Monday, May 27, 2013

We didn't go see the Yankees

If you asked Derrick three days ago what he was doing for Memorial Day weekend, he'd tell you that he was probably going to the Yankees' game (compliments of his lately "suspiciously sketchy" dad).  And he'd say I was spending it in Chicago, probably burning another layer off my shoulders.

He would have been completely wrong, of course, but you can't blame the guy - for three weeks, his dad's actions probably had seemed a bit questionable.  But that was only because was bearing the difficult burden of my secret, a much more difficult predicament for him than me because he sees Derrick every day.  I.e. he can regularly be grilled by Derrick's suspicious lines of questions in person.

And what was this secret that led to Derrick believing he'd be getting chummy with Derek Jeter this weekend?  Well, it was that Nicole Leigh Clarke would be making her grand return to South Florida!  Weeeeee!  About three weeks ago, I got really fed up with the whole "relationship with the phone" deal, and made an impulsive carefully thought out but rather quick decision to cash in my Travel Rewards miles to surprise my favorite Yankees' fan for the long weekend.

So Saturday morning, around 5 am, I was in taxi on route to the Chicago O'Hare airport.


Given my 4 am wakeup call, that part of the trip is a bit of a blur in my memory.


And at 7:30 am, right after I texted Derrick to tell him I was going running, I was taking off for my 2 hour 45 minute flight over the Gulf.


Meanwhile, Derrick was meandering around his dad's house in increasing angst.  He had a game that evening, and had a lot of stuff he needed to get done before his pre-game meal at 3.  A lot of stuff that he couldn't start doing because his dad was "picking something up" and "would need Derrick's help unloading it for about 20 minutes at noon."  Derrick, being the generous fellow he is, of course said yes.  But he was not at all amused.

So at around noon, when his dad walked in the door carrying my duffle bag, my disgruntled boyfriend hardly looked up.  When he finally did look up at his dad, who evidently had made Derrick wait around for a few hours to help him unpack a ratty old Adidas track bag, he didn't see me right away.  And then he did.

I'd like to say that his face filled with passion and love and all that sappy romance movie crap, but that'd be a lie.  What I can say is that I now know where the term "eyes popping out of the head" comes from; Derrick looked so completely shocked that I almost reached out to grab his eyeballs that seemed dangerously close to falling right out of their sockets.  I'd imagine that if a Cocker Spaniel walked into the living room wearing an apron, offering him a three-egg omelet, Derrick probably wouldn't look too differently than he did in that moment.

Once he got over his little episode of shock, however, the weekend was grand!  Derrick's dad and step mom really got into the whole surprise thing, and booked us a hotel room to spend the weekend.


So we spent the weekend pretending that we were just one of the many red-nosed vacationers spending Memorial Day weekend in South Florida (not minutes away from Derrick's house).

The weekend lived up to every expectation I could have had.  That night, I got to see Derrick play.  It was really nice being able to catch up with his family a bit while in the bleachers, and at dinner afterward.

And Sunday was quite literally the most perfect day imaginable.  After a nice breakfast, we spent all day at Ft. Myers beach under perfect Florida sun and a smattering of puffball clouds.


We only got off the beach to have lunch, which I clearly hated...


(Sarcasm, if you didn't catch that.  Who could hate a midday Bloody Mary and peel n' eat shrimp?  That'd be no one.)

... With the guy I obviously love...


(Not sarcastic in the least.)

We had a Japanese Steak House dinner with his family in the evening (and I seriously doubt even Japan has anything on South Florida's "Sashimi Maki roll.")


And spent the rest of the night enjoying the incredibly lucky life we live.

I'm sitting here now, halfway through an hour delay to my 3 hour flight back north, feeling somewhat that my luck is running out.  The thing about having perfect days in paradise, filled with fresh seafood, good weather, and people I love is that when you're eating an over-priced Special K bar and V8 at gate D10, you kind of don't want to go back to reality, no matter how much you like your job or love your city.

But that's life, and it could be worse: at least I'm not rubbing ice-packs on my sticky, aloe-drenched, swelling forearms.

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekends as much as I did!

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