Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I'm the Responsible One in this Relationship

So there I was last week minding my own business when my mother called me. "Your Grandmother is moving to Virginia next week and she has some furniture for you if you can drive down to Arizona and pick it up." Well, being short notice and all I thought we pulled it together rather quickly, however, the "furniture" became just a bookcase the more my Aunt got involved (because clearly she wanted anything she could get her hands on and I'm not really sure why I got earmarked a bookcase, but I'm really happy I did). Anyway, I drove over to Hayward to pick up Mr. Fix-it after loading up the car all by myself. I even managed to get there on time. Once there, I had to wait 2 hours for him to stop talking to people and get his rear end out the door. It seems like everyone wanted to tell us just exactly how to get to Tuscan from San Francisco. Fortunately we did take the way I had pointed out to him otherwise we would have arrived even later than expected. But we still didn't leave until 5pm (much like the trips we took as a child because my father couldn't get out the door on time either).

The first day of driving was uneventful. We stopped at Andersen's pea soup kitchen. I hate
Andersen's pea soup. It's flavorless and flavorless, but I ordered it anyway, because apparently I like to torchure myself. And then I was asked to drive through the "Grapevine" which is the mountainous part of the highway in the rain and fog and through L.A. We arrived in Desert Palms at 2:30 am.

The next morning we got up a little late and were planning on having breakfast with one of Jim's co-workers who has a house down there. However, as both of them were working via their phones the am turned into pm and we finally went out to lunch. Which meant we didn't get to go to Joshua Tree Nat. Park and we would arrive in Green Valley at 8:30pm. We stopped in a place called Blythe, Ca for lunch. Okay, we stopped at a gas station that had a Quiznos as opposed to the McDonald's next door. Since we didn't actually get anything at Quiznos, getting nothing at McDonalds would have been just as good especially since they have highchairs and Quiznos doesn't. On our approach to Phoenix I noticed a sign pointing out an alternative route around the city bypassing traffic. Without a map it was difficult to determine if this information was true, but we finally figured it out, turned around and headed south as we were headed into rush hour anyway. So by the time we got to Green Valley it was 8:30 and all the restaurants in Green Valley close at 8pm because everyone in the city is pretty much over 55. So our choices were: Denny's and The Family Restaurant. We went to the Family Restaurant, which hadn't really improved since the last time we were there.

The next day was uneventful. I did get to move all our stuff from one room to another by myself, much like I got to unload the car by myself. My Grandmother did give us a leather lazyboy that had been my Grandfather's. My Aunt acted resentful toward us from that point on and began convincing my Grandmother that EVERYTHING she owned was going to fit in her new appartment that is half the size of her current one. Clearly she had an agenda.

The next day was the day we left. I had to get Mr. Fix-it to move his rear end and go get some moving blankets that took him over an hour to locate and then I had to help him move all the furniture. Then while he tied down the stuff in the back I loaded up the car. By myself. You notice a theme here? Then we drove to Tuscan to have lunch with Jenny and Rafael, because going back to Tuscan seems like a moot point now that my Grandmother is moving. By the time we got to Phoenix I was seriously regretting not going to Tubac to look at Indian pottery so Mr. Fix-it found a place in Phoenix to go to and then said and I quote "It's 10 miles out of the way, I'd rather we not go." and I said, and I quote "I still want to go and you need to get some gas before leaving Phoenix" You could hear the crickets in the car. Needless to say we didn't go. I went to sleep angry and was woken up 45 minutes later to this "Um, honey, there hasn't been a gas station in 35 miles and I'm almost out. The GPS says there isn't any gas for another 40 miles. I'm going to pull over here at this (desolate) exit while I still have some and call AAA. Only I have to use your card because I've exceeded my limit for the year already and my phone isn't working so I have to use yours." Crickets again. When I pointed out that I had told him to get gas he responded he thought there'd be another station further up. When I asked why we were stopping here while we still had some gas he said it was safer. So when the AAA guy showed up in the pouring rain and said there was a gas station 8 miles up the road I could have pushed someone out of the car. And since we wasted an hour in the rain, on the side of the road, clearly we had had time for me to look at Indian pottery. By the time we got to Desert Palms it was late and we were forced to eat a Pizza Hut.

The next day we drove back to Joshua Tree and wound our way through the park. We ate dinner at Denny's because they were open and I was asked to drive the 10:30-3am shift home. The worst part of which was the pansy that cut in front of me on the Bay Bridge and had the nerve to go under the speed limit on the new S curve. Clearly he didn't know I was from West Michigan and could have done such an easy curve in my sleep. Bunch of California wusses!

And so you have it. My account of driving to Tuscan, Az. And how somebody, not me, ran out of gas on the highway, in the middle of the desert with his wife and baby in the car in a rain storm.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Man, I didn't really understand the trauma of this trip. You seemed so calm! I'm glad we got to meet you however, and I hope the angsty feelings have faded into happy memories (wasn't there a rainbow over Green Valley when you arrived? I'm sure there was...)