Last night, I went to Merriweather Post Pavilion for a Vampire Weekend concert. Ryan and I had seats on the lawn, and while we couldn't really see the band or the stage, we could hear the music, and the weather was downright balmy.
It was a series of trials and tribulations to get there, however. Merriweather Post Pavilion is up near where I work, but I couldn't go straight from one to the other. We'd arranged for the dogs to go to daycare for the day, and someone had to spring them from the joint, then get them home and feed them dinner before we could spend the evening listening to music al fresco. Ryan and I agreed I'd be the one to do it, then I'd take the Metro up to Bethesda to meet him close to his work, and we'd drive to the concert together.
Picking up the dogs was uneventful, but the turnaround time of feeding them and showering/changing/packing for the show took longer than anticipated, and I ended up getting to the bus stop JUST as the bus passed by. I sat on a nearby stoop to wait for the next bus, but got distracted by my phone while trying to assess my route (I can never remember which side of the red line Bethesda is on) so that the next bus breezed past the stop without even tapping the break.
At this point, I switched over to the Uber app on my phone, thinking I would find a nearby Jump Bike or scooter to get me to Union Station to get to the Metro and get me back on track. But my infernal iPhone, hellbent on thwarting me at every turn, had sent my Uber app to the cloud and wouldn't let me retrieve it for lack of storage space. Then even after deleting a number of apps, I couldn't get Uber back because it was too big to process without WiFi.
I ran back to our house to get on our WiFi, but by that point my phone started alerting me to only having 20 percent battery life left. I ran up the stairs and plugged my phone in long enough to get Uber to download, found a nearby scooter and headed back out the door, charging cord in tow. When I got to the street, another bus actually happened to be coming, so I hopped on and texted Ryan about missing the previous two buses and that I was going to be late. I got to the Metro and made it to Bethesda without incident, but then Ryan and I miscommunicated about where he should pick me up and I helplessly watched him circle the Bethesda Metro station a number of times while my phone's battery life ticked down to zero. We finally connected, and I, a big, sweaty mess, collapsed into the front seat.
"Where's the rotisserie chicken?" I asked. I'd texted him to ask him to pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store that we could share for dinner as we tailgated before the concert. In all of those transportation woes, I'd lugged our big picnic basket with its two full table settings along with me. I had been quite looking forward to using it.
"I didn't get a rotisserie chicken. I told you, I got us snacks." I looked down at my feet, where a plastic Target bag contained chips, cookies and a Coke Zero.
And at that, I burst into tears. I was so fucking frustrated, and I knew we still had traffic to battle in between us and the venue. We would miss the opening act, and we wouldn't get to tailgate, making the fact that I had dragged our picnic basket, which was full of beer that we now wouldn't get to drink, absolutely moot.
But, Ryan knows how to soothe the savage beast, and luckily he'd bought sandwiches (read: actual food, not just snacks) for us, so after I wept a little bit in the front seat, I tucked into a sandwich and that made me feel better. Additionally, the GPS showed that we'd miss part of the opener but not all of it. My eyes were dry and I was ready for music by the time we pulled into the parking lot and moseyed over to the Merriweather lawn.
And once we put our blanket down, bought drinks (at a mind-boggling $11 a pop, sheesh), and Vampire Weekend started to play, I felt silly for how upset I'd gotten. It had all worked out. We listened to two hours worth of awesome music in the cool early autumn air. Vampire Weekend puts on a great show.
Of course, this wasn't my first Vampire Weekend show. I'd seen them before, at that very venue, in September 2010. For that show, I went with my friend Krissi, and it was just as great of a time. We even sat in nearly the same place that Ryan and I sat last night.
But, of course, what's not the same -- not even close -- is the place I'm at in my life. Back in September 2010, I was nearly a year into writing Date Me, D.C.! I had gone on so many, many dates, by that point, and it felt like I was no closer to finding my person than I had been when I started. I was just coming off one of what would be several huge heartbreaks (that one was John, the sleazy pick-up artist, ugh), and in an even worse series of life choices, I had just started having an affair with a married man. (I am NOT proud of that.) It felt like my life was coming apart at the seams.
Last night, listening to the same music I listened to nearly nine years earlier in the exact same place, all those feelings rushed back to me. I remembered how hopeless it all felt at the time... and yet, less than three years later, I met Ryan. Five years and a week later, I would go on to marry him. I honestly believe our connection is the stuff of legends. If soulmates really do exist, he's mine. I imagined myself traveling back to 27-year-old Katie and saying, "Hold on. The next two years are going to kind of suck, but then you're going to meet your husband and everything is going to be fine. Just hold on until January 2013."
And then, I imagined myself three years from now, doing the same thing to the me of today. My romantic life has gotten sorted out, but this chapter of my life has other loose ends. My employment is on shaky grounds (not anything of my own doing, I assure you -- I work hard and am well-respected in my office; it's just a new policy with our contract that may mean I get laid off in the next year or so), and of course, the biggest thing on my mind: whether or not Ryan and I will be able to have children.
I wonder about the me of 2022. Did IVF work for us? Did we decide to live a child-free happily ever after? I want that Katie to visit me and tell me it's going to be OK. Tell me to just sit tight; hold on a little longer. That it all will be revealed in the way it’s supposed to, and that I'll be happy with the outcome.
I'm hoping for the baby, naturally. I really think one of those embryos waiting for us in Dominion Fertility's lab is going to grow up to be president of the United States. Between Ryan's brains and my... whatever I bring to the table, our kid will be something mighty special.
So, I'm envisioning it: August 2022, and a ruddy-cheeked 2-year-old on my lap. Even though we've got two male embryos, I keep picturing our female embryo as the one that sticks. We'll call her Joanna Jane, for my grandparents and Ryan's grandma, and nickname her J.J. for short. She'll be rough and tumble and Ren will adore her. (Ginger will politely keep her distance.)
It's out there.
I just have to hold on.