Wednesday, March 22, 2006

White Plains # 1 - Off to a bad start

Yesterday morning my husband Shawn and I had to go to White Plains NY. Shawn had been asked to do a television interview about his book there and we decided that if we were going to go all the way to another part of NY state, we would make a day of it and do some exploring.
I spent a day searching the net to find some spots of interest, a coffee shop, a saloon pub for lunch and an ice-cream parlor for some yummy Coldstone ice-cream!

Ok, so White Plains is only about half an hour away from Manhattan, but you have to take two long distance trains to get there, so in our book, two trains that are not the subway equals a day trip. I was actually quite excited - I am ridiculously similar to a dog in heat that way - I get excited over almost anything. I plan the entire day, with pit stops, points of interest, restaurants, coffee shops, maps of the town and notes on everything imaginable. I plan ahead for everything. I make sure to have a coin purse with quarters, enough cash and my charged cell phone. That way I can be excited instead of worried about the possibility of getting lost with no hope of rescue. It might be the nanny in me.
I was so excited I couldn't wait for our day in White Plains.
But what started out as an exciting adventure, ended with us lost in the Bronx at nightfall.
Let me start at the beginning, the night before our trek.

Shawn arrived home from work at a little before midnight on Monday night. His hair was hanging way over his eyes and I was going to give him a midnight haircut so he would look fabulous for the television interview the next day. I did some cutting and a little shaving and Shawn did some sitting and a lot of whining, ouching and moaning. My shears were blunt and the poor tired boy had to sit through a haircut that pulled and tugged at his hair. When all was said and done, he looked quite dashing if I must say so myself.

It was about 1:30 a.m. after we had finished cleaning up the stray hairs from our dining room floor when he jumped into the shower. He was exhausted after a long day's work and I on the other hand was buzzed and ready to play. Being on vacation does that to me. I start sleeping 3 hours a night and celebrating every waking hour by doing things around the house that I never manage to do because I am never home. I take pleasure in mopping our hardwood floor and scrubbing our tub. I order take out food at 11pm and eat ice-cream way into the morning hours.

After his shower Shawn tried to whoo me into bed at about 2am, because we would have to be up at 7 in the morning, but I was having none of it. I was awake, on vacation and in little want or need of sleep. I eventually talked him into going to bed first with the promise that I would be in bed soon.
What does "soon" mean exactly? I was ready to pull off an all-nighter and not get any sleep at all....I thought that if I could just last 4 more hours I would be up for the day and we could go straight to White Plains and start having the fun I had planned for us out there. Me need sleep? No way, not on vacation!
So at 2:30 a.m. I started to sweep our apartment, polish some wood, dust the computer, etc. All was going well, until at 3:45 am when I accidentally dropped the broom and with a loud thud I knew it was over. Shawn came whirling into the living room, eyes a-blazing and a look of horror on his face.
"What is going on here?" he demanded through groggy eyes.
"Nothing" I stammered, "I am coming to bed now, I just dozed off on the sofa."
Great, now I am lying to my husband about getting some sleep.

Shawn dragged me into bed and demanded that I get some sleep and stop my antics. He informed me that I had gotten 3 hours sleep in the past 24 hours while celebrating my time off from work and that I needed to get some sleep before our trip because my lack of sleep was making me, in his words, loopy. 3 hours sleep in the past 24?, what? No way, it was more like 4 hours because I took a little nap in the afternoon.

So I lay there in bed, trying to sleep, but the guilt of my lie about dozing off on the sofa was eating away at me. This is probably a good time to inform you that my husband and I have a strict no lying policy. No matter how small the fib or lie, you have to come clean in 2 minutes. If you are unable to come clean in the 2 minutes you have to come up with a jolly good reason.
Our rule works well and has resulted in not only an honest relationship, but an extremely ridiculous love affair laden with fibs and confessions. The best part is that when telling the truth the other has to accept it and either move on or help deal with its ludicrousness.
We came up with it together because we really wanted an honest partnership and wanted to be sure that we would always communicate our woes. When I ask how he is feeling he has to tell me. When he asks where I have been I have to tell him, even though, as he says, most of the times the answer to that question is the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen. Alas, no more bar hopping and clubbing for me.

