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3 kittens

Price change in progress

Posted on 2014.07.28 at 21:40
On Wednesday afternoon,

I took Hokey Pokey and Hawaiian Punch to swim lessons. Then Jammies met us, handed us a cooler, we buckled ourselves in, and started driving north to Montana. The first thing we did was watch Annie.  (They watched, I listened.)

July 28, 2014 (1

What's up with the foot, I-35?

We got to Fort Worth by that evening.

On Thursday morning,

we ate the hotel's customary breakfast.

July 28, 2014 (1,4)

After, I stopped for gas and coffee. When I got back in the car, some guy knocked on my window.  I rolled down the window and he said, "I'm a lawyer, and you could be arrested for leaving your kids in the car like that. Someone could call the cops on you."

I somehow shifted into Professor Mode, and thought he had a valid point - other meddlesome people might be meddlesome, and I should be aware of those meddlesome assholes.  So I said, "Actually, under Texas Law, it's legal to leave your kids in the car unattended for up to five minutes." Which is true.

He said, "You were in there for eight minutes." Now I realized that he was an asshole, and I got flabbergasted and lost my composure. "It's 8:30 in the morning! It's not hot out!" I protested. It was maybe 75° out.

He told me I was irresponsible and should know better, and I got out of the car and followed him to his car, calling him a meddlesome ass. He responded, "You know you were being irresponsible, and that's why you're getting so upset now. Because you know what you did was wrong." He was super smirky and pompous about it. I was outraged and flummoxed and flailing.

It's funny: harassing parents about leaving kids in the car under perfectly safe conditions is such a trendy, current thing to do. It has been in the news so much lately that I had a well-thought-out opinion on it: meddlesome assholes who meddle are assholes. If he'd picked a different, unexpected topic, I would have been accommodating and apologetic, and only later realized what a jackass he'd been. I would have seethed differently then, mad at myself for not recognizing his meddlesome assiness in real time.

Anyway, he drove off. And I drove off. And there's no recourse except to tell Jammies and write about it online. I was worked up and furious, and had no way to wind down, so I just fumed for awhile. My best retroactive line was: "Your friends and family must think you are the world's most pompous ass," because it's probably true and so it would sting.

We watched (listened to) Annie a second time.

Halfway through the day, I pulled over and napped for 20 minutes. The kids patiently watched TV. I let the minivan idle, because what else are the options? I didn't feel bad about it, but it feels like a Bad Environmentalist to type it out for posterity.

July 28, 2014 (1,6) July 28, 2014 (1,5)


We arrived in Amarillo that afternoon. We stayed at a marvelous hotel chosen for its indoor pool.

July 28, 2014 (1,7) July 28, 2014 (1,8)

It was a glamorous 50s hotel, renovated in the 70s, and left to decay ever since.

On Friday I drove west.

About a half hour outside Amarillo, I realized my phone was telling me to take back roads, in conflict with the main roads chosen by my printouts and intuition.

I pulled over and consulted the phone, which said to me "Look, it's 7 hours if you go my way, and 8 hours if you double back and go your way. Your pick." I hemmed and hawed and finally agreed with my phone that 7 hours was better than 8 hours.

We started down tiny two-lane roads with no shoulder and no sign of life. We watched (listened to) Annie a third time, and my anxiety rose, and I tried to game out what would happen if the minivan broke down. It was beautiful, though: pink little arroyos or mesas or I have no idea what they're called. Pink little sandy rocky structures and lots of scrub brush hills.

About 45 minutes later my phone said "Haha, you forgot that I'd quit working when I stopped getting reception." I told it, "Asshole, I didn't forget. I took note. You said to stay on this road for the next two hours, until I get to I-25."

We drove on. Then, in a tiny town, the road I was following (385/87) split into 385 and 87. I chose wrong, and so we visited New Mexico briefly.

July 28, 2014 (1.1)

See Dalhart in the tippy toppy northwest corner? It turns out both 385 and 87 collide with I-25 and it won't make much difference which you choose.  You might as well base it on whether you'd rather briefly see New Mexico or Oklahoma. Since I've been to Oklahoma, I'm happy to say I chose well. But at the time, I felt like I'd made yet another tactical error, and got anxious. I may have yelled at the kids.

(I am not recording all the times that I lost my temper.  Rosy-colored memory, activate!)

We got to Denver that afternoon, and stayed with my college friends with perfectly-aged children for Hawaii and Pokey to gallop off with. Jammies and Ace arrived that night. I felt like I'd accomplished something profound, by which I'm referring to just getting the solo drive done, not something more better profound.

