The best limo I ever rented, I never even got to ride in.
I’m usually kind of lazy. I admit it! When it comes to thing that only affect me, I’m pretty laid back and unconcerned about specifics. I usually take the first thing offered and I never waste time negotiating or researching. I figure life’s too short to waste your time fighting for tiny advantages. I applied this lazy attitude to everything, from my work to my relationships to, yes, the limos that I rented. I never worried about whether I was getting the best limo; I just wanted a limo to show up when I’d scheduled it and take me where I wanted to go. Yes, this means I traveled in some pretty substandard limousines in my time. As a matter of fact I don’t know if I could have even told you which one was the best limo I’d been in, because I never kept track. I rode in them, then forgot them.
Then came my parents’ anniversary.
I inherited all of this laziness from my father. They were just like me. So they’d had a remarkably happy marriage, but not a very ambitious one. No big trips. My mother had always wanted big trips, but my father had simply been too scattered and unfocused and worried about raising us kids to give her any, and she’d come to accept her lot in life after a while. My brothers and sisters decided that for their fiftieth anniversary, we were sending them on the biggest trip possible. We each took a piece of the planning. I got the limo end of things, taking them to and from the airports at each stop of their trip. Because I was the only one who’d ridden in many limos. If only I’d been paying attention.
So, I had to start from scratch and do the dreaded research. I found an online limo site that was a tremendous help, but I still had to really work at it – it became my second job for a while. I love my parents, so I wanted this to be the best limo they or anyone had even ridden in. I sweated the details and didn’t sleep, making phone calls all over the world and keeping a spreadsheet of all the possibilities. When I finally started to actually book the limos, I was in a panic: What if I’d forgotten something? What if I messed up some of the dates? I worried endlessly about it.
On the day of the Big Surprise, my mother cried, and my father hugged everyone, obviously moved. I held my own emotions in check until the limo arrived to take them to the airport. It was quite simply the best limo I’d ever seen. It was beautiful, a gleaming stretch, looking like it had come straight from the factory. The interior was lush and comfortable, and every detail I’d worried over was perfect: The right refreshments, the right flowers, the right music. I got choked up. I couldn’t have chosen a better moment to finally get my act together and pay attention to the details.
Every time we heard from Mom and Dad while they were on the trip, they commented on the limousines waiting for them at airports and hotels, always saying this one or that one had been the best limo they’d ever seen, and I would get emotion again. It was the first time I’d understood that all that hard work paid off – an I was happy to have learned that lesson getting my parents the best limo ever!