Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Traveling with Parents

I love my parents. I promise, I really do. There are days, and times though, where I can imagine happily choking them.

If I ever have the urge to go out of town with them again, please shoot me. Please. You have my permission.

This past weekend, we went to the big city of Abilene, Texas to spend some time with my niece (who turned 11 yesterday) and nephew. My parents went too. So they could see the kids and spend some time with both of them before school started and play the birthday fairy. 

My parents aren't the most organized or the best planners. We left on Friday and came home early Sunday afternoon. We needed clothes for 2 days. They had like 8 bags of various sizes. 8 bags. For 2 days. My husband and I had one big suitcase, a cooler bag with snacks (in case we were hungry after swimming) and 2 smallish boxes with the kids birthday stuff in it. Obviously we didn't come home with the boxes, we carried everything into the hotel and out of the hotel in one trip. No luggage rack needed. My parents on the other hand, had a luggage rack half full. For 2 days.

I don't know if it's because they are retired, or because they are old, or because they think that they are old, but they have no plan. It's a go with the flow mentality. Which is fine, when others aren't involved. I'm a planner. I like to have a game plan, and when dealing with my step sister, plans are always good, because she never has any. Kinda like my parents. Figuring out when to eat and where to go was like pulling teeth. It was an ordeal that shouldn't have been. A simple, pizza sounds good, or whatever would have been nice. Instead it was a "oh, I don't care." I'm pretty sure that my head came close to exploding a few dozen times.

Then it was "I'm tired, and too old, too fat, too sick because I smoke 12 packs a day" to have any desire to do anything other than sit in a hotel room all day. I get that they aren't in the best of health. I get that. I do. But, lose some weight, quit smoking, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Don't just sit around and complain how crappy you feel when you won't do anything about it. My grandmother did that, and it drove me crazy, and now I see the same behavior in my mother and father. It sucks. But to 2 adults who are in good health, sitting around the hotel on a Saturday afternoon, doesn't really sound all that appealing. We are usually out doing things and moving around. We ended up going to the zoo. Me, John, Sophie, and Scott. Both of the kids whined because it was hot and humid and after 10 minutes they were ready to go. We spent 2 hours at the zoo. It was fun. It hot and humid and getting miserable. I will give them that.

They aren't planners and like to have a game plan in place. They aren't OCD like I am. They didn't have to have their car cleaned out and detailed before they left. They didn't stay up late the night before cleaning their house so that they could come home to a nice sparkly clean place. Nope, they stayed up late doing laundry and packing, which I had done days before. That's them. That's me.

However there were times that I just wanted to scream at them to get there crap together and act like an adult. Not like some person who was lost and didn't have a clue. Yet, they have been like that my entire life. My mom has always been a procrastinator to the extreme. She has always waited until the last minute to pack and do laundry. She doesn't do laundry now until she is out of underwear. And only then, she digs around hoping for clean ones to put it off a few more days. My dad is different, he gets all excited about something and then his excitement quickly fizzles out.

Then there is the smoking. After my dad had his heart attack they had quit, for about 8 months. They were fighting all the time, and being snippy with each other, and decided that they would start back and it would solve all of their problems. They don't realize that they are adding to them. My father couldn't even walk from the restaurant to the truck without huffing and puffing like he had just ran a hard mile. It was maybe, maybe 40 feet. Maybe. It screws with my asthma, Sophie's asthma and it makes me and them smell like we have wallowed in an ashtray and not taken a shower in days.

There were parts of the weekend that were fun. There were parts that I could have done without. I just wish that they would try to be more willing to meet us halfway, than just sit back and let the majority of the decision making be done by John and myself.

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