Betty Duffy

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quick Takes: road trip

Hosted at Conversion Diary

Fourteen hour road trips are the devil's convention. He's always conspiring to make good marriages go awry, and this one nearly did us in. I was in and out of love with my husband just about every fifteen minutes or so:

We are in love for the A's, B's and C's of the Alphabet Game, giddy with the nostalgia of childhood road trips. By Q we are out of love: "Antiques does not count for Q." And any time someone uses a Lion's Den sign, I get irritated. (Walnut Bowls are fine though.)

He reaches across the middle console to rub the back of my neck, and we are in LOVE!

"You're tailgating," I say (out of love).

"Why don't we say the Rosary?" he says (in love).

He flips off the driver who's just cut him off (out of love).

We're still together, but barely.

To his credit, I am a difficult passenger. As has been said about many of the women in our family, "She's either in control or out of control," meaning, if I'm not driving, I'm going nuts. I gasp when I perceive a close call. I press on my air brakes. I alert my husband when his speed is creeping up.

To my credit, my husband is impossible to love when he's driving. The two are incompatible. Period.

We saw some beautiful things along the way:

Somewhere along the line, though, the word "vacation" stopped sounding like a relevant description of what actually happens when my husband and I, and our five children set out for some destination lasting more than two days. Some people know they're on vacation when they're spread out on a poolside lounger drinking a pineapple cocktail. I know I'm on vacation when I'm huddled behind some bushes, hiding from my kids, so I can smoke a cigarette in the middle of the day. I like to smoke on vacation because it's the only thing that really distinguishes a vacation from any other day of breaking up fights and wiping bottoms, albeit in a different location.

We stayed with my brother and his wife so that we could put the kids down and visit for awhile. However, my husband had a hotel room because he was there for a company meeting. I took him to the hotel around 11 pm so he could be up for his meeting in the morning. We had a drink with his co-workers, and we hung out for a little bit and I went back to my brother's around 12:30 am.

The next night, after the kids were asleep, and I visited for awhile with my brother and his wife, my husband called and asked if I could bring him some clean undershirts. So I did. He'd had meetings all day, dinner, and a team-building exercise. Whether or not we had team-building exercises of our own is no one's business, but I left the hotel around 12:30 again.

This time, in the lobby, the doorman asked, "Can I help you?"

"No," I said, "I'm just leaving."

"Have I seen you?" he asked.

"Yes. Last night."

"I've seen you leaving here?"

"Yes. My husband's staying here," I said.

"Oh, Riiiiighhhht," he said giving me a knowing wink.

So I've been mistaken for a Dallas whore, or at the least a philandering wife. Now, I must get back to my five children.

My sister sent this link to me. Very funny.


Pentimento said...

Betty, have you watched the version of "Business Time" from the Conchords' show? That naughty Otepoti sent it to me, and it changed my life forever. She also sent me something even funnier -- an ad for a terrifing wahsing machine -- which I hereby copy to you:

I can only conclude that New Zealanders are the funniest people on earth.

mrsdarwin said...

Hey! I just took that road trip! The amount of nudging and cajoling I put my children through so that they would look at and remember the St. Louis Arch was nothing short of abusive. "Look, girls! That's the St. Louis Arch! Julia, did you see that? Eleanor, you're not looking! There it is! Remember it!" One day they'll see a picture of the St. Louis Arch and say, "That's that thing my mom wanted me to see."

(PS: The anti-spam word is "bowela", which sounds like something that afflicts small children on road trips.)

Otepoti said...

Conchords - comedy in America, documentary in New Zealand. Alas.

Darwin said...

I'm unduly charmed by the image of your coming under the disapproving eye of hotel staff for team building with your husband in the evenings.

Little did you realize what a messanger of joy you could be -- simultaneously brightening the days of your husband, the hotel staff, and your readers.

Betty Duffy said...

P, I just watched the version from their show...hilarious!!! And very naughty. I love a little bawdy humor. And the washer, who knew that if you want to sell something useless, all you have to do is give it a funny write up? If that's where the money is, I'm closing down the blog and moving to ebay.

Pentimento said...

I love the Conchords. Not sure if the ebay-get-rich-quick scheme will work here, though.