We go to the airport sometimes, because my husband is always running off. He says he goes places to preach and sing, but I’ve always suspected he has a second family, with a chunky wife who really keeps a clean and quiet house. Every time he comes home, he is so surprised to find that a) I am so thin b) our children are so, so loud and c) no, I did not notice that sandwich under the couch. d) seriously, I never saw it. None of this is the point, try to pay attention. The point is I frequently drive to the airport.
Typically, when I have a plan, it’s an overeager plan that makes me arrive somewhere a half-hour early and then my kids have to say “Is that daddy?” to every bald African-American man that walks by for a long, long time. Do they think their dad is black? I don’t know, because I don’t see any way to have that conversation without giving them Loud Conversational Ammo.
This time, I was all casual, like, I’m a grown woman who drives to the airport all the time and besides, I have a GPS, so I only gave myself 45 minutes. “FORTY-FIVE minutes??” you say, “I can make it to the airport in TEN minutes,” and to that I say, “Shut it, Richy.” I was making good time, too, barreling down 71 North at 45 miles an hour, because that’s a freeway speed limit, when I got a text from the man himself. He evidently was tracking my progress via GPS, as he is prone to do when he’s being a super-creeper. “At your current rate,” it read, “you will be 20 minutes early FYI”.
I’m a grown woman, I thought, and I know how to get to the airport, thank you very much, and maybe I would have texted that except I was driving and also everyone was trying to kill me with their cars and also my children were trying to kill me via sonic energy. I’m a grown woman, I thought, with 20 minutes to kill and I should swing by Starbucks and get a hot chocolate. So I mapped to a nearby Starbucks and then I drove there, except it got really confusing and then it didn’t have a drive-thru so I was about to map back to the airport when I got a text from the Head Creeper, who had landed 20 minutes early. Because of course he did.
I fired up the ol GPS, which had died unexpectedly. (Isn’t that the way of death?) and I drove off into the scary dark night. “THIS IS NOT THE WAY I REMEMBER AND I FEEL WIERD IN MY FACE AND I’M HUNGRY AND HE IS LOOOOOKING AT ME AND IS THAT DADDY AND DID YOU SEE THAT DOG? THAT DOG THAT DOG THAT DOG? MOM ? MOM? MOM? MOM?”
“Listen, guys,” I said, clutching the steering wheel to try to gain some feeling of control, “I really don’t want to yell at you. But Mommy is kind of lost and the GPS is sliding around and I DADGUMMIT…” as the GPS slid under the console. “Mommy is kind of stressed. I AM REALLY STRESSED and your best bet for not getting yelled at is to talk.to.each.other.”
There was a moment of silence as they processed.
I wandered like the Israelites, y’all. I drove all over the place trying to find the freeway, but it had been taken away as a punishment for my very dark thoughts. All the while, the GPS would start up for a moment, give one direction, like “Veer left in 2 miles” and then it would die again and I would think dark thoughts and then it would say, “prepare to make a u-” and then it would die again and everybody would say, “Did you hear that? Did you hear that? A U-what? What does it mean? Are we in another state? Is that daddy? What did the ocean say to the shore?”
“Mom? What did the ocean say to the… never mind.”
We made it. 30 minutes late and some change, due to parking at the wrong part of the terminal, because of course I did. I collapsed in the passenger seat and tried to go to a happy place, which ended up being McDonald’s, after a lot of strong marital discussion. “Why didn’t you just use your phone GPS?” you ask, and to that, I say…. oh, yeah.