These things only seem to happen to Patient Saver.
So you may remember reading here that way back in July my old friend Ron and I were talking about taking a little getaway trip together. We both really felt we needed a break.
Ron is someone I met when I was 28 and he was 40. At the time I fell in love with him and thought he was so funny and so handsome and smart. But over time I felt he also had a pretty serious character flaw...he was very, very controlling.
It worked for a while at the time because when I was younger I was probably looking for a father figure of sorts because my parents split up when I was six. So I put up with his controlling ways and his insistence on always doing things his way, because he knew better.
Ultimately, though, we split up because of it. I often felt smothered. But Ron still has his good points and so we have remained friends these many years. He offers very good career advice, advice on life in general and has helped me in a pinch more than once. And he's still smart and funny.
You take the good with the bad, I guess.
Fast forward to this past July, when we agreed we were going to vacation together up in a beach town north of Boston for 2 nights and 3 days. I knew he felt he had to bring his dog with us on the trip. It's an older dog that is attached to him in an unhealthy way.
Before I booked our 2 rooms on my credit card, I wanted to make sure we had talked everything out about how we envisioned spending our time, our expectations about how things would go, etc. etc. He didn't really bring anything up at the time.
Only after I booked the rooms, at $205 a night (waterfront, in season) did I get an inkling of his expectations. I started to feel concerned about the prospect of having to put up with his dog standing on my lap with its butt in my face as he stared adoringly at Ron as he drove. (Ron's never taught the dog any basic commands and he doesn't even yell at the dog if the dog humps your leg, I mean, come on!) He lets the dog sit in his lap (a driving distraction if ever there was one) but the dog will sometimes get restless and then want to walk on the lap of whoever the passenger is.
Wasn't really looking forward to doing this for 3+ hours, so I told Ron that if he wasn't willing to put the dog in a kennel cage in back, or just in the back seat (he wasn't) that I would sit happily in the back seat so I'd have my own space and the dog could stay up there with him. Ron didn't like that idea and said he needed me up front to help manage the dog. And now all these other little expectations finally started coming out.
You would think after some discussion two people should be able to work things out, but Ron is very inflexible.
We were already planning on staying at this one particular inn because they allow dogs on the first floor. But Ron was also expecting me to dog sit while he went and got his meals because most restaurants won't allow dogs, and the hotel's policy is you can't leave the dog unattended. You must be with it the whole time. So this means we could not have a single meal together in a restaurant. We would have to take turns watching the dog while the other one got takeout! Not likin' it at all! But I reluctantly agreed to do this, although with such a short trip planned, I really didn't want to have our agenda revolve around the dog's needs for the whole trip and this seemed like this was what this was turning into.
I had researched and found several restaurants that allowed dogs when you sat outside but Ron is not one to spend a lot of money on a really nice seafood meal, for instance. He mostly eats burgers and pizza. So in hindsight now, I doubt he'd want to eat at a nice sit down restaurant anyway; he mentioned Subway instead.
Then he announced that he wanted to leave for our trip at 6 a.m., something I didn't relish. He wanted to get an early start because, while the trip should take 3 hours with no stops, he said it would take us 4.5 hours to get there due to the fact we'd need to make several longer stops for the dog. I already considered this particular destination as being at the outer limits of the distance I wanted to drive (3 hrs) for such a short trip, but I had agreed to this hotel after spending hours online searching for the right place that was dog-friendly to boot and not being able to come up with anything. So when I heard him say 4.5 hours, I really was not happy.
I know he gets up very early, and he said he gets tired in the afternoon, although I had already said I wanted to drive part of the way. Ron has a disorder where he can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and I have been with him many times in the car where he starts nodding off behind the wheel and i have to yell at him to stay awake. Very frightening. He keeps a supply of those energy drinks in his car. He had agreed that if this happened, he would pull over and I would get in behind the wheel.
Then he said we would be splitting the cost of gas, which is fair, although he drives a gas guzzler and i drive a very thrifty Honda. Between that, his sleepiness and the dog issue, i started to feel like I'd rather drive up there myself. Seems extreme, i know, but we had already agreed that for parts of the day we'd be doing our own thing, because he's not very energetic and I am.
Anyway, we got into an argument about the trip last night. He just has too many conditions and I felt I was the one making all the concessions.
So we agreed it might be better if we didn't go together. Except for the fact that the rooms were booked with my credit card and they had a No Refund policy for cancellations made within 2 weeks of arrival.
Ron suggested calling the inn owners and telling them he has prostate cancer (he does) and maybe stretching the truth a little to work on their sympathies so that i could get his room refunded.
Instead, I called 2 friends of mine and invited them to come, but both turned me down due to the very short notice.
So then I called my dad, thinking it could be fun to have a father/daughter road trip up there. He has 2 doc appts during that time down in Jersey, but is going to call me back tomorrow and let me know if he can come after seeing if he can reschedule. I told him not to worry about it if he couldn't make it or if it became too complicated. I don't want him to do it because he's bailing me out of a predicament.
Worst case scenario, if the inn wouldn't refund the one room, I don't think Ron would let me end up paying for it. I told him I was still going on this trip, even if i go alone, come hell or high water, I need to enjoy myself. So it's his decision not to go (mainly because I told him I wanted to drive myself).
I think my dad would enjoy the trip and at his age, he probably doesn't have many more trips like this in his future. He's always been the adventurous sort. He worked for many years as a school teacher, and in the summers he worked as a tour guide on bus trips up to Nova Scotia.
I do recognize that having my elderly father with me would be sort of similar to having Ron with me in that they both don't move too fast or have the energy to keep up with me.
So if we go i will have to somehow find a way to suggest to dad that for part of the time he relax at the beach or someplace where he can park himself while i go off exploring or window shopping or taking photos or whatever.
The whole thing is fairly embarrassing to relate, but it is what it is. I hope you don't think worse of me as a result. Ron and I just aren't compatible in a lot of ways, and I should have had the wisdom not to try to make this work, like fitting a square peg in a round hole. But you always hope, you always want to try. When we were together, he took me to Europe five times on some very exciting backpacking and Euro rail trips all across the Continent, to Paris, London, Monaco, Nice, Budapest, Munich, Zurich, the Swiss Alps, Bavaria, Saltzburg, and we did even make one trip to Ireland as friends, after we'd split up, so I know it is possible. Or at least I thought it was.
In other news, a local weaver woman stopped by the house 2 days in a row to peruse yarns and spent about $80 on each visit, so I was happy about that. I also really liked her, and she suggested we do lunch sometime.
I finally figured out that the musty, bad smell in my dining room was not coming from my mother's yarns, or from my own basement, but from the PLASTIC shelving itself. Very strange, but if i put my nose right up to it, there was that smell I've been smelling since I moved all that stuff in here. My mother had several other shelves just like it, but this is the only one that smells.
I didn't want potential yarn buyers to smell it and think the yarn was no good or that i was a lousy housekeeper, so first i moved the stinky shelving upstairs, and then after selling enough yarn, i was able to move what was left on its shelves to other shelves and tables downstairs and then i moved the shelves themselves to my basement, where it will reside forever.
These things only seem to happen to Patient Saver.