Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

September 2, 2007

Towed Away

It’s the second to last day of my vacation and I finally have a chance to write a quick update.

The cruise was incredible --- well, let me restate that. Alaska was amazing. The cruise was just the most reasonable way to see it. It took my mom and me a few days to get used to the immense ship and for me to not feel claustrophobic trapped on a vessel with 3,000 other people (and hand sanitizers conveniently placed every 5 feet didn't make me feel any more at ease). Although this cruise helped me to realize how young I really am (when compared to my fellow passengers, that is), I had very little incentive to primp since the only single man in my age range was Brad the Cruise Director who, if I had to guess, didn’t play for my team.

Now we are in Vancouver for another two days of sightseeing before heading back to San Diego on Tuesday. Vancouver is a terrific city and I wouldn’t mind living here one bit (and not just for the health care). But I have to admit that I am incredibly homesick too. I think that’s a sign of a good vacation. I enjoyed what I experienced, but I’m ready to get home and be back with the comfortable things that make my life mine.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have missed Wine Guy terribly. And judging from the short, hopeful emails he sent (which I’ve only just read now that I finally have Internet access), he missed me too. In addition to pining away for me, Wine Guy is also watching my cat. As a fellow cat owner, he fully understands this is a duty that consists of far more than dropping in every other day to fill a bowl and scoop the litter. We’re talking quality time here and, from what he tells me, he has bonded with my kitty quite a bit. And having access to cable TV at my place didn’t hurt either.

I have to admit, it feels wonderful having someone miss me while I’m gone. I tend to get a little depressed when I travel, thinking nobody misses me except my mom and my cat -- and the cat is iffy.

About halfway through the cruise I stumbled onto a cell phone signal and took the opportunity to give Wine Guy a call. He seemed quite excited to hear from me, but it sounded more like panic than pleasure, “I’m so glad you called!”

Concerned, I asked, “What is it?”

He then unloaded the story that was clearly eating him alive. Wine Guy had taken my mom and me to the airport on the day of our departure. My mom parked her car on the street at my place and, at Wine Guy's suggestion (a good one), my mom gave him her car key just in case he needed to move it. While we were gone, he stopped by my house and checked on both of our cars regularly. Then one day my mom’s car was gone.

After several frantic phone calls, Wine Guy discovered that my mom’s car had been towed. Apparently, sometime on day three they had put up a small ground level sign with penciled lettering saying no parking would be enforced starting the next day. By the time I was able to reach him, he had already called the city and fully researched the laws on proper parking notifications (they are required to provide 5 days notice before implementing new parking regulations). He even had the city fax him the documentation of when the sign was posted (the day before enforcement began). He felt absolutely terrible. Not just that the car got towed under his watch (how could he have known?), but that he was tainting our vacation by telling us.

I urged him not to feel bad. Of course there was nothing he could do and and he had already gone above and beyond. He insisted that he would help my mom pay the fine and that he would absolutely fight to get the money back since he has all the proof he needs (including photos of the substandard sign) to win the argument.

Anyway, I’m sure you don’t care about the legal intricacies of parking violations in the City of San Diego. The point is, Wine Guy demonstrated some truly honorable, responsible behavior. Far more than I or anyone would ever think of or ask of someone. I was proud of him. Proud that I picked a man like this to be with and proud to have my mom get a taste of what he’s like.

As Wine Guy told me the story and I relayed it to my mom who was sitting across the table, I could see she was growing visibly upset. Especially as she was probably counting all the days we would be gone and how much that would cost her at the impound lot.

It is very hard for me to see my mom upset. And with Wine Guy so in control of the situation, I made a slightly panicked move that truly put him to the test. “Would you mind reassuring my mom? I can tell she needs it.”

I was nervous asking him to do this. But my faith in him was well deserved when I heard his response, “Of course. Put her on.”

I handed her the phone, and as she listened to whatever it was Wine Guy was saying, I saw her frown lift. I don’t know if it was what he said, how he said it, or just that he was saying anything to her at all, but by the time we got off the phone with Wine Guy we went on with our cruise like nothing had happened.

Absence – and integrity –do make the heart grow fonder.

More on the cruise when I get back home and unpack the ungodly amount of clothing I lugged along with me (all of which I actually wore). With so many couples of varying marital stages surrounding me for a week straight, I have much to share.



Samantha said...

Long time reader, first time commenting-Wine Guy just sounds like a gem. I love that he reassured your mom. Hope the unpacking is as painless as possible!

Michele said...

OMG: Wine Guy sounds like a keeper. What a wonderful thing to do for you and your Mom.