Driving Miss Emily
I will admit that I watched Oprah and Gayle's big cross country adventure with a sense of wonderment and awe. How cool would it be to travel cross country with someone you love? This has been on my list of things to do before I die for a long time now. As of Sunday my list of potential people to travel with shortened by one. I could barely make it 12 hour adventure with my mother (Emily), traveling only 3 hours away from home.
My brother's birthday was Sunday. He is a year younger than me (we are Irish twins) and he lives about 3 hours away from me with his girlfriend and her young son. My mother called me last week and asked what I thought of driving up to see him for his birthday. I wasn't thrilled with the idea to say the least. But I knew she would need a driver so I told her I would drive her up if she wanted to go. I made guesses to myself the night before about how much longer this trip would take, because my mother likes to stop a lot for smoking and bathroom breaks. Without fail she will also need to stop where the only thing around is the grossest/scariest place to try and urinate without picking up a random toilet disease.
Well we left town only 45 minutes off schedule, after convincing my mother my car didn't need to be washed because it was only going to get dirtier as we travel. She also travels with her special blend of soda (1/2 black cheery vanilla coke, 1/2 diet rite in case your interested in the recipe), carrying enough for a two week adventure.
The way up went pretty smooth. At the second stop she decided she wanted breakfast, Jack in the Box here we come. I don't eat a lot of Jack in the box, and never have I had their breakfast, but I think I know what to expect. Teenagers taking my order who give really give a flying you know what, food made quickly also by someone who could care less, and a sense of bloating after consuming the 3000 calorie breakfast sandwich. Here's what I encountered but did not expect from Jack; about 3 million flies trying to bum a free meal (both in the restaurant and outside, my theory is someone killed Jack and his body is slowly decomposing by the fries), the man/boy who took the order to then wipe his nose on his sleeve several times (thanks be he did not touch Emily's food), and to wait 15 minutes for a breakfast sandwich to go). I felt ill watching mom eat her fried egg sandwich. Thanks Jack.
We made three more stops before we eventually hit our destination. Once again mapquest left out pertinent information regarding my driving directions, but being on to their tricks, I called my brother's g.f. at the first sign of trouble.
The family lunch went as well as can be expected. My mother is in a place of remembering the past, which can be heart warming and funny. Like, "remember when you and Kevin threw my spanking spoons away, so I couldn't spank you anymore?" (true story, and while the spankings were never reportable or anything, to this day I can't have a white plastic spoon in my kitchen) or "remember when you (my brother) sold all my gold necklaces to kids in the neighborhood for $1 a piece?" Ahh the memories. At one point my mom asked my brothers g.f. how her tootsies (feet) are doing (since she is pregnant with twins more to come). I heard my mom say it, and I knew what she meant, but I also know it sounded a lot like titties and that is apparently what the g.f heard, and what she commented on. I sat in between them, frozen in my uncomfortableness trying desperately to reach my happy place. Finally we all had a good laugh about the misunderstanding, and it's safe to say we all know more than we should about her ta-ta's.
Not to eat and run, but I was so tired after lunch, and knew we had a long drive ahead of us, all I wanted to do was leave. But first we had to have cake and icecream back at their place. I also got to watch as my brother gave my mom hid g.f.'s old shorts and state they were her old maternity clothes, but we think they'll fit you. I laughed inside at my brother's lack of good taste, and knew my mom was pissed. We left about 2 hours later than I wanted to.
The ride home truly was hell on earth. The nice thing about everyone getting together is talking about the past, but with my mom it also dregs up all the bad memories, and she has no filter. So for an hour and some change I listened to the complaints. I finally was able to change the subject but I was in a bad mood, and my mom was still in a negative mood, so everything else she brought up was negative. My mom also chose to stop in places that made the scary Jack in the Box look golden. At one stop I stayed in the car (because I thought it would get stolen) and almost saw a gang fight. I was also tired of facing disgusting bathrooms and made a pledge to hold it till I got home (and by sheer bladder force I did).
I finally made it back to my home some 12 hours after my trip began. I was totally drained and ready for bed. But then of course I couldn't sleep. But at least I survived this trip.