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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
18th-Jun-2010 10:35 pm
I Hate It Here - Transmet
So in order to grasp what I am about to unload here, you should know something controversial about me.

I hate New York City.

I have friends who live there, and I love you guys! But this would be why I don't visit. I hate New York City. SO MUCH. It reeks of decomposing flesh and rotting garbage. I lost weight last time I was there because the smell nauseated me to the point where I could not eat. New York City is the Bog of Eternal Stench.

Also it is too big and too crowded and noisy and you can't get anywhere unless you have a PhD in the MTA or a few hundred bucks to drop on taxis.

I have been to NYC twice in my adult life, and that is two times too many. It is my least favorite place in America, and baby, I have done time in Southern Utah.

So when I tell you that all of my parents' plans for returning Elayna from Israel are predicated upon their assumption that I would be thrilled to spend a long holiday weekend in NYC, you can understand how that is pretty goddamn illogical. Especially as I spent a great deal of my last NYC trip on the phone to my mother telling her how goddamn miserable I was to be there, and if I am calling my mother to relieve my misery, you know that is some hardcore misery.

Let's back up.

So my parents decided they were taking Elayna to Israel. I had to change her summer plans for this to happen, switch her Explo sessions, but okay, I made it happen, because this is a good opportunity for her. I have to take off work early on Wednesday to get her to the airport, but again, I'm okay with that.

So the return.

My parents brought up the idea of us vacationing in NYC and picking Elayna up in Newark on Monday (later revised to Sunday). We were like "...yeah, that's not going to happen." So Dad said okay, we could take the train down. I said okay, and set about trying to find a way to avoid taking the train down. Because eight hours on a train punctuated by a mad dash through an airport is not really my idea of a good time. I asked some road-trip buddies if they'd be up to an adventure, but no dice.

While the attempts to find a ride are going on, I notice that the flight info Dad sent was theirs, not Elayna's, so I e-mail him to that effect. He e-mails me back what he claims is her confirmation number - it's not. I think it's the number his travel agency uses. But that does not get me her boarding pass. I ask again, he sends me two more numbers, neither of which work. He texts me a number today; that works. I log in - and see that she has a return flight. I e-mail the itinerary to myself, Adam, and Elayna; tonight at dinner, I mention to Adam that there's a return flight, so yay, I don't need to go to Newark.

Adam says "No, that flight leaves before they get back from Israel. He just bought it because round-trip is $150 cheaper."

I say "...I am going to call my mother now."

I call. We are all confused. Some of us are more argumentative than others. It comes out that
a) One-way train tickets are $100, so it would cost us $300-$500 to pick her up, depending on if we both came
b) The train wouldn't get in til an hour after their plane back to FLL leaves, so they'd be leaving her alone anyway
c) Their cited reasons for not wanting her on that plane = the alone thing (she'd be on her own for 45 minutes! the horror!) and that it is a puddle-jumper. $@^#$& She is fifteen she can manage her life without supervision for 45 minutes and I do not give a shit that it is a puddle-jumper and neither does she, and you are flying my daughter to a country that is firing on international aid flotillas and has suicide bombings AND YOUR CONCERN IS THE COMMUTER FLIGHT FROM NEWARK TO BOSTON WTF. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND LIFE.


So yes.

They thought this would not be a Thing. Because of course we would just jaunt on over to NYC for a holiday. Despite the fact that we told them that wasn't going to happen. (And yes, this is another example of my parents rejecting our reality and substituting their own.)

Let me explain to you why, besides my clearly-stated dislike of NYC, that was never ever going to happen.

1. Adam is an introvert and doesn't want to go anywhere anyway.
2. I hate being an imposition; one person on a couch is not too much of an imposition, but a whole family is.
3. We do not have money for this.
3a. Do you have any idea how much it costs to feed a celiac on vacation?
3b. Do you have any idea how hard it is to feed a celiac on vacation? I only almost lost my shit and came close to tears of hunger and frustration twice in Madison, and I count that as a major victory. I get like that here in Boston, too, and I know where to eat most places in Boston. But every so often I am someplace where no restaurant around can feed me and I am hungry and frustrated and doubly frustrated because I'm making everyone else's lives difficult. A weekend in NYC would be an entire weekend of that, compounded by the fact that I don't know where anything is. Figuring out how to get to a place I've never been by bus in under three hours with all of the yelling and shoving is not a vacation to me, it is enormously stressful. I would do a lot to avoid ever having to do that.
3ba. The way to get around the bus navigation issue is by cabs, and have I mentioned we're broke?

This whole argument spins out into fractal arguments. When I bring up the money, Dad mentions that he just sent me a check; I said "yes, to buy the stuff she needs for Israel and camp. which is what I spent it on."

I had to recap that for Mom, and mentioned that we'd actually gotten her to buy five pairs of shorts. To which Mom said "she needs a pair for each day; she needs 11 pairs."

Me: "..."
Mom: "?"
Me: "...she can wear skirts. She prefers skirts. It's kind of a miracle that we got her to agree to five pairs of shorts."
Mom: "She can't wear skirts. We're touring."
Me: "..."
Mom: "We'll be climbing."
Me: "Really. You. Will be climbing."
Mom: "Stairs."
Me: "....she can climb STAIRS in a SKIRT. You know she does that every day, right?"

I just - yeah.

So tons of fractal aguments, and I am just fully-clenched angry. Because I just wanted some simple plans. And because when you say "We're taking her to Israel" and don't follow that with "And you'll need to spend a month's salary on hotel and food and train to get her back", I ASSUME YOU'RE FUCKING RETURNING HER.

Why I continue to assume these things from my parents I do not know.

So that's what's going on THERE.

