We’re On Each Other’s Team

Cortney and I have a really great relationship and strong marriage. It’s one of the things I am most proud of in this world and feel so grateful that such a wonderful friend ended up as my life partner.

We get asked a lot what they secret to our marriage is and if it’s really as awesome as we make it look online.

As someone who as dated her fair share of turds (and nice guys, but mostly turds), I wasn’t sure if there really was a guy out there who could make me feel like we were a true team.  Then Cortney and I found ourselves together.

I guess our secret is our teamwork.

There are other factors like that we are true friends, we have our own interests as well as shared interests, etc, but the big thing is teamwork.

And most of the time it’s as awesome as we make it look on social media.

Anyway, I am writing about that teamwork over at Mommy Miracles today. I’d be honored if you would give it a read.

some kind of wonderful

Last night he held me while I shook with sobs.

He didn’t say it would be fine or that everything would be good in the end.

No.

He knows better.

After nine years of marriage, we both know better.

But he held me and told me I was wonderful.

This is why we are together…why nine years has flown by despite all the loss and struggle.

We hold each other.

And remind each other of our wonderfulness.

us

Happy anniversary, Cortney. I love you.

Thank you for being wonderful.

a boring present

Last week Monday I took a personal day so I could take Cortney to the hospital for a scheduled, routine procedure: a colonoscopy.

Now don’t worry I know, I know. He’s way too young for a colonoscopy. He had an issue. He has family history of crappy stuff. Ipso facto he went in for the procedure just to make sure things were fine. And they are.

Things are fine.

I brought him in at 8:45am to get him all set up and ready for the 9:45 procedure. He was sick of not eating and doing the prep and he just wanted it done. We listened to all the nurses and doctors about how it would go and what I could expect him to act like when he came back from the procedure (loopy and out of it).

Eventually they wheeled him out and I settled back to get some work done while I waited.

When he came back, he was indeed loopy. In fact, he wasn’t really totally awake yet at all. It was more unsettling to see than I was prepared for.

In the ten years we’ve been together, Cortney has had one surgery: his appendectomy. His dad had died early that day and by the time I drove Cort to the ER I was in survival mode myself. That day is a blur of forgotten and acutely remembered moments. I didn’t see Cortney until after he had been in recovery and woken up, albeit still acting silly and flirty with the nurses.

This past Monday he was still not actually eyes-open-awake yet when I saw him.

He mumbled some things about football and licked his dry lips a few times. I figured he must super thirsty since he hadn’t had a sip of anything since 6am and it was almost 11am.

His eyes struggled to open and he said in a low voice that he was just so tired.

I held his hand. The one with the IV in it, and something punched me in the chest.

Project 365

I’m not entirely sure how to describe it other than to say it was like when people talk about their life flashing in front of their eyes. Only, it wasn’t my past life that flashed, it was our future.

Simultaneously all the still frames of his dad’s sickness flipped through my consciousness like a Rolodex on speed.

It was like one of those nightmares that is terrifying and extremely vivid while it’s happening, but the second you wake up it starts to go away from your visual memory, but lingers in your feelings memory.

I clutched his heavy-hand and forced myself to be calm and swallow down the anxiety. I slowly rubbed the back of his hand with my thumb and said gentle little things to him.

I refused to let myself close my eyes because I knew the images were there. The ones where we are old, but not old enough. Never old enough. Where I am holding a wrinkled and grayed version of that strong, soft hand. The visions that have me wondering how I will go on without him.

The images being there were startling and disconcerting and very much blended with his dad’s last days in the hospice bed.

I gasped at the realness of it. My eyes burned.

But before I could lose my breath completely, a doctor or nurse came in, and Cort became a bit more lucid, and the moment passed. We moved on with what came next. Cortney requested apple juice and the proclaimed it to be the best damn apple juice he’d ever had.

The moment had passed. Because that is what it was: a moment. All the feelings and visuals and possible heartache happened in less than a minute, and just like that it was gone. We were in the present again.

When the doctor gave us the boring news we were expecting, I could have hugged him. We were expecting there to be nothing, and there was nothing.

But that brief moment in time–that flash of past and future–made me so very grateful for a boring present.

Not Who You Married

It’s not easy being married to me; I know that.

