It’s the night of October 16th, and I’m stressed out because Mike has been trying to convince me to go home for Christmas. He’s flying to Philly the week before Christmas for Auction Hunters, and figures he’s already going to be there, so we should both just go. I text Heather for help.
Me: Last night a guy told Mike to just stay home through Christmas, and the flight back will still be on Auction Hunters’ bill. So now I feel pinned in the corner, like if I don’t go home I’m ruining Mike’s Christmas. No matter what, I’m going to be alone from Dec 16th to the 21st, so that’s going to be depressing.
Heather: How long does Mike get to be home for?
Me: 16th-21st is the shoot, then he’s on break until January so he could stay in Jersey until then if he wants to.
Heather: Do you not want to go home at all? So he’s def going to be home for Christmas?
Me: Of course I do, but it stresses me out so much. No not def, he could fly back the 21st. And it’s not like I could stay home for long, because I have to come back for work.
Heather: I don’t think you should be expected to miss work and go home for the entire week, but in the same token, I think a year from now you will regret not being home with your family for Christmas.
Me: So basically you agree with Mike.
Heather: No, I think maybe there is a happy medium. Is your restaurant open on Christmas Eve or Christmas?
Me: Definitely eve, I’m not sure about day. And I’m sure a lot of people will be trying to get off work to travel and everything, so I don’t know how easy it would be.
Heather: How much is a flight home?
Me: At Christmas it could be like 500. Depends on the day and time and if I find a good deal. Months ago I dreamed up coming home and surprising the fam. I looked up a flight where I’d land in Philly at 11am. I pictured Kelly picking us up and bringing us to my parents’. It was $337 when I did that.
Heather: This is a hard one ya know. I totally see your point of basically spending money and not making any money. But I just know how much you love Christmas and don’t want you to be depressed about not seeing your family at that time. I think maybe somewhere there is a compromise that both you and mike could make.
Me: Yes, and at the same time if I’m home for such a short time I’ll be really depressed to come back. Yea. It’s giving me chest pains.
Heather: Do you think that would make you less depressed than not being home at all? What is it; the fact that the flight is so expensive? Like is that what is mainly holding you back?
Me: Kind of. Because last year I felt sad the day of, but I was fine that night and the next day. Mainly, it’s going so far to stay for so little. It kills me. I’m extremely conflicted. And I’m frustrated because I already accepted that I wasn’t going home, and now I have to think about it and get excited about the idea.
Heather: But your job is closed on Christmas so you could come home that day and stay for a few days. This is hard. I almost feel like you are only giving me reasons why you shouldn’t come home which makes me believe that deep down you don’t want to. And if it was only about the money, then I would totally disagree with you, but it seems like it’s more than that.
Me: Haha and I feel like this conversation is making it more clear that I should come home.
Heather: But I mean, when I have trouble deciding on things I always try to think if I would regret my decision in a year. And for me, I would regret not coming home for Christmas. Sure, you will be low on cash for a while, but it always works out.
Me: Yea. I do love Christmas. I really just don’t want to be sad when I have to come back to California. … My parents would be really happy. God. Thanks for listening and helping.
Heather: But you will be back home in exactly four months after Christmas.
Me: 🙂 !!!
… I just found a non-stop flight to Philly, leaves Christmas Eve at 10:15pm and arrives Christmas day at 6:10am for $345. And flight back would be 28th at night. … Goodness.
Heather: That’s awesome. They said the best time to book is on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Me: Heath I just really thought about it, and I’d be home Mon-Fri. I work Sat, Sun, and Tues, so I would only need to get off Tues, but I don’t even need to get off because it’s Christmas day.
Heather: Ahhhhh. This is all working out.
Me: I still can’t buy a ticket right now because I have 100 in my account, but Mike might be able to. I can’t believe this is happening lol.
Heather: This is awesome Linds.
Me: You’re right, it is…and my last Groundlings class is Dec 20th so I don’t need to worry about that.
Heather: Woot woot. I’m freaking excited.
Within the next half hour, Mike gets home from work and we talk about everything. I book my flight. Mike spots me. I text Heather back at 8:18pm (11:18pm her time), so she’s already asleep.
Me: OK I’m gonna make this a surprise. Seriously don’t tell anyone… Mike just transferred me money and I booked my flight! Ahhh it’s official.
In the morning I wake up without a response from Heather. Hmm, weird, I thought she’d be super excited.
Me: Get my texts???
Heather: I was waiting for you to wake up to respond. I’m so freakin excited and happy for you.
Me: Did you already tell Doug? I just don’t want anyone to know, but obviously if you already told Doug that’s fine.
Heather: He actually only knows about you thinking about coming home. Didn’t find out until this morning that it was definite so he doesn’t know. P.S. I’m terrible at secrets. This is going to be a struggle to keep from him and everyone.
Me: You can tell Doug.
Heather: Well I will keep it a secret but if by accident I slip which actually I doubt I will because I can’t imagine it will come up in convo, but if I do slip I will let you know.
Me: Haha OK. Keep me posted…so glad I have someone to talk to about it!
Heather: Lol me too. I’m excited.
That was 3:17pm. At 4:08 she texts me again.
Heather: 370. They aren’t asking Mike’s parents for half though since Mike doesn’t need to pay for a flight, so her and Mike are splitting it.
Heather: I’m calling you now.
I shake my head. Heatherrrrr. I can’t help but smile. This is exactly the kind of thing I could see myself doing. Best case scenario she meant to be texting Doug, but for some reason, I don’t think this is the best case scenario. I answer my phone. “Hi, OK, so, last night when we were texting and you didn’t think you could afford to come home, I emailed all the girls, while we were still texting, and said that instead of exchanging any presents this year we should all chip in and send you money for a flight home. And all the girls agreed. And then this morning I wake up and you’re asking me to keep it a secret and I’m like shit. So I had to email all the girls again and tell them that you already paid for your ticket and that you wanted it to be a surprise so everyone had to pretend like they didn’t know.” Wow. How could anyone be mad at that? Seriously, I have the most amazing friends. In fact, I post it on my fb wall as soon as I get off the phone with Heather. Mike asks me later that night why I posted that, because now people will know. And so begins my paranoia for the next two and a half months that everyone at home is going to find out about our surprise.