The things you learn when you travel with others

In 2005, I started a job as an admin at a boutique investment firm.  10 years later, I’m still friends with 4 of my former co-workers from that firm: Leela, Cody, Marcy and Blair.  Since leaving in 2007: Cody and his wife have had 2 kids; Blair has gotten married, bought a house on Staten Island and had 2 kids [as recently as summer 2014, I took ferries, buses and trains to get to and from her house, 2 hours each way]; Marcy has been promoted within the firm where we all worked; and most recently, Leela has gotten engaged, her wedding coming up in 3 weeks.  For the occasion, Cody, Marcy, Blair, spouses and I decided to rent a house in Woodstock for the weekend together. Blair texted me over Saturday night that she and her husband, and Cody and his wife are taking Friday, June 19 off, leaving their respective kids with grandparents and driving to Woodstock midday.  I told her I’d have to check with my boss on Monday.


 following is edited lightly for brevity and clarity]


From: Me
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 10:37 AM
To: Blair, Marcy, Cody Subject: Wedding transportation

So, my boss is in the UK on Friday, June 19, which is going to make it tough for me to leave midday.  I’m not yet ruling it out completely, though.  Has everyone taken the day off?

mysterymanFrom: Marcy
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 10:52 AM
To: Me, Blair, Cody

Hola peeps.
I am planning to work the full day and try and peace out around 5.  Chad and I are planning to pick up his car in CT and head up.  So probably will not get there until 8:30pm ish. Then Sunday is father’s day so need to try to motivate early and make my way home to NJ.  [Me], you are welcome to come with if everyone is leaving earlier!!
p.s. Chad is coming 😉
Blair, what time are you and Jeff planning to head out Sunday?  it may be smarter for me to come with you and have my mom scoop me somewhere before you head to the Verrazano bridge.

mysterymanFrom: Blair
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:13 AM
To: Marcy, Me, Cody

Hi Guys!
I took the day off so Jeff wanted to leave btwn 12-1pm for check in at 3pm, we’ll open the place.
Wanted to take advantage of the place with a long weekend, kids will sleep over Jeff’s parents.
[Me] sorry you can’t take off but sounds like going with Marcy and Chad may work (glad Chad is coming).
We can drive you gals back, plan will be to leave early since it’s father’s day. Marcy I’m sure we can get you closer than VZ bridge, especially if we drop [Me]…would mean NJ Turnpike South.
Can discuss.
So just lmk about getting there, if everyone is covered.

tfifFrom: Me
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:20 AM
Blair, Marcy, Cody

Which one is Chad?

Are you taking MetroNorth to CT and then picking up his car somewhere?  That might work better for me since I forgot my boss is out the whole day.  Otherwise it wouldn’t have been a big deal.  My only issue is I need to hit a grocery store/deli to buy a few cans of chick peas and tomatoes for the GF chana masala I’m making for the potluck. I’m going to bring everything else from home, but canned goods are a bit too heavy to pack.  Do you think he would mind stopping somewhere on the way so I can just worry about cooking on Saturday [not shopping and cooking]?

I have no pressing plans Sunday, will do whatever is conwenient for everyone.

Some appropriate responses to my request:

a) Sure.  Cans are heavy.  Wouldn’t want you to have to lug all that stuff on public transportation.  And thanks for making something GF since I’m celiac 🙂

b) I don’t really know the area.  Let me check with Chad.

c) I’m a little nervous about getting lost on our way up there if we stop somewhere.  Maybe we can find a store in the morning?  The wedding isn’t until 4:30 PM.

d) I’m a little nervous about getting lost on our way up there if we stop somewhere.  I’m sure one of us can find a store in the morning close to the house and we can help you cook and clean.  The wedding isn’t until 4:30 PM.

mysterymanFrom: Marcy
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:34 AM
To: Me, Blair, Cody

Have I introduced you to that many?
Yes – MetroN to Stamford, pick up car and will shoot up to Woodstock.  Small chance we get car to the city beforehand. Would prefer if you could get your cans prior so we don’t have to track down a food store along the way.  Would rather get there sooner than later given the hour we are leaving.

But surely the others will be more reasonable.

mysterymanFrom: Blair
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:47 AM
To: Me, Marcy, Cody

[Me], don’t you remb we met him at hibachi.
Ps, none of us are cooking for potluck.

tfifFrom: Me
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:53 AM
To: Marcy, Blair, Cody

Not introduced, just spoken about.  I can’t keep up!  Anyway, I thought you had stopped seeing each other so maybe this was a new guy?

With the amount for potluck, cans of chick peas and tomatoes is probably going to take the place of dress, shoes and makeup for the wedding since I now can’t just get picked up at my house [dammit, boss!  Why do you have to be out of the office?].  I know it’s a pain but Leela needed people to volunteer to bring food so I did. Blair/Cody, if you guys are going up early, were you planning on picking up wine/beer/snacks?  And if so, could I add a few wee things to your list? 

Again, I’m planning on packing all the non-canned foods/spices, even one of those disposable aluminum trays with a lid.  I mapped a few grocery stores near the house.  If not, I’ll try to figure something else out.

Some appropriate responses to my request:

a) Sure.

b) No problem.

c) Just let us know what you need.

d) That sounds reasonable and is not inconvenient.

mysterymanFrom: Blair
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:56 AM
To: Me, Marcy, Cody

[Me], the whole pot luck is becoming more of a hassle for you than writing a small check.
Jeff and I will give a monetary gift.

[deep breaths]

“Small” check? Not just a check, but a “small” check?

[try not to angry cry]

mysterymanFrom: Blair
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:56 AM
To: Me

Dude u are getting offensive about Marcy, drop it.

[angry cry stops in its tracks]

I haven’t heard a word from Marcy since she couldn’t be bothered to delay her arrival at the house for the 20 minutes it would take to find and stop at a store and “preferred” I schlep several cans in my luggage on public transportation. So I’m not sure who is getting offended about what here.

tfifFrom: Me
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 12:02 PM
To: Blair

The last time I saw Marcy she said they were taking time apart so thought that she might be seeing someone new?  How is that offensive?  Am I missing something?

mysterymanFrom: Blair
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 12:04 PM
To: Me

Re read everything.


tfifFrom: Me
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 12:06 PM
To: Blair, Marcy, Cody

Yeah, I’m giving a gift as well but Leela specifically asked me to help in this way so I have to.  I’m not trying to make this harder for anyone, seriously.  I’ll figure it out.

mysterymanFrom: Blair
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 12:15 PM
To: Me, Marcy, Cody

I can certainly help with getting you a few things from the store. Just text me a note on it, no need to email the group.

tfifFrom: Me
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 7:14 AM
To: Blair, Marcy, Cody

1) Marcy, sorry I didn’t know you were still seeing hibachi Chad. Hope I did not offend.

2) Sorry this potluck thing is a pain.  I’ll do my best but if I can’t manage to pack the canned goods, I’ll text Blair. Thanks.

Now I have work, studying and a trip to the west coast 4 days after the wedding to plan. I think we’re done here for now, so I’ll check in closer to the date. If anyone needs anything from me, e-mail or text me directly.

See you in a few weeks!

I am so super excited to see everyone.  And then maybe never again?

On to Part 2

6 thoughts on “The things you learn when you travel with others”

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