I don’t want to be told what to do.

I want my decisions made for me.

I want to be involved with all our friends and family.

I want to hide in our room away from all of civilization.

I have BIG ideas to do BIG things all the time.

I try to do too much.

I want you to listen and not try to fix my problems.

I want you to fix everything.

I want to be hugged and cuddled.

I want to be left alone.

I want you to know when I want attention and when I need to be left alone…without my telling you.

I want flowers and surprises.

I don’t want to spend money on frivolous things.

I want to be told I’m pretty.

I want to know the truth.

I want to be lied to about being pretty.

I want to give all our money to other people.

I want to buy all the selfish things.

I want to take time for myself without feeling selfish.

I feel selfish.

I want to smother you in awesome.

I don’t know how to do that.

I want to spend all my years and months and days and hours and minutes with you.

But not all the time because I want to be alone for minute too.

I’m afraid of time leaving us and missing moments with you.

I’m afraid I’ve already missed too many moments.

I trust you completely.

I get mad over things you didn’t even do because I imagined that you might have.

I worry about things out of my control.

I cry about being overwhelmed when I do it to myself.

I’m not a good listener…unless you’re telling me what I want to hear.

I don’t take compliments without thinking of a reason you are wrong for complimenting me.

I make small annoyances into huge dramas.

I want to be alone with you.

Not being alone with you makes me crabby…at you.

I know that 90% of the time I don’t make sense.

I know that I am not the same girl you married.

I also know that you are perfect for me. You are perfect for our boys.

My hope is that although I know I have changed, that I am still your Special Lady.

That I am still exactly who you need.

thank you to the lovely Missy of mLphotography for taking our SIXTH fall family photo. The first one was in 2008 when Eddie was just a blip in my tummy. And now we are all this!

thank you to the lovely Missy of mLphotography for taking our SIXTH fall family photo. The first one was in 2008 when Eddie was just a blip in my tummy. And now we are all this!

being forward

We had had the conversation, but had not acted on anything since it had been left sort of open to interpretation.

We went on as we normally did: he came over a few times a week for pizza and beers and hanging out.  Sometimes we sat outside, sometimes we watched TV, sometimes we sat at my kitchen table.

One night we were sitting next to each other on my couch watching TV. I don’t know what we were watching or even when it happened. That whole summer was a blur. What I know is that at some point his hand found mine.

Fingers intertwined. His thumb softly rubbing my my thumb.

There was none of the awkwardness that comes with holding hands for the first time.

No sweaty palms.

None of that thing when both of you are afraid to move so your hands just sit there, losing blood flow to your finger tips.

If someone had to shift, she/he shifted.

Fingers tightened around the new hand and released.

If someone left to get a drink or go to the bathroom, without a word our hands re-found each other upon return.

No one spoke about this new action in our relationship. No one had to.

And then…the weight of my day and my feelings and all that was going on fell on me and I drifted off to sleep on his shoulder.

He continued to hold my hand.

And gently glide his thumb over mine.

I don’t remember him leaving that night, but I know he did. He had to work early the next day.

When I finally got up in the morning and logged into my email, there was one from him…just like every day.

“I’m sorry if I was too forward last night. Please forgive me.”

All he had done was hold my hand, but he was concerned he had taken advantage of the situation and of me.

That is the moment I fell for him.

Cortney still holds my hand almost daily. If it’s not while we sit on the couch or while we are walking somewhere, it’s as we fall asleep at night.

His thumb still lightly rubbing mine.

on our honeymoon...where he held my hand a LOT.

on our honeymoon…where he held my hand a LOT.

An Evening With Pearl Jam & Other Stories {Part 3}

A few weeks ago Cort and I went to Chicago to see Pearl Jam. It was the longest concert of my life, which is saying a LOT since I’ve been to hundreds of concerts.

I started the story here.

Last week I continued it here.

If you’re just tuning in the quick of it is: I had a bladder infection, Chicago traffic sucked, show started an hour late, a storm came and we had to be evacuated to under the bleachers.

We looked like this:

We are hot, sweaty, hungry, tired, and sore.

We are hot, sweaty, hungry, tired, and sore…and NOT watching Pearl Jam

Just after 11pm (midnight EST–our time, the time our bodies were on), we thought for sure the concert was dones-o. Maybe I hoped for that a little bit. What?

