Erica came home from France yesterday, and I wanted to be Mr. Suave and Romantic. I set a plan into motion.
1. She's been craving sunflowers for a while. "Craving" might be the wrong word, as she doesn't want to eat them (as far as I know), but she's been in a sunflower-getting mood recently. Everywhere I've been looking, however, has been completely out of sunflowers. I had some time before going to pick her up, though, so I called a bunch of places and finally found a spot that had these giant yellow buggers. So sunflowers, check.
2. I'd get to the airport super early with said sunflowers so that the first thing she'd see in the lobby waiting for her would be me and the bouquet. Then, we'd walk over to my closely parked car and drive off into the sunset (well, it would be an hour away from setting, but "drive off into the sun" evokes an entirely different image).
Turns out, her plane landed a lot earlier than we'd anticipated. Instead of parking and being the first thing she'd see, I decided to go to the pick-up area, where I'd wait until she got out. Clearly, I'm a "picking up girlfriend from airport" virgin because that doesn't fly. As soon as I pulled over, an enraged man came up to me and screamed, "WHERE YOU GO!?" and I said "Here" and he said "YOU PICK UP!?" and I said "I pick up" and he said "WHERE?" and I said "Here" and he said "CIRCLE AROUND!" and I looked sad. So, because Erica wasn't ready and this guy had something against little ginger men causing traffic jams, I had to circle around. But the airport is less circular and more labyrinthine, so my circling around led me back to the parkway going in a different direction. Mind you, Erica had to circle around when she drove there last week, and she managed to not get lost, but hey... I have the directional senses of a hunk of sharp cheddar.
So I finally made it back to the airport, figuring that Erica must be just about through with customs. I, however, didn't want to take any chances with the angry pick up area again, so I drove to the parking section. Upon seeing a line of cars parked directly across from the pick-up area, I rejoiced. This was clearly the section where people who were ready to leave parked! It was crowded, so I was thrilled to squeeze into a spot, pulling off a particularly sexy parallel park. Mr. Suave was back in business.
I saw a few people run out of the cars to greet their returning friends and family, so I did the same, flowers in hand. I called Erica, and she found me pretty quickly. I took a few of her bags, and presented her with the flowers... about the same time that I saw that all of the other cars that I'd parked behind had driven away, and that a tow truck had begun to lift my car. Much to Erica's confusion, I ran toward the truck, flowers in hand, pants slightly falling down, and began to haggle with the trucker who revealed that I was in a no parking zone. It was printed clearly on the area that all the other cars (that had sped away upon seeing the tow truck) were covering. Yay.
Erica took this flattering picture of me, the picture of romance, as I appealed to the truck driver.
Fifty-five dollars later, I found myself driving Erica home. She had her flowers, and I might have even had a so-small-you-can-just-about-see-it slice of my dignity. As I drove, I apologized profusely, and she told me that it didn't matter. "If we were suave," she said, "we wouldn't want to date each other."
So Erica is home, she's got some pretty and giant sunflowers, my car is no longer hooked up to the back of a car, and I'm dating the coolest girl in the world. I might not be Mr. Suave, but I think I've got it pretty damn good.