Thursday Thirteen #4: It's The Little Things That Does A Momma Good!
A Perfect Post - November '07

Saying "I love you," means never having to drive in Jersey.

I love my car - a Kia Sedona in a lovely shade of suburban sprawl - and spend a whole lot of my time, sitting in it.

Seriously.

Especially, this week, driving back-and-forth, while visiting my aunt in the hospital - thank you for your prayers and good wishes, they worked! - while she recuperates from diabetic shock, kidney failure, something some other hospital screwed up in her stomach, last time, oh...and...A HEART ATTACK!?!?

Man, the woman can fight!

Needless to say, the family has a long road ahead of them - the doctors have given Theresa about a year - and traveling down the shore (or, up the parkway) got me thinking.  A dangerous habit to get into, I know, for someone so, you know, dorky.

What is up with all the rudeness?

I mean, thank goodness Garth (not his real name) was driving, the other night - man, it was foggy - I had BOTH my hands free to let people know just how I felt.

Especially, you - WOMAN, driving the white SUV close enough for me to read your lips - kiss my rear fender!

[sits on hands for fear of poking an eye out]

Let me tell you, it's a battle and I'm seriously reconsidering my position on the alarming rash of Hummers I've seen riding around our quiet little county, lately, and perhaps painting Bertha (she's my car) a lovely shade of suburban assault!

What?

Why, yes, I've always named my cars - it empowers me to have another female on my side and I also believe it improves my driving skills exponentially, okay - and, honestly, would you mess with a woman named Bertha?

[shrugs shoulders]

Needless to say, keeping up with our crazy schedule, AND one of the kids getting sick, AND the dog eating the last of the cinnamon buns - also taking into consideration, the ridiculous amount of time I've spent, driving and/or sitting on my hands, this week - my nerves are shot.

So, Garth (not his real name) sent me an email, this morning - one of the ONLY times we get to, you know, talk to each other, sort of - and I thought I'd share it with my online friends, and perhaps offer a better understanding of why I have a problem using the moniker "stay-at-home" mom - an oxymoron, at best - when I spend most of my time, on the road, with Bertha.

[blows bangs out of eyes and backs it down a notch]

Anyway, I guess you have to live in New Jersey - especially, the central, or northern sections  closer to NYC - to know.

But, this is funny, even if you don't.

How To Survive a Day in New Jersey

1. First, you must learn how to pronounce Newark....It is New-erk, not New-ark.

(Actually, it's pronounced 'NORK'.)

2. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 a.m. to noon. The evening rush
hour is from noon to 7:00 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday
morning.

3. The minimum acceptable speed on the turnpike is 85 mph. On the
Garden State Parkway it's 105 or 110. Anything less is considered
'Wussy.'

4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Jersey has its own
version of traffic rules. For example, cars/trucks with the loudest
muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires
go second. However, in Monmouth County , SUV-driving, cell
phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended,
cussed out, and possibly shot.

6. Never honk at anyone. EVER. It's another offense that can get you shot.

7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in all of Jersey .
Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment during the
middle of the night to make the next day's driving a bit "more
exciting".

8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks, dogs,
cats, barrels, cones, celebs, rubber-neckers, shredded tires,
cell-phoners, deer and other road kill and other drivers trying to, you know, hit 'em.

9. Mapquest does not work here -- none of the roads are where they say
they are or go where they say they do. And all the Turnpike EZ pass
lanes are moved each night once again to make your ride more exciting.

10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the
shoulder immediately to let them know it has been 'accidentally
activated.'

11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65mph
zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be 'flipped off'
accordingly. If you return the flip, you'll be shot.

12. Do not try to estimate travel time -- just leave Monday afternoon
for Tuesday appointments, by noon Thursday for Friday, and right after
church on Sunday for anything on Monday morning.

There, I feel MUCH better - now that YOU know, I love you - don't you?

Have a great weekend!

If anyone needs me, I'll be at the high school volunteering in the kitchen for the kids' soccer banquet.

[shudder]

I'm scheduled in to be there at 7:30 a.m. SHARP - yes, I am one of THOSE moms, too - but, it's close enough to walk and I do NOT have to drive!

Stay-at-home mom, my rear bumper!

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