From Philly Without Love
When the universe is against you, get out of the way.
It was a beautiful summer day and I was making the 2 hour trek down to Philadelphia. I usually take the train, but this time I decided to drive. I was scheduled to visit my girlfriend for the day, and head back that night, since I had to work at a hockey camp in the morning. The drive was reasonably pleasant, the car was on cruise at 70, and my go-to Bowie station on Pandora was playing. Nothing out of the ordinary. I made it to Philadelphia in one piece. Then things went south in a hurry.
I left the car parked on the street for a hot minute while I went up the elevator to my girlfriend’s apartment. I knocked on the door, no answer. My last communication with her was about 30 minutes ago via text; I was hoping she just fell asleep. I called 3 times and pounded on the door, but no answer. (Turns out she was just in the shower, and she moved 3 floors up for the summer semester!) This is where I should mention that I drink about a gallon of water a day during the hot months; it’s a weird habit, but my spirit animal is a camel for good reason. I panicked, I couldn’t hold it any longer. The date hadn’t even started yet. And I couldn’t make it down to the lobby in time, so I had a partial accident in the elevator. I was able to salvage full embarrassment as I made it to the bathroom before it became catastrophic. But, nevertheless, my pants and underwear were soiled.
Luckily, I keep a pair of sweats in the car. But my misfortune continued… Waiting for me is a lovely $80 parking ticket for parking in the 15 minute loading zone. I then moved the car, changed, and finally my girlfriend answered her phone.
Things finally were looking up. We met in her apartment and planned the day. I didn’t tell her the events that transpired, but she questioned why I was wearing sweats, to which I replied, “I wanted to be comfortable while driving.” I was able to find a pair of jeans that her previous tenant left, but they were 2 sizes too big on the waist and 2 sizes too short.
Anyways, the day started looking brighter from there. We talked while we made our way downtown on the 1.5 mile walk to Center City. We ventured through Rittenhouse Square, had a nice late lunch, and made it to Reading Terminal Market to feast on countless kinds of desserts.
We took an Uber back to her place where we parted ways. I made sure to use the bathroom before I left this time! We kissed goodbye and I got in my car to drive away. About 10 minutes into the drive, I felt hive bubbles on my lips and my throat was starting to swell. I was sure I was having an allergic reaction, and given the nature of the reaction, I must have consumed a nut. I always make sure to ask when eating dessert what the ingredients are, and given the time difference between eating and the reaction, I couldn’t have personally consumed any dessert with peanuts or tree nuts. So I pulled over and called my girlfriend to ask her what she ate. Sure enough, the culprit was an almond flour chocolate chip cookie. Fortunately, I was close to a CVS and was able to buy Benadryl, which usually does the trick. I took two to start with and drank a full bottle of water. I continued the drive home and made it another 30 minutes when I needed some more Benadryl because the reaction wasn’t going away. I took another 2 while driving, and then about 30 minutes later I started to get really drowsy. I tried to keep myself awake, slapped myself a few times, and turned the music all the way up. But the Benadryl was winning this battle. So I pulled over to the next rest stop, parked my car, turned the engine off, climbed into the back seat, and locked the door. It was approaching 9 PM. I thought I could take a 2 hour nap and finish the final hour of the drive home. I woke up about 10 hours later at 6:45 AM to a blaring truck horn, and there was no way I was making it to the camp on time. Sure enough, due to rush hour traffic, I showed up to work 4 hours late, and before I could explain myself, I was fired on the spot.
The actual date itself was perfectly enjoyable, but the circumstances surrounding it make it #MyWorstDate.