Sunday, June 8, 2008

I’m So Glad I Didn’t Marry My Dad

Okay, that needs some explanation. I was reading this cool post by StarvingWriteNow about a childhood staple, car trips. It pushed my nostalgia button, and brought back these wonderful memories…

Like sitting on the hump in the middle of the back seat because I was the youngest and the smallest. The most uncomfortable seat in the car. I was really positioned there because my mom wanted a barrier between my brothers. They would smile at me, highly pleased with themselves, since they always won Animal Rummy or License Plate Tag or any game of that kind. I didn’t stand a chance since I wasn’t near a window. That was okay. When it came time to break into 99 Bottles of Coke on the Wall, I blasted them out of their smugness.

I would have taken those trips over the teen ones, though. By then my oldest brother was living with our father, and I sometimes had the backseat to myself. Good thing. My stepdad was a trip all by himself. I love the man dearly, but he drove like he was on a mission. He had to conquer the road. Gotta make time, gotta make time.

One of the ways he made up lost time? Not stopping for bathroom breaks. We kept a 10 lb. coffee can and a roll of toilet paper in the backseat floorboard. When my mom needed to use the facility, she and I would simultaneously climb over the seat, changing places. To tinkle, you had to put the can on the seat, take off the cover (yours and the can’s) and hover over the opening at 75 mph. You prayed that the road was smooth and no semi trucks passed.

This torture ended when Mom was emptying the can- which happened in motion as well, gotta make time, gotta make time- but she didn’t just pour it out the window. She gave it a heave, hoping the contents would fly out far enough to miss the side of the car. They blew back in her face.

Dad had a choice. Bathroom breaks, or divorce papers. He had a few manic ideas, but he’s no dummy.

When Gary and I were putting together our wedding vows, I nearly put in “I promise to love, honor, cherish, and stop at the first available porta-potty.”


Bernita said...

After reading that I nearly wet my chair!

StarvingWriteNow said...

Wow! My dad always wanted to take breaks, thank goodness!

Robyn said...

In the interest of not getting kicked out of Christmas, I should mention that he's a generous soul that always fixed our cars, homes, furniture, etc, when we asked. ;)

December/Stacia said...


My Dad was a salesman, so car trips were a huge part of my childhood too. We rarely stopped for breaks--only if the trip was longer than five hours or so, really. If there was an emergency we'd pull over. I remember peeing against a lot of hills.

But to this day I get irritated when people need to make bathroom stops on road trips. I can go all day without one, like a camel.

Robyn said...

I swear nobody knew why I was laughing so hard at that scene from Dumb and Dumber- you know, where they are filling up the beer bottles? It wasn't that funny on its own!