But nope, by 11:45 we were being let back on the field.  The threat of storm was gone, they had put the speakers and lights back up, and unwrapped the soundboard.  It was Go Time…again.

As we all got back in our seats, Eddie Vedder got the concert started again by inviting baseball great Ernie Banks on stage while they did “All the Way”.  It was pretty sweet to be in Wrigley and have that Cubs experience.

And then, as promised, Pearl Jam rocked out. The rest of the set list looked like this:

  • “All Night”
  • “Do the Evolution”
  • “Setting Forth” (Eddie Vedder song)
  • “Corduroy”
  • “Faithful”
  • “Mind Your Manners” (new single)
  • “Lightening Bolt” (new/live debut)
  • “State of Love and Trust”
  • “Wishlist”
  • “Evenflow”
  • “Leatherman”
  • “Eruption” (Van Halen cover…this rocked my face)
  • “Bugs”
  • “Why Go”
  • “Unknown Thought”
  • “Rearviewmirror”

The Encore (they made us wait less than five minutes for it):

  • “Future Days” (new/live debut)
  • “Mother” (Pink Floyd cover…this was the one cover I had hoped for!)
  • “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” (Mother Love Bone cover)
  • “Porch”
  • “Wasted Reprise”
  • “Life Wasted”
  • “Black”
  • “”Rockin’ in the Free World” (Neil Young cover)

I can’t say I stood up and rocked out and forgot about how tired I was or how I was due for another dose of antibiotic/pain killers for my bladder infection. I can’t say I was so mesmerized by the music that I forgot that I hadn’t eaten in over nine hours.

But the show was good.  It was damn good.

2013-07-19 23.50.12

I did have to sit down a few times…like during the jam out session in the middle of “Porch” and during “Wishlist”.  My eyes felt heavy and I was pretty sure if I leaned forward and put my head in my hands I would nod off right there in the middle of one of the loudest concerts ever.

I stayed awake and I jammed out where appropriate.

And the couple in front of us? Smoked that never-ending joint until the concert was done at 2am (3am EST). Weirdos.

No really, they were weirdos and I was pretty glad to get away from them.

When the concert was done, we followed the herd to get out of the stadium. I can say I touched the ivy no less than three times. If you don’t know what I mean by that, you need to watch more baseball.

As we trudged to the train Cort held my hand and said, “just a 15 minute or so ride and we are back at the hotel. Almost done, babe.”  I held on and kept the thought of a warm shower and a fluffy hotel pillow in the center of my thoughts.

Do you know what the train platform looks like after a bazillion people flood out of Wrigley all at the same time? It’s busier than rush hour. And all those poor saps who were from out of town and had no idea the brown line stopped running at 2am…minutes before they arrived at the station.

Thank God for the Red Line.

I grabbed Cortney’s hand when the uptown-bound train pulled in and dragged him into an already crowded car. I was on a mission to get the hell back to the hotel. I was DONE. We really didn’t fit, but I told him to suck it in and we would stand just inside the doors (even though the door says not to do that). Just as I was about to let out a sigh of relief, FIVE MORE PEOPLE CRAMMED INTO OUR CAR.

The last one? A large, sweaty, drunk, old dude stopped in between me and Cortney so we could only see each other if we looked around him. The first time the doors tried to close, they bounced back open due to this guy’s butt. He squeezed in and the doors closed.

Damn it.

In order to not fall down, he braced himself by putting his arm up and holding on to the ceiling.  This placed his hairy, stinky armpit directly in my face.

You guys. Remember how I was DONE. It’s a wonder I did not kick this guy in the balls. I blame exhaustion.

We made it to our stop with Cort only giggling a few times at the armpit hair lightly brushing up against my face. The train stop was about four steps away from our hotel. Oh sweet fancy, we had made it!

…only to realize that 3am was the time they repainted the entry way of the hotel where we were staying…with paint that had noxious fumes.

OH. MY. LAWD.

Cort walked over to the tiny 24-hour store in the hotel and I followed hoping to get away from the fumes. No luck, but I did pick out a bag of Lays and a Cranberry juice. My lovely dinner after 13 hours without a meal.

