Top Five Reasons I Hate the Ride Home (from Vacation)1. Striped orange and white barrels and signs that read “right lane closed.” They proliferated like kudzu along the interstate highway system in the mere week since I last traveled the corridor from Atlanta to Louisiana.
2. My child’s decision to watch a movie on her portable DVD player while I was driving. And yes, I wasn’t smart enough to plug it in before we left my parents’ house in Louisiana. I also wasn’t going to stop and make this endless drive longer, even by five minutes. So, one hand on the wheel, I leaned down to insert the plug in the socket close to the van floor, all the while trying to keep my vehicle in my lane and maintain the proper speed. I did go over on the shoulder briefly and have since vowed to pull over at an exit next time the DVD plug issue arises. Thank goodness for cruise control and long stretches of barren highway in Alabama.
3. Fanny fatigue. You know, that slightly numb yet painful feeling that settles in your butt cheeks when you drive long distances, even with stopping and walking around, even with cruise control.
4. The song “Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Imagine if you will, passing the Georgia state line elated that you’re in the last stretch of the long drive home. The movie that had entertained your daughter and her buddy is over, and your child’s best friend says, “I know, we can sing.” Now this particular rendition of the classic irritation to parents worldwide was sung with a variety of accents. Fortunately for me, they wearied themselves with the song by the time we reached sixty-four bottles of beer on the wall, or maybe they just ran out of accents. Still determined to fight their boredom, they came up with a new game involving the middle school yearbook my daughter brought along on the trip. At first, it was a nice game—cutest boy on the page. Then the pleasantness degenerated into ugliest boy on the page and girl most likely to become a stripper. My advice to teen girls everywhere, don’t show your wares in your yearbook photos.
5. The greeting I received from my husband and his grandmother when I walked through the door after the eight hour drive . . . “What’s for dinner?”