Saturday, June 13, 2009

"I'm on the road to no where..."

Remember when you misbehaved as a child and one of your parents would say to you, "I just hope that your children never behave the way that you do!" Does it count when your parents are the ones behaving as children?

My sister, my parents and I (my brother-in-law wisely chose to stay at home because he had "work" to do - read: I'M NOT GOING TO BE TRAPPED IN A CAR FOR 6 HOURS WITH YOUR CRAZY FAMILY!!) were driving 6 hours north to attend my niece's college graduation. We've travelled together before so we knew what to expect...or did we?

First off, let me explain something about my family. We're a bunch of control freaks. I could spin it in many ways but the bottle still points to control freaks. And we were travelling together. In a locked, speeding car. With the folks in the backseat. For 6 hours, sans potty breaks (more on that later).

As with any other road trip, we had to stop for breakfast (why eat at home when you can go through a drive-thru and really live?). That led to the first potty break...and the second...10 minutes from our the same drive-thru restaurant. Nervous bladder? Perhaps but I believe it to be more of a parental torture to make up for all the years of car trip agony we poured on their heads. My sister and I became the road trip bathroom tour guides, "...and on your left is a lovely burger joint where we might stop...on your right, a shopping mall with many bathroom choices. Please be aware that after this exit, there will be no more stops for 45 minutes."

Dad is the ultimate driving control freak with Mom as his co-pilot. "Why do we have to always change lanes? Can't we stay behind the truck? He's going a steady 60mph, that's good enough." That would have been fine except one of us (uh, me) had to say, "Sure, if we want to get there next Tuesday." Which led to, "I won't say anything anymore (oh, if that were true) I'll just let you drive." Oh, Daddy, you poor man. Trapped like a rat with a bunch of clucking hens...his words, not mine. Mom was more direct, "You can change lanes now." To which my sister would reply, "I wasn't planning on it, but thanks, Mom." My poor sister, who in the past, had the roles reversed. She would be the passenger that feigned sleep to escape while I, the driver, was forced to listen to my parents thoughts on my driving, my hand positioning on the steering wheel, my constant fiddling with it was I who blissfully drifted off and drowned out the voices.

Another potty break. Hey, a record! It's been an hour! Woo hoo!! More merging instructions, comment on the speed of the automobile, "Why are you letting go of the gas? How come I feel the car slowing down and speeding up?" Reply,"Well, that would be because the cars around me are braking for traffic and speeding up when it clears." Ahh, there was no correct answer to be given. My Dad, so frustrated at one point, clapped his hands to silence the bickering. The stunned silence only lasted about 2 minutes before we were all at it again. Don't misunderstand my family. We love each other very much but that love is balanced by that control freak thing I mentioned. We all like to be right. And we all like to be right OUR way. We can argue but we forgive...

Except if it's about politics. Did I mention I was the only Democrat in a car full of Republicans? Oy. That's all I'm going to say on that subject.

It was a loooong trip up and even longer trip back. My folks had too much excitement, too much sugar and not enough sleep. There was no goodwill left on the return trip. We were singing songs one moment and the next, bam! We would start arguing. Even silence wasn't an acceptable answer. Too much togetherness? Probably. We argue loudly but the love is strong. Good thing, too. Because next time? The folks are taking the train.


At 12:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wuv true wuv.... M.R.

At 12:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes, sister. I still have nightmares about it. Call me crazy, though, but I am ready to do it again. If the rents are on the train...


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