I had to abandon the idea Cortney to pay for our things because I thought I was going to pass out from the fumes. By the time we got up to our hotel and I slid into a hot shower, it was at least 3:45 am (4:45 am EST).

By 4am I was in bed with throbbing legs and temples.

The next day we were on the road back home by 10:30am (11:30 EST). Since my parents were not going to nap Charlie, we drove straight back without food stops.

Needless to say, we ordered the biggest pizza we could that night, and went to bed early.

Would I do it again?

If you asked me the day after the concert I would have laughed until I cried, but now that some time has passed and I have re-listened to some of the songs from that night?

Yes. I totally would.

But don’t tell Cortney.

Surrender

I was both terrified and excited about having this conversation.

It needed to happen because what he had said just days before was still just hanging out there.  In fact, we had only communicating cordially through email since then.

A real life, face-to-face needed to happen.

He was coming over and I had promised myself that I would be sober.  Not because it would have mattered to him if I had had a few beers, but because I really wanted him to trust that this was serious to me.  This conversation was important.

“So.”

“Yup.”

I sucked in and just went for it, “so you were serious when you said you were falling for me?”

He looked me straight in the eyes.  This friend of mine stared at me with his hazel eyes. “You got it.”

“So do you expect me to be for it or….I mean…do we just…do this?  Do we become more than friends?  I don’t know if I can do that. Is that what you want?  This is so confusing.”

“I know,” he replied.

“Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  ‘I know’?  I need some input here.  Now that that is out there,  nothing will ever be the same.  Our million year friendship can’t be the same no matter what happens next.”

He just nodded.

“Well?” I was getting impatient.  I was always getting impatient.

“Well, you’re right.  but I already told you…you know…what I told you.  So I guess it’s really your choice.”

“NO!  this can’t all be put on me.  This is NOT just my choice.  You are in this too.  What do you want to happen from that statement?” I stared at him incredulously with my mouth agape.

“I guess it’s not a good idea.”

Ok good.  He was going to be all reasonable.

“No.  it’s not.  We are friends.  Best friends.  If anything happens?  We are DONE.  Look what happened to me and Lance.” I leaned back on the couch and crossed my arms.

“You’re right.  It’s a bad idea,” he said nodding and also sitting back on the love seat.

“Ok.”

“Right.”

We sat and looked at each other for the longest minute in our lives together.

The cat stretched and walked slowly off my lap and I leaned forward again with a huge, telling sigh.

“But then why do I not FEEL like it’s a bad idea?  You know, in my heart?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t feel like it’s bad either. That’s why I told you in the first place.”

My palms went up to my face and I rubbed the heels of my hands in my eye sockets.

This post originally appeared on my now defunct blog, Exploded Moments. I’m bringing it back here because it’s part of our story.

With my Big Black Boots and an Old Suitcase…

Ten years ago I had no job.

It was summer and I had finished up a great long-term subbing position at the beginning of June, but there were no substitute teaching positions during the summer months. I had yet to find a “real’ teaching job.

Ten years ago I had no relationship.

I had been dumped after a five-year relationship in the spring and I had been barely getting by on a wing and a prayer (also know as Doritos and booze) for months.

I was depressed, but I didn’t know it.

Then in July of 2003, after four months of sulking and one month of being unemployed, a friend from college emailed me that he was moving from Michigan to Santa Monica, California in August.  He had a place lined up, but would love a roommate if I wanted to come too.

I laughed at first. Yeah, right.

And then I looked around at my tiny house.  The one next-door to my grandparents that I was renting from them. The one where I ate cereal and Doritos as my only meals and some days didn’t get out of bed until 4pm.

The one I shared with my cat.

That spring all of my plans for the future gone right down the toilet.

I no longer had dreams of marrying my long-time boyfriend. I had sent out and stopped by a combination of over 100 schools looking for a teaching position and hadn’t heard from even one. I couldn’t live on $65 a day subbing (sporadically) for another school year.

Why should I stay in this tiny town? I asked myself.

I had been back from college for almost a year now; what was keeping me from packing up and moving away and trying something else?

It was so unlike me, but I went online and applied for about ten different teaching positions in and around the Santa Monica area. I also emailed my friend and told him if I could find a job offer, we might be in business.

