[My first trip to Korea in July of 2007. No, I don't know why I choose to share photos of creepy seafood and a shot of me riding a huge leather lion. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And now that it is uploaded, there is no going back.]
I know, I know, asking God to prove His existence to me so that I will believe in Him flies in the face of faith as we know it, but you guys, I’m getting a little desperate here.
I adore The Boyfriend, but he’s sort of like a space alien – basic historical knowledge, current pop culture references, and the concept of time all seem to elude him. Usually I think his oddities are kind of cute. But when we are suppose to be on a plane headed towards South Korea in less than 24 hours, I think it’s kind of COMPLETELY TERRIFYING. At this point, all our mutual friends have laughed at me and then wished me good luck because I’ll “need it.”
I knew when The Boyfriend randomly decided he wanted to venture across the world with me that I was in for it. Our only other trip together was a road trip to Northern California, and when I showed up at his house to pick him up and hit the road, he confessed to me that he had no clean clothes. Because it was already close to nightfall, I threw him, and his dirty laundry, into the car and took off anyway. This time, it’s not that easy.
The Boyfriend’s time management philosophy involves constantly omitting important information and promising to get things done by a certain deadline, and then not even blinking as said deadline whooshes past.
Usually, I shrug these antics off. But yesterday I almost lost it completely. I call this incident The Air Mattress Debacle.
Our story begins several weeks ago when I realized the both of us could not fit on Kirin’s couch in her apartment in Seoul. This seemed to be a solvable problem – The Boyfriend’s father owns an air mattress. I asked again and again if The Boyfriend could look at the air mattress and figure out if it would fulfill our needs.
As was expected, this was continually forgotten.
On multiple occasions, I inquired about our air mattress status. “Well,” said The Boyfriend, “My dad says it’s big.”
You guys, I don’t know what that means. You take the air out of the mattress, fold it up, and then how big could it really be? If it fits into the overhead compartment on a plane, I really don’t care. Yet, every time I asked The Boyfriend if he had looked at the mattress, he told me he had not, but that his dad said it was big.
On Sunday night at 10 PM I finally dragged The Boyfriend to his dad’s house for the sole purpose of looking at the mattress.
All the way out to the shed, his dad keeps saying, “It’s a big mattress!” And this point, I am picturing an epic monster mattress. Possible one that can be used as a boat to sail to Korea.
Well, he pulls it out, and I find myself face to face with a perfectly normal sized air mattress that is folded up into a manageable square. I start looking it over. One thing is wrong. THERE IS NO PUMP.
Me: “Do you have the pump?”
The Boyfriend’s Dad: “Nope.”
The Boyfriend: “You need a pump? We can’t just blow it up?”
I stare at my musically gifted boyfriend and his (true story) rocket scientist father. What. The. Hell. I don’t understand. Wait. Wouldn’t the fact that this air mattress is lacking a pump be something THAT YOU SHOULD TELL SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO BORROW IT? INSTEAD OF REPEATING “IT’S BIG” OVER AND OVER?
[This is the point where my mother interrupts my story and says, “You know Brittany, your great grandfather was a very famous and brilliant economist. But he couldn't even tell you the price of toothpaste!” Touché, mother.]
I sigh, turn to The Boyfriend, and ask if he can run to the Big 5 ten minutes from his house the next day and pick up an air mattress with a pump. He says yes.
Fast forward to 1 PM the next day.
Me: “Have you picked up the air mattress?”
The Boyfriend: “No. I don’t have time.”
Me: “What? But you said you could!”
The Boyfriend: “I’ve got stuff to do.”
I hang up the phone and call Big 5 to verify their hours and prices. I call The Boyfriend back.
Me: “The Big 5 is open until 9 PM.”
The Boyfriend: “Oh, okay, I can make it before then.”
Me: “Are you sure? I mean, really sure? Because if you can’t, I’d rather know now!”
The Boyfriend: “Oh yeah, I can make it there before 9.”
Around 8 PM, I call The Boyfriend again to check our air mattress status.
Me: “Did you get the air mattress?”
The Boyfriend: “No, I can’t today, I’m busy. I will get it tomorrow.”
Me: “There is still an hour before it closes!”
The Boyfriend: “The neighbor is over, he needs me to take some pictures of him for something….”
I’m dying inside at this point. I’m a rational, collected human being who always nods my head and lets things go, but this time my brain is about to explode.
Over an air mattress.
But it’s really not about the air mattress. It’s about the fact that “tomorrow” is the day before we have to leave. And I don’t trust his abilities to even be packed by the time the plane takes off, so putting important things off for even one more day is setting off warning bells in my head. Abort! Abort!
I say fine. I hang up the phone.
Psycho ninja axe murderer Brittany suddenly takes over. The girl that hides in the shadows of my normally calm exterior and plots homicide while I pretend to like people.
I am not even joking. I mean, what other logical explanation exists for me texting to him: “You’re in trouble. And I think I might have to kill you.”? THAT IS THE EXACT TEXT MESSAGE.
And he’s all like, Whaaaa? Brittany doesn’t say things like that!
And then we get to the part where he goes all crazy and confesses to being absolutely terrified of going on this trip, plus in constant fear that all the plants are going to die and that his business is going to spontaneously explode because he is out of the country for 15 days.
Oh boy, was this a bad idea. I never should have let The Boyfriend try to leave his natural habitat. It’s just not right.
I take over the air mattress purchasing duties, even though I work full time in an office that I am not supposed to leave between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM – and he continues with his list of mysterious last minute tasks which he has all day to accomplish since he owns his own business and works from home.
Well, I thought everything was solved. Until today, when I told him I would come over tonight, help him pack, and then we would spend the night at my mom’s condo and leave for the airport in the morning.
WHOOPS. APPARENTLY THIS PLAN IS ALSO UNACCEPTABLE.
Homeboy needs to take his Corvette to the shop the morning we are supposed to be leaving to have it color sanded. Ummm, WHAAAAAAAAAT??!
And he’s planning to pack at 5 AM, because, dammit, his mysterious list of things he has to do – which he still hasn’t fully disclosed to me – will not be done until the wee hours of the morning.
I don’t know you guys. I don’t see this ending well.
Hence, if The Boyfriend gets to the plane tomorrow, I’m going to attribute it to a miracle of God.
And, I will immediately start filming with my HD camera, because by the end of this trip I will have made a mini documentary entitled, “The Boyfriend Versus Korea: A Tale of Cultural Misadventures and Really Huge Cell Phone Bills”. Coming soon to a video website near you.
P.S. I still adore The Boyfriend. Take this as a loving portrayal of my slightly deranged significant other. No really.
P.S.S. I'm actually in a good mood. I just got a call from the agency I interviewed at last week - the executive director wants me to come back and do a second interview with her! That's a good sign, right?