Bedtime Rant: A ‘New Jersey’ Vacation

4 Jan

This is the first chance I’m actually getting to sit down and write in over 10 days. My vacation, if you can even call it that, didn’t go as I had expected. Basically, my mother monopolized all of my time and I didn’t get to see any of my friends except for the three who were nice enough to come see me.

I’ll give you a run down of my trip.

Friday, December 25th, 2009

  • Didn’t sleep at all the night on Christmas Eve, so I was half brain dead and ready to kill someone
  • Shuttle arrived 20 minutes late, leaving me standing in the ice cold Christmas morning air for a total of 35 minutes
  • Plane ride to Memphis was smooth but very full
  • Layover in Memphis was initially an hour and a half but turned into 5 1/2 due to weather and air-traffic delays in Philadelphia
  • Sat in the Blue Note Cafe chain smoking, blogging, Facebooking, and chatting with random, yet very friendly, Christmas travelers
  • Stopped in Starbucks on my way to the gate, only to discover via text message followed by an announcement over the PA system that my flight was delayed by another hour if not more–and more was the case
  • Landed in Philly around 8:45pm instead of 6:03pm like it was originally scheduled for
  • Upon passing through the high-tech security doors that PHL recently installed, I gazed around at the waiting crowd to find my Bennylove leaning so casually against the wall
  • Picking up bag from luggage claim

We headed straight for the first Wawa on the way home, the Bellmawr Road location off 42, where the State Trooper barracks is located. We walk in the door, excitement dancing all through my veins, when this broad approaches, informing me that they are closed! “Wait, WAWA IS FUCKING CLOSED?!” I bitch to the woman. How in the hell–no–when in the hell does a Wawa ever close besides the ones in the uptight neighborhoods in Camden County?

Fury, exhaustion, and hungry are my three main components at this point. Ben drove well over the legal speed limit to tame my borderline breakdown as soon as possible. When we arrive at the Malaga Wawa, at 40 and Delsea Drive, we are greeted with a parking lot full of pick up trucks and few cars, as well as the brightly lit sign that stood high above the road, letting us know it was open: the lighthouse in the storm. Fast forward to me inhaling the mediocre meatball sub that I’ve had my heart set on for weeks.

Moving on to the present Ben gave me for Christmas. He hands me the tiny box, wrapped in patterned silver paper, with a snowflake bow on top and I can think is “no fucking way!” The smile stretched across my face sparked a similar one on Ben’s as I began to unravel the paper to discover the contents beneath. After a few quick seconds out came this beautiful royal blue box with the word Tacori on top. My heart was racing as I lifted the lid, open the little sack in the same shade of blue as the accompanying box to unveil the most beautiful ring!

The camera must have went off a dozen times during this short process but I barely noticed the flash or the gestures Ben made as he took in a few different angles to capture this moment. When I pulled the ring out of the pouch I carefully examined it, looking for flaws but only seeing the sparkles from the center stone, and feeling the mil grain edging around its circular opening.

Before he carefully slid it onto my finger, he handed me a note that read “I knew that I wanted to get you a ring, but I know I can’t afford what I ideally want to give you, so this is a placeholder until that day comes—and believe me, it will as soon as possible.”

So, no–its not an engagement ring but rather a placeholder until he can afford to the one I’ve dreamed of for years. Personally, I would have accepted this one as my engagement ring but I know he wanted to plan out the perfect proposal scenario and I certainly won’t be stopping him.

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

My Mother requested an audience with Ben and myself, so we head over to her house in the afternoon which turned into an all day thing. She served her famous spaghetti for dinner, Brittany & Ricky stopped by for a short visit, and we managed to come out alive and unharmed. At night, we began the convoluted task of organizing Ben’s house which lasted until 3 in the morning. Que the exhaustion.

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Since I missed all of the Christmas dinners I was supposed to attend, my Mother rescheduled hers for Sunday evening, and requested that we arrive before the 3:30 reservation she made for her table. Unfortunately, we didn’t arrive until shortly after 4pm to her dirty looks and bitching words about how we’re so disrespectful for showing up late. I preached to her for a good while about how 3:30 in the afternoon is not a reasonable time to be eating dinner and how most people haven’t even digested their lunches by this point in the day, ourselves included.

Following dinner, which mine consisted of boxed macaroni & cheese, we scattered around the house to assist in cleaning up. When we put our coats on, we went over to her to thank her for dinner and to let her know that we’ll be heading home in the next few minutes. She immediately switched into bitch-mode and began her ear-piercing rant about how I’m incredibly lazy and that the house will never get cleaned, especially since I’ve been home for 2 whole days at this point, and that at the rate I’m going I probably won’t ever come back over to complete the task.

Frankly, I was ready to knock her fucking lights out for being inconsiderate of the fact that I was still behind on sleep and that I haven’t seen Ben in more than 28 days, so maybe my plan was to start the job first thing Monday morning. She didn’t put two and two together to understand that I’m 25 years old and that I’m not the type to commit to something and than back down, unless I’ve got a good reason which of course I had none.