And then I got three emails and a phone call from four of the districts I applied to in California. Three of those four wanted to hire me right there sight unseen.  No interview.  No practice lesson. In fact, they would fly me out there and help me move in.

With my big black boots and an old suitcase…
I do believe I’ll find myself a new place.*

I started to get excited.  As in call my parents and try to decide whether or not to take my cat with me across the country kind of excited.

I emailed all my friends and family and told them I was moving to California at some point.

I started thinking about how one moves across the country. Via moving trucks? On a plane? Yeah, I was not bringing the cat. He would die of the trauma.

We can live beside the ocean,
leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
watch the world die.

My friend, Cortney, emailed me to tell me good luck and that he thought it was a cool idea, but that truthfully he would miss me an awful lot. He was the only person (other than my mom) to convey such a feeling. That I would be missed if I left.

I remember thinking he was sweet and that I would surely miss him too. I mean, he was such a great friend.

Less than a month later, this happened.

And a week after that, my current school district called me for an interview…and I got the job.

A couple weeks after that Cortney was not my friend anymore, he was my boyfriend.

I didn’t move, obviously. I decided to take the job in my current school district (where I had done my student teaching and several long-term substitute positions).  I decided to take the plunge on Cortney.

It’s been ten years since I made that decision.  The decision to stay in the tiny small town I always said I would leave.

When I went to college, I had determined that I would meet a guy from somewhere and go to that somewhere.  I was not going to follow the pattern of marrying a guy from my high school and having his babies and living my whole life in this hick town.

Until I did.

Not because I didn’t try to NOT end up this way.  But because this is the way I was supposed to end up.

It’s been ten years and I rarely think about the chance I had to “get away” from this life.  Probably because I never wish this life away. Even when it sucks, I never wish I was somewhere else with a different guy with different (or no) kids.

I never don’t want this life.

Sometimes I don’t think I am doing a good job at this life I was gifted, but I never ever wish it away.

Not for all the white sands on a Santa Monica beach.

*Lyrics from “Santa Monica” by Everclear

An Evening with Pearl Jam & Other Stories {Part 2}

We went to see Pearl Jam in Chicago a couple weekends ago. If you missed the back story of our journey to Chicago/our field seats at Wrigley, go ahead and get caught up.

When we last left our heroic couple, they were just getting to their seats on Wrigley Field in the 103 degree Chicago sun.

View of the stage from our seats.

View of the stage from our seats.

The original plan had us arriving by 3:30 local time, picking up our tickets, and having a nice dinner before the concert. Because we didn’t get there until after 6pm and the concert’s start time was 7:30, we decided we would just do concession food.

And then we hit the wall of people.  When we finally found our seats, we figured someone could get food if they ever went to the bathroom.  If you are following along, you will remember that I was diagnosed with a pretty ugly UTI that afternoon, so we all knew who that “someone” going to the bathroom was going to be.

Since it was already after 7:30 by the time I had to pee (thank goodness the meds kicked in quickly and I wasn’t dying from pee urges), I hustled to find one that wasn’t a Port-o-John. I also wanted to find a real concession stand because we wanted water, not beer (which was all they sold on the field).  The concession stand actually had food too, but since I was trying to hurry and not miss anything, I figured I would come back later for pretzels and hot dogs.

I should have just gotten the food.

The concert didn’t end up starting until 8:18pm.

We are at Pearl Jam!

We are at Pearl Jam! And it’s HOT out!

I should probably take a minute to tell you about the people around us.

First there were the guys behind us who had never heard of the song “Bugs”.  Pearl Jam has only played it live three times, but it’s not a rarity. It’s on the Vitalogy album. I shook my head a lot listening to those guys.

The guy next to Cort was a backer-upper and kept trying to crowd Cort out, which in turn crowded me into the old hippie next to me.  Speaking of the old hippie, he was with what I assumed was his teenage son.  His teenage son kept talking about the Kardashians and TMZ.

The couple in front of us had the never-ending joint.  Seriously.

They smoked from the first note to the last note...at 2am.

They smoked from the first note to the last note…at 2am.

I get that the pot happens at concerts, but they smoked so much I was starting to get a queasy feeling from smelling sewage weed all night on empty stomachs.

