Apr 18, 2008

Haven't seen you in 24 years! Excuse me while I vomit. In your new home.

This past weekend, Studly Man and I escorted my dear parents to Atlanta for the celebration of Mom’s brother and sister-in-love’s 50th wedding anniversary. Though American Airlines TRIED to ruin our fun, we persevered. Almost.

Speaking of air travel with elderly parents, here’s a tip: Prearrange with the airline to have wheelchairs meet you at the door. I’ll never fly again that SOMEONE in my party isn’t in a wheelchair, whether they need it or not! Assigned bulkhead seats that can’t be taken away, early pre-boarding, wheeled by escorts from door to door - it’s the only way to fly. That is unless you can afford one of these. We can’t.

My four cousins, whom I had not seen since our grandmother’s funeral in 1984, had planned a great party for their parents. (I had seen my aunt and uncle since then, just not their kids.) It was so much fun to meet their spouses and children I’d only heard about and seen in pictures. Studly finally got to meet those people he’d heard so much about when I’d share stories of the six cousins (four of them, my sister and me) growing up together. We were "stair steps," separated only by a year or two. I am fourth in the line-up, which means I usually fell right in the middle of the shenanigans. We reminisced and talked about favorite home movies we all watched over and over and over again - in reverse! We laughed about funny things our grandparents did and their funny little dog. We quizzed each other on events that happened decades ago. We laughed until our sides hurt. A great time was had by all!

Can I just say... my cousins ROCK. They planned every detail of the party, right down to
these. The food was awesome. I wanted to get in the punch bowl and absorb that punch through my pores. The flowers were gorgeous. The speeches were heartwarming. It was grand. It was fun to have (most of) the family together again after all these years.

After the party, Studly and I were to spend the night with my cousin. He’s single and lives in a beautiful townhome. He’s an architect, and he has quite the eye for interior design. He was a gracious host. I mean really gracious.
Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up with a headache. Knowing I needed to take something soon, I glanced over at Studly who was sleeping soundly. I considered what my dear cousin had said shortly before we turned in for the night. Cuzin Joe is a light sleeper. Passing his bedroom door to go down the wooden stairs for a glass of water would surely wake him. That'd be three people awake because I needed a glass of water. I decided against getting up and prayed the headache would abate.

Bad idea. Bad, BAD idea.

When we finally got up in the morning light, I knew I was in trouble. I got in a hot shower and asked Studly to please go get something
liquid to wash down the medicine I was overdue to take. He smiled and said, "Be right back!" I continued getting ready for the day, even though I could feel the tiny little men with pickaxes chipping away at my brain. We were going to do some touristy stuff. We wanted to go here and here. We had big plans.

It occurred to me Studly had been gone a long time. I called down the stairs for him. Silence. I called for Cuzin Joe. Silence. I looked out the window. Cuzin’s truck was gone. I knew in a instant where they had gone. Studly knows caffeine often helps with my migraines. He also knows I love me some coffee. I waited. And I waited. And I waited s'more. FINALLY they arrived. Studly was holding my latte and wearing a big grin that said he was so proud of himself for securing the favored caffeinated drink for his ailing wife. I sat down on the couch after swallowing some Advil with a latte chaser. Trying to make pleasant conversation was a chore. And then I knew. I knew I was in real.serious.trouble.

After excusing myself, I made my way dizzily back up the stairs to the privacy of the bathroom. And I got sick. I mean REALLY sick. While I was wondering if Studly and Cuzin could HEAR me being sick, I got sick again. And again. A venti latte from Starbucks is a lot easier to clean off the wall than lighter liquids might be not nearly as appetizing the second time around. I’m just sayin’.

When at last the evil vomit monster retreated, I looked for a cool washcloth to soothe my face. I looked in the mirror. Oh, NO!

Here's what I saw:
I had strained so much that tiny blood vessels under my eyes had ruptured. Now I’d been sick in my cousin-whom-I-hadn't-seen-in-24-years' home AND I looked like a battered woman. Nice. Really nice. It did bring some sympathy, I must admit, but it certainly wasn’t funny. (BTW, those pictures clearly show what my momma calls my "sick eyes." How apt a description is that?)

I wandered downstairs and frightened both my husband and my cousin, who had in fact NOT heard what had been happening upstairs. (Thank God for that!) They stared at me and inquired about my new appearance. I told them I had been assaulted by the American Airlines ticket agent who had had.enough.of.me. at the airport. Geez. How lovely.

Then my dear cousin suggested
this. I love that man. He also suffers from migraines, but he is smarter than I am. He never gets too far away from the big guns. I never will again either. I learned my lesson.

Humbled? Yes, sir. Embarrassed? Yes, ma’am. Glad it’s over? Um, yeah. I think I am.

I invited my cousin to visit us in Texas. Wonder if he’ll do it. I may have just scared him off 'cuz really, who wants to visit their Vomitin' Cousin? At least we aint' the kissin' kind. And that's all I have to say about that.


DidiLyn said...

I loved reading this story! The whole thing...the reunion, cousin Joe's house, the migraine AND the vomit.
You are entertaining when you are sick. What a gift! LOL
Thanks so very much for the encouraging note you left on my blog. I appreciate your heart so much.
I'm thinkin' I'm gonna have a "Testimony Carnival" hosted at my blog...probably the end of April. People could link up their own blogs and we could all "hear" each others stories about meeting God. Sound good to you? Let me know...nothing is set in stone yet.

GoSuze! said...

I enjoyed reading your story almost as much as hearing it! Twice! (jk) I fo sho enjoy the many links you include for your readers' enjoyment...(faucet)(Starbucks) (Coke tour) (aquarium)...I thought you should include a picture of a grinnin' Studly holding a peppermint latte!! Good job, Jennstah!

SKay said...

This is TOO FUNNY! I almost had a heart attack laughing so hard! Your blog is like reading Carrie Bradshaw comments in "Sex and the City"! This is a side of you that I didn't know, but I want to know more about. Love ya, Girlfriend! So glad you are my "sister" in law!