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I spent the entire day cleaning out my old bedroom that was full of her many unpacked suitcases, bags filled with other bags, and the Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s worth of new pillows, bed linens, and other assorted bullshit. She basically turned my room into a storage closet that she never intended to clean up or organize. What do you expect of a woman who is nearing 50 and has ADD?

Around 7pm, Ben & I joined Brittany & Ricky for a delicious and much needed dinner at the Olive Garden. During the meal both couples discovered a love for Eddie Murphy’s stand-up and our unhealthy obsession with quoting lines from his Delirious performance from the 1980’s. It was so nice to be with them, to laugh and leave the stress of my Mother’s demands behind for a few hours.

At night, the task of organizing Ben’s house continued for several hours until I managed to get the makeup off my face, change into some pajamas, and fall face first into bed. There wasn’t any time for intimacy for Ben & I because I was so worn out that I vaguely remember pushing him and hitting his hands as he tried to make his move on me. My attempt to stop him in his tracks only upset him to the point of falling asleep in a rage of anger and disappointment.

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Yet again an entire day spent cleaning and finishing my project at my parents house followed by another evening of cleaning & organizing Ben’s place. Fast forward to another intimate-less night and me passing out in the middle of reading Twilight in bed. Ben’s attempt at sex ended in failure when I fought him off in my barely conscious state, which resulted in him questioning my attraction to him.

Clearly I’m beyond attracted to him but I was tired, not in the mood, and beyond stressed out that my Mother so easily monopolized the first four fucking days of my vacation. The following morning came bright and early as I discovered the barely warm bottle that Ben tucked neatly by my side before he went to bed; that, and an apology for his stupidity and lack of consideration for my hectic schedule and wearing energy level.

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

My Mother showed up at Ben’s house just before 1oam to pick me up for what was supposed to be a few short errands that turned into an all day excursion. No Mom, I don’t want to wake up this early to help you take your overweight dog to the groomers. No, I don’t really care to sit in the drive-thru at two different pharmacies, totaling an hour’s worth of wasted time. No, you shouldn’t hold the nice people up at the carpet store because you’re the wife of a member of  one of the town’s largest families. You can pick out the carpet for your unnecessary sun room another day.

After an extended lunch at Saladworks, a 20 minute long decision in Michael’s Crafts, a 15 minute visit to Bath & Body Work’s to take advantage of their semi-annual sale, and one brief stint at Victoria’s Secret for new undiebunnies, I found myself searching 5 & Below’s ADD heaven that they call a store. Then we went grocery shopping as a surprise for Ben, which wasn’t just us merely picking up bread, milk, and eggs but stocking his refrigerator and cabinets.

By 7pm, I found myself rushing to put away all the groceries at Ben’s place, as we awaited the arrival of his friend Erica and her friend Luke for an evening visit. When we finally got into bed, I was told that I was to simply relax and not worry about cleaning anymore for the rest of my vacation and to expect a piping hot breakfast in the morning.

I must admit that I really struck gold with Ben. He’s such a gentleman and he always knows exactly what I want. I’m fortunate that he recognizes the outside sources of my stress and the fact that I need a break every now and then, especially when it comes to pampering me.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I awoke to the blissful scent offresh off-the-griddle pancakes topped with a miniature mountain of margerine and warm maple syrup. The sound of Ben’s songbird flowed through the house as I remember it during his visits to Arizona. I can’t help but laugh at his choice in music but I love that he’s so comfortable with entertaining me in such a romantic way. During the early morning hours, I slipped out of bed and into my white fluffy slippers for a quick potty break; as I walked through the kitchen and into the bathroom, I took notice of the unexpected snow shower falling outside.

By the early afternoon, I had arranged plans for the evening but felt reluctant to comply with them due to the cost of the evening, the lack of my signature long hair, and the frigid temperatures of a northeast winter. We spent most of the day watching movies, eating unhealthy snacks, and intertwining our bodies in as many ways as possible. Our dinner consisted of Reese Cups, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Tastykakes powered donuts.

When it came time to head out, the anxiety I feared kicked in and I sent a text message to the group I was planning to meet up with to let them know of my change in plans. I don’t think Ben was too disappointed by my change of heart but I was glad that he didn’t show it otherwise. Staying in and watching the ball drop at midnight was just as magical, if not more-so, than actually going out and spending a pile of cash on overpriced drinks and cover charges.

As the ball dropped and the 2010 sign lit up, Ben pressed his tantalizing lips firmly against mine, which sent an immediate rush of adrenaline to all the right spots throughout my body. I’ll tell you that was on hell of a midnight kiss!

Friday, January 1st, 2010

When I first came-to, I heard the sounds of a chess match taking place in the next room over, which told me that Ben was already awake; that and the empty space to my left. I called out his name and within the flash of a few passing seconds, he was at my side greeting with me a morning kiss and asking what I’d like for breakfast. That’s one thing I love about waking up with Ben: knowing I will be served a steaming hot breakfast that won’t stop until I request it.

