Today we drove from Minneapolis to Kansas City. Jason picked me up from work around 4:15, and we immediately headed south. J had the day off of work, so he packed our stuff and was supposed to finish up the dishes. Marie was going to be checking on our cats while we were gone, and I didn’t want her to see our house a mess. About thirty seconds after I get into the car, J defensively informs me, “I didn’t get the dishes done.”
“Did you get any of them done?”
“Well, yeah. But the glasses and pans are still there, “ he tells me.
“Okay. It is what it is. I’m not going to worry about it.“
Then I look into the backseat and realize that the books, journals and other miscellaneous items from the end of the dining room table that I wanted to make the trip to Oklahoma with us are haphazardly stacked all over the backseat. No bag, no container. Just chucked in the car. Since I didn’t actually have to do any of the packing, for which I am exceedingly grateful (I hate packing), I kept my mouth shut. For the time being.
It’s the first time in awhile where I’ve felt just completely comfortable. We didn’t turn on the radio until we had almost reached Kansas City. We’d sit in comfortable silence, or mention the scenery. We saw a flock of 10 or so wild turkeys searching for goodies in a farm field. Those turkeys were huge; I laughed and told J we could eat them. Later down the road, we saw a herd of deer leaping and running through tall, golden dried grasses. I saw several hawks; one with a white breast was just sitting on a farm fence post right by the highway, searching the field for mice. For the most part J and I would talk and tease each other and laugh.
Stopped by an Arby’s to get a few snacks. J glances over at me sheepishly and says “I lost part of my potato bite in the sauce.” I, being the nice wife that I am, fished it out and popped it in his mouth (even if he wasn’t quite ready yet since he was still chewing the first part of the potato bite). He commented, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d be so nice.” To which I teasingly replied, “So that’s why you look at me so forlornly and mention how you lost your bite of potato to the deep well of sauce. The implication being ‘FIX IT’ because you don’t want to get your hands dirty, and even though I like getting dirty even less than you do—you wanted me to salvage that one last bite of potato wedge.” He replies, “But you LOVE me.” And I do.
After eating the potato bites (which were quite tasty with the sauce, by the way), we unwrapped our roast beef sandwiches; I had a regular roast beef; J had a roast beef and cheddar. (After eating Maverick’s roast beef sandwiches at Lexington and Larpenteur in St. Paul, Arby’s isn’t very appetizing anymore. But, that is a completely different story.). I turned on the car light to be able to see my sandwich to ooze some horsey sauce out of the plastic packet Arby’s gave us.
J then looked at his hand with horror, and then turns to me, “I thought I just had a runny nose. But I didn’t. I thought I smelled blood. My nose was bloody. Look at it!” Sure enough, J has a 1/2 “ wide blood ribbon trailing from thumb to wrist where he wiped his nose. (Makes me exceedingly eager to hold his left hand at my first opportunity, as that seems to be the snot wiping hand.) And again, the implication from the conversation being “fix it.” So, I told him to finish his messy sandwich (hey, we only had a very limited supply of napkins) and I’d help him get cleaned up then. After he finished his sandwich, I dipped a clean napkin in my pink daisy Nalgene bottle filled with water, and had him wipe his hands with that. Then I gave him a dry napkin to wipe the water off. Meanwhile, he’s driving somewhere in Iowa this whole time.
I semi-jokingly told him, “I feel like I’m baby-sitting a toddler.” And he looks at me and sweetly says, “I was thinking you’d be a great mom, since you’re doing such a good job of mothering me.” I laugh and say, “Umm…I’m NOT your mother, and you’ve already got a mom. She’s done a good enough job with you so far.” We both laugh.
After we actually got to Missouri, I asked J where the directions to his cousin Terry’s house were. “In the backseat.”
“Oh, thanks. That’s helpful. Where among the junk piles in the back might they be?” Meanwhile I can see J pushing his lip bottom lip out and trying not to giggle. He does this every time he is about to be caught for something slightly shady or tricksy.
And the light bulb turns on in my head. “You did this on purpose. You thought that if you didn’t do a good job at packing everything that you would never have to do this again.”
J starts full out giggling . And at this point I know what was just a hunch, is a plain old fact.
And I’m laughing at this point too. “You did do it on purpose. You just chucked everything singly in the car, so I’d be upset or think you were incompetent at packing and wouldn’t make you load the car again.”