So anyway, the concert started at 8:18pm

There's some Eddie Vedder on the screen!

There’s some Eddie Vedder on the screen!

They started out nice and mellow opening with “Release”, a song that, since having depression and anxiety, has come to mean much more to me than it did in my teen  years.

Eddie Vedder let us know that since they were in it with us for the long haul, they were pacing themselves. They then played “Nothingman”, “Present Tense” (it was during this song that I pointed out the irony of Vedder singing about living in the present tense with a bunch of faces stuck down in their phones. It was sad), “Hold On”, “Low Light”, “Come Back” (which always reminds me of my father-in-law), and “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”.

This was when someone started talking in Vedder’s ear and he announced that there was a major storm with high winds and lots of lightening moving in.  According to the weather watchers at the airport, it was about 30 minutes out and they wanted to use that time to evacuate anyone on the field in case something on the stage would break and fall during the storm.

So just like that we were herded into the concords and under the bleachers.

This is where my previous trip to the bathroom came in handy.

Most people seemed to huddle under the bleachers just as they entered the concord, but I told Cortney if we pushed on, we could be near a concession stand and the bathrooms.

We also ended up near a gate, so we got some fresh air and could watch the storm come in.

It was really hot under there. The next day I heard reports that people had been passing out, and I remembered seeing paramedics run by us every so often. Luckily, where we were, there was a nice breeze once the winds picked up and the rain started.

It was crowded in the land of the PJ fan storm camps.

It was crowded in the land of the PJ fan storm camps.

You would think we would take this opportunity to eat, but here is the thing. First, the concessions around us started running out of food (although they sold beer the entire time).  Secondly, while we stood there hating our life (by this time it was about 9:30pm with no end in sight to the evacuation), Cort promised me a big old spread of room service when we got back.  That ALWAYS sounds better than scouting out the last stadium hot dog.

So we waited for the storm.  When it finally hit (almost an hour into the evacuation), we stayed in contact with our friend Erin who was in the top bowl, under the canopy. She let us know what was going on in the land of the above ground people.

I also thought of my friend Keely who was not sheltered…unless she went inside during the storm.

She later told me they went inside during the storm.

She later told me they went inside during the storm.

We watched the storm. It really was about a 30-minute storm, but by that time it was after 10pm. The curfew for concerts is 11pm. While Eddie Vedder had said they got the curfew extended, we wondered how far out they could possibly have given them.

At 11pm (remember it was midnight est by this time) we were sore (there was no where to sit since the ground was wet from spilled beer and leaked rain water), hungry, tired, and crabby.

We were starting to wonder if they were just going to call it a night.  And maybe we were hoping they would.

Finally around 11:30 we got word that people were being let out on the field, that the soundboard had been unwrapped, and that the speakers were going back up on the stage.

By 11:45 we were being herded back to our seats.  At one point, Cortney (who was behind me in all this  herding) rubbed by arm with his hand. As I whipped my head to the side I growled, “Cort, that better be you or someone is getting punched in the crotch.”  The poor guy next to me threw his hands up to prove it wasn’t him.  We all laughed it off, but that guy found his way away from me fast.

By midnight (1am est), the concert had started again.

There is still MORE to this story, so I will give you Part III (the conclusion) next week. Until then, party on.

An Evening with Pearl Jam & other Stories. {Part 1}

It is 103 degree and humid, but thankfully we found a spot near one of the gates that at least gets some air movement.  Others were not so lucky, choosing to camp out in the concords. The next day I heard that people had been passing out from the heat down there.

Our legs and backs ached from having been standing in the same place for so long. It was almost 11pm (midnight eastern–which our bodies were on).

How did we get here?

It started out innocently. Months ago Cortney got us tickets to An Evening with Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field in Chicago. No opening bands; just Pearl Jam.  In Wrigley.

I don’t have the space here to tell you what long-time fans we (mostly Cortney) are. I’ll just say this: I currently have over 40 days straight of music in my itunes on my computer. This is only a fraction of the music we actually own because I don’t have the space (or the desire) to have months worth of live Pearl Jam on my machine.  Before we saved our music on hard drives, you could see a 500-disc holder in our basement at LEAST a third of the way filled with live Pearl Jam.

Cortney is in the fan club. Since, like, the beginning of time.

