Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Everything I Need to Know I Learned While Crammed Into a Car With Tired and Cranky Children

So, we just got back from another trip home, where we celebrated a neice's graduation, and got to visit with various and assorted family members. Here's some useful and interesting knowledge I picked up during the trip:

Judging from the eye-level showerheads, lowered doorways, and short beds, I've decided that my mother has a dream to open a bed and breakfast that caters to dwarfs, the Keebler Elves, and amputees. Furthermore, judging from her strident claim that "It's just a normal sized mattress!" that she is of the opinion that anyone over 5'3" is a gigantic, enormous freak of nature and must be destroyed, feet first, with bed linens. I found this out while attempting to fold my gigantic, enormous freak of nature legs under the firmly wedged and totally unmoveable sheets, and had to sleep all night with my toes en pointe.

My conversation skills are sorely lacking. During a conversation with a female relative who once gave birth to my husband but shall otherwise remain nameless, I was suddenly and without warning bombarded with a lengthy list of her physical ailments and various ways in which her life sucks. Since I felt that replying with: "Damn, you're right! I sure hope that shit doesn't flow downstream!" wouldn't promote familial harmony, and openly mocking said person with hand puppets and funny accents would really only amuse me, (boy, do this one time, and you never hear the end of it), the best I could come up was head nods and concerned looks at critical junctures.

Now, regarding the graduation. Looking out at all those bright, young faces, so eager and expectant to go out and conquer the world ... Well, it gave my cynical and pessimistic heart hope and joy. Of course, this was because I was rifling through my sister-in-law's purse for loose change while she was distracted with watching her daughter receive her diploma. (Ok, not really, but it provided me with an excuse and the means to drink heavily at the dinner afterwards.)

My kids picked up some new travel games, the most popular one being How Fast Can I Make My Sibling Become an Only Child? which they both were remarkably astute at. Grandma tried to teach them how to play Passive Aggression, and It's Not Me, It's You, but they were too busy playing Never Ever Ever Go To Sleep and Watch Cable Television Till Your Brain Runs Out Your Ears.

Then there was some sort of roadside attraction we stopped at, which involved a line of cars, a video taped presentation, and a buttload of sand. All in all, a enjoyable and pleasant roadtrip. Or at least that's what I'm going to tell the social services people, when they bring up the kids' homemade travel game: Get Out of the Duct Tape Before Dad Hits the Freeway.

(And as an aside, partially because of Flamingo Jones, and partially because I'm just a developmentally delayed lemming and have to follow the latest craze 10+ years later, I picked up this copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It has 5 books in one, it weighs roughly the same as my car, and I have a new hero. Four years and seven days after he died, sure, but a hero nevertheless.)


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