Well, well, well. I survived the Two Days in Boston Sans Maeve.
I also got laryngitis, so, ironically, when Tom and I called to talk to Maeve, she had no idea who I was. (And, considering her usual way of saying hello to someone on the telephone is waving at the keypad, I’d already had very little chance at an actual conversation. Yet, when she gets her paws on a coveted remote control, she’ll stick it to her ear, say “Hello?” and chat up a storm. Explain that.)
We also seemed to bring with us the blizzard that assaulted the East Coast on Friday as snow, sleet and ice pelted us the entire trip. The four-hour drive to Boston actually turned out — thanks to driving between just 15 and 40 miles per hour, passing 18 accidents each with police cars, tow trucks and the occasional ambulance, pulling over to de-ice the windshield, reaching outside the moving car’s window to catch the wiper as it swept toward us and “flick” it down to dislodge chunks of ice, following tire tracks because lane markers were buried in snow, debating whether a particular highway was a three- or four-lane road, driving behind plows and salt trucks at a snail’s pace — to be more than eight hours long. Yes, more than eight hours.
And that lofty goal of using the travel time to finish conversations stalled since becoming parents? Well, here’s essentially a transcript of what transpired between wheel-gripping, ever-patient Tom, and handle-gripping, nervous-ninny me:
Me: Tom, slow down.
Him: Yes, dear.
Me: Tom, that’s a bumper I’m seeing!
Him: Yes, dear.
Me: Brake, Tom, brake.
Him: Got it, dear.
Me: Tom! Careful!
Me: Bumper! Tom…
Me: Tom, slooow down.
Me: Tom, be care-
Tom: I’m on it. Dear.
Now repeat. (Repeatedly.)
We did arrive, but not in time to see my friend’s ceremony in what was described as a most-beautiful cathedral. I missed her walk down the aisle. Although I’m told her floor-length veil was lovely as it draped down her back, resting atop her strapless Carolina Herrera gown, I’ll have to take my friends’ word for it. I didn’t hear her I Do as she commited herself to the man she loves, before friends and family. I missed her first kiss as a married woman. Disappointing, for sure.
There are, however, plenty o’ things I didn’t miss, including the fact I should be grateful we even arrived at all, safe and (reasonably) sound, as well as:
In the rush to check into the hotel, shake off the drama of the roadway and get dressed before the wedding guests returned from the church for the reception, I managed to keep from poking my hand through my stockings. (Always a victory for me, even in the calmest circumstances.)
The cocktail hour — a most-blessed sight after that commute — and a lovely reception.
Eating, drinking and being merry with longtime friends: Nice conversations, clinking glasses, sarcastic jabs, lots of laughs and plenty of poses for pictures.
My newlywed friend impressively belting out Janis Joplin’s Bobby McGee at the request of her guests, and the many accolades that followed.
Dancing. Lots of dancing.
Finding the hotel bed, down comforter, featherbed, half-dozen pillows and chenille throw to be a most welcoming place to finally rest very late that night.
Sleeping in and ignoring the knocks of hotel housekeeping as they made their way down the hall.
The Saturday brunch-turned-lunch with my friends and the waitress we’ll all remember — when all we wanted was caffeine and carbs.
Bagpipes and green Mardi Gras-style beads.
Knowing that some spring day in Boston, as the ice and snow begin to melt, a lone, homeless hubcap will make its way to the surface. And it will have been mine.* Let it now serve as a quiet reminder that, most important, I was there to share with my friend the start of a new chapter in her life.
Being in both Boston and Manhattan on the same festive St. Patrick’s Day night. How cool.
Discovering the perfect way to end an eventful and enjoyable weekend: Coming home** to Maeve and holding her tight.
* This is what happens when two people, frazzled by substantial delay, treacherous weather and a wedding ceremony already in progress, finally reach their destination. They are so completely spent that despite sliding into a curb and seeing their hubcap fly off the car and land in a median snowdrift some distance away, they Just. Don’t. Care.
** It will be discovered upon returning home from the two-day jaunt that, in fact, a second hubcap also had gone missing somewhere between leaving the Boston hotel and entering the driveway alongside the house.