as a child of parents who grew up in the 1950s and who instilled in me a great appreciation of all things mid-century american, i have an unexplained and completely irrational love for car trips. like, cross-country, three-days-in-the-car, coast-to-coast car trips. like, if-you-kids-don’t-shut-the-hell-up-i’m-going-to-pull-over-and-spank-every-last-one-of-you-until-you-bleed, car trips.
i still glance longingly at neon howard johnson and holiday inn motel signs while speeding across dark stretches of interstate. i fondly remember stopping at stuckey’s and loading up on cheap trinkets and inedible snacks, including the dreaded peanut log roll, a real cotton boll, and some mexican jumping beans. in retrospect, i realize there were actually tiny moth larvae living inside the beans, and when they stopped jumping, it’s because they were dead… and well, it’s just plain disgusting. but for a child, the road was filled with exciting and mysterious possibilities, and i looked forward to every trip with anticipation.
so when i told my kids (the bully and the princess) that we were driving to disneyworld for christmas vacation i expected to be greeted with excited and gleeful shrieks of joy. instead i was met with horrified stares that spoke volumes without saying a single word – mom has just lost her damn mind. my generation Z kids cannot spend more than 20 minutes in a car without some sort of external stimuli, and coloring books and barbies do not cut it.
“awww, mom do we have to drive? i don’t want to drive. it’s boring. i want to fly!” they moaned.
“why certainly, children, we can fly. do you have $1,500?” i answered.
“does santa know that we’re going to disneyland? how will he know where to bring the presents. i’d rather go to nana’s. santa knows where nana lives,” they whined.
“go to your rooms,” i said calmly, smoke coming out of my ears, my visions of our memorable holiday journey fading.
“the little ingrates,” i silently fumed. “we’re going to freaking DISNEYLAND! at CHRISTMAS for chrissakes! do you know how many little children would kill their siblings to go to DISNEYWORLD during CHRISTMAS?!!”
apparently disneyworld does not mean shit when a journey of 1,000 miles lies between you and the magic kingdom, and santa’s not changing his delivery route.
…to be continued…