Ahhh vacation…the thing that takes forever to get here but when the day finally arrives, all is right with the world.  Unless you are the Pagan family.

The alarm (or cell phone) rang at the godawful hour of three a.m.  and the bright idea of taking a super early flight so that we could arrive at our destination early no longer seemed like the best idea as I dragged my ass out of bed.  Anyway, my family was super excited to go on vacation, so the wee hours of the morning didn’t phase us.   Two weeks earlier, I had booked a car service to and from the airport because asking someone to drive us to Newark at 4:15 a.m.  is just not nice.

I dragged the first suitcase outside at 4:20 a.m., quite impressed that we were only 5 minutes behind schedule, but there was no black car sitting in front of my house.  The first wave of panic set in until I realized that the driver was probably looking for our house.  I called the company and asked the ditz on the phone where our driver was.  She put me on a brief hold, then came back on and said sweetly, “I’m sorry, we don’t have you listed for a pick up today.”  A deeper sense of panic set in and my husband, who was looking around for something, must have felt the vibe from across the room because he came over and listened as I asked the girl on the other end to look up my specific reservation number.  Another brief hold.

I said to my husband, “There’s no car coming.”  To be honest, there were a lot more words in between ‘no’ and ‘car’ but it’s pointless to repeat them.  He remained quite calm given the situation, just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Ok, I’ll go empty my car and we’ll use long term parking at the airport.”

The girl came back on the phone and said, “You’re right, we do have a reservation here for you.  I don’t know what happened.  I’m sorry, we won’t be able to get a driver to you at this time.”

No shit Sherlock, you think?   I got the manager’s number and hung up.  My husband loaded up his car with our five suitcases and the kids got in the car.  We were ready!  Except we weren’t ready…my husband came back into the house still searching for something.  Finally I asked what he was looking for.

“I can’t seem to find my driver’s license.”  He said it the same way someone would say, “I think we should have chicken for dinner tonight.”  Holy shit, did he realize he needed his license to get on the plane?  We’re from the Bronx so we don’t own passports (no one from the Bronx ever really goes anywhere except to bodegas and Yankee Stadium).

My mouth dropped.  It was now 4:45am and our plane took off in two hours.  “Umm, don’t you think that’s a major fucking problem hon?”  I could be in the most romantic mood and never call my husband hon.  As soon as he pisses me the hell off, he is my hon.

He said, “Well I forgot to look for it yesterday.  It’s ok though. It’s around here somewhere.”

There is a moment in every married woman’s life when she questions saying “I do.”  This was that moment.  Alright, it wasn’t that bad and I really didn’t question marrying him but I did want to throw a few sharp objects in his direction.  Not to kill him or anything (although he does have a pretty decent 401K) but just to remind him that he needs to step things up a bit.

We never found his license and had to leave, so I grabbed his birth certificate ‘cause everyone takes your birth certificate as proof of existence and we left…finally.  On the way to the airport, I googled TSA ID requirements.  Guess what folk?  Your birth certificate won’t get you on a goddamn plane to Washington or to anywhere, for that matter.  I calmly told my husband that.

He smiled and said, “I have my federal work ID. It should be fine.  And if not, then I’ll just hop on another plane once I find my license and meet you there.”  Sort of like, “Let’s have corn with our chicken later.”

I stared at my husband who I’ve been married to for sixteen years and who spoke about just hopping on another plane like shit like this happened every day to him.  I was in utter disbelief and at that moment thanked God that I was not a person who had panic attacks.  I was pissed!  He saw my face and said, “Don’t worry. It’ll be fine.”

I said, “Oh hon, you are confusing my worry face with my angry face and trust me, this is my fucking angry face.”  He didn’t respond which was really good for our marriage.

Airport security had no problems with his VA ID and my husband breezed on through there.  When we got on the plane (mind you the plane took off as soon as we sat down) he smiled at me and said, “See, you worry too much.”

Images of sharp objects flying through the area once again consumed my brain.  But the thought of traveling to my cousin’s house wiped away all the horror of the entire morning because I had come up with the best idea in all the world once we arrived at our destination.

We planned a week’s long trip to Washington.  No, not D.C.  I would never subject my family to visiting an area where Trump resides when the protests outside his penthouse in NYC become too troublesome for him.  (Just my opinion folks, so if you voted for Trump, my apologies. Well not really, but I need as many subscribers as I can get so I’ll kiss up if I need to)

Back to Washington.  State.  I have a cousin Jennifer who lives there.  She is a detective, tall with dark hair, somewhat potty mouth (ok, fuck ‘somewhat’- she swears like a truck driver most of the time),  and probably one of my best friends.  She was my best friend until yesterday, before she did a double dirty prank round-about on my family.

Now she has to earn her way back into my good graces and that may take a while, or at the very least a helluva lot of bottles of wine this week.  Or a puppy…but it has to be an Old English Sheepdog puppy, gray and white with a patch of gray over her left eye.  Ok fine, if it’s wrapped around her right eye I’ll accept it but then she won’t have reached ‘forgiven’ status and will only have more work to do to make me love her again (my cousin, not the sheepdog) and so it would be beneficial for all if the dog just has the gray patch around the left eye.

(Any bells ringing yet?  Cousin. Detective. Potty mouth…hmmmm?  Not yet?  Then this is the first post you have read on my blog and you’re not allowed to keep reading until you go back and read all my other blogs.  Alright, stop bitchin’, just read last week’s blog for Christ’s sake and we’ll call it even).

So I need to shed some light on the plan here to explain how the most awesomest idea to surprise my cousin and her family with our arrival got squashed…it would have gone Youtube viral with a million hits but her loss.

The plan was brilliant.  About five months ago I asked my cousin’s husband if we could visit this summer again (we all flew out there last summer) but not tell Jen.  He thought it was a great idea.  I bought the tickets on Mother’s Day and I came up with an elaborate plan.

I was going to stick my ten year old daughter Anna in a box (it had holes in it for shit’s sake, relax) and dress up the box like it was a live animal shipped from Petco.  A baby goat, to be precise.  We cut the bottom out of the box for easy unrecognizable access and labeled it with fake postage.  I folded the box up so it fit in my suitcase, no easy task, and brought packing tape.

I arranged, or so I thought, for Jen’s detective partner Katie  to get some time off for Jen without her knowing it, which she said she did.  Andrew, Katie and me kept in contact via text and the plan was set.

I texted Jen this past week and told her I was sending a package her way, due to arrive Saturday.  We arrived in Washington a half hour early.  We put our box together, I hid in the rental car with my husband and daughter while my son Chris put the box over Anna’s head and rang the door bell.  Anna had downloaded baby goat sounds onto her phone and was going to play them when my cousin answered the door.

Everything was perfect…except for the fact that Andrew and Katie told Jennifer about the plan from day one.  I know, WTF, right?   When Jen answered the door, she aimed her gatling nerf gun at my son (who was hiding on the side of the porch) with her five year old in tow….also shooting nerf bullets.

Plan was shot to shit (literally) ‘cause of a simple question by her husband to her partner.  “So do you think I should tell Jen about Diane’s surprise visit?”  I guess you know the answer to that question.

She turned the tables on us and we never got our Youtube video, sucks, really.  But as I write this post, Jen is drawing beautiful Henna tattoos on all of us.  She is so talented.  I offered to draw one for her and she wants a dragon.  Here is the pic.

What She Asked For


Trust is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?  So is payback…

What She Got

But because she thought the goat was a demonic symbol (so appropriate for the situation), she asked for the farm and ended up with this…

The Whole Damn Farm

And my honey of a husband of too many years was correct…I should never have worried, everything worked out just fine.