Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm GREAT on Road Trips....

Let me be the first to admit that I am a HORRIBLE passenger in a car...HORRIBLE!

Since a bad car accident I was in 13 years ago I just cannot relax in a car. For over a year after the accident I had to ride around with a pillow between my legs and the dash. I know that's ridiculous...I mean what in the hell is a pillow going to do if we crash. I don't think I have ever heard a paramedic say "Good thing she had a pillow with saved her life." Regardless, it seemed to help me emotionally and I can thank the pillow for allowing me to get back in the car.

I think my husband, however, would argue that the pillow hasn't done enough to restore my confidence in driving.

So when we faced a 2300 mile trip across the Country I know that neither of us were looking forward to it.

The vet gave us some pills to sedate our dog and on more than one occasion I think Joel was trying to figure out a way to slip one into my morning cocoa. Not that I blame him, but in my defense he really doesn't help the situation.

Him: Wow, did you see that?

Me: WHAT?! See WHAT? (as I've got a death grip on the door handle and the dash)

Him: That bird.  Did you see that bird over there in that field?  It just swooped down and grabbed a mouse in its' claws.

Me: WHAT?! Are you fucking kidding me?  We are on a highway doing 75mph with semis getting dangerously close to us and insane drivers going 90mph racing by us...NO I DID NOT see a fucking bird out in the field.  I figure ONE of us should be looking at the damn road! Christ Joel, you're gonna kill me I just know it.

 I know he thinks I'm being over dramatic (I can tell by the rolling of the eyes and the big sigh) but for God's sake I think the least he can do is watch the freakin' road! Is that really asking too much?

So this is how most of the first 2 days on the road goes:

Me: (hanging on to the door handle the ENTIRE time) you see that car?

Him: WHICH car?

Me: What do you mean WHICH car?  That one up there that put its brakes on.  It's slowing down and we are going to crash into it if you're not careful.

Him: You mean that car a mile in front of us that tapped its brakes? Yes Dear, I saw it. I think we're fine.

Me: Well, I just want to be sure you saw it. You know it's important to anticipate what the other drivers are going to do. I'm pretty sure I learned that in drivers ed. If I had done that 13 years ago maybe I wouldn't have had my accident.  If I had only anticipated her moves I probably would have been fine. So I just want you to anticipate what the other drivers might do...okay?

Him: Yes Dear. (he doesn't sound very reassuring, by the way, I don't think he is taking my advice seriously)

The other thing that I do that is VERY helpful is that I spend the entire trip leaning from one side of the car to the other. I think that by leaning I will magically steer the car in the direction I want it to go.  He doesn't thank me for this help, but I know he appreciates it...I can tell.

So for the first two days (because of my help), we plug along without any major incidents and we are still alive.

THEN...THEN we hit DENVER!  We have to drive up in the mountains through Denver, Vail and other little towns.  I hear it's beautiful. I wouldn't know this because I was too busy having a heart attack.  People from this area drive around that mountain like it's the Audubon. Do they not realize that at any moment your car can plunge off the mountain and you will DIE? Evidently, this is not a concern to them.  Well let me tell IS a concern of mine!

So there we are driving UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN the mountain, and I am trying to be very helpful in getting us through there unscathed. I am bobbing and weaving...grabbing the dash...grunting and groaning.  I look over at Joel and he is white knuckled on the wheel.

Oh Good Lord, if HE is scared I KNOW we are in trouble.

We come upon a tunnel. A LONG tunnel.  Two lanes..dark...people flying through the tunnel.  We are half-way through and what happens......the car DIES! It just stopped working. So we are now sitting in this tunnel with our hazards on praying to God that a semi doesn't ram us in the rear end!

Me: OMG..what happened?  Why are you stopping the car?  You can't stop here. Keep going.

Him: REALLY?  You think I stopped here? What, do you think I needed a little breather so I picked the inside of a mountain, 11,440 feet above sea level to take a little break?  The car just STOPPED.  It won't start.  We are stuck here.

Me: Stuck here? HERE?  We can't be stuck here.  What are we gonna do? OMG.. Joel we are going to get hit.  We are going to die.  This is how it ends for us. Dying in the middle of the Eisenhower Tunnel. I have so much more I want to do. I'm not ready to die..I Love you...

Him: Good God woman, get ahold of yourself!  We are NOT going to die.  Everyone sees us, they are going around us.  I'm sure someone will send help.

Me: Well just in case, we shouldn't drink the rest of our pop or eat any munchies.  We may need them to survive if we are here much longer. We need to ration our supplies, okay.

Him: Okay honey, I promise I won't eat another cheese doodle in case we need it later.

I think we are stuck in there for 3 days (Joel says 10 minutes, but I'm sure it was longer than that) All of the sudden the car starts.  We pull out of the tunnel and then get pulled over by the mounties. (I don't think that's what they are called there but whatever)  She tells us.. Oh yeah, your car vapor locked.  Happens all the time up here. Your car should be fine now..Have a Nice Day.

Have a nice day? We almost died on the mountain and all you have to say is "have a nice day"?  Now I don't know what in the hell "vapor lock" means, but if it happens "all the time" then maybe there should be signs posted or something. I mean Geesh..Joel was scared to death.

So for the rest of the drive I continued to help Joel get us to Southern California safe and sound.

Me: You see that car, right?  The one that is swerving a little.  I think she is probably texting and driving.  Do you KNOW how dangerous texting and driving is honey?  Don't EVER do that, okay.  Even Oprah knows its dangerous.  She has this whole pledge thing going on.  I think we should take the pledge, don't you. Okay when we get somewhere I can print. I will print off the pledge and we will take it.  But you see her up there , right honey?

Him: YES DEAR, I see her. We will take the pledge dear. We will do whatever you want. (I think I heard him say "shut up", but he swears I was hearing things)

Anyway...we are now in San Clemente,CA. It is beautiful and we are alive. I'm just glad I could help get us here safe and sound.  I always try to do my part.


  1. Oh my god.

    Oh . . .my . . . god.

    You are all crazy!

    Hee hee!

    You and I must never ever take a road trip together. I have occasional little panic attacks while driving, and the thought of you trying to talk me down the road as I try to breathe deeply?

    One of us would be hurled from the vehicle and out onto the freeway.

    And I am way wily and strong.

    So for your own safety?

    You and I must never take a road trip together.

    Your husband?

    He is all kinds of patient.

    A very good man.

    Hee hee!

  2. WHAT?! You don't think I would just as HELPFUL to you as I am to my hubs? I'd even share my pillow with you...heehee.

    Oh and YES the hubs is certainly a very good man....if the roles were reversed I probably would have knocked him over the head...cuz I'm all patient like!