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By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
The Times 

Emojis, sometimes they're perfect

 

April 27, 2023

Lane Gwinn Graphic

We're off; the time is now. Daniel is heading to Portugal. Our first stop is Seattle. As always, traveling with Daniel presents the stress and challenges I've come to accept as just something that I know is imminent.

He did ask me what time I wanted to leave for Seattle. I told him about 11 am, deciding not to play tennis in the morning so we could leave on time. That's when he told me he had been asked to consult in the morning. With that news, I went to play tennis. I need to start using my mother's system; say you want to leave an hour before you need to; that way, you may leave closer to the time you want.

We hit the road with luggage in the car, gas in the tank, and the GPS route set. As I was driving through Yakima, Daniel said he wanted to drive in about an hour. I bit my tongue and stopped in Ellensburg to gas up the car.

"How much gas is in the car?" he asked.

I answered, "About half a tank, but I want as full a tank as possible leaving Seattle because I want to get as far out of the city as possible before stopping again."

After filling the tank, I reluctantly turned the driving over to him with the caveat: we will be entering Seattle at rush hour, and I DO NOT want to hear you cursing at traffic, drivers that cut you off, or the inevitable road construction. If cars had emojis instead of brake lights, my car would have been lit up with the head-exploding emoji the minute we entered the Seattle area.

Bad traffic started the meltdown. Then he took the wrong exit off the freeway, which led to clenched teeth, fist-pumping, and shaking hands while trying to hold back the cursing. Between one-way streets, construction, and bus lanes, that one wrong turn caused a thirty-minute delay.

We gladly handed the car to the hotel valet and headed in to check-in. Meltdown number two happened as the receptionist tried to show me how to use a mobile app to operate the elevators. It didn't work, and out of the corner of my eye, I could see Daniel with the head-exploding emoji again-no mobile key for us.

I don't ever remember showering, drying my hair, and putting on makeup as fast as I did once in the room. I made record time–15 minutes. We headed to the lobby bar, and after a drink and some homemade chips, our moods started to mellow, and we relaxed.

Hopefully, the drive to the airport will be stress-free, so his good mood will prevail dealing with airlines, flight connections, and middle seats. Fat chance, I can see him with the exploding head emoji again, while my emoji may be dancing a jig, as I head home with my music blaring and a quick Costco stop in the tri-cities.

In a few weeks, I will start missing him. I'll feel blue for a few hours before I remember the exploding head emoji and enjoy the calm. I can plant what and where I want, play more tennis, and even cook. On the downside, I will have to climb the ladder to refill the bird feeders (the birds are still gorging), do minor repairs, and hope Mugsy and I can have an intelligent conversation. Is there an emoji for "treats"?

 

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