Thursday, May 27, 2010

a depressed person & a distracted genius go to the Maker Faire

Everyone loves the Maker Faire; so much that the traffic jams are unbearable. Two years ago we set out to go to the Maker Faire and gave up after spending the morning broiling in the car in a hideous traffic jam rendering 101 impassable. Since then, we've treated ourselves to staying at a hotel with a pool near the faire, a mere twenty minutes away from our home when the Maker Faire isn't bringing every sentient adult in the area onto the freeways. Last year I made all the arrangements, and we stayed in a "junior suite" which the children thought was heaven on earth. We divided our days between charging around the Maker Faire's giant crowds and swimming at the hotel.

This year the Sober Husband was highly critical of my decision to order us all cutrate weekend passes. "I can't imagine going to the Maker Faire more than one day. Why did you pay for two days?"

"That's how we did it last year," I said defensively. "Lola gets tired and wants to go back to the hotel. You can't see it all in one day anyway." He didn't buy it.

Feeling attacked, I let him make the hotel reservations. "Get a junior suite," I instructed, and he gave me an eyeroll. "I can't understand why you would pay for a suite when you're only twenty minutes from home. That's just crazy. Save that for when you go on a real vacation." Shamed, I said nothing when he superiorly informed me that he had gotten us a regular room.

When the day came, I got home with the children (Iris had a daylong field trip to Sacramento which ran a bit late getting back) to find the Sober Husband already packed. He took his usual superior attitude, smirking at me for packing a large bag when he took only his laptop case along.

Then we got to the hotel. I was appalled at checkout to learn that we had a room with only one bed. The hotel clerk had no pity or empathy. "The hotel is booked up," she said briskly. "But we made these reservations for four, a long time ago..." I said weakly.

"We'll get a roll-out bed," the Sober Husband said. But the room turned out to be so small that the roll-out bed couldn't fit in. I was livid.

I'd been in a terrible, depressed mood for days over having to euthanize my beloved little cat, and I was looking forward to relaxing over the weekend to lift my spirits. But being crammed into a tiny room was no escape, particularly with children who live in a home without cable and who consider any moment spent in a hotel room without the TV blaring Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network to be a criminally wasted moment. I gave the Sober Husband a tongue-lashing over his acting superior to me when he was incompetent at the simple task of booking a hotel room. The children murmured, "I love Mama" and hugged me to cheer me up. I settled down in the one chair in the room to finish up my solidly depressing Swedish crime novel while the TV blared, not wanting to even look at my husband.

The Sober Husband volunteered to sleep on the floor, Lola made herself a little nest, and Iris and I took the bed. This was no treat for me, as Iris kicks violently and talks in her sleep. No friend of Iris has ever gotten any decent amount of sleep on a sleepover, and in the morning I felt like I'd only slept two or three hours. Even so I'd missed the drama of the night: the Sober Husband reported that he woke up at 3 AM and realized he'd left the Maker Faire tickets at home. "I ASKED YOU IF YOU HAD THE TICKETS," I said crabbily, "when you said so superiorly, 'I am ready to go,' and YOU SAID YES."

"I meant 'yes, I'm getting them.' But then I went down to the garage to get them, and I got distracted. So at three a.m., I drove home, got the tickets, and drove back." He paused and beamed around, clearly expecting praise, but he had misjudged his audience.

"Did you let Henry out?" I asked concernedly.

"What was Henry doing? Did you see Henry?" added Iris.

"Did the cats have enough to eat? Was Henry hungry?" inquired Lola worriedly.

The barrage of questions about Henry went on until the Sober Husband said crankily, "I just wanted to get the tickets, not follow Henry around."

We got over the Maker Faire before it opened, waiting in a long line of cars to get into the lot and then waiting in a ticketholders' line which snaked around so long I wished we'd driven to the end of the line. Once we got past the security gate, Iris and I overruled the Sober Husband's objections to insist we wait in line to climb the longest ladder we'd ever seen into this year's gem of a structure, the "Raygun Gothic Rocket", a massive rocket on tall fins which were themselves over two stories high. Once our waiting was over we, one at a time with a safety line attached, climbed carefully up the long, long ladder. All the squabbling and problems were forgotten as we gazed around in wonder at the see through floor showing a moving engine below, the cases with little twitching or floating aliens, the mounted safety instructions for crew who wished to have sex with friendly aliens and more marvels. "It's so beautiful," I sighed to the jumpsuit-clad crew. Even the Sober Husband had to agree that the Gothic Rocket was a thing of wonder. "It's more stable than I expected," he observed. "With all these people in it, it's not even moving." We leaned into each other affectionately.


hughman said...

i like how this ended.

Dread Pirate Davi said...

^ ^ Ditto.

Wow, sounds like Iris might have a REM sleep disorder. =(

Anonymous said...

but but... isn't that a picture of the Gothic Raygun at Burning Man? not Maker Faire?

Anyway... next time if the Sober Husband can not bear to rent a room 20 minutes from the house... caltrain was a good option to get there when I went last year.


the Drunken Housewife said...

It was the best picture I could find, ya nitpicker.

The glory of the hotel is that it has a pool, also, and cable TV. So it's pleasures of the flesh add to its traffic avoidance.

Anonymous said...

what? you didn't bring a camera to take your own pictures?!?!?! send the Sober Husband back home to get the camera NOW!!