I took Friday off. I had booked it off a while ago because an acquaintance of mine asked me to speak at a 12-Step meeting upstate at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. That would've involved getting up at 5:15 or so to shower, shave, etc., and then driving 90 minutes to the sleepy little burg of Saddle River, NJ.
Instead, though, the guy who invited me to speak also threw in an invitation to come spend the night at the home of he and his partner, and they'd throw a little dinner party for me, too. They live in Saddle River, which is one of the ritziest areas of NJ. I couldn't wait to see how the upper crust really lives.
What they (and I) didn't bargain for was the slushie-storm from Hell that descended on the Northeast Thursday night and which lasted straight through Friday, well into the pre-dawn hours on Saturday.
So I found myself slogging up the NJTurnpike, mostly at 35 miles per hour, behind every wimpy driver on the East Coast. If you've ever checked out my personal data here, you're sure to have noticed that I'm leaning up against a Honda Element. What you can't tell from the photo, though, is that it has 4-wheel drive and that it's a stick (5-speed). A little nasty weather isn't going to slow me (or it) down.
However, a quarter of a million slow-moving vehicles will.
I left my house around 2:00 and FINALLY rolled into my destination in Saddle River around 5:00 p.m. After much dawdling, my host and I finally struck out for the supermarket around 6:00. I think we all arrived at the house around 7:00 p.m. Meanwhile somebody ran out to pick somebody else up and they didn't get back until around 8:00. Dinner, I think, was finally served around 10:00. This all seemed very "normal" to everybody else, so I didn't make a fuss about it. But between the pretentious conversation and Uber-Male posturing between two of the guys there (there were a total of 4 of us), I was worn out and thoroughly unimpressed with the whole evening, my hosts and the 4th guest.
I couldn't wait to get to bed, get up, get my commitment over with and to go home.
So that's exactly what I did.
After the commitment was over, around 8:30, I dug my car out and lit out for the Garden State Parkway. It was a slushy mess, but at least it was moving (at 70 mph). I got home around 11:00 a.m. The car is covered in dried salt and is probably rusting away, even as I type. With any luck it'll rain this week.
I've had better weekends. I've had worse. But I've learned two things.
1. I'm glad I'm single or, at the least, not hitched to some boringly pretentious queen.
2. Thank God I'm not rich, otherwise I'd have to spend all my time worrying about that, too.
I am truly grateful to be exactly who I am.