When exactly does an inside joke become an inside joke? Because I just had an epiphany. My husband recently bought tickets to a Broadway play that I’ve been eager to see. When he gave me the news I was absolutely thrilled, so I quickly asked him, “how are we gonna get to New York?” My husband immediately, and overwhelmingly, began laughing in my face for an extended period of time… Some wives might think this action was cruel, but I deserved the laughter… To understand you’ll have to read the story of our last trip to New York City. Enjoy!
PREFACE: I normally write blogs and post them immediately, but the one you’re about to read has been sitting inside my computer for almost a year now. Maybe I never meant to post it. Perhaps it was just a healthy outlet for me to voice my comical-insanity. Maybe I just wanted to record all the crazy details before the memories became fuzzy. Either way, I’m posting it now, unedited and unabridged (with coinciding journal entires and photos added). It’ll all make sense… eventually. I can’t tell you any more information, not even where I wrote the first journal entry from, it would be a huge spoiler;
Journal Entry 1 – Wednesday, 31 May, 2017, 10:25am:
You can tell a lot about a person by looking in their wallet. Look in my wallet and you’ll find a little cash to be used for tipping, a debit card to cover dining and other expenses, a torn movie ticket from the premiere Star Trek Beyond, and an airplane ticket to New York City dated for 2 days from now. The airplane ticket will never be used.
You’ve probably heard the old saying; “failing to plan is planning to fail,” right? Well, no offense to the dude who said that, but there’s another quote that more adequately sums up this story. It comes from the modern visionary, Mike Tyson, who said, “everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth”.
My “Plan A” failed, followed by the epic failure of “Plan B”, which caused a domino effect that created and killed “Plan C” and “Plan D”… I’m actually on “Plan E” right now, and until the plan has reached full fruition I’m not trusting it. But, I’ll fill you in on all the plans I planned along the way;
Plan A: “The Christmas Vacation Formulation”
My crazy story begins the same way most vacation stories begin; with a mother-in-law. But, it’s not a “horror movie mother-in-law story”, It’s more like a “romantic comedy on the Christian network mother-in-law story”. You see, my husband’s mother is a phenomenally impeccable woman. She works hard, prays harder, and truly holds our entire family together. Her overall wonderfulness inspired my husband and I to surprise her with a vacation; a girls trip to New York City, planned for December of 2016. I had all the blueprints laid out; my mother-in-law, her sister, and I were going to run around NYC while my husband followed us around, paying for things and carrying our bags. It would be a solid week of Broadway Musicals, Radio City Rockettes, Rockefeller Center Christmas trees, studio tours, and fresh bagels. It was going to be perfect. We even booked a hotel room overlooking Times Square.
But then we had a setback… My father-in-law (Parker’s dad) broke his hip, and just like that the vacation was cancelled. I mean, we couldn’t run off to New York City while the literal back-bone of the Banks family was laid up with a broken hip, right?
Plan B: “The NYC Renormalization”
Our airplane tickets were non-refundable so we rescheduled the trip for June of 2017. We were all so excited; New York City during Summertime, and right before the Tony Awards! My husband even surprised me with tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway for our four-year wedding anniversary.
So, on Memorial Day (4 days before departure to NYC) my husband and I sat down to map out our epic family vacation… I was in the midst of making our daily itineraries when I realized that I didn’t have a copy of the airline tickets; which was an insane oversight, because I’m an absolute control freak! So, I turned to my husband and said something like, “get your mom to e-mail us the ticket information.”
Approximately 5 minutes passed before I heard the e-mail alert on my husband’s phone go off… Without looking up from my itinerary I said, “forward that to me, please.” But my husband said nothing… he was just sitting there, still as a stone, staring at his phone, with a look of pure seasick shock on his face. Without saying a word, he stood up, left the room, and made a hasty phone call. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it; he’s a doctor, so I’ve become accustomed to him making awkwardly timed emergency phone calls.
I was researching NYC Gelato Shops when my husband reentered the room. His face was pale white, and he was clearly nervous. He sat down, took a deep breath, and said something like; “Soooooooo…. Your name is typed wrong on your plane ticket, and you can’t get on the plane… And I already checked; there are no more seats available on that flight.”
I replied by saying some very non-Christian words. But then my husband explained what happened, and I actually started laughing. My beautiful and angelic mother-in-law had ordered the tickets, and… Well, to understand why this was a problem I need to tell a quick side-note story…
QUICK SIDE-NOTE STORY: “The Mosley-Banks Juxtaposition”
Four years ago I got married to the most amazing man in the entire world; Parker Banks. A few hours after the ceremony I changed my name on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter… However, I never changed my name legally. I had a few foreign trips planned, and didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing my passport… My mother-in-law, I assume, didn’t know this tidbit of information.
Okay, so, BACK TO THE ORIGINAL STORY; can you guess where this is going? When my mother-in-law ordered my plane ticket she submitted my name as “Elizabeth Banks”, not “Elizabeth Mosley”; my actual legal name.
Plan C: “The Name-Change Implementation”
There were no more seats left on our scheduled flight, and I couldn’t take a later flight because I feared I would miss Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. So we decided to change my legal name to match the name on the airplane ticket; there was only one problem, it was Memorial Day and everything was closed. Comical, right?
The next morning my husband and I arrived at the courthouse bright and early; birth certificate, marriage certificate, identification, and passport in hand. My husband was so full of hope.
Honestly, I knew that this plan was doomed to fail, but it was worth a try. Right?