You get the gist of it right? No lies.
Now we do have some ways of getting out of immediate confrontation. We have a 2-minute-rule policy, where you can fib, but within two minutes you have to tell the other person the truth and the best part is, is that the other person can't get mad at you.

We also have a "duped" clause where because we can't lie in our marriage we can dupe each other and create crazy lies that are proven wrong straight away. Now this might seem silly to most couples, but to us, it creates chaos, joy and tons of laughter. Like when I let out a yelp and a scream in the kitchen and ran into the bedroom and threw my scared self into his arms and informed him that we had caught a big rat with a long tail in our mouse trap instead of a mouse. I held out for a few minutes. He was mortified - he fears nothing like he fears rats - and I won! The best dupes are laden with theatrics.

The trick is to be able to convince the other that your lie is the truth, you have to choose a sorta real situation and then be able to pull the wool over the other's yes. If you do, you become the champ for hours. If you don't and the other can't be duped then they win and, well, lets just say, its no fun!

Anyway, so I am laying in bed thinking, there is like 30 seconds to go before my 2-minute-rule clause runs out. So I spew out the truth:
"Honey? you awake? I lied, I didn't fall asleep on the sofa, I was sweeping the floor and didn't want you to think I was crazy for doing it at 3:30am."
"Honey?" I say.
My god he was already sleeping, so I bump him awake.
"I lied" I whined.
"I know honey, you are not fooling anyone with these night antics," he says. "Now get some sleep."

So I lay there, waiting for the sand man, I look at the clock it is 4 a.m., oh my god, I am awake, I have to pretend to get some sleep, if I can just close my eyes and do some daydreaming about tomorrow's activities, maybe time will pass.
I close my eyes and almost immediately the alarm goes off. I look up at the clock and see that it is 7am.
I couldn't believe it.
So I crawled out of bed like the living dead, but then reminded myself that I was on vacation to lift my spirits and I pranced into the bathroom to run myself a nice warm shower.
The water was freezing cold.
I checked the other taps and discovered that all the water was freezing cold.
We had no hot water! This has happened three or four other times to us in this apartment, one of them being on the day of our wedding! Fortunately it happened after I had showered and Shawn was able to shower at his parents' hotel. On this day, though, nothing could bail us out.

I ran into the bedroom to tell my husband and he jumps out of bed, his hair was standing up all over the place and as I watched him stumbling over to the bathroom, I realized that we were going to have to go to the television studio without taking a shower and on 3 hours sleep. I convinced him to just stick his hair under the cold shower and he did so while emitting a scream that resembles a dying animal.

I added a little gel to his hair, we slathered on as much underarm deodorant as we could, we got dressed and began to venture over to the metro train station which is across the Broadway Bridge in the Bronx. (about a 5 minute walk)

We pop into our diner downstairs for a coffee before crossing the bridge and we realize we have left the directions to the studio at home.

This day did not start out well.

Shawn runs back for the directions and I start making my way over the bridge, we meet up just as I get to the station. What can I say, he is 6ft 4 and has super long legs, me, I am slower than most turtles, at 5ft 3, well, lets just say I am a few inches away from being a "little person".

At the ticket machine we encountered another problem, there were no tickets to White Plains, only to Harlem, where we would have to transfer and hop onto another train heading to White Plains.

2 round-trip tickets to Harlem cost $25 bucks, weird when it usually only costs us $2 on a subway. It seemed we would have to buy twice as many tickets for the same distance instead of one set of tickets to one place. So instead of paying the usual $25 we would have had to pay $50. Shawn refuses to buy more than 2 roundtrip tickets to Harlem. He was convinced we would only have to buy the round-trip tickets to Harlem and it would include a transfer to White Plains. I objected and insisted that if it doesn't say White Plains on the ticket we wont be able to use it. The train arrives and interrupts our debate, so we hop aboard with 2 return tickets to Harlem and hope it will get us to White Plains. We arrived in Harlem less than 10 minutes later. There after climbing down and up 3 or 4 flights of stairs, we transferred to a White Plains train and Shawn slowly began to realize that we might need another ticket, unless....................

