The universe is trying to tell me something about Colorado, and I’m still not quite sure what it is.
On April 15, I had to make a decision about where I would spend the next three years of my life. You know, no pressure. Didn’t make me want to crawl under the covers and cry or anything.
This whole “major life decision” deal necessitated that I spend basically the two weeks prior to Decision Day flying around the western half of the country like an idiot, visiting schools. Before you chide me for putting ALL of them off to the last minute, let me defend myself: I didn’t intend to put ALL of them off to the last minute, I was only going to put all but ONE off. Totally way better.
The one I wasn’t going to put off was U-Colorado, and it was totally by accident. In early March, I got accepted on a Thursday; their admitted students day was the following Friday. Didn’t think it was going to work out to go, but by some miracle flight prices dropped at the last minute and would allow me to make an extremely brief trip. Fly out Thursday, connect through Miami, spend Friday in Boulder, redeye back through Miami Friday night. Perfect plan. (Spoiler alert: Not perfect!)
Let’s just see how this one went down: Miami has tornadoes (what?!), flight gets delayed, connecting flight leaves on time even though the gate agent PROMISED it wouldn’t, Jane gets stuck in Miami with no way to get to Denver in time for the open house. Jane spends 1.5 hours in MIA, manages to get booked on a flight BACK to Atlanta, does not go to Denver. Maybe it just isn’t meant to be.
But wait—Jane yells at the airline and gets the full price of her ticket back! CU is still in the game, but when to visit? So little time is left!
The answer: Squeezed in during the 24 hours between a business trip to D.C. and a visit to U-Washington. This is certainly going to go better. It just has to.
Fast forward two weeks: I fly back from DC and have a great hour-long airport date with Jon before heading on to Denver. I land at about 10:30 and head for the rental car place like the champion-25-year-old-newbie-car-renter that I am. At the rental place, I’m told I’m being upgraded because they are out of small cars and asked if I want to purchase insurance. I get a little flustered and end up buying the basic coverage (“Am I being stupid? Have I just been taken advantage of?”). As I walk to the car, the snow starts falling. A LOT of snow. (Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to buy the insurance?)
By the time I finally find the car—er, massive SUV, which has approximately the same square footage as my apartment and is roughly 12 feet off the ground—my feet are nearly frozen (I now regret my strategic shoe packing, flats were a terrible idea) and I’m too exhausted to go back and ask for a different car. After hauling myself up to the driver’s seat, I head for the hotel and try not to die. Thoughts going through my head: Is this what steering an aircraft carrier feels like? Are my lights on? Does this thing really fit in one lane? Did they give me a snowbrush?
I roll into the Microtel, where the lobby reeks of pot, and check in. I ask the guy at the desk what time I should leave to get to Boulder by 8:30 and he says with the snow and traffic, 6:15 (WTF??!). Begrudgingly I head off to bed to get < 6 hours beauty sleep for the second night in a row. Ugh.
5:30 comes way too early, and I bundle up and head to the car, which is now covered in 5 inches of snow (and more is still coming down). Realize when I unlock the car that the alarm will go off until I put the key in the ignition and hastily scramble into the car while said 5 inches of snow follow me in. Hunt for a snowbrush and find none, so I proceed to use my Moleskin to scrape the windshield (thanks World50!), all while managing to get my feet soaked in the freezing snow. Finally get settled in the car and get the GPS cued up, the headlights on and cash out and ready for the toll road. Deep breaths. You are a strong, capable woman and you are NOT going to be beat by a little snow!
Roll onto the toll road and realize there’s no cash lane. Whoops, too late now…guess they’ll find me somehow. Okay, this isn’t so bad. 6:30 am and not too many people on the road. Driving 15 under the speed limit is totally acceptable in these conditions. Doo doo doo…everything’s okay. Doo doo doo…is my car sliding?! BRAKE! DON’T BRAKE! OH MY GOD. I’M NOT GOING TO COLORADO. I’M NOT GOING TO LAW SCHOOL AT ALL. I’M GOING TO DIE.
Before I know it, I’m sideways and my monstrosity of a vehicle has collided with the guardrail. Shaking and crying, I look for my phone to call 911 and can’t find it. I open the car door to see if its fallen down below my seat and decide to get out and survey the damage.
There was nothing there.
THERE. WAS. NOTHING. THERE.
Thinking I should report this immediately to the Vatican, I climb back up into the car and after a few deep breaths, make my way back onto the highway. Carefully.
I continue on to Boulder. Despite the delay, guess what time I arrived? SEVEN FREAKING THIRTY. (Thanks, high-as-a-kite hotel man. Could’ve gotten another whole hour of sleep.)
After delicately parking the elephant outside the law school, I ring up Jon to tell him my crazy story. Him: Really? No damage at all? Me: YES JON. WE MUST CALL THE POPE.
I then proceed to get out of the car to pay for parking. At which point, I noticed this:
So, you know….not sure where that came from…..
I had a lovely visit to the law school, met some fabulous people and then spent the rest of the day cruising around Boulder/running over undergrads with my tank. When I filled up the car before returning it, I noticed yet another dent, this one on the back bumper. (According to my friend Caroline, I’m now the lucky member of a club filled with thousands of CU sorority girls who can’t drive in snow either.) Good thing I paid for that waiver! After it was all said and done I owed NOTHING to the rental car company, which was fantastic, and I even had time to get a massage in the airport before flying on to Seattle to continue the decision making process. But that’s a story for another day…