The current offer on the table is for them to pay for one of us to take the train down and stay at the Newark airport hotel overnight and take her back the next day. I told them I'd discuss it with Adam and get back to them in the morning. Because I just cannot talk to them any more right now.

And now Dad says it's urgent. Because the weeks I spent trying to get info from them so I could get an affordable train ticket - it wasn't important then. Now it is vitally important.

19th-Jun-2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I kind of hate NYC too, and I live here. I'm from here. But I'm awfully tired of dirty, fucked up buildings and crowds of bitter people.
19th-Jun-2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Check your e-mail.
19th-Jun-2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
It is indeed July 4th weekend. But thanks! <3
19th-Jun-2010 02:58 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm so sorry, hon. That sucks and is awful.
19th-Jun-2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Left you a vm... I think we can fix this without you having to come to NYC and your daughter being picked up by responsible adult (me or my brother) and getting her back home to you for ~$25. Safely. In one piece. Call me till midnight or tomorrow
21st-Jun-2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
I have no idea who you are, but your post made me smile.
19th-Jun-2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Wow. Just... wow.
19th-Jun-2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
All the time.
19th-Jun-2010 03:28 am (UTC) - Stairs!=skirt WTF?
Orthodox Jews do it all the time. I did all of Israel at 16 in a long skirt.

When is this. If other plans fall through I could see when my Niece goes back to Hofstra and if we can arrange for you daughter to get a ride back with one of us.
19th-Jun-2010 04:19 pm (UTC) - Re: Stairs!=skirt WTF?
I completely do not understand the stairs!=skirt thing. At all. You've seen Elayna; she doesn't wear tight or short skirts, mostly knee- or calf-length flowy skirts. Full range of motion, not revealing.

Travel *seems* to be sorted for now....
19th-Jun-2010 03:41 am (UTC)
19th-Jun-2010 03:49 am (UTC)
Echoing your argh. (I need to argh for my own reasons, but why not join in on the arghing?)

Can things be more resolved come morning? Please, world?
19th-Jun-2010 03:55 am (UTC)
I'm with you on hating NYC. As much as I like the variety of things and restaurants and peoples...oh god, the SMELL. It's exactly like you describe it. The last time I was there, I had to resist the urge to cover my nose the entire 4 days.
19th-Jun-2010 03:55 am (UTC)
*shakes head and sends love*
19th-Jun-2010 04:28 am (UTC)
I hate Lubbock, Texas and Boston. They're my least favorite cities in the world.
19th-Jun-2010 04:34 am (UTC)
I don't find this controversial in the slightest. I've been to NYC fewer than five times as well, and basically need a killer reason to even think that I might go down there. Last time, it was backstage passes to the Bauhaus show in '98. (And a limo ride with David J!)
19th-Jun-2010 07:38 am (UTC)
I like NYC but that's not the point here.

Fandom is cool. I can already see offers here to get her on the train. If I can help with the cost of a train ticket, let me know.

Re celiacs and travel. I now have what I call a basic travel kit which I purchase the second I get to a new town:
rice/corn cakes

I may not have a fun time but I don't starve.

If you have access to a local, boiled eggs (if you can eat eggs) are useful.

If stuck and you can't find an allergy sensitive friend, but you *can* find a religious Jew, ask them before anyone else. They understand the "can't eat" thing better than most.

Wish I'd realised you had a problem in Madison, Next time you and I sit down at the start of the convention and go through it together.
19th-Jun-2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
She's taken care of trainwise, thank goodness; I got my parents to see sense, and she's just taking the train herself from Newark.

The thing with Madison tied a lot into hating having to be the pain in the butt who dictates where we can go, so I kept trying places I felt uncertain about, finding that they had a lack of understanding, and hunting hungry for other places. Next con, we should plan a gluten-free dinner!
19th-Jun-2010 10:18 am (UTC)
I am concerned about the airport hotel plan because of the celiac issue. There are tons of places for celiacs to eat in Manhattan and I know a lot of them and can give you a list and directions, but at Newark airport maybe not so much.

(if you end up in Manhattan and want that list, let me know if you're willing to subway at all, and if so, do you need or prefer handicapped accessible stations).

Apologies if you already knew this, but the simplest way to get to and from Newark is by Air Train. You take the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor line from Penn Station (the one whose last stop is Trenton) -- make sure the monitor says "EWR", which means it makes the airport stop. Hang on to your ticket -- you use it to get into the Air Train.
19th-Jun-2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
*nods* I'm aware that there are probably more great GF-friendly restaurants in NYC than anywhere, I just have no bearing there, so the stress becomes finding my way there. Next time I have to go, I'm definitely drafting you and pisicutsa!
19th-Jun-2010 11:37 am (UTC)
You know, I think at that point I'd be saying: "You know what. This isn't going to work, so no forget it!"

However, I see that already your extended family of choice are rallying around... so maybe there's a silver lining to all this stress.

Although, I'm with you on dirty crowded cities. Leeds is bad enough, and it's only 1/10th the size.
19th-Jun-2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
I swear, parents with subjective realities are the worst. Until they become grandparents with subjective realities. Then they're like their own special circle of hell.

Offtopicly, but you reminded me with the traveling-celiac thing -- if you're coming to Readercon, do remind me of all your allergies, 'cause I'm bringin' cookies, and my kitchen is GF/dairy-free anyway, y'see ..
19th-Jun-2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
When I win the ridiculotto I can just ignore them. Please I need to win the ridiculotto.

At least this stuff has gotten less frequent?

Allergies! The ones that give me anyphylaxis are soy and shellfish. I have a long roster of other stuff that just makes me itchy that you don't have to stringently avoid. Citrus is the one thing that I don't *know* that I'm allergic to but my body is just repulsed by.

I'm so glad the Changeling is doing so much better on a GF diet!
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