The skies were overcast, shades of varying gray stretched as far as my human eyes would allow, and the sound of the whipping wind could be heard all around the house as it violently slammed the storm door open and close repeatedly. This is something that reminded me of why I left New Jersey in the first place: the miserable weather and limited supply of sunshine. Arizona provides for me the happiness of wearing flip flops year round and the constant beam of sunshine nearly every day.

After I shuffled out of bed and into the kitchen, the reality of today being my last full day of vacation, of being with the man that I’m so deeply in love with, had set in and temporarily clouded my mind. How am I supposed to survive another bought of Ben-less depression? Being apart from him is like a hot-air balloon without any hot air to make it run.

We thrive when we’re together and the stress of being apart takes its unwanted toll on us as we’re always forced to part ways at the end of our time together. I cherish the moments in the early morning when I wake up to my obnoxiously small bladder and see him laying there so peaceful, with the glow of a worn out angel that’s deep in slumber after an exhausting night of watching over people.

The day was mostly spent watching movies, packing, and doing laundry; mixed in with the occasional borderline overdose of Reese Cups and donuts. Knowing I had to wake up so early the next morning to complete one final task at my parents house weighed on me to the point of tears. “Can’t they just fucking move the damn boxes themselves?” I cried to Ben, as he held me close to his magnetic body.

In the early evening I received several text messages from two of my girlfriends inviting me to spend the night with them at the one girl’s new house. Of course I wanted to be with them, to catch up and have girl time, to see how big new house girl’s baby was getting and inspect the beauty of her newly built home. But they waited until the very last hour to invite me over, when I was already stressed out beyond belief, knowing I would have to part ways with Ben the next day and that I still had more shit to do at my parents house before my departure.

To these two friends: I attempted to contact you both prior to my trip to plan ahead for a group dinner but one of you failed to return my calls while the other was flaky in answering my dinner invitation, claiming to not know what’s going on. Well, what’s going on is that I am calling you ahead of time so you can make the plan for dinner now instead of dicking around like you always do and commit to it in advance.

I flew 2,500 miles and incurred the expense of a plane ticket, the least the two of you could have done was driven 30-40 minutes to come see me if you truly wanted to. But I see where your misplaced priorities lay, so I won’t hold it against either of you for not understanding my decline in your invitation; for not thinking about the fact that I made 90% of the journey to reunite with you both and it’s your duty as a friend to make the other 10% towards the reunion.

I didn’t expect the inconsiderate text messages claiming that Ben was my only priority and that I’m basically a shitty friend, but neither of you dared to pick up your phones–you know, the ones you’re both using on a constant basis–to call or text me to see what my schedule looked like. 90-10.

So thank you both for thinking outside of your own boxes to consider that maybe I was really busy and maybe the weight of my Mother’s constant demands wore through me like nothing either of you have ever experienced. Nor do I expect either of you to understand what it’s like to have a truly undying need for another human being like I do for Ben, like our other friends do for their boyfriends/fiance’s/husbands. And if you don’t like what I have to say, than oh-fucking-well, because I’m tired of being the one to build the bridge between our very different lifestyles.

When it was time to call it a day, we crawled into bed one last time and stayed awake talking and cuddling as close as our bodies would allow. His firm clasp warmed every inch me that I couldn’t help but fall asleep in his embrace. Fast forward to the crazy dreams.

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

The day started at 9am since we decided to sleep in but we soon found ourselves rushing around the house, making the 20 minute journey to my parents house for one final unnecessary chore, and then heading back to Ben’s house to pack up my suitcase with enough time to spend in his arms before racing off to the airport.

The tears started to well up in my eyes as we approached Philadelphia International Airport, the worst airport on the planet, knowing that our time together was limited to only a few minutes. Loosening my grip from Ben as our hug ended was so incredibly hard. As I walked away, knowing he was standing there in shambles, watching me disappear into the airport was like being punched in the face over and over again. The agony of our separation is not something I wish for anybody to ever experience.

We soared through the sky at a comfortable 35,000ft for the nearly 5 hour journey back to the desert oasis that I now I call home. All I could think about was how much I missed Ben, how I couldn’t wait to see Peaches, and the pleasantly distracting sparkle coming from my left hand. When the plane landed and I was finally outside, cigarette burning fast, the warm breeze danced through the terminal reminding me of why I was so in love with this place. “I really don’t need this damn sweater” I thought to myself.

By the time I arrived home, I unpacked as quickly as possible, phoned Ben, and was laying side-by-side with Peaches in our very comfortable queen size bed. Que the deep sleep and gentle pur radiating from Peaches.

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2 Responses to “Bedtime Rant: A ‘New Jersey’ Vacation”

  1. Whatami January 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    You’d consider Bellmawr an uptight neighborhood?

    • Lauren Dickson January 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

      Oh God no! Ben said some of them in Moorestown close every day, but it was Christmas Day and they were closing early.

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