Monday, July 2, 2012
Tales From The Road
Driving into wedded bliss! Or the nearest McDonald's drive thru!
The other day, on one of our weekly road trips, Brett and stopped for dinner in Lima, OH at a place that was half cowboy bar and half seafood restaurant. I was jumping up and down with excitement that we were in Lima OHIO(!) since everyone on the planet knows that this is the town where the show "Glee" takes place. Brett was mildly exasperated with my overwhelming giddiness. Whenever he has days off he plans elaborate and fun-filled adventures, peppered with amazing restaurants and incredible food. And here I was, barely containing myself over a honky-tonk bar off of a highway that specialized in fake crab and fish sticks.
As we took our seats in a sticky vinyl booth, we started getting into an earnest discussion about one of my sisters. I had to shout to be heard over a woman in the corner, clutching a guitar and loudly mouth-breathing/wailing Alanis Morissette covers as the evening's entertainment. Brett was trying his best to keep up with me, but his brow was creased in confusion as to why I chose this 'intimate' location to discuss something serious.
"I'm really worried about her," I said over bowls of what looked like shrimp. "I feel like she needs a little more direction in her life. Right now she's grasping at straws. Like shooting fish in a barrel."
"Shooting fish in a barrel?"
"Yes. " I said impatiently. "You know, she's just throwing caution to the wind. She's not nailing anything down. She's shooting fish in a barrel."
"That's...not what that means."
"It is exactly what it means! Are you the expert on barrel shooting now?"
(shaking his head) "Ok, Melissa. Think of a barrel."
"I'm not doing this with you here. I want to enjoy my imitation crab salad in the land of Glee."
"Think of a barrel of fish. And you are shooting into that barrel of fish."
"OK. IF I HAD A GUN AND WAS SHOOTING INTO A BARREL OF FISH I WOULD...oh."
(trying not to laugh, the jerk.) "You would probably 'nail one down', so to speak."
"Right. Well, I meant shooting monkeys in a barrel."
(covers his face with his hands.)
"In the dark."
The absolute best part of our twice weekly road trips are little moments like this. I have to admit the thought of being in the car, every week, usually stuck in traffic at the exact moment I needed to urinate 5 times in 20 minutes- it was a little overwhelming. Brett and I were just sort of getting to know one another again. Did we really want to shoot ourselves in the foot (or the barrel) this early on?
Besides the initial bumps, we fell into a groove that started really working for us. He knew to pull over every couple of hours so I could get a disgustingly sweet McDonald's iced coffee, (and he knew not to judge me.) I knew exactly when I had to distract him when his hands started curling into fists after 2 hours of sitting in traffic. (Distractions varied from Disney songs, my trumpet impression, or pointing out random Amish people on the side of the road. Worked every time.) We talked politics, religion, the finer points of the plot line from "Pretty Little Liars." We laughed. We slept. We bickered occasionally, and we saw a lot of cows.
And we made some great memories.
-Like the time I drove at night while Brett frantically tried to finish a deadline. I was so tired I was hallucinating and seeing robots on the road. And I didn't want to alarm him, so I just kept whispering "Robots. Robot. Another robot there." under my breath. He was still alarmed, but he finished the deadline!
-And the time Brett taught me how to pronounce "Municipal." For some reason, I pronounced it "Muns-e-pull" and he was so tickled and delighted he actually mourned when I started pronouncing it correctly. So, sometimes I say it the old way just to make him smile. (I learned how to say it correctly on the road. Because I have this thing I do when I am bored where I just read signs and building names out loud. You would LOVE driving with me.)
-And the times that, when he thinks I can't hear him, he softly sings along with me (when I am loudly belting it out) to the radio. I pretend not to notice, but I love it.
The road may have at times brought out the worst in us, but it definitely brought out the best too. And we're learning more and more with every mile.
Like, shooting fish in a barrel is easy. Just like road-tripping.
(Disclaimer: I obviously know what is best for my sisters all of the time. Not really. But I love them. And am overbearing and opinionated. But they know that and love me just the same. Even though I usually have no idea what I am talking about.)