The Bridge Too Far

Highway to hellThis story of the road trip to Key West seems to be unfolding in a nonlinear fashion. I learned a lot about myself this time around. Travel is always educational. Unfortunately it’s not always things you want to learn. But, I sort of wonder if perhaps some things are better not learned in the first place. Although I still have bronchitis so I may still be in an extremely whiny and frustrated mood.

The main thing I learned this time is that at the tender age of 57 I still stand back and let myself get talked into things that I know are going to be a BAAAAAD idea. And then volunteer to do part of the driving to get to the bad idea.

I’ve driven to Key West from New Orleans 2 times before and both times swore on my future grave that I was NEVER going to do it again. It’s a long boring stressful trip through a whole lot of nothing. Key West is fabulous, but driving there sucks on multiple levels.

So what do I do? I agree to another road trip to Key West from 500 miles further away and somehow tell myself that I have not in fact lost my freaking mind. I should have put my foot down and said “there is no way in hell that I am doing this, and may God have mercy on your soul. Don’t bother sending postcards because I’ve already been there, done that.” Or maybe something along the lines of “hey, I’m going to fly, meet ya there, have fun. Call me from the road if you live.”

I love my Mother-in-law but she is what she is. She still bosses her son around and hasn’t figured out that I don’t take well to getting bossed around. I put an end to my mother bossing me around by leaving home when I was 15 years old. I’m left feeling like I spent 2 weeks with a pillow slammed down over my face. Maybe that’s why my body decided to manifest bronchitis so I could have an excuse to say NO, I don’t want to cram another plate of food down my face or look at one more tree, statue or anything else without resorting to violence. I need a break!!

Part of the problem is that the Hubman has developed this sort of Siamese triplet mentality. A weird triangle relationship has manifested where he seems to think that he, his mother and I are an inseparable unit. It’s not doing our relationship much good. This was becoming an issue before we left on the trip.  If I didn’t go along with the program with his mother, then he won’t go either. It’s as if WE not HE is responsible for entertaining his mother at all times. I have my own mother to contend with, thank you very much. And that is not always an easy task.

As a result, this behavior continued and worsened on the trip and if I didn’t go along with the program then he would stay in the room and crank up the AC to zizz and in general take over everything and every square inch of the room. He wouldn’t do anything with his mother unless I came along, so the only solitude I managed to find was in a random hotel bathrooms or walking around the corner to alleys. The exception being the night I collapsed in the hotel.

My first mistake was forgetting the first rule of travel is that it’s supposed to be enjoyable for ALL members of the party. As defined by ALL members of the group. This doesn’t mean that everyone likes every single activity. Of course compromises should be made. But reluctantly embarking on a 3,000 mile road trip because one of the persons involved doesn’t want to be “inconvenienced” by an uncomfortable airplane seat is a recipe for resentments and disaster. Said person did absolutely none of the driving of course.

Another mistake was my standing by while the Hubman planned out the route and how long it “should” take us to get from point A to point B. Never in his life has he been on a road trip as an adult. He was a passenger in the back seat as a small child and went on road trips with his family. But that doesn’t even come close to counting as experience as an adult traveler. I kept trying to tell him that you need to factor in time to stop, walk around, eat, use the restroom, and just in general not be in the car for a while. Did he listen?  – NO. Did I put my foot down and insist? – NO.

Crazy things happen when traveling. Not everyone wakes up hung over in a hotel room in Bangkok with a tattoo on their face, but things do happen. Time to recuperate, process, be alone, and rev up for more adventures needs to be in there somewhere, or a trip can quickly transform into a death march.

So it seems we have some issues to resolve. Ya think?

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