Anyway.

Eddie Vedder (lead singer of Pearl Jam) is a giant Cubs fan. He has always said playing at Wrigley would be the epitome. Clearly playing a baseball field in July is hard to book. But they did, and we got tickets.

It was going to be our “month-late-anniversary-trip.” Our “no-kids-relaxing-fun-weekend.”

Our seats were right on the field (thank you, Fan Club).

Cortney took Friday off from work, secured my parents to watch the boys for the afternoon and over night, booked us a hotel near the train, and had everything planned out to leave by 1pm Est.  That would give us time to get there, check in, have a nice dinner and pick up our tickets and Will Call, and the find our seats since the concert start time was 7:30 CT.

The plan was awesome. It was “best laid”.  And we all know what they say about the best laid plans?

Yeah.  They go right to hell in a hand basket.

First, I woke up on Friday to a bladder infection. I called the doc and they can get me in…at 2pm est. An hour after we planned to leave.

“It’s Ok,” Cortney said, “get it taken care of. They are usually fast, especially on a Friday.”

At 1pm, Cort left to take the boys to my parents’ house. I finished our packing and headed out to my appointment early.

Short, cotton dress since it's going to be a thousand degrees...with a chance of thunderstorms.

Short, cotton dress since it’s going to be a thousand degrees…with a chance of thunderstorms.

They got me in early!  Yay!  Things are looking up!  Within 15 minutes I am seen and meds are called in and I am out of there.

To give the pharmacy time to process my script, I caledl Cort to tell him I’m done already, hit the bathroom (because, hello, UTI), and then went to the pharmacy. By the time I got there, it had been 15 minutes since the prescription was sent in, so it should have been waiting.

It wasn’t. So I waited.

And waited.

And waited…a full 30 minutes (45 minutes after the script had been received). I watched other people come and go. I watched the pharmacist leave his job to chat with someone about OTC meds.

Finally I got up and asked, “how much longer? and may I use your bathroom? I am waiting on meds for a BLADDER INFECTION!”

When I got back from the bathroom, I waited five more minutes and it was ready. I may have asked to speak to the pharmacist and I may have told them we are switching pharmacies because of their piss poor service.

In the meantime, Cortney had gotten the boys off to my parents and he had stopped to buy me cranberry juice.

We left for Chicago around 3:30pm est.  Finally.

I only needed to stop to pee four times during the 150 mile trip. I count that as winning.

And then, 10 miles from our hotel, we hit this:

Chicago traffic around 5:30 local time.

Chicago traffic around 5:30 local time.

Our GPS (who we have named Judy Garmin. Don’t ask) told us that it was 10 minutes to our hotel with a minute delay due to traffic. I had to pee (again), but decided to hold it because…10 minutes. Right?

Um. Yeah.

Oh and as we sat there? We noticed this:

Cort is imagining sitting on a ball field in this heat.

Cort is imagining sitting on a ball field in this heat.

So an hour later, we finally get to our hotel (I ran to pee as Cort got our luggage and talked to the valet), check in, and by then it was  closing on 6:30 local time. We had to make like a baby and head out…quick!

The view from out hotel

The view from out hotel

I left my meds in the room because, well, we will be back by midnight for me to take the next dose and I really don’t want to carry my precious pee meds around Chicago.

The red line was like four steps from out hotel, so we jumped on and headed to Wrigley.

Holy. People. Batman.

Now I don’t know who organized the gig, if it was Pearl Jam’s people or the Wrigley people, but getting in was a shit show.

Field access people (us) had one entrance. Seemed legit. Until we walked all the way around the dang field to the one Field Access Entrance and as soon as we got in it mooshed us with the non-field people at a stand immediately in the entrances so we could get a wrist band that proved we could have field access.

To say it felt like I was in a mosh pit is an understatement.

People pushed and shoved to get to the TWO people putting wristbands on.  Why they couldn’t have done this as we went in the FIELD ACCESS entry, I have no idea.

We were hot and sweaty, but we had wrist bands, so we went to find out seats.

View of the stage from our seats.

View of the stage from our seats.

This ends part one. This story is too long to continue in one post. Stay tuned for music, storms, and being crushed on the Red Line in the next installment.

 

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