Tuesday, December 2, 2014

trust me! I'm an expert.

My parents just left after a long-ish visit. We spent Thanksgiving in Grass Valley, as usual, and after a quirky motel experience last year (and leaving this year until the last minute), I found us a rental house on VRBO ("vacation rental by owner"). We use VRBO all the time, and it's surprising how easy it is to find something price-comparable to a motel, and then you usually get a yard and a living room and kitchen and everything.

(There is Airbnb as well, but VRBO is a bit less chaotic and deals with serious vacation rentals, where you don't even have to filter out the "cozy cottages" that are actually a 1960s RV in someone's driveway. Conversely, Airbnb is where you will find crazy shit for $40'night.)

This house's owner is new to the renting game, so we had a little snafu with getting the keybox combination, leaving us with a 30-minute delay waiting for him to call or text me--bonus points for the house's spotty cell phone reception. The boy arrived in the second car, and he was all revved up to explore the house, because that's what we always do. (Partly he's a kid, partly it's helpful for spectrum kids to know the full environment right at the beginning.) We had no key! Expectations crumbled, plans fell apart, and anxiety produced an unquenchable spew of doomsaying.
"Oh, no, we're never going to get in--"
"--we're going to have to sleep outside, or maybe in the car--"
"Whoa. Hey. Buddy."
"--this is the worst possible thing that could ever happen--"
"Okay, look. The guy's gonna call back, we'll get the key--"
"--what if we never get home? we're not gonna be able to eat--"
"Okay, hey, look, everything's gonna be fine--"
"--how am I going to fall asleep? and I can't charge the iPad--"
"Hey. Hush. Stop. Let me ask you: how many times have I told you everything will be fine, and then it wasn't?"
"Let me help you. The answer is 'never'."
"So if you need to perseverate, that's totally fine, just get back in the car, close the door, and read your book, and we'll come get you when we have the key."
"Yep, there ya go. Bye!"
The owner texted back, and I got the key. And I could have just played it straight, but have you met me? I held the key and opened the car door.
"J? You're right! We're completely doomed."
[that got his attention]
"Just kidding! Here's the key!"
"What'd I tell you? Am I batting a thousand on 'everything will be fine'?"
What fun is family life if you can't troll your kid?

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