On Saturday morning,

we started off, as a family of five. It was nice to have Jammies to talk to. We watched (listened to) Annie for the fourth time, in the morning, and drove through Wyoming, and later we watched (listened to) Annie it a fifth time, after dinner outside of Billings, in violation of the explicit rule that we can only watch Annie once per day.

Montana, you're so pretty:

July 28, 2014 (1,9)

We drove and drove and drove and arrived at Mimi's at 2:30 am, late Saturday night. I really feel like I earned this vacation, you know?

On Sunday,

when we watched Annie, I finally discovered what anyone looks like. (Bernadette Peters, that was you?! And Tim Curry.)(Bolsheviks are trying to get Mr. Warbucks, because they hate that he proves the American Dream works.)("Mr. Warbucks, Mr. Warbucks, those weren't Annie's parents - they was bad people!" "Leapin' Lizards!" Etc.) It's not the worst movie, but it's not the best either.

I love Tim Curry:

July 28, 2014 (1.2)


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2014-07-29 14:59 (UTC) (Link)

In Which I Confirm the Meddlesome Assholeness of Gas Station Guy

What a prick. I promise you all his family hates him as much as you did. (He has no friends.)

And wow, am I impressed by this trip! I made a 2000 mile drive on my own when I was 35, but I only had to be responsible for a small dog, not two small kids, and I wasn't pregnant. You deserve a fistful of medals.

The more I think about the horrible tool at the gas stations, the bigger a jackass he seems. Christ, what an asshole.
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-02 13:14 (UTC) (Link)

Re: In Which I Confirm the Meddlesome Assholeness of Gas Station Guy

He's the worst! Other scenarios I've come up with have been pretending to be a medical doctor who reams him out for terrorizing mothers.
(Anonymous) at 2014-07-29 20:36 (UTC) (Link)

Eight Minutes

His comeback was really that you were gone for eight minutes? Seriously?! I don't understand the gall of some people. Even if I agreed with him, which I don't, I wouldn't confront you about it. Especially since nothing happened and you came back.

But the only time I've been tempted to say something to a stranger was when I witnessed a pregnant woman strike her two-year old for moving too much in a shopping cart. I wanted to tell her that I hoped she was giving up the baby for adoption since she hates children.

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-02 13:17 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Eight Minutes

I had a string of instances recently of seeing SAHMs pushed eons past the edge of their patience, behaving really horribly and counterproductively. What they need is a babysitter and some time away from their kids, really. They do love the kids, and they probably have the capacity to be great parents, but there is too much being demanded of them and they eventually take it out on the kids.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-05 19:54 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Eight Minutes

That's fair. I am very very grateful for having a nanny after a full weekend of entertaining a two-month old.

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-07 02:43 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Eight Minutes

You said it. They are wonderful, and wow do I need my alone time after awhile.
mistersmearcase at 2014-07-31 04:34 (UTC) (Link)
I want to slug that guy. Seriously that story made my blood pressure jump. Do people have nothing better to do?
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-02 13:19 (UTC) (Link)
He's the worst! I'm not very successful at telling myself his life must be awful, because he was such a pompous ass that he may just be able to bounce easily through life.
parodie at 2014-08-01 17:55 (UTC) (Link)
Completely in awe of you making this drive. In awe, and a little scared. What a marathon! As for gas station guy, he is a complete tool, and deserves several (if not every single one) of these curses: http://the-toast.net/2014/05/13/powerful-modern-curses/

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-02 13:20 (UTC) (Link)
Aw, thanks! We're about thirty minutes from embarking on the way home. Maybe I should download the curses and keep them in my pocket as a protective talisman for the drive home.

(How are you feeling?)
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-02 13:56 (UTC) (Link)


I found your blog by wandering around and I find your name disconcerting :-)

You're spelling it wrong!


Greek goddess of youth
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-02 13:59 (UTC) (Link)

Fun blog

Great fun reading!

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-04 12:49 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Fun blog

Yes, but you omitted your last name, Gebe. Glad you're enjoying my journal!
parodie at 2014-08-04 07:44 (UTC) (Link)
I'm doing fine! No major complaints. Screening stuff this week, and then we'll be at the point where if we have something to announce, it will be socially acceptable & reasonable to do so. :)
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-04 12:51 (UTC) (Link)
Great! Looking forward to updates.
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