Wasted Nights and Wasted Days

“Wasted days and wasted nights,
I have left for you behind.”

~Freddie Fender (1975)

As we haven’t been traveling enough, and as if preparing three meals a day from scratch for the last week of Passover hasn’t been enough, The Zone went on another adventure this past Friday evening. We had matzah, and we had grapes, but we didn’t have drinks, and we didn’t have our underpants.

Stop cocking your head like the dog and read on!

WineGuy is a folkie from way back. There are many musicians he adores. Every so often, WG goes trolling on the Web to find out if any of his favorite musicians will be playing near The Zone. Sometime last fall, he found out that one favorite, Bill Staines, would be appearing in St. Petersburg on April 25, 2008. WG couldn’t stop talking about this concert; I knew there was no way of talking him out of it, even though the boys have been just horrible lately. WG would not be deterred. We had to take the boys along because we don’t have anyone with whom to leave them overnight. [Forget it, Calvin. You’d never speak to me again.]

I packed up Wild Thing’s, Moose’s and my things in the suitcase on Thursday night. I begged Wizard four or more times to bring his clothes down so I could pack them. He blows me off “forgets”. I ran around like a madwoman on Friday, attending WT’s Biography Day (more on that in another post), and running errands. I picked up WT and Moose at 3:00 and drove around to wait at Wizard’s middle school. He was supposed to be at the car by 3:40 p.m. sharp but didn’t show up until nearly 3:55 p.m. Why? Because he “forgot” again and went down to the lower school only to be diverted by his homeroom teacher, who needed to see his planner. Dumbass.

We raced home, and Wizard grabbed his clothes and threw them in our suitcase. Wild Thing loaded “all the bags” in the car while I made a Passover “picnic dinner” — matzah sandwiches, grapes, and some chips — to take along. I knew I had a bottle of Passover Diet Coke in the other refrigerator and planned to take it with me. I finish packing the food and jump in the car. It’s now nearly 4:30, and we wanted to leave at 4:00. I get on I-75, drive a few miles, then hit a massive traffic jam. WineGuy asks where the soda was, and I smacked my head. I left it at home. Oh well, a 1/4 bottle of water and some grapes would have to keep us hydrated for the 2.5 hour trip. Traffic eased up again and I put the pedal to the metal. Until we hit another traffic jam in Sarasota. Hurry up and wait. That traffic thinned out and I was able to make good time into the south Tampa Bay area and over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into St. Petersburg. I managed to get us to the venue (a small art gallery) shortly after 7:00 p.m.

We tumbled out of the car, and I crawled around to the trunk, desperate to get a different bra out of my suitcase. I opened the trunk and saw the duffel bag containing sleeping bags and hollered.

“Where’s the blue bag? Where’s The Blue Bag? WHERE’S THE BLUE BAG?”

Dead. Silence. WineGuy was the first to respond.

“I asked you if the clothes were in the blue duffel, and you said ‘Yes’.”

“No, you asked me if the clothes were in the blue bag, and I said ‘Yes’.”

“No, I said ‘blue duffel’.”

Not wanting to start a fight in the middle of the street, I acquiesced. “I must have not heard you correctly.”

So . . . I reamed Wizard out in the middle of the street. Naturally. He was the last person to add his clothes to the bag. He should have put it in the car. It was his fault. He made all kinds of lame excuses and tried to shift the blame but I held his feet to the proverbial fire. We had two sleeping bags and WineGuy’s toiletries to get us through the night.

We ate our dinner, washed up, and listened to the concert. WG had us sit in the front row, so the boys could really see Staines’s fine guitar-playing and -picking. The boys knew a couple of the songs from the children’s CD, The Happy Wanderer, which we’ve had since Wizard was a baby. Moose started to fidget towards the end of the second set so I sat in the back with him. The concert ended and left us all in a better mood than when it started.

Fortunately, I reserved a suite at a Comfort Inn close by. Moose and Wild Thing were worried what they would sleep in, since there were no pajamas or any other clean clothes. They slept naked and thought it was fun! The suite had a separate bedroom, so WG and I had some privacy. He slept well, but I had nightmares. As usual WG woke up early the next morning. He took Wizard and Wild Thing downstairs to breakfast while Moose and I slept in. I woke up and dressed in the prior day’s clothes — yuck! — and went looking in WG’s dop-kit. I found deodorant — yay! — but no toothpaste. He didn’t bring any. I made do, and we all went down for breakfast.

The drive home was uneventful and about 1/2 hour faster than the drive up: no traffic jams. We got home in time for Wizard to attend a birthday party at the local waterpark. His forgetfulness continued as he failed to put on enough sunscreen. He got a bad sunburn. Boohoo. Suffer, you dumbass. He and his brothers fought most of the way home and some more at home so that WineGuy banished them all upstairs early. I had a Chorale party, so I missed some drama.

We finally had a free Sunday today: no Hebrew School, no call. We really wanted to spend the day on Sanibel or Captiva, but WG refused to go. The boys were behaving so badly (fighting, bad language, talking back) that we would not reward them with a fun day out. I was secretly glad so that I could sleep in, do some laundry, and catch up a little bit. Passover ended this evening, so we actually went out to dinner at a new pizza place. The food was uniformly mediocre, but I was delighted to eat it all!

Another weekend shot to hell. We’re home for another two days and then it’s off to New Orleans for our annual pilgrimage to JazzFest.


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