4. On the Ground.
At the airport, my mother-in-law was waiting for me with two slices of pizza and a big cup of ice-water. And a smile! I was so glad to see her, and to have my feet on the ground in Detroit — truth be told, I felt slightly giddy. Girls’ Time!
Once we settled in the car, she stated matter-of-factly that she hadn’t thought I would actually come.
“Me neither!” I gushed, ready to cement our relationship on a whole new immature fangirling level.
“No — I really didn’t think you’d come,” she said. “I’m worried that we won’t find out where they’re filming and your whole trip will be for nothing.”
I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Lady, you are harshing on my mellow…
“Did you say you had a way to find out where they are?” she asked. “I haven’t seen anything since last week in the local news.”
“I have some feelers out,” I said lamely, thinking of my 27 followers on Twitter.
I don’t think she meant to be mean, or fracture the fangirl fantasy. She was just being realistic. Airing legitimate concerns. In her own sensible, Midwestern, salt-of-the-earth way, she was right — not unlike Marge Gunderson in Fargo.
At this point I sensed that our adventure was at a crossroads, so I gathered up every ounce of positive energy I had and put it out there. “Come on, of course we’ll find them!” I said in my most reassuring Mom-Voice. “And if we don’t — well, we tried. I still get to spend some quality-time with you, and that’s one of the things I’m most excited about for this trip.” (Don’t laugh; this was true. I was excited about two things on this trip, and spending some quality time with my mother-in-law was one of them.)
Once we arrived at the house, I had about an hour before bed, so I visited the Keep Calm-O-Matic website to print out what I needed for my fan-sign. Sitting at my in-laws’ dining room table, I assembled the sign with scissors, a glue-stick, and a large piece of foam-core board. My father-in-law stood nearby, hands in his pockets, watching my craftwork with mild interest.
“The Richard Armitage blogosphere says that having a sign improves your chances of meeting him,” I offered up as possibly the worst conversation-starter in the history of the universe.
“I see,” he replied, not unkindly.
Note: My father-in-law left the house at the earliest opportunity the following morning, driving several hours “Up North” to go sailing by himself on Lake Michigan.