Skylar's behavior made me remember the conclusion of our wedding nine years ago. After the inevitably drawn out series of goodbyes that accompany events of that sort, we drove from Stinson Beach to Bolinas for a nightcap with some of our closest friends. We were already drained beyond belief at that point, but managed to enjoy a little more companionship before embarking on the long drive to SFO. As we climbed the perilous stretch of Highway 1 just south of Stinson Beach, We pulled to the side of the road. Cat Stevens' was singing "Miles From Nowhere" on a tape of our wedding soundtrack that Joel had made for us. She started to cry. I felt like crying too.
Later, as we were driving through San Francisco in the then-new Old Red, which letter_2elise and Melissa from BTF had given the customary "Just Married" decoration, the honking of passing cars became more pronounced. Kim insisted I honk back. I told her that, since the honking was for us, it didn't make sense to honk back. We began to argue. By the time we made it to Burlingame, our nerves had given out completely. We ended up driving aimlessly down empty, industrial streets next to 101 until we literally came to the end of the road. For a minute or two, I was overcome with despair. And then we both pulled it together. When we checked into the Hyatt fifteen minutes later, we were once again communicating reasonably. Kim sent me down to look for food. I found very little. Still, the crisis was passed. We passed out.
The next morning I decided we should take advantage of the fact that we had a room before departing. The resulting delay nearly led to us missing our plane. I was glad we'd commemorated our strange stay with something more than a futile search for sandwiches. I mention all this now because the thing that made Skylar so unhappy tonight was a slip-up where, in response to my parents wishing her a happy birthday over the phone, she replied, "Happy birthday to you too!," only to feel extremely self-conscious once she realized her mistake. Just as happened with the honking, then, the question of whether a greeting should me mirrored back to the greeter led to trouble. I suppose, though, that she simply needed to blow off steam, just as Kim and I clearly did in the wake of the wedding.