I just booked a flight to NYC.
I will be there all week on business and and at an office Christmas Party, but considered extending my stay through the weekend for some added fun.
So, I contacted a friend who lives off Times Square.
"You going to be around that weekend?"
"I should be around, but I may be going to CT because it'll be the last weekend before the Simon's leave for the holidays. So, we may have Christmas then."
(That's Paul Simon and wife Edie Brickell, so who can possibly compete with that invitation?)
I contact a friend in Springfield, New Jersey.
"Hey, you gonna be around that weekend? I'll be flyin' out of Newark on Sunday."
"You are not going to believe this, and I hate to say it, but I have to go out of town, again, on Dec. 14, and I'll be gone for the weekend."
I call my aunt in Lindenhurst, Long Island.
"Are you gonna be around that weekend? I'd like to take the train in and see you and the cousins." (who live in nearby towns).
"Oh sure! We have nothing on the calendar and we'll be in town that weekend. But you should think of flying in and out of JFK because it's so much closer. Just 10 minutes from Rockville Center."
Okay. So I book my flight in and out of JFK instead, and before I receive the email confirmation, my phone rings.
"Shawn? I hope you didn't book your flight yet. I just talked to Camille. She's flying to Florida that weekend. I'll talk to Jerry and Annette and Linda and see what's up with them, but it's so close to Christmas, they might be going out of town themselves. I will be here, though. Would you be bored with just me? And what time is your flight? 5:45? That's dark then and I don't drive in the dark."
"Yes!" I reassure her. "I will miss everyone, but I still want to see you. I can take a train or a towncar or a bus or cab or a shuttle to the airport."
We hang up. And a cloud of unsettleness comes over me. I'm excited but feel a bit of apprehension and worried that I might have booked my flight too soon without really waiting to formulate my plans more.
If this hick-up is an indication of what I'm about to embark upon in a few weeks, then I better settle in, put on my gloves and buckle up for some unexpected adventures. Life has a way of repeating itself.