This past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting a Farewell Party for our friend GB. Farewell you say? Yep. He’s moving to California. Uh-huh. All the way to the other side of the country. Hell, I don’t even know which states border California, that’s how far away he’s going! Needless to say, we’re all a little bummed about it. Granted, he’s thrilled, and we’re thrilled that he’s thrilled, but we all know it’s easier to leave than to be left behind.
But this post isn’t about G moving. ( I’ll save that for a later date.) It’s about the balloons that have been keeping me company in the week since the party. Bright yellow smiley-faced balloons. Lumbering around the house content with bumping into me every now and then. We’d say our ‘good mornings’, they’d wish me a happy day, all the while smiling broadly. We even shared cocktails a few nights this week. (Note: Balloons don’t really hold their alcohol very well. It makes them a little *ahem* air-headed. Hee-Hee) These were the happiest balloons I’d ever met…or so I thought.
So today I’m sitting at my new oversized desk working on my latest project (!) when I hear an unidentifiable, slightly alarming noise coming from the living room. “What the…” I thought. I jump up to find this:
Balloons in a pickle
“Oh damn!” I’d like to think I’d flipped the switch on the fan in time to prevent their strings, umm, I mean, bodies, from getting wrapped in the motor, but I didn’t. The fan made a not-so-mechanically-sound noise before coming to a halt. I stood there in shock staring at Mr. Smiley-Faced Balloon, he looking back at me with a look of desperation. I got my 3ft ladder out of my closet thinking I could help them down, because happy-face balloons might have bodies but they dang sure don’t have hands! The unfortunate thing is that anything involving a ladder addresses two of my fears all in one. The fear of heights and the fear of falling. There I was, clinging to ladder, knees knocking, pouring sweat caused by emotional stress not heat. I worked as quickly as I could, retrieving only the one balloon pictured above. But that left one balloon down.
"What are we gonna do now?" asked the Panicked-Yet-Still-Smiley-Faced Balloon.
“Help is on the way, Mr. Smiley-Faced Balloon. You hang in there!”
“Oh what for? I have no reason to ‘hang in there’ anymore. I’m ready for it to be over.”
I was shocked by his response. He had been so happy this past week. Always smiling, telling me that I looked lovely, that he hoped I had a great day. I was gracious in return, so I didn’t think it was anything I said. It turns out I was right.
“You don’t get it do you?” Mr. Smiley-Faced Balloon asked pointedly with a bit of an attitude. “This is G’s last weekend in town. Do you know how hard it is to keep this silly-ass smile on my face, when all I want to do is hang my head and cry?! Hell, I can’t even do that! All this helium in my head totally prevents me from laying my head down. It sucks! This ceiling fan was my only hope. I don’t want to go on pretending that everything is OK because it’s not. It’s NOT OK! My life is over!!”
“But Mr. Smiley-Faced Balloon, G won’t be gone forever,” I offered emphatically. “He still has family here, and his friends…and Callaghan’s! He’ll be home soon, I am sure of it.”
“Yeah, right. That’s what they all say. Do you know how many Going Away parties my people are witness to? Lots. And sure, people make promises to come home for a visit and they might even do so for the first couple of months after the move, but then the visits are fewer and farther between and the next thing you know you’ve lost touch.”
“I can see where that happens to some people, but I think G is different. Yes, he is super excited to be moving to California but that doesn’t mean he will forget us. So you hang in there. Help will be here soon enough. Then I’ll take you to get a high-gravity beer and everything will be OK. Just don’t give up!”
Knowing there is nothing I can do to help at this point, without ripping the fan out of the ceiling or getting myself hurt (hey, I never claimed to be any sort of hero), I am going to offer calming words of encouragement until I can call in reinforcements that stand a little taller than 5’4″.
So G, will you come over here and help me save Mr. Smiley-Faced- Turned-Suicidal Balloon? Because, this is, after all, your fault.