Saturday, June 03, 2006

Are my mother and aunt Thelma and Louise? Or...

I'm a little jealous at the moment... so sue me. Two years ago I took my mother (71) and my aunt (late 50s?) on an adventure to Orlando, Florida. I was the designated driver. I say adventure because once we were in the car... there really was no road map, other than the one in my head, that got us to our destination.

The sisters (that's what we'll call them for now) had determined to make an annual pilgramage to some destination each year. They took a year off last summer because of my mother's knee surgery and recuperation... but they are back up and running this year. The harriest part of this adventure is that there is no one there to keep them in line and get them from point A to point B. I suppose I should be confident that they have both lived full and industrious lives all on their own up to this point, but the fact remains that having them let loose on the world (let alone unsuspecting FLA... who surely thought they'd seen the last of them two years ago) is a bit disconcerting.

Our adventure two years ago was filled with laughter and merriment... amidst the groanings of my aunt who would bemoan my stubbornness for driving straight past all those lovely outlet malls without slowing down once for her to even get a good look at all the bargains I was making her pass up! We left a day early (because if you begin an adventure, you must never hold to a time frame) and drove through the night until we were south of Atlanta and far enough from a racetrack that was hosting a NASCAR event the next day. (We tried to get rooms at three different hotels... all completely filled. It is hateful to live in the south when there is a NASCAR race looming on the horizon)

We made it to our resort in good time the next day and then wandered aimlessly as we tried to follow my aunt (who had stayed at this particular location more than once - but swears she's dyslexic when it suits her) around the complex. We learned early on that this was not the smartest move we could make... and I specifically gathered the troops (who were bent over with enough laughter that forced water from two different parts of their bodies... their eyes and well... YOU KNOW) and made our way to our room... which was the farthest end of the longest wing of the resort! I left them unattended for a few days while I visited some friends in nearby Lakeland, so as not to cramp their style and be a third wheel! When I returned, all was well and I was regaled with more baudy laughter and jokes and general silliness that only occurs between sisters.

I don't have a sister and when I watch these two, I am sometimes envious of that as well. They share a life that only sisters can share and they are marvelous women to watch and emulate. I am supposed to relate the adventures of their trip on this blog site, but I am to withhold their names, to protect the not-so-innocent, I'm sure. I thought about calling them Thelma and Louise... but I've seen that movie and I get that really ickky feeling that children get when they think about the older generation getting their groove on. I don't doubt my parents' or my aunt and uncle's sexual abilities... and I am not naive enough to think that they have only "done the deed" the necessary times to impregnant themselves... but I have a feeling that the movie would have ended much differently if my own "Thelma & Louise" had picked up Brad Pitt on the side of the road.

My aunt would have instructed Mr. Pitt to put his clothes back on, while my mother admonished him for leaving one woman for another... and (gasp!) impregnating her without the bonds of holy matrimony. Brad would never knew what hit him with these two.

To add to the intrigue of this adventure, my mother has just purchased a new vehicle. A Dodge Caravan that she got a great deal on because of some hail damage. She hasn't quite gotten the hang of these newfangled vehicles. I had to set all her radio stations for her, and show her how to lower and adjust the back seats. Last week while sitting in line at the carwash, she came to the horrible conclusion that if she exits the vehicle while it is still running and closes the door, it will lock automatically. Frantic calls to every family member finally tracked down my father who was driving around town (without his cell phone) and had the extra key. She was rescued in no time.

My mother is from the old school of thought that "only the laws that I want to apply to me, will apply to me" and absolutely REFUSES to wear a seat belt. I have never, EVER figured this out about her. However, the only way my father was going to allow her (now 73) to travel without him to Florida, was if she SWORE to him that she would wear the seat belt on this trip. Being the dutiful wife of 53 years that she is... she acquiesed.

Which explains the call I received from them a couple of hours ago. At least I think it was my aunt who called... the ID on my cell told me it was her, but it was difficult to understand her attempts to talk and laugh and hurry to the bathroom at the Cracker Barrell before she wet herself. Apparently, my mother has truly forgotten what a seat belt does. Most adults know that it keeps you secured and safe within your vehicle. If it works properly, you won't slide around while you are taking sharp curves (going over Monteagle Mountain, perhaps) and hopefully you won't be thrown out of the vehicle in the event of an accident.

Its security continues until you take it off. As of now, technology mandates that you manually operate the seat belt mechanism yourself. Simply put... you snap it on after you get in and you unsnap it when you get out. Pretty simple concept... and one that most children understand. But these are exceptional women we are talking about here. So, imagine the look on my mother's face as she attempts to exit the new vehicle WITH HER SEAT BELT STILL FASTENED!!! Apparently confusion reigned for her as she tried to figure out what sort of secret force had superglued her body to the contours of the Caravan's seat. Perhaps Darth Vader was lurking in the shadows and holding her steady within a hidden gamma ray force field. Or... perhaps she'd simply forgotten to unbuckle the seat belt.

My aunt's laughter rang over the miles as she made the call to me, increasing my enviousness of missing out on such an adventure, but helping me to the conclusion that they are not Thelma and Louise at all... merely Lucy & Ethel.

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