I woke up this morning feeling like it was Christmas. I bounced out of bed around 7am, packed a day bag, and got dressed up. Cute dress, leggings, short boots, pearl earrings, the works. If I was going to Seattle, I was gonna look the part, dammit.
For a few weeks now I’ve had the itch to run away to somewhere new, but with a job that usually has me working seven days a week and a toddler who only spends twelve hours a week with her dad, it didn’t seem to be in the cards. As soon as I discovered, yesterday around noon, that I would have the whole day to do whatever I wanted, I knew exactly where I wanted to be.
My first (and only) foray to the western side of the state was with my ex-boyfriend, who – I’m just gonna say it – was a massive douche. We drove my car (and by “we” I mean I drove while he played on his phone and slept), and when he was awake he spent the whole time baiting me and manipulating my emotions. We only made it as far as Bellevue, which is where he needed to go, and he made me wait at a nearby Starbucks while he had his short appointment, because he didn’t want the person he was meeting to know he was seeing anyone. He never reimbursed me for the gas, either. I spent most of the trip deciding to dump him.
I’m not big on letting places or events get ruined for me by shitty people, so I knew as I merged onto the interstate and set my GPS for Pike Place Market that I was going to redeem this journey for myself.
And guys, Washington is SUCH a pretty state. Mindy Kaling’s second book Why Not Me kept me company as I drove through the pass at a speed I would never reach with my child in the car. I drove all the way into Seattle proper, which means today I went further west than I have ever been. That felt good.
I drove through downtown once, saw the Pike Place Market sign as I passed by, and experienced the New York-like throngs of people (during the day on a Monday??) swarming around my car in crosswalks like schools of fish moving around a whale. After deciding that it was too crowded for my comfort (and that there was no way in hell I was paying $15 an hour for parking), I took the advice of a local friend and checked out the University District.
There’s a cute little cafe/coffeehouse here called Chacos Canyon. I locked my key in the car just outside of it.
I locked my key. My only key. In my car. In Seattle. On a day when I packed my own food because my budget is so small. My KEY.
Through a series of pretty stressful circumstances, I was eventually rescued (THANK YOU, CHRISTOPHER) but I’ll be honest, I was humiliated. Because honestly, I really, really, really wanted Seattle to like me.
This was supposed to be our big romantic meeting, Seattle and I. I got dolled up in the way I know it likes, and the sun was shining today (which I have heard is pretty rare on the westside.) I thought the odds were in our favor, but no. On our big first date, Seattle accidentally spilled wine on my dress and I accidentally insulted its haircut. In the end, I found a bathroom, changed out of my leggings, and bought a coke. A COKE. IN SEATTLE. I DON’T EVEN DRINK SODA.
Some things are just not meant to be, but if you never try, I guess you never know, you know? Maybe next time I’ll wear my pajamas and keep a spare key in my wallet. In the meantime, I have a killer playlist for the drive back, so it’s all good.