So, I’m back from my Midwest journey with my parents and I’m so glad we had those five days together.
I met people I didn’t know, I saw some of the people my parents have been friends with the longest, and most importantly, I was able to retrace where I came from with the two people who gave me life.
I also – and this is key – figured out how to travel with other adults and keep the peace.
Y’all know I was worried that three would leave on the trip but only two or one would return. My father and I are particularly prone to spatting at each other; mom can nag, but a good “MA!!!! Leave me A-LONE!” usually stops her fussing. But I had serious concerns that at some point, I’d just storm out of the car, completely THROUGH with my dad, and head to the nearest airport to buy a plane ticket home. No joke. (My dad isn’t a bad guy, we just know how to push each other’s buttons. And both of us have like 2,346 buttons.)
If I’m ever blessed to travel with my parents again, I will be sure to:
– Get separate hotel rooms. Cost be damned. Unless the expense is going to send me into bankruptcy, get separate rooms. After being together in the car all day, and having to fast forward past the songs in my iPod with profanity (I don’t have many, but I know exactly which ones they are now!), and having to limit phone conversations because even though they pretend they’re not listening, they are, and all that – you need alone time.
– Pay for just about everything. I wasn’t always in a position to do this, and I’m sure I’ll cringe when I look at my bank balance, but my dad didn’t have a lot to say about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see when I’d just paid for his lunch and dinner and hotel room and filled up the gas tank.
– Bring headphones and wear them even if you’re not listening to music. Thankfully on this trip, our drives, except the first day, were really short ones – like four hours, max. But if you have in the headphones (which my dad did just about all of the time he wasn’t driving), it kinda is a signal to the others in the car that you don’t really want to talk. You’re getting your (silent) groove on, and are not to be disturbed.
I’m still in awe of the experience, and debating whether I want to cast my pearls before swine, i.e., write about it for the paper. I may, I may not. Not calling the readers of the paper pigs, it’s a Biblical reference.
The trip ended as all good trips should – with shopping. Got a new pink purse and matching umbrella. Hey, I’m a girly girl. What can I say?