It’s Go See Peter Day!

October 21, 2016

The day didn’t start out well. Well, actually, it did (in my view), then it went south, but then it came back.

The rough start had to do with the travel anxieties that typically characterize our departures, particularly those that involve planes. The short of it: Jim and I have different time sensibilities. It’s gotten to a point where even if I’m on time, it’s not on time enough, probably because of past infractions. He starts with the assumption that I’m going to be late. I am a victim of the late label, slapped on way back when. I’m late before I’m even late. And it’s quite a hole to climb out of.

We, of course, have different definitions of late: mine is a tad relaxed, based on standard societal conventions (a few-minute window on either side is reasonable and acceptable); his is rigid. It’s become even more rigid, I believe, as a result of past travel wounds. The truth is, I’m late before I even start getting ready. I’m already late the night before, as we negotiate alarm times. He’s already girding for my lateness.

The irony is, I’m not a crazy late person. Not even close. I’m within the totally normal part of the bell curve. If anything, and I’m serious here, I’m on the slightly obsessively punctual side. It’s just–and this is a reality that runs through all my dealings with Jim–I’m on the late side of Jim.  Not normal people. Jim.

But this time, I wasn’t late. I hit it right on. He wanted us in the driveway at 5:30. I was walking down the hall at 5:29. He seemed cold and stiff. Which I thought was odd, but I didn’t react. I was pleased with my effort.

Then, as we’re moving out the door and into the driveway, he says: We’re late.

I protest. He stands firm.

I tried to make my case. In addition to hitting–even bettering–my acceptable window of timeliness, I also think I should get credit for 1) trying super hard (he had no idea how close I’d come to actually missing my mark), and 2) having to overcome greater packing challenges (always the case).

But it fell on deaf ears and that stone cold Frame facial expression. In his mind, we weren’t in the driveway at 5:30. What more need be said?

Let the record show,  I was sitting in the car ready to go at 5:34 (a huge steamy black cloud over my head, and defensive expletives flying).

We rode in silence to the airport. I maintained a sizable contact-free zone. I sat separately on the parking shuttle bus. At the airport, we mechanically went through all the check in procedures, avoiding eye contact. We were offered seats on an earlier flight (we were there so early). I got TSA-pre and he didn’t and had to wait in a long and winding line, so we showed up to the gate at different times. We were the last seated. We sat in silence.

At some point on the flight, I broke through with something like “I don’t want to be mad.”  We talked, we softened, we reasoned our ways to a better place. And, finally, we shifted our focus to the happy reason for our trip: PETER.

Let the wonderful visit begin.


Due to our very early departure, we arrived to see the sun shining through skywalk windows:


Peter had classes (which we knew), so we went to breakfast. Drove a mile and half up the hill from the airport to the Hillcrest neighborhood and had breakfast at Crest Cafe… that wonderful diner Peter and I found last time:


Yum yum. Loved it.

We were able to check in early, so did that, then headed over to campus, found the Hopkins parking structure, did that, then wandered around. Nice. Still feeling nostalgic about it. Still. I’m keep shaking my head that we ended up here… in the same place I went to school. Still amazed at how much I recognize, as well as how much has changed.


Ended up at Muir for iced tea, a vanillacano and a nice break. Sat here on this very cool bench/art installation and watched students come and go:


Turns out, we missed Peter and Ray by minutes; they’d finished lunch in the Muir dining hall just before we arrived. Unplanned, but wouldn’t that have been fun to run into them…

Jim did run into another fellow–the same one who, weeks ago at the Revelle orientation, had complimented him on his hat. He was sitting in the same plaza area today and when he saw Jim’s hat, came over to say hi. So funny. Like an old friend.

We explored a while longer, then went back to the hotel to wait for Peter to be done with classes. The plan was to meet Wes, Bobby and Ray for an early dinner. We ended up registering for the Parents Weekend and then meeting up with Wes and Ray at the Price Center to just hang out for a while. Very nice to meet up!

Oddly, coincidentally, it turned out Max from the DHS baseball team was on campus with his family touring UCSD as a prospective school to attend next year (unrelated to Family Weekend), texted Ray/Peter, and were just around the corner. We met up with them:



We meandered through Warren College… so pretty. This part of campus did not exist when I was there. This is the engineering building with the house on top:


Here are Ray, Peter, Wes and Jim…


Met Bobby at Rock Bottom, a brew pub down the hill from our hotel, right across from campus… great to talk with all three about school, classes, baseball, future plans…then Wes grabbed an Uber and headed to the airport… proud dad:


Peter, Jim and I had tickets to see a comedy show.. a comedian/magician who definitely had some very funny moments:


I completely enjoyed him, as well as the other two, though less polished.

Took Peter back and that was our first full day.

It’s normal, comfortable, and yet it’s different. It’s weird to say goodnight and drop him off in a dorm parking lot. But it’s also good to see he’s finding his way and fitting into his new place. Couldn’t have imagined quite what that would be a year ago.. but it’s this. It was an abstract concept then, now it’s not abstract. And it all seems just totally good.






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