January 1, 2015

Saint Zachary

My husband’s a saint.

For starters, he tolerates me writing about our marriage, his flaws and our perfectly imperfect life together. He then promotes those pieces with pride. He also accepts me and all of my shenanigans.

Today, for his birthday, I thought I’d share an oh-so-Nat anecdote to illustrate just what- and who- he puts up with…

For my thirtieth birthday, I wanted to go away. Get out of the cold weather, put my feet in the sand, an umbrella drink in hand. So, that’s what my lovely boyfriend (at the time, now husband), Zach, got me. The catch? He wasn’t going. I requested a girls only getaway.

Ten of my girlfriends plus my sister and mom came to Miami to celebrate with me. That weekend, the stories, the laughs still remain a highlight of my life. But the getting there was perhaps one of the most memorable.

I never pack light. I don’t know how. I’m OCD to a fault. I like to be prepared for every situation, occasion, temperature… And then, as is inherent in my dual personality, I’m as procrastinating as I am planned. So I bring a ton but there’s no real thought to it and it’s almost always done at the last minute. I throw every shoe, accessory and sweater into my oversized bag with mere minutes to spare and run out of the house like a hot, disheveled mess.

This time, however, I was on time. But then I waited for my shall-remain-nameless friend (we were cabbing together). And waited and waited. Finally, she showed.

Upon arriving at the airport, I was told we were too late to check bags. We had 44 minutes till the flight. The deadline was 45. I kid you not. I begged and pleaded with the woman to have some compassion. Not happening.

Apparently, I had three options: Ditch my suitcase and proceed without it, get a locker at the airport and leave it there or book another, later flight. That flight landed at 11pm but I had eleven women meeting me at noon in Florida so that wasn’t happening. And, I don’t know about you, but I never pack my ugly, ill-fitting, cheap clothes for a trip. My bag is always full of brand-new, never-been-worn, can’t afford cuteness. So ditching it? Not having it for my memory-making and photo-taking weekend? Um, no.

I called Zach in a panic. Suddenly it was his problem.

During my rant, it hit me. I knew what I would do! It was genius. (Read: ridiculous.)

I would pay a cab driver to take it to Zach. He would then take it to my friend’s office who was catching a later flight and meeting us. She would then bring it, along with her bag and herself, to Miami. The perfect plan. Or the most convoluted one.

So Zach left work, ran out to get cash from an ATM to pay for a solo suitcase to make its way from JFK to midtown, hopped in, rode with his baggage’s baggage and an unknown cabbie to my friend Cass, paid for that trip and then her ride back to the airport with my suitcase that had just been there, where she arrived in plenty of time to check it.

Meanwhile, back at Crazy Town, after concocting my plan, talking to all the pertinent parties and my boyfriend off a ledge, my time was ticking and the door, locking. I ran to security, begging and pleading with pissed off people to let me ahead of them and then sprinted to the gate as the door was closing.

As I rounded the corner, my plane in view, and saw the attendants starting to close it, I bellowed, “Wait, wait! Don’t close the gate!”

I arrived, out of breath, doubled over and panting.

“Please, you don’t understand what I’ve just been through.”

“My friends are on that flight.”

“It’s my birthday!”

I’m not sure it was pity, cause champagne problems, more so wanting to get a psychotic woman off their hands and on her way to another state but, whatever it was, they opened the door.

I still can’t believe it. Nor, apparently, could my friends. The looks on their faces were priceless.

I landed to tons of text messages, mostly from Zach documenting his screwed-up scavenger hunt, complete with a sense of humor and pride in his accomplishments.

By that night, my bag, my friend and bottles of champagne and the makings for dirty martinis from Zach arrived via room service even though he’s the one who could have used the cocktails!

I’d like to say life’s calmed down since then but that’d be false.

So, to Saint Zachary, on your birthday, thank you for loving me in all of my madness. May the adventure continue!