See? I wasn’t joking when I said cut-off shorts are my summer uniform!
Kingston and I were driving out to my parents’ house a few weeks ago for a day of spoiling and relaxation. It’s a long-ish drive, but it wouldn’t be bad except for the longest 2-lane road ever. Once you get on it you’re stuck. And if you end up behind a slow car, school bus, tractor, or other farm machinery of some sort you’re in for a long ride. So every time I get off the interstate and onto this dreadful stretch of road I do a quick look for coming traffic, and if there’s anyone heading my way I speed up to get in front of them. It’s the only way to still have my sanity intact when I reach my Mom and Dad’s house.
So Kingston and I were singing and playing air drums as I was getting off the interstate. Then I saw the long line of traffic coming. Like, cars as far as I could see. I had to beat them! We were not getting behind that slow train. Who drives that slow anyway? So I sped up to cut them off but only managed to squeeze in behind the front two cars. It was close, and I had to aggressively cut-off the third car, but I didn’t care. Only two cars in front of me. Whew! Not too bad. I could pass them both eventually. Then it hit me. The cars ahead of me were both black. One was really long. And they had their hazard lights on. Oh crap. Quick glance in the rearview mirror. Yep, flashing lights as far as I could see. No. I did not just do that. My chest started getting warm. Stay calm. It’s no big deal. Then…
Me: “SHUT. UP. Are you serious?”
Kingston: “Don’t say shut up, Mamma. Why are those cars’ lights flashy? ”
Me: “Um, sorry. It’s… a parade.”
Me: “Yep. Just wave out the window.”
While he was waving I had to make a quick decision. Should I just turn on my hazards too? How long could this funeral procession (in case you hadn’t figured that out yet) last? Would it go all the way to my parents’ town? Should I just try to blend in and keep driving? We were in a bright red SUV riding third in a long line of black town cars and limos.
I put on my sunglasses, so I could hide. It felt like a good decision. Then I looked behind me. I felt terrible and really wanted to give the car behind me some kind of “I’m so sorry” gesture. Wave? Hit the break three times? I’m (flash) so (flash) sorry (flash).
I eventually just decided to put on my blinker and turn off on a side road like that was my plan all along. Then I waited for every.last.car. to drive by then waited a little longer, because I didn’t want to come anywhere near the procession again. It was the longest drive to my parents’ house ever. And I still feel my chest getting warm and blotchy when I think about it.
And I’ve gone the long (completely out of the way) route ever since then to avoid this road completely.