Shit Hitting the Fan and Why I am a Cat Person

by shewastheyoungamerican

Sometimes everything that can go wrong goes wrong. Today was one of those days. I awoke around 9:15 am with a slight hangover from the previous night’s festivities. Namely sitting around the kitchen table with my closest friends, drinking various libations, eating some cheese and laughing. A lot. It was a perfect, happy send off.

Things couldn’t go that well, could they? NAY! NAY SAID THE LORD ABOVE! I shant let ye, Rachel Semigran have a smooth and easy trip to London! You received a big fat scholarship, those are all the favors you get from here on out! … You can see why I stopped going to church.

So after saying my last farewell to one of my very best friends Diana, did a bit of cleaning and decided to conquer some last minute packing (what other kind is there?)…I walk into the bedroom to see Franklin, the lab/mastiff I was watching EATING MY PASSPORT AND SHREDDING IT TO PIECES. I started wailing like a banshee. I’m pretty sure the neighbors assumed there was some sort of domestic dispute going on because there was a lot of yelling and “WHY!?” “I HATE YOU!” smattered with cries only a a very upset two-year-old at an amusement park could match.

I looked at the maimed passport – my most valued document – the piece of paper that said “Yes Rachel, come on in!” Though I’m not really sure the Brits say things like “come on in.” They probably say things more quaint and educated. After 20 minutes of near-vomiting, I finally picked up the phone and call Diana. She’s a nurse so not only does she know how to take care of people in emergency situations, she works weird hours and could come over for damage control at 10:30 in the morning. She snapped into nurse mode and magically got all the right phone numbers and within minutes had gotten me an appointment at the passport office on 2nd and Chestnut. I quickly wiped the snot and tears from my red, puffy face and decided that pants were in fact needed for such a situation.

Then I met James. JAMES! What a wonderful human being. Seeing the panicked and forsaken look in my face he simply started with “Breathe miss, I’m here to help.” He very calmly and kindly got me all the forms I needed and promised me I would have my passport by 3 pm. From there Diana and I dashed around the city printing documents, getting photos and banging down the doors of the British Consulate to make sure they wouldn’t turn me away once I landed in Heathrow.

Things were coming together. Okay, breathe, breathe, breathe. I get back to the passport office and James convinces his supervisor to allow me to keep the maimed passport because it had my Visa in it. James got shit done. James is a good man. I then returned to the house to quickly clean and do small bits of packing before my parents finally arrived …the plan that day was for them to come in around 1:30, get lunch, go on a quick Target run for the last few necessities and then head off to the airport and have a warm, kind family goodbye. If anyone has known my family for more than a week, they will know such an endeavor is a somewhat ludicrous dream. So after a bit of heated bickering, more crying on my end…we actually did go to Target, got all the things I needed and headed back to pack up the car…which in and of itself was quite an ordeal. Note to everyone if you have a sedan and a compact…bring the sedan for aiport travel. My parents missed that note.

OH OH! How could I forget! I got an email from my landlord saying they were missing a form and I can’t move in tomorrow. Come hell or high water, I am banging down their door and getting my keys.

My dad gave me a klonopin and I feel just fine. I got into the airport, had a very kind man help with my bags and convince the attendant to not charge me the weight overage fees. Sat with my parents for a few moments, unwound…then said a sweet, and unfortunately short goodbye. My parents are happy for me and they are very proud. I love them for that. As I was going through security I heard my mom telling the TSA agent about my scholarship. It made me smile.

I got inside the terminal. Had a glass of wine and a bit of cheese. So now I’m sitting here looking at the Philadelphia lights and finally feel that yes, I am ready to go.