and dragged her into the kitchen and we drank wine and laughed together for like, an hour. Then Karen poked her head in, and asked if we could find somewhere to go smoke cigarettes. I was kind of drunk, and I pulled them both out on the porch with me, and bummed a cigarette from Karen. We thought we were being all sneaky until my stepdad poked his head outside.
"You are so busted!" said Karen, resting her head on my shoulder and laughing. I hugged her. My mother in law is so cute.
After most people left, my stepdad brought out this bottle of tequila that he'd bought in Mexico last summer. That's where it gets kind of hazy for me. I did a couple of shots, and then realized I hadn't seen my husband in a while. I went around looking for him--and it felt like it took forever. When I finally saw him, I leaned over and whispered (but since I was drunk it came out really loudly) that I felt sick. He escorted me to the bathroom and sat with me for a little while, but I didn't throw up. Karen drove us back to the hotel where I passed out right away. And of course, we both slept horribly and woke up multiple times. I can't remember a time where so many days have gone by without us having sex. I know that being sick and also being tired were to blame, but it wasn't really an awesome thing to contemplate.
Our flight was at 8 the next morning. I couldn't even close my eyes in the backseat of the car because my nausea was so bad. I even thought about asking Nordan to pull over so I could try to throw up, but I was afraid it would happen when I opened my mouth to speak.
After we got through security and to the gate, J handed me my rollerboard.
"You need to sit down for a little while," he pointed at some empty chairs. "I'll be right back." I whimpered at the thought of being alone in my pathetic, hungover state, but I didn't say anything. I just put my head between my knees until I felt his hand on my shoulder again. Raising my head up, I peeked at him through my bangs.
"I brought you these," he handed me a bag and I looked inside to find a bottle of ginger ale and a big bottle of Fiji water. I know it's not much, but it almost made me cry. I've never been with anyone so considerate before.
I puked on the plane anyway, of course. I couldn't get up to the bathroom because we were still ascending, so I used one of those airsick bags. It didn't even leak!!! I was really impressed. The flight attendants also sprung into action like a well-oiled machine, and brought me a trash bag and a cold thing for the back of my neck and another can of ginger ale and plain crackers. I wanted to tip them but J suggested that probably would make them uncomfortable.
Next month, when we fly back to DC for that wedding, I am going to try really hard not to get drunk.