As my husband sits silently next to me, staring out the window as if he doesn't know what's going on, I use my accent and South African charms to talk to the conductor and convince him I am foreign, lost and confused. This is not a lie at all, but truer than I want to believe. This works more often than you think it would, and more often than it probably should.
I spew my story and he lets us ride to White Plains for free but tells us that we do have to buy another ticket even though it is the system that has basically duped us into needing two tickets at twice the price for a ride to one place. Being duped by the MTA is not as much fun as being duped by my husband.

We arrived in White Plains in one piece and walked to a nearby coffee shop, which was on our itinerary. We took a short break and I guzzled down a caffeine laden coffee, Shawn did some reading and I paged through my notes on where we were going and what we were going to be doing the rest of the day.

We wandered around trying to use the map to find the studio and eventually after Shawn asked for directions we ended up in the right place at 5 minutes to our scheduled 10am time slot.
Whew, just made it.

The interview went well, I was able to sit inside the studio and watch, it was fun, 27 minutes of my husband talking about his book, his life etc. Then he mentions me....Of course, I was beaming with pride!

After the interview we wandered around the town - pretty, nice, low traffic and you never have to wait in line for anything. I saw 99c stores and tried not to go in, because there are 99c stores all over Manhattan, but then I saw some art projects for the kids I could not leave behind.
We spotted an Applebees and had to fight the urge to go in. After all, we did not go all the way to White Plains to have lunch at an Applebees when we eat there all the time. It's ridiculous enough that we were as excited about visiting White Plains as millions of tourists are about visiting New York City.

We eventually stumbled into a little pub-like saloon for lunch.
It was completely empty and we loved not having to wait for a table. The food was ok, not the best, but the quiet atmosphere and clean bathrooms made up for it.
During lunch we discussed the latest movies we want to see sometime in the city, thank you for smoking, V for Vendetta and a few others came up. Going to the movies in Manhattan is such a chore, not only is everything so expensive, but it is so crowded that you always have someone behind you, in front of you and next to you. Someone is usually eating Chinese food they snuck in or farting egg-smelling gas in your direction knowing that you have no escape from the smell. If you don't make it to the theatre half an hour early you also end up sitting front and centre and usually sit like you are laying down in order to watch the movie. Then on your way home you see things in double vision because you were so close to the screen. For that reason we either wait for most things to come onto Netflix, or we see the movie well into its run and pray that we miss the crowds.
That was when Shawn had a brilliant idea. Why not go see V-for Vendetta at the movie theatre in White Plains. We know it was one of the best selling movie seats in town this past weekend and that means every seat in Manhattan theatres will be filled. ahah! It was an ingenious idea.
We ran over to the movie theatre, paid $7 for a ticket as opposed to NYC's $11 and found our way into a gigantic theatre, with huge leather seats and 3 other people in it.
I was so happy I almost peed myself with joy.

We took our seats, they even reclined and we sat and watched the movie in peace and quite with nobody around.
It was the best movie date I have ever been on. I would go all the way to White Plains again, just to see a movie in that theatre.
That movie experience made our trip to White Plains worth while.

We left smiling and joyful, and after a stop for some ice cream, we were ready for our quick train ride home.

The smiles did not last long.........................

coming soon: White Plain #2 - Lost in the Bronx


gnarly nanny said...

gaaah! what an awesome entry- i'm on the edge of my seat, can't wait for part deux!

Anonymous said...

white plains. never heard of it, but thanks to you i might want to go lol

sarah said...

the bronx?

now i must hear more

~Narp~ said...

dun dun DUNNNNN....

Sorry, couldn't help it. Sounds like an interesting trip...cant wait to hear more!
I just noticed your replies to my posts..this tells you how much I look at my own blog sometimes...