At the court house we were greeted by a nice worker who explained that the name on my Social Security Card had to be officially changed before I could legally change the name on my Driver’s License… a process which takes several weeks. So, we said “thank you” and left…
By the way, I’m actually glad the court house wouldn’t change my driver’s license – it makes me feel a lot better about National Security.
Thus, my plan to ride the airplane to NYC came to a screeching halt… and before you ask; yes, we tried to contact the airline and explain our problem, it didn’t work.
Plan D: “The Automotive Alternative”
On the way home from the court house I looked at my husband and said; “I’ll just drive to NYC, it’s only a 10-hour drive!” But then I remembered the bumper-to-bumper Manhattan traffic and the $85 per day parking prices. It was a defeatist plan, that was over before it even began.
Plan E: “The Locomotive Expedition”
My next plan was the Amtrak train. One was departing from Ashland, KY at 6:00 the next morning. It was a 16-hour ride, but I would eventually end up in New York City. However, there was one huge problem; I would be arriving in NYC two days early, and alone. That’s when my super-hero husband saved the day, once again. He called the hospital and asked for an extra two days off work; something that was really hard for him to do, I’m certain (he loves his job, and really doesn’t like taking time off).
So, we bought two train tickets to NYC and called our hotel to notify them that we would be arriving early. We hastily packed our bags, arranged extended care for our pets, and called my dad for a ride to the train station… and before I left my house I grabbed my Sheldon Cooper figurine, because Sheldon Cooper loves trains. Right?
This actually brings me to where I am right now… I’M ON A TRAIN, SITTING BESIDE MY SLEEPING HUSBAND, AND WE’RE ON OUR WAY TO NEW YORK CITY. Yep, we’re finally en route, and my mother-and-law and her sister will be meeting us in NYC in approximately 3 days’ time…
However, “Plan E” didn’t completely go off without a hitch; were had to sit at the train station for 5 hours because the train was delayed… which actually turned out to be a blessing, because my dad and I binge-ate doughnuts and watched the sunrise.
Journal Entry 2 – Thursday, 1 June, 2017, 4:00am:
THE ARRIVAL – We are, finally, in the hotel room, actually we arrived at the hotel approximately 1 hour ago, and I probably should have gone to sleep, but I couldn’t help myself… I had to walk down the street to see Wonder Woman billboards dominate Times Square! Wonder Woman premieres tomorrow, and I’m unbelievably excited, but now… we sleep for a couple hours.
Journal Entry 3 – Thursday, 1 June, 2017, 11:00am:
Oh dear, how did I not realize this earlier. Maybe it was my train-induced-jetlag… Or maybe I’m incapable of thinking clearly until I’ve had my coffee and fresh NYC bagel… But, I just realized, today is our WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! Maybe all the humble-jumble and failed plans were a blessing… Because now we get a full day in NYC!
Journal Entry 4 – Thursday, 1 June, 2017, 11:47pm:
Today. Today. Today. Today. What a day! We started our adventure with a stroll through Central Park and Brunch at Tavern on the Green; very romantic, I must say. We watched the Broadway Cast of Kinky Boots play a pick-up game of softball in Central Park. We ate an early dinner at McGee’s (the “How I Met Your Mother” restaurant). Then, when night came we saw Anastasia on Broadway, which was amazing and gloriously beautiful…
Afterwards, by happenstance, we ran into David Hyde Pierce at the Stagedoor of Hello, Dolly!
…and luckily I had a Tony Nominations list with me to have him autograph.
… and to think, I should still be home, back in Kentucky, packing right now. Crazy.
Journal Entry 5 – Friday, 2 June, 2017, 9:00am:
We’re currently at a Rockefeller Center coffee shop. We just left the Fox and Friends morning newscast… and I seriously can’t believe the morning we’ve had…
We met Scotty McCreery, got his autograph, and saw him preform… for free.
What is this life? I seriously have to remind myself that I should technically be on a flight from Kentucky right now… I’m not even supposed to be in NYC yet. Wow, am I lucky.
Journal Entry 6 – Friday, 2 June, 2017, 12:06pm:
My mother-in-law and her sister just arrived in NYC. They are coming to meet us at a free concert that we are currently attending: Stars in the Alley, hosted by Tituss (from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Little Mermaid on Broadway). Broadway stars from different musicals and plays are performing to celebrate the end of the Broadway season, and the beginning of the Tony Awards. We’ve been able to seen TONS of people we love perform, that we never would have been able to see otherwise. So cool. Plus, I got a sneak peek of Dear Evan Hansen.
EPILOGUE (present day; Thursday, 8 February – 12:30pm):
I have many other journal entries from that trip, however I didn’t feel inclined to include them in this post. I included Entries 2-6 for an important reason; to remind myself that failed plans and changed schedules aren’t necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I were able to have many amazing experiences that never could have happened if “Plan A” or “Plan B” had worked out. Ultimately “Plan E” brought us closer together as a married couple, and really helped me become a better and more capable person.
Over the next 5 days my mother-and-law, her sister, me, and my husband had an absolutely amazing time; we ate tons of creme brulee, overpriced steak, and gelato, we went to the Wonder Woman premiere, saw Broadway Musicals, toured the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I finally got to see Dear Evan Hansen, and I even met Josh Groban… but most importantly, we all had a good time and came together as a family.
And, for those wondering, I flew back home. There were empty seats on the returning flight. So I bought one, with my real name.
… and that reminds me, I still need to change my name.
Sincerely, The Uncustomary Housewife