This is the prelude to how my vacation became a week of me living in the day basement again, watching TV in my dad’s old flannel shirt and underpants (mine, btw) and sneaking cigarettes when I could.
I flew up on Sunday and got directly into my parents car to go to a family reunion in the cow pastures of Canby Oregon. Good times. Old people I don’t know, middle-aged people I don’t know, and little rugrats I don’t know (side note: when I checked spelling for rugrats the suggestion was regrets. HA!). Also, lots and lots of jello salads with marshmallows and strange food dye combinations. I am under the distinct impression that food does not naturally come in shades of fuchsia or radioactive purple. I could be wrong though. I am about plenty of other things
Onwards! I hang out, talking to old bitties who can’t speak clearly because they had a stroke 6 months ago and are partially paralyzed or can’t hear a thing you say and keep adjusting their hearing aide so that they whine at the strain of blasting noise through all that earwax. Eww. I just totally grossed myself out. No matter the manner in which they are barely linked to the world of the living, the conversation is inane, but required. Family and all. And truthfully, I get a kick out of old people. They can get away with saying anything and no one argues. Looking forward to being 85 just for that reason. Even though I was caught grumbling about how kids dress these days and how they have no respect or basic public manners. THEY DON’T. It is depressing.
Family reunion over and done with we pile back into the car and after a few squealing wheels and white-knuckled moments to avoid wrong turns (because slowing down and pulling a U-turn is way to sensible) we find the freeway. The rain starts pouring and I stare out the backseat window like I used to do. I am enjoying the cool window pane and the everywhere green. Then traffic comes to a near standstill and we creep along at 5-15 MPH for the next 4 HOURS. It should have taken us over less than half that time to get home. Did I mention my parents where singing Bob Seger aloud? Yeah, it was a double CD live concert version. So picture me, travel weary, familied-out and having to endure my father’s off-key half singing/half-talking voice mixing with my mother’s operatic tones even though she doesn’t remember any of the words. She ends up doing that thing where you make the noises you think are right, but they never are really words until it is too late. I started slowly and deliberately hitting my head against the seat back. All I wanted was a change of clothes, a cigarette and my parents to shut the hell up.
At least I was wearing kick-ass leopard print stilettos. Hot shoes always help an iffy situation.