My original plans for this past weekend were determined a long time ago; Charlie and I would head up to Sag Harbor, New York on Friday so that we could see two dear friends of his get married on Saturday.
Unfortunately, sometimes life throws curveballs at us; in this case, a family member of one of the participants of the wedding becoming ill enough that a postponement of the wedding was necessary. At first it seemed just like the wedding would happen low-key but in Manhattan, but eventually it was scratched entirely. Since we already had our plane tickets, though, we were asked if we could still come up and visit for the weekend.
As it turned out, our role over the weekend really turned into, “Get people out of the hospital visiting room for an hour or two each night” because things had taken a turn for the much worse in the middle of the week. It was an awkward situation to be in—the visitors who are in town at the worst possible time. Part of me knows that they were glad we were there to serve as even a momentary distraction, but at the same time it was hard to not feel horribly out of place.
But on the bright side, it’s not like Charlie and I can’t entertain ourselves. (No, I am not referring to his singing.) We did a little bit of shopping, mostly at Century 21 where I ended up with some new shirts, and at the Strand bookstore. That was fun, but also a tiny bit frustrating at one point because they had a bunch of Ursula K. Le Guin’s re-issued anthologies on the shelves for $4 that came out in 2004, and I could not remember for the life of me which ones I already owned. So Charlie got to watch me dither back and forth on different volumes before finally putting all of them back on the shelf. Ah well. I did go home with a Rick Bayless cookbook that was 70% off, and Patrick McDonnell’s Mutts art book (still in shrink wrap) for 50% off, so it was a nice score.
It also meant that on Saturday I got to pop by MoCCA for a few hours. I honestly hadn’t planned on it until right before I left Friday morning, which meant there was no time to alert anyone or make any real plans. It was a great time, though, talking with people like Jose Villarrubia, Christine Norrie, Mike Dawson, Greg Means, Alex Robinson, Chris Staros, Brett Warnock, and many many more people of whom I am blanking on right now. I ended up with some new mini-comics (including all three issues of Ivy from Sarah Oleksyk, hurrah!) as well as a new sketch in the wine book from Liz Prince. (I need to start posting those again, soon.)
The weekend wasn’t entirely without hiccups, especially on Saturday night when we went to dinner with some others in tow and discovered that the restaurant had no air-conditioning and was, to put it generously, boiling. Ugh. We finally found a place around the corner, but I think everyone was a little grouchy and run down by that point.
Also, we were staying in a brand new hotel from the Thompson group, Gild Hall, which was lovely… even though on Saturday we got a call letting us know that there was “a leak from the room above us” and they were moving our stuff to another room. Eek! Although that actually worked out well for us, as it turned out. While the other room was nice enough, the new one had a living room and a little kitchenette nook. Honestly, if the nook had a stove and oven, I would have cheerfully lived in that hotel room. Seriously. It was that big.
We ended up leaving several hours earlier than planned; our friends were very busy with the familial duties and we felt in the way. We called on Saturday night trying to change our flight home (it’s the Delta Shuttle, it leaves every hour) and were given all sorts of hassle and threats of $100 surcharges. So instead we just went to the airport to check in and were promptly asked, “Would you like to leave three hours earlier?” Why yes, yes we would. See how easy that was? (Our flight home was barely half full.)
Part of me would’ve liked to spend more time in New York, and give a holler to everyone I know in the city to see who could get together. But with the ever-shifting plans and circumstances, that just wasn’t going to happen. Now I’m home to the gentle sound of the dishwasher running. And it’s nice to be back here.