Tag Archives: moxie

Living in limbo

This evening, I was on the phone with a potential client who is planning a wedding for March. It’s at a beautiful venue in the area, one to which I’ve been to attend a friend’s wedding (nearly ten years ago), and her wedding coordinator suggested she contact me about the sorts of flower stuff she and her fiance are interested in for their upcoming event.

Partway through the conversation, she asked me about timing. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, just how long in advance we need to be officially booked, send a deposit, that sort of thing.” I told her my policy on deposits and my usual timeline, and she told me, “I have to share something that I’m sharing with all of the vendors for our wedding so they know in advance. My fiance was diagnosed with cancer last week, and he’s starting chemo, and we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to have the wedding on the original schedule.”

My jaw dropped. “I’m so sorry to hear that,” I told her. “I’m sorry you guys are having to go through such a serious ordeal in the middle of a time that is supposed to be really happy.” I told her I’d be flexible with the timing, and would be completely understanding if they had to postpone or cancel their event. We continued our conversation about their event and my business and what kind of flowers they like, and all I could think about was how rough it all must be. I can’t even imagine trying to plan a wedding with that looming overhead, knowing how sick my fiance is and how sick he will get in order to get better. I’ve seen cancer in the movies, and I’ve sort of tangentially seen cancer in people I’ve known. Going through an illness like that is difficult on everyone, and I can see how one might decide to just put it all off. A good friend of mine in another state who has leukemia signed all the paperwork to be as married to her wife as she can be in a state that doesn’t allow for same-sex marriage, during a time when she was very ill, and they’ve indefinitely postponed their “wedding” celebration until my friend is well enough to enjoy it. But my potential client said she and her fiance agreed they’d go ahead with the planning as though he will be healthy and well enough to have their wedding in March, and they’ll continue to revisit that as time goes on.

“I thought you should know. I told all of our vendors this week,” she said. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to tell a total stranger, over the phone, that my significant other has an illness like that. This potential client has a lot of moxie. She and her fiance both do. He, for being game enough to continue the planning as though he’ll be through the chemotherapy wringer and out the other side far enough that he’ll be ready to celebrate their new family. She, for making those phone calls and for the optimism it takes to marry a person who may not be here in six months or a year. But I guess, really, anyone getting married takes that leap of faith. But not everyone lives in a state of will it or won’t it happen, will we or won’t we get married, will we or won’t we get to grow old together. I’m sending my good thoughts their way, not only because I want to see them get married but because I want them to have that new family; I want that leap in the midst of limbo to pay off.

Weekend adventure, part 1: Bad luck and good luck

It was time to get out of town again, so this past weekend I took Friday off and we packed up the car and drove west on I-70, tunes a-blazin’, possibilities in the air. We stopped in Glenwood Springs for some weekend food supplies and continued along highway 82 toward Aspen, in phone contact with Dan’s cousin making some dinner plans, arriving at our destination at what we thought was 5 PM (by Dan’s watch) but was actually 6.

Sadly, the Maroon Bells wilderness area only takes cash and checks, so we had to drive back into Aspen to get some of that (Aspen, as one might guess, is full of people driving very expensive cars. It is also kind of twee.), and back to Maroon Bells, set up our tent at Silver Bell #12, then realized we had no cell phone coverage to let Lori know we were set and ready for dinner. So we drove back out to Aspen AGAIN and met up with Lori and her husband, who both got a kick out of the Flying Spaghetti Monster car emblem and learned that it was not in fact 6 PM but actually 7 PM. We feasted at a local watering hole and heard a harrowing tale of the WORST customer service story ever, so much so that my gast was completely flabbered. After dinner, we said our goodnights and our thanks for hanging-outs and got into the car, only to determine that it didn’t want to start.

Like, at all. No turning over. No nothing.

Luckily, they hadn’t gone far, and when I called they turned around and came back to help us get things figured out. We attempted a jump start, which didn’t work for quite some time. Finally, after quite a bit of finessing, Rich got the car started. Both cars sat there idling for a while as we decided what to do. The final verdict: Rich and I would go back to the campground in their sweet-ass Audi TT convertable and break down camp/get our stuff, while Dan and Lori would head to their house in poor Moxie, who up to that point had never given us a moment’s trouble; in case something happened during the drive, Moxie wouldn’t be at the campground out of cell phone range. Rich and I motored up, broke down our camp, stuffed everything in the wee tiny trunk, and made it back into the car just as the crazy rain and thunder and lightning started.

It wasn’t the evening we were expecting: sleeping on the pullout couch, loved on by two doggies, sipping port and watching a guy on stilts on Conan rather than a tent under the stars and me beating Dan at gin. But it was a lovely evening nonetheless. In the morning, we found a place to bring the car, but couldn’t get it started again, even with Rich’s magic fingers. After some internet research, a few more things were tried, but ultimately we determined that poor Moxie was just not going to start. Luckily (and seriously, this was REALLY lucky), Lori and Rich had everything necessary to tow Moxie down to Basalt to the car repair place – tow cables, a Land Rover, tools, etc. and saved us $200 in towing fees.

I have to say here that riding in a car at highway speed when the car isn’t actually on so you have no idea how fast you’re going is extremely weird.

So we got to the car place and about 15 guys ran out and started poking around under Moxie’s hood. While we waited, Lori and I took a 5-minute trip over to a convenience store to get some supplies and when we got back we were greeted by two sheepishly grinning men. “Guess how much it cost,” they asked. “Two dollars!” said Lori. “Off by a factor of ten,” said Rich, relating that someone finally figured out that the floor mat had wedged itself far enough under one of the pedals that it couldn’t engage when we were trying to turn the car on. Twenty bucks for five minutes of troubleshooting, and two red faces, and a bunch of laughing Mexican guys. Hey, it could have been exponentially worse (and ridiculously expensive). I would have been mortified if we’d paid to have the car towed.

So all was well, and Dan and I headed back into the Maroon Bells area to go hiking, laughing and wondering what we could do as a thank-you to Rich and Lori for putting us up for the night and towing the car into town. Any ideas, internet?