One day trip in the Red - Mom & Pop Chronicles
I had stressed myself and had an attitude all day Tuesday in anticipation of my trip to see Mom and Pop on Wednesday. Tiredness had set in because I hadn't kept my deadline for finishing my client's piece of jewelry because I had run myself in the ground with demos. Having to cancel 2 day's worth means having to make them up before the end of the month. I sneezed my way thru Monday ,and Tuesday my child had a tight chest so I was watching her breathe and on standby for a possible run to the ER of Urgent care. Then I started trippin about my Fire red hair and what my folks would say. Unnecessary trippin. I am for Pete's Sake 54 for all intensive purposes so why am I trippin? I colored it last week because my kid finally convinced me too.
I hit the road near 4am after declaring Wednesday would be a round trip day for me because I was cranky and honestly didn't want to go this time. I had initially planned to comeback on Thursday and go directly to a demo but left my ish right at home and left a great deal of stress with it. When I went home last week, Pop didn't even go to work so I was still salty about that. I felt pretty useless because he was bopping around and doing what I was usually there to help with.....UGH!
I got in a little after 7am and opened the door to a quiet house. Once upstairs, I heard Pop's TV which meant he was probably in the bathroom. I set the alarm for 8:30 and crashed. I was awakened at 8 by the sound of Pop's feet getting ready to go downstairs. I called out to him because I though he had called me. Turns out , I was trippin. He peeked his head in the door and said he was in a rush to get to work. He was talking to the back of my red head but said nothing about that..... I was suprised. Pop usually has something to say about everything, but not a peep about my hair color. Why did I color my hair red? Just because + my kid...... Anyhoot and holler, 9am rolled around, the door bell rang which signified the start of our almost mechanical day. Mom's aide rolled thru, said she liked my hair and kept on rolling to get Mom up. I went to the kitchen to get set up for breakfast. I could hear Mom's aide trying to talk her into waking up so I peeked my head in her room and said, "Hey Ma!".....She squinted her eyes at me and lowered the covers from her mouth and squinted her eyes again as if looking at a stranger. I didn't quite know how to feel then....no warm and fuzzy "Hey Baby Doll", just a look of utter confusion.
She summoned me all of the way in the room....not just my head peeking from the door. No smile cracked - just straight concern. She then said....."Come here child". I did a nervous twirl so she could see my whole head and I was secretly pissed off at myself because I at almost 54 was twirling for my mom like a 10 year old trying to pass wardrobe inspection before school. Her silence was deafening so I broke it by saying I would start her breakfast after she finished showering.....I headed back to the kitchen wondering....well....knowing what she was thinking and I giggled to myself.
With her usual plate ready (Spam, egg, toast, apple sauce and decaf coffee with chocolate protein mixed in - don't judge.....it's keeping her stomach calm and her out of the hospital), I carry it to her and set it on the tray. She asked me what color was in my hair....I proudly replied "Crimson!" She said....."It's different...." and then started eating. It took every fiber of my being not to fall out laughing because my mother was seriously trying to be tactful.....
Lunch time rolled around so I, determined not to waste precious time with my gal, had lunch with her. We watched a couple of different shows on TV. She pointed out everyone that had a shirt/blouse that matched the color of my hair and simply said "Look at that bright shirt!" I offered no further explanation on my decision to try a new color, but what I did offer was a Scrabble match before I hit the road again. She quickly finished half of her sammich, had me wrap the other half up and was ready to spar. 300 points later for her, and 200 sumpin for me, she acted suprised that she had won. I just laughed because not only had she shaded me with the bright shirt comments, she also whipped my tail - again. Pay back for my win last week. During the match we chatted about a high school classmate of mine who recently passed, my high school bestie and her Mom who I stay in touch with and what my youngest kid was up to. When I told her she was a make-up artist it was if she had heard it for the first time and said she couldn't imagine her little Joie being a make-up artist. She beamed at the though and then politely, went to bed for a nap. I left the room to do work and chill. It reminded me of when the family took a train ride somewhere back in the 90's and Pop woke up, challenged me to a game of tick-tack-toe on a cocktail napkin, quickly made minced meat of me and then went back to sleep.
Thinking I was going to get a short nap was a joke so I planned what energy drink and snacks I would consume on the way home. The can that I'm hugging in the picture is my almost new best travel drink when I'm tired. No fluttering heart , no jitters, no sugar....just a nice smooth energy. Pop didn't make his mid day call to check on us so I had to break it to him that I was leaving that evening when he got back in the house. He was dragging and said something about forgetting to grab some mail in the morning and then mentioned plantains. I only saw the ones in the house - not the ripe ones in the garage. I felt bad about leaving so early (but not) because I was feeling antsy about all that I had to finish up this-a-way. I offered to fry up the plaintains while he went to the post office which seemed to relieve him. He still said nothing about my red noggin. Pop sent me packing this time with a gluten free baguette - an extra one he had left over from the two-pack he bought for Mom. Mom's afternoon aide smelled of ashtrays.....so much so that I coughed when I got a good whiff of her. Pop coughed too so I followed him to the garage to ask him if he had gotten a whiff of the young lady. I didn't want to stir up stuff but was fully prepared to state my claim against the smoke stack vs. Mom who had her share of lung problems. Pop said that this particular lady only came to fill in for another and only every once in a while which quieted me down and let me know I could unpuff my chest - lol. So me and my baguette hit the road - stopping for gas and snacks.
About 45 miles outside of DC - I 95 decided to close a couple of lanes to do road work which threw me off schedule by at least an hour. It was so bad at one point that during stand still traffic a guy with glasses, a head full of nice dreads, and some of those damn skinny jeans on jumped out of his car and proceeded to do Drake's KeKe Challenge. I can't make this ish up. I hollered but couldn't get to my phone quick enough to take a pic because I was too busy enjoying the show.
A full day. 400+ miles, Momma's shade, crimson hair, half a missing eyebrow (another story-another day) but plenty of laughs and love.
Oh yeah, this t-shirt is a large. It's snug. My Costco buy - heed. Purchase a size or two larger than you really are.