The weekend turned out all right, I suppose. At least I wasn’t too tired to get up and go to work Monday. Based on my experience with air travel in recent years, it could have been otherwise.
It all started several months ago when a close friend of my wife announced that her 30-something son finally was going to get married, and move out of the family house in the suburbs of Philadelphia…. Pennsylvania that is, not Mississippi, but I guess you knew that when I mentioned suburbs.
Anyhow, Jenny said she would like to go to the Saturday wedding, but she was not willing to miss any classroom time with her fourth graders. Being the somewhat smart person I am, I thought, “How on earth are we going to do that in a weekend?”
But being a somewhat smarter husband, I didn’t say that. Instead, I said, “Yes dear,” and started checking out the flight schedules. If we hurried to Memphis on a Friday evening, we could catch a 7 o’clock Delta flight that would get to Philadelphia at 10:30 p.m. Another flight Sunday afternoon would get us back in time to drive home to New Albany by 9 p.m.
“It’ll be sort of a mini-vacation,” Jenny said.
Some vacation, I thought. Flying all that way to attend a wedding of someone I met once with a couple of hundred people I didn’t know at all. But good sense overtook my brain just in time, and I said, “It’ll be great. We need a vacation.”
So off we went, rushing to Memphis on a Friday evening, only to discover the flight was going to be an hour late. By the time we got to Philadelphia, found our rental car and drove to the hotel in the suburbs, it was 1:10 a.m.
The hotel reserved for out-of-town guests was one of those high-rise, semi-luxury things, meaning no breakfast included. No problem, I thought, we’ll just pop into a McDonalds for a bite before heading out to meet more of Jenny’s friends for lunch.
No problem was a problem, of course, because the area where Jenny lived for nearly 20 years is one of those little historic Revolutionary War-era towns. You can drive for miles and not see a McDonalds, Burger King or any of the other staples of our diet.
We finally stopped at a fancy grocery store that served a hot breakfast, and had a slice of quiche (Did I mention fancy?) and a couple pieces of bacon. A glassed-in mezzanine seating a hundred people or so hung out over the produce section.
The wedding went pretty much as I expected. The groom didn’t recognize us, his parents were very happy we had come, and the wedding dinner/dance was a blast. Literally. The band was so loud that conversation was impossible.
About three hours into it, some of the older people began leaving. After debating whether we qualified, we made our way to the door. We were back in the hotel, dead tired by 9:30 p.m. What a party.
But Sunday was another day. We met another of Jenny’s long-time friends for lunch. She regaled us with stories about her ex-husband, who she recently had divorced, and how she hoped to meet someone soon and remarry.
Uh-oh, I thought. I hope she doesn’t rush into it. These mini-vacations are hard work.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.