Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Daniel's Departure

I wrote yesterday about how Daniel is now a week and a half into a three week trip to the U.S., leaving my poor pathetic self alone with Leotrix.

He only had a couple of weeks to plan the trip because he got pretty late notice that Palau wanted to send him to this conference. For those two weeks I watched the time slip away until suddenly it was Saturday evening, just a few hours before his flight was scheduled to leave.

Eli: Do you still need to do anything to get ready?

Daniel: Just pack and stuff.

Eli: Ok. So you're saying that you haven't packed yet?

I'm trying this new thing where instead of getting really frustrated, I repeat what I have just heard to make sure I understand the situation. I think this is called "therapy."

Daniel: Nope.

Eli: Ok, I understand that. Now did you do laundry? Because we don't really have time to do it now.

Daniel: No.

Eli: Ok . . . how about if we go get all of the things you want to take with you and start packing together, like a family.

Again, "therapy."

Look. I know Daniel is technically a "grown up." But his apathy toward doing things on time and being prepared for three week international trips makes me incredibly anxious, and I respond by turning into a nagging intermeddler (redundant?).

Eli: Ok, you don't appear to have enough clean shirts.

Daniel: Just pack the dirty ones. I'll wash them when I get to the U.S.

Eli: Daniel, we live in the tropics. You can't do that. Your dirty clothes are soaked in sweat. They will turn into a biohazard by the time you get to Guam.

Daniel: Well what are we going to do about that?

We then spent the next fifteen minutes having Daniel try on all of my clothes to see if any of them fit his giant body. There were some matches, and those clothes were packed.

Eli: What about shoes?

Daniel: Oh, I don't have any.

Eli: You don't have any shoes?

Daniel: No. I only brought flip flops to Palau.


Daniel: Flip flops.

Eli: WORK?!

Daniel: Flip flops.

Eli: I need to start paying more attention to my surroundings.

Daniel: Well I ordered some shoes last week online for this conference but they didn't get here in time.

Because Daniel's feet are as long as my entire arm, it isn't usually possible to buy shoes in stores even in the U.S., so he has to order them online. Since the shoes didn't arrive, this meant that he was going to have to wear flip flops to this conference.

We now had about fifteen minutes until the time we had planned to leave for the airport.

Eli: Ok. Where's your passport?

Daniel: I thought you had it?


Daniel: Because I don't. So you're the only other option.

We then spent the next fifteen minutes frantically turning the apartment upside-down looking for his passport. Well, one of us was frantic. The other looked like he was surveying paintings at an art gallery.

Finally, we found the water-damaged and warped 2012-issued passport buried under a pile of other stuff. I faced Daniel, grabbed onto both of his arms, looked him in the eyes, and said,

Eli: Daniel, I know you are a very responsible person. But this is your first time traveling internationally alone. And I need you to please try your very hardest to pay attention to what you're doing.

Daniel nodded sheepishly, and suddenly I realized that I had somehow become the world's BIGGEST nag. And for a second I thought I should tone it down, but then I decided I have way bigger fish to fry in my life right now and I'm going to let my nag flag fly high for a few more years.

And now it was time to go, so I picked up his bag and walked to the door. And that's when I saw Daniel retrieve a towel and start walking toward the bathroom.


I already knew the answer to this, because I've seen him do this hundreds of times before when it's time to go somewhere and I'm at the door thinking that everyone is ready to leave because for the last twenty minutes or so Daniel has been just laying on the couch reading a book.

Daniel: I'm going to take a shower, why?


Daniel: Let's use our big words, Eli. What is the problem?


Daniel: Ok. And how does this make you feel?

Eli: ANGRY!!!!!

Daniel took his FIFTEEN-minute shower, and another TWENTY or so minutes later we left. I dropped him off at the airport, feeling exactly how a parent must feel when they drop off their oldest child at school on the first day of Kindergarten. And I had to resist the urge to fix his hair with my spit.

As he walked away from the Stormtrooper, he turned around and waved with a huge grin on his face. And I couldn't help but think, "our little boy is growing up."

On Monday afternoon I got a phone call in my office. It was someone at the courthouse:

Voice: Uh-oi. We have a package here but it didn't have a name on it so we opened it. It has size 17 shoes in it. Those must be Daniel's, right?

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. HAHAHAH hilarious. You guys remind me of my Boyfriend and His Best Friend.

  2. I have to ask... Is Daniel really this bad at planning and what not, or are you just over exaggerating everything?

    1. Not much exaggerating here. But you should know, you're hearing this story from someone who WAY over-prepares for things. So we're not exactly starting from a reasonable place. Plus, the "Daniel Plan" obviously got him to the U.S. unharmed.

  3. Sometimes I think my girlfriend is the same person as Daniel. She does the same stuff when it's time to travel! I pack the suitcase, prepare the paperwork, gah. I know your pain, Eli!

  4. Eli, you and I are one and the same. My husband used to hate my "trip anxiety" as we call it, but now he likes it. I make a list of everything we need to pack, pack both our stuff for us, and make an itinerary for us so we know a timeline of our trip. I did this for several of our last trips to see family - even family members got my itinerary. I'm so glad my immediate and extended family put up with me... because I can't function without my lists and itineraries. No joke. I'd explode in a ball of anxiety.
    What I'm saying is, Daniel appreciates it. He just may not know it yet.

  5. I had a mission companion/college roommate like this and I acted like you. I had to stop living with him because it caused me too much stress. I'm preparing a resume right now and I'm considering putting that experience on there because I learned more useful interpersonal and communication skills in those 3 years than I ever did at any job.

  6. Thank you for giving me something to look forward to each and every day. :)

  7. My husband almost always takes a shower about 12:30 when we are suppose to be at church at 1:00. And he takes 10-15 mins showers. I think I might be making a breakthrough though, cause now he takes his shower about 11:30-12:00. But still... he gets up at 6:00 almost every day, would make more sense to take a shower in the morning before everyone is up.

  8. I think I like reading your back-and-forths between you and Daniel best. Maybe you need one of those stress balls like Mr. Furious on Mystery Men? Yeesh, I can still feel the anxiety in your post even now. ;)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. So does Daniel go running barefoot or in flip flops?

    1. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RAj6zeWjHCE/UZmef_-CNnI/AAAAAAAADUs/kLaGVOKtkqg/s640/Daniel+finish.jpg

  11. In my family I am always the Eli and everyone else is the Daniel. It drives me NUTZ when everyone else isn't ready to go way earlier than we need to be ready to go.

  12. Didn't Daniel run a marathon a little while back? Was he not wearing shoes...?

  13. My new favorite phrase: "I'm going to let my nag flag fly high!" I can't wait to use it next time I'm accused of nagging.

  14. This is exactly the dynamic that my husband and I have. I just don't know how people go through out life not worrying about stuff that needs to be done. We took a week long trip to Mexico a few weeks ago and I had a few breakdowns and anxiety attacks the week before making sure we had everything we needed, and that everything was left "perfect" at home and at work. My husband spent the week playing Magic the Gathering. Welcome to the Control Freak Club Eli. I am generally a laid back person, i just want things to be how I want them to be. Is that too much to ask?

  15. i'm an unabashed daniel, and guys, amazingly enough stuff seems to work out

  16. I'm like Lacey-- I'm an Eli and I'm married to a Daniel. It drives me INSANE.

  17. haha...nag flag. I love it!

  18. If Daniel does not have a subtype of ADHD I will donate my left something to science.