West is the New East

I was home in Denver over the weekend for a college friend’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful, and it was great to see a bunch of friends from school.

After the wedding, my good friend Jo* stopped by my parents’ house on her way home to Nebraska. Since she detoured off the highway to say hi, I tried to give her very clear directions on how to get home. When she called six and a half hours after leaving, I was expecting to hear that she’d made it home safely.

I was wrong.

I was so, so wrong.

While Jo successfully made it the interstate, she went west instead of east. West for approximately 120 miles.

If you’ve never been to Denver, let me give you a brief description so that you know just how amazing this is. Denver is situated at the foot of the Rockies. Everything to the east of Denver is flatter than a pancake. Everything to the west of Denver is giant snowcapped mountains. So Jo, bless her heart, spent over two hours winding around mountains and through tunnels and spotting herds of elk and even mountain goats.

She finally realized her mistake and turned around. She drove the two hours back to Denver, made it just past my parents’ house, and blew a tire.

This is why she was calling me late at night with a request to spend the night at my parents’ house rather than calling me with the good news that she had arrived home.

I can’t imagine how frustrated I would have been in her shoes. Frustrated probably isn’t a strong enough word. I would have been a hot, sweaty, crying mess curled up in a ball in the backseat.

Jo changed the tire herself, drove back to my parents’ , and laughed through the entire re-telling of her story. I can only aspire to such greatness.

*This story was told with Jo’s permission, and no, her real name is not Jo.

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