So the plan was to pick Raphael up at the airport at 1:00 p.m. at LAX on New Year's Eve. He had stayed in El Paso for the week to be with his family and to attend a friends wedding, but he had promised to come back in time to ring in our first New Year's together. His cousins were also coming over to our apartment that night for dinner and drinks and then we were all headed to an L7 New Year's party at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina Del Rey.
Ten minutes before his flight, 10:40 a.m. here, I gave him a call to see if he was at his seat or waiting to board. Turns out he was still on his way to the airport having believed that his flight left at 1 and not arrived at 1. At first I thought he was joking and he thought that I was, but no unfortunately he missed his flight. He of course felt bad and was then forced to wait at the airport all day trying to get on a standby flight back home, but SouthWest said that all flights to LA were already booked for the holiday.
At this point we're now both stressed out and because I'm big on holidays and was all alone, I start to overreact by crying and feeling sorry for myself since this was supposed to be my first New Year's not being single. If I was still in Manhattan it wouldn't be as terrible, since I could join my friends like usual and ring in the New Year with lots of champagne and fun, there'd definitely be options open to me.
I still cooked my dinner of sausage pasta sauce though, after all people were coming over and I was still holding out hope that he'd get a standby flight. Yet, every hour he called sadder than before to say he was watching another plane leave that he wasn't on.
At 5:00 my time, he calls saying he got a flight to Arizona, where he could then take a flight to Ontario, California which gets him in at 7:50 that evening. I quickly MapQuest directions, turn off the stove and drive the hour to the airport, luckily there wasn't any traffic. All the while Cyndi Lauper's song "I dove all night, to get to you," was frantically playing in my head like an anthem.
We met to much relief and happiness to quickly jump back in the car and head back the hour to the apartment to make our 9:00 dinner time. After parking the car I turned into Speedy Gonzales setting the table, boiling the pasta and getting every thing ready haphazardly. Luckily it all turned out well and we made it to the party by 10:45 p.m., danced to the Disco Kings, had two bottles of champagne and rang in the New Year's together. Phew, that's my story, happily ever after.
News: Great, as if I wasn't scared already about driving here. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2005, California had the most fatal crashes, at 4,329, followed by Florida with 3,543, and Texas with 3,504. As a result, BusinessWeek named California #1 in their top 10 deadliest states for driving (read more).