Saturday, February 27, 2010

Around me were a few tractor trailer trucks and a few pickups. Most of the pickups appeared to be government vehicles with orange lights on top. There were no more snow plows and the snow was coming down hard enough that it was difficult to see. As I drove I began to feel the car sliding intermittantly and it really did worry me. I was driving slowly, but it was becoming obvious that this was not enough. And then it happened, I felt the car start to spin. It was one of those moments that you try to remember everything that anyone has ever told you about defensive driving. I was repeating advice in my head frantically. I had just looked in my rear-view mirror and seen headlights behind me. . .big headlights.

The car came to a rest covering three-quarters of the two open lanes and I saw the headlights getting closer and closer, but I was unable to move. Like a miracle, the truck stopped just short of my car and gave me a moment to drive my car back to the right direction. The emotional damage was done and my heart was beating very quickly. I had two more spin-outs before I was able to find a hotel. I was on the phone with M crying. I was promising that I would get up early in the morning. I was less than two hours short of Montreal, but there was no way to make it that night. M was despondent and I knew that there was no way he was going to that interview if I didn't make it to Montreal in the morning.

I set my clock for 3:30 the next morning, and went to bed, it was impossible to sleep.

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The next morning it was dark when I woke up. I had not packed a lot of my toiletries for the trip because I had duplicates of everything I needed at M's house in Montreal. I went down to the front desk and managed to procure toothpaste and men's deodorant. (As an aside, it is amazing the difference there is between men's and women's scents. I felt like I could smell myself for the whole morning after putting that stuff on!) I had been planning what I would wear to this interview for months. That sounds really silly even typing it now, but I had my outfit picked and planned to look amazing.

One of the things that always scare people about these interviews is the fact that the consular officer has an amazing amount of power over your life when you present yourself for one of these immigration interviews. They have the power to declare your marriage "fake," they have the power to slow things down terribly. I wanted there to be no doubt in this guy's mind that we were the real deal. That part of the interview would turn out to be the least of our worries.

I got in my car and got on the road. What a difference a few hours had made! I must say that the people who take care of the roads in New York mean business! The roads were as if it had never snowed. The only proof was the three feet lining each side of the road. I had no problem making it to the embassy only thirty minutes late for the scheduled interview. Lucky for me, the interviews NEVER happen at their scheduled time and I was more than two hours early. The look on M's face when I walked in was another moment I will never forget.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Memory Lane

I've been asked over and over why I didn't "cut and run" when everything started happening. . .why I didn't just give up. I would sit and remember things we did together before things happened in Pakistan. For example, we went through this phase where M would randomly pull a "movie moment."

One of our movie moments came when I visited M at work. It was raining very hard and I had just gotten off work. I changed out of my uniform and into regular clothes. I went to say hi and M was really excited to walk me out to my car. It was funny to see the expression on his face as he walked me out. I was trying to run to my car but he pulled me back to him. We're standing in the pouring rain when he pulled me close and kissed me. I could feel the rush even past the cold water running through my hair and drenching my clothes. Hundreds of memories (a little less cheesy than that) kept me waiting for him to return.