Joe's oldest brother is somewhat socially awkward. He lives in Corpus Christi, Texas with his dog and teaches taekwondo. Joe once told me that this brother is a minimalist and prefers to be on his own. He had a difficult young adult life and if this is his happy place, power to him.
Having a conversation with him was like pulling teeth. I admit, we all got a chuckle at how awkward it was. It didn't help when Ann asked him if he remembered that our mother and his mother set them up on a date when Ann was like 12. The two of them went on a bike ride on a trail together and then he bought her fries.
The horrors, both that our mother would do this and that Ann grilled a man about it despite the fact that he had few words and no memory of it. Afterwards when Ann was prattling on in the car about how odd he was (broken record mode -she COULDN'T LET IT GO), I finally piped up with I THINK CHATTING WITH PEOPLE IS JUST OUTSIDE HIS COMFORT ZONE.
Marie chose a playlist that included Alana Morrissette. I like a lot of music and I am terrible at knowing the names of songs and artists, but I will tell you that I CANNOT stand Alana. At all. I texted Coach that if another of her songs came on, there would be bloodshed. Happy to report, no bloodshed, even though most of the playlist was equally grating - but because I have something akin to instant amnesia when it comes to music, I can't remember what else played. I'm taking another bow here at my attempt to be a good passenger.
Marie drove the whole way to MN from Milwaukee. 5 hours. I offered to drive, but it was Marie's car, and she said she was going to drive.
Ann offered to drive. Again, Marie said she was fine driving. Then Ann slipped into BRM. Ann asking if Marie wanted her to drive popped up at regular intervals on the way there, and then it became A NON-STOP QUESION FEST on the way home, probably because there was a lot of snow in Minnesota. Marie is NOT a relaxed driver on clear roads, so the snow added an element of stress.
She didn't have the radio on for HOURS because of the snow, even when there was no more snow. Let's all pause and consider this please.
Not sure which was worse, her playlist or silence.
Even when the roads were clear, she spent a much longer time than necessary in the far right lane going around 39 MPH. At one point, she was upset because she hated driving behind a semi. She was right behind his rear left wheel, but a lane over. I wanted to scream: THEN ACCELERATE AND PASS HIM. But, alas, I didn't.
I really don't want to complain because I cannot drive long distances without falling asleep. I had no where to be, so I was like WHATEV - glad she is fine driving (even thought I would've totally agreed to take a shift), but the roads were improving as we put MN behind us. At any rate, it is my experience that when someone insists that they want to drive and it is her car - the constant questioning should probably end.
I swear that every 25 minutes Ann called from the backseat ARE YOU SURE YOU DON'T WANT ME TO DRIVE? (25 min later) ARE YOU OK DRVING? (25 min later) MARIE, WHY DON'T YOU PULL OVER AND LET ME DRIVE? (insert image of me running my hand across the dashboard in search of the 'eject-rear-passenger' button).
Each time, Marie called back to her: NO, I'M FINE.
I'm sorry I didn't note exactly how many times Ann asked. That would've passed the time, and been an interesting bit of evidence. Trust me, EXCESSIVE.
When we pulled into Marie's garage, I thanked her for driving.
Ann: WELLL, I TOLD YOU I'D DRIVE. (in a whiney tone)
Me: YEAH, WE KNOW. YOU MADE THAT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. (laughing)
Allow me to offer praise for the seating arrangement though, because Ann did offer to let me sit in the front seat and since I am a good head taller than her and extra leg room is key to my comfort, that was appreciated.
|Totally unrelated, but I have no photos|
to share here. So, speaking of TV . . .
Ed cannot wear this great jacket I
bought him a few years ago, because when
he wears it everyone thinks it is
because he is a Squid Games fan.
Ann: LOVE IT. LOVE. IT.
|Squid games image|
compliments of archdaily.com
Ann releases a grunt every 40 seconds or so. It's ALMOST a throat clearing thing, but it's different. Her grunt was in prevalent during the TV watching. It took EVERYTHING in my power not to
shout ask her kindly to STOP DOING THAT.
My sisters decided to call our folks to fill them in on the wake. After the call, they both fussed over Mom.
Marie: SHE'S GETTING SO FORGETFUL.
Ann: I KNOW.
Me: SHE'S FINE.
Here they both tried to convince me that Mom is losing her marbles. She can't remember some of the grandkids' names. (well, there are a lot of them, and I can't remember my own kids' names at times). She didn't remember that a chunk of Pat's family went to the no-wake-lake house to quarantine because they had covid. (she was probably distracted and not fully attending to all that Pat had to say, I mean - there's a first for everything).
Thing One and Thing Two did NOT like that I wasn't concerned about Mom's memory. I was like, hey, when she gets lost on the 2 minute drive home from the grocery store, we've got problems.
On the drive home, they called her again. When we hung up, one said MOM AND DAD ARE JUST ACTING SO OLD LATELY. The other concurred.
Me: WELL, THEY ARE OLD.
One more part to this series, I will post it on Monday. It includes a hilarious Mini remark. Get excited. Anyone experience an awkward conversation at a wake? Any Alana fans here? What music would make you want to jump from a moving car? Would you have hijacked the car and forced Marie out of the driver's seat? Do tell.