Riding In Cars With Boys. And A Girl. And It’s Just One Boy.
I had two days off. In a row. I know.
What normal people call a weekend, retail workers call a vacation. And we sometimes have to stand on our heads, or knees, to get one. I may or may not have resorted to hinting to my boss that I was feeling a little overwhelmed at work and, when overwhelmed, I have a tendency to pee in coffee pots. She likes coffee, so she graciously agreed.
I wasn’t sure what to do with my two whole days, but I knew I wanted to take my adorable little family on the road. We decided on Baltimore, Maryland because a) it is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from our home in Richmond, Virginia; b) I had heard good things about the National Aquarium; and c) Baltimore in Summer is pretty much synonymous with beauty. Like Spring in Paris. But with more humidity, yelling, and spraying fire hydrants. Naturally, the whole thing turned into a traveling 3 ring shitshow, proving that I ought never leave the house except to replenish dwindling frozen pizza and Mountain Dew supplies.
Now, there’s something that you should know about me: I have no navigation skills, whatsoever. In a game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey, once I’m blindfolded and spun around, I couldn’t tell you what country I am in, let alone what direction I’m facing. I get turned around every time I venture outside of my neighborhood. If the Ingalls family had been cursed with me as a guide, they’d have never found the Little House. Hell, they’d have never found the Prairie! Sure, like most of my quirks, it can be charming for a short period of time, in a “silly girl can’t find her way out of a closet” kind of way. However, the charm quickly fades when you have to stand on a corner for an hour, waiting for me to show up while I desperately call you and play, “I’m coming. I swear. I just have no idea where I am.” Bonus points if I burst into tears. Double bonus if I miss the actual event we are meeting for. Anyway, the kids know this and have learned to dread every car ride. Bigger car ride = bigger dread and bigger likelihood I will accidentally take us somewhere we don’t want to go. It didn’t take me long to justify their misgivings.
Things really hit the skids (PUNS!) in Washington, DC. I’m not sure why the trusty mapping website I chose took us right through the middle of the city, but it did. The problem was, it got us in but couldn’t get us out. Seriously, we circled the Washington Monument many, many times. At first I was excited about the majesty and beauty of the mighty obelisk, then frustrated, confused, and angry. A girl hasn’t felt this nauseous near a giant white phallus since Monica Lewinsky got a little on her dress.
The natives grew restless.
Her: There’s no way we’re ever going to make it. They will find us ten years from now and we’ll be just bones.
Him: Yeah, but bones that are still driving around DC, trying to find their exit.
Cute. Driving Skeletons. At least they were amusing themselves.
Her: Gah! This trip is like Survivor. VOTE ME OFF THE ISLAND, PLEASE!
Timely. I wasn’t aware that she even had the money to hire 1990′s sitcom writers to express her displeasure.
Him: Hey, Mom, maybe the exit is like Platform 9 3/4. You just have to believe it’s there, and go at it at full speed.
Her: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Let’s just try it. The worst that could happen is we would die.
Him: Really? The worst?
Big high fives followed that last one. None of them from me.
Him: I wish I had a volleyball for a best friend right now. WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILSOOOOOOOOOON! WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILSOOOOOOOOOON! I’m sorry, Wilson, I’m sorry!
I got us there. It took five hours, during which the girl spent a good amount of the time trying to find something sharp enough to end her misery and the boy begged me to never again have one of my “good ideas”.
Wilson? Well, Wilson just stood there.