Today was not the best day, which is stupid because I’ve been in Hawaii. Somehow, all the stress of the past week built up and bubbled out in tears. At least I was able to be alone in the courtyard with my husband on Skype when I let it out.
We didn’t get on the morning flights. Rosa was manifested at first, but got bumped off by someone with orders to be on that flight for his or her mission, which trumps all the categories. In the mean time, Samantha and I picked up a rental car and proceeded to get hopelessly lost going both to our hotel and back to the terminal. Normally, I’d laugh about it, but it was such a stressful, humiliating situation, I can’t bring myself to be amused, or at least not yet. Poor Rosa was left standing at the terminal for an hour and a half while Samantha and I drove in circles because both the GPS Garmen and Google, for a wonder, were totally useless. All the while we were getting confusing, vague, and flat out wrong directions from people who meant well but knew nothing. And not a one of them knew the address of the hotel or the name of the street the terminal was on so we could plug it into our maps — including the people who worked at the hotel and the terminal!
I haven’t felt that incompetent in a long time, or that alone. I hadn’t meant to, but I’d been relying on Rosa, with her street sense and take-charge attitude, to the point that I was no longer compensating for my own known weaknesses the way I usually do. I wasn’t determining my route before I left, or making note of where on the map we were, or deciding for myself what needed to be done. When Rosa left our group, I was temporarily completely lost.
Once we were all back together again, Rosa’s sense of direction helped keep us on track. This time, I marked in my phone’s map each time we got to a place so I could find my way back, and relied on those markers over Rosa or the GPS.
We went shopping, but not in Waikiki. They wanted to check out the PX on the Navy base, which turned out to be huge and impressive with two stories, a ceiling mural in the food court, and a small waterfall.
Unfortunately, my heart wasn’t really in the shopping experience. I’ve been spoiled by shopping with my mom and my friend Hannah, who have the same tendency towards over-enthusiasm as I do, and make every shopping trip an adventure. With Rosa and Samantha, I found myself trailing behind them like a younger sister, not deliberately excluded, but oddly removed from their company and unable to join in their way of shopping.
I felt much the same way I used to when hanging out with my classmates from the small private school I attended through elementary and high school. It didn’t matter then how nice they were trying to be to me; I simply didn’t belong, like a little sister or a stray puppy that must be looked after, but is never sought out. I was grateful to leave that feeling behind when I reached adulthood and was able to seek out friends who enjoy my company and share my way of experiencing the world. I had hoped never to put myself in the position of hanger-on again, and I did not relish rediscovering that feeling.
We separated for a bit in the cavernous PX, giving me relief from my awkwardness, if not exactly a lifting of spirits. I found some drops for my ears, which have been hopeless plugged for at least 24 hours, and a pair of Hello Kitty pajamas, and a tiny Vera Bradley bag with elephants in it to act as a travel purse.
The mid to late afternoon was spent at the hotel, Rosa and Samantha primping themselves up for a night at a salsa club. They invited me again to at least have dinner with them before they went to the club, but this time it was exhaustion that kept me from accepting. I would drive them, since I was the registered driver on the car we were all paying for, but they’d catch a cab back. I passed the time reading, writing, and — blessedly — talking to Jesse over Skype in the courtyard. Once I downloaded my feelings and experiences of the past few days to him, both positive and negative, I felt much better, a weight lifted. I also accepted a deep realization that despite my current low spirits, the trip overall was an amazing experience I would do again in a heartbeat.
By evening, I was certain that the cough and plugged ears which had been plaguing me were no simple reaction to the physical stresses of the past few days, but an actual bug of some sort, and probably a bad one. I always get weepy when I’m coming down with something nasty. I’m sure that, coupled with the start of my “monthly lady time,” had not helped either my sense of direction or my emotional state that day.
I drove the ladies to their club somewhere in Honolulu, and with the hotel’s location marked, I was able to trust the Garmen to bring me back. By the time I got to my room, I was seeing the world through a haze of exhaustion. I packed my things for the morning, then collapsed into bed for a well-needed sleep.