Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Observations From a Whirlwind Vacation

Happily, a high school reunion, mine, coincided with a week we actually had free. So, I packed up my children, waved goodbye to the spouse and the dog (the spouse couldn't come because he'd just had 2 weeks off back to back to go to scout summer camp with Our Three Sons, the dog couldn't come because my mother has a neurotic Chiweiner who, for some inexplicable reason, thinks I like her. I don't. I don't like dogs. Except for mine. And Sherry's, because Teddy is just too damned cute for words. But I digress. Surprised?)

I learned many interesting things along the way. On the drive to the old hometown, I discovered that my oldest son did not believe me, when after 2 nice warnings, that I would embarrass him publicly if his behavior did not improve. His behavior did not improve and the Carl's Jr. we stopped at for lunch got a free lunch show. Strangely, after that, and a conversation on the cell phone with his father, the boy's behavior improved immensely. Like magic.

Playing Bon Jovi's *Slippery When Wet* CD in the car is a great way to stay awake. However, the speed of the vehicle increases proportionally to the beat of the music. Oh, and do you have any idea how hard it is to drive when you're rocking out and screeching along with such hits as *You Give Love a Bad Name*? It's hard. Really. And it can make you dizzy. I recommend avoiding rocking out when driving.

It's uphill all the way home. No blizzards, however, and I was not barefoot.

The threatening rainstorm will ONLY pour down AFTER a big, sticky, icky bug has committed bugicide on your windshield.

Slowpokes speed up through the passing lanes, so you can't pass them. There's a special word for these types of drivers, but since this is a family blog (my mother may read it), I can't use that word here. But it begins with an "A" and ends with a "hole." I'm sure you're more than capable of figuring it out. Also, you will find the only conscientious driver observing the posted speed limit at the base of a steep pass, who will in one short second, kill the speed and momentum you've attained because there's no passing lane, and it's a two way road. Nice, huh?

Even putting 50 SPF sunscreen on your back won't stop you from getting burned when you go to the Lake with friends. Just call me Laura Lobster.

It's fun(ny) to be called "Auntie Robot" by one of your sister's two kids. It's not so funny when it's "Auntie EVIL Robot" and now your other sister's son, usually a huggy guy, takes it up. Auntie Robot is fine. Not so in love with "Auntie EVIL Robot" from a twerp who isn't even in double digits yet. Still love the twerp, though.

My cousin's little boy (3), is a full-throttle tyke. After he licked, sucked at and discarded several quartered pieces of oranges, his Grandma, my Aunt, told him, "No more. Put it back." He looked at her out of the corner of his eyes (eyes just like his Mom's), put the orange up to this mouth and licked it. Hehe. I thought it was funny. Auntie Grandma wasn't as amused.

It's funny to hear the same little guy call your other cousin, *his* Auntie, "ET". As in "ET phone home." Funnier still? Watching/hearing your cousin respond.

It is downhill most of the way home. Again, no blizzards or bare feet. Just a sick child (summer cold, sore throat).

An alarming light will come on on your dashboard ONLY when you're in the middle of nowhere, driving by yourself (no back up), with 3 kids. Further, the light will be of an ambiguous variety known only as "Malfunction Indicator Light." After you stand on a windy hill where you barely have cell phone service talking with your Dad (because your spouse is Busier Than a One Legged Man at a Butt Kicking Contest at Work and therefore didn't answer when you called in your moment of crisis), you decide: 1. It's safe to turn the vehicle off and back on again to see if the light goes away AND 2. It's better to keep going forward, rather than turning around and going BACK, especially when you're closer to home than you are to the old hometown. The owner's manual said that unless the indicator was flashing (a sure sign of imminent mayhem and chaos), it was probably okay to continue driving. It's difficult to drive when you're staring at a little lit up icon on your dashboard. However, if the light doesn't go away, then we have to take the van in because there's something loose, we got a bad tank of gas, someone going the other way looked at my van cross-eyed...Yeah, okay that last bit may have been over the top, but you get the drift. It's the universal, "Something's wrong with your car, but we don't know what" light.

When you do finally make it home, hot, sweaty and bleary, it will be to find that the spouse didn't go to that nifty store known as the Grocery Store, and there's nothing to eat in the house. Well, nothing that anyone wants to eat. Take out Chinese is always good, from the corner restaurant with the crazy lady who's only seen you twice and always tells you "It's been such a long time since I saw you" and talks to your spouse like she's seen him before (when she really hasn't).

Observations About High School Reunions

Someone will find you and know who you are. You will stare at this person in confounded befuddlement until they introduce themselves. Then you'll recognize him/her and wonder why you didn't before.

It's fun to dance on a blocked off street in the middle of the night. Especially if you've been soaked with rum beforehand. *Whistling innocently*. However, your hips and legs will be in a state of rebellion the following morning, because they aren't 16 years old, which is the age you felt while you were bopping about with other drunks...er...classmates...to such tunes as The Safety Dance and YMCA. Just sayin'.

One of your kids, when you find The Safety Dance on YouTube, will pronounce it "weird."

Cliques. Hmmm...Yanno, they just didn't seem as evident at this reunion. This may be attributed to a couple of things: not many people attended and there we had no choice but to talk to one another OR we're finally growing up and out of it. You decide.

At the family picnic, the child who belches loudly and without restraint, will belong to...ME. Son #3 has a history of silencing restaurants with his expulsions of gas, now we can add "Mom's High School Reunion" to the list. Everyone BUT the mother will think it's funny. I'm still not that amused. Well. Okay. Maybe just a wee bit, but that's all I'll admit to, and that's my final answer, Regis.

Same child asked me later, when we were driving around the old hometown looking at such wonders as Homes Mom Grew Up In and Schools Mom Attended (Ooooh, look! Those windows are where Mom went to kindergarten!", "Mom, what happened to all your friends?" After a moment, I said the only thing I could: "We grew up." I refrained from telling him it would happen to him too. No need to depress him.

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