Stuart Murdoch – “Another Saturday”
My parents recently opened up a restaurant at a marina in Northwest Arkansas. A few weeks ago I wrote here about heading up there for the opening. Well this last weekend, the Harrison family made the three hour drive up there again for the official Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony. And because we just wanted to see the family, eat good food, and maybe get out on the lake for a little sunny day stroll. Friday, all went pretty much according to plan. But Saturday? Saturday things changed. All day long.
I’m not writing this for you. No, no. I’m writing this for me. ViaChicago will serve as my journal today. Let’s hope I find a way to leave the teenage angst out of it this go-around. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
– Abe wakes up a little earlier than normal. No biggie. We’re staying in a rent house with the family. Everyone else is still sound asleep, so we’re trying to keep things quiet. But he’s not exactly a menace or anything. Yet.
– I decide to go for an early morning jog around the neighborhood. Only the neighborhood just sort of ends. So I head out on the main streets around the neighborhood. That lack sidewalks. And only have uneven, patchy grass. Terrified of ankle sprains a week before I’m heading on a ski trip (it’s happened before), I tread lightly. Knees are hurting when I get back. But still, no biggie.
– Abe is no longer content. He’s fussy. Bored. Upset. Maybe a little tired. Crying is happening. No more staying quiet.
– I’m going to refer to any and all “fights” with the missus as “tiffs”. All day long, we never really had a full-blown fight. Well. Maybe that’s a lie. But nonetheless, tiff number one happened around this time. Why? Who knows? Why do tiffs ever happen? No one really remembers. Do they?
– We decide to head to the marina for breakfast and to put Abe down for a morning nap. He’s sleepy. My Mom decides she’s joining us. She just has to do her hair. She’s a Southern woman. Always has been. Always will be. Even when she lived in Chicago blizzards. Just “doing her hair” means 45 minutes. Abe’s unhappy about this decision. He wants us to know that.
– Mom wants me to get her makeup out of my little sister’s bathroom. Which my little sister’s boyfriend happens to be occupying at the time. Mom doesn’t understand why I won’t go in there to retrieve said makeup, even if it means intruding on another man in a bathroom. It’s man code. You don’t do that. You don’t put two lions in a cage. You don’t put two lions in a cage. Right? Sounds right to me. Think that may be inaccurate. Anyway…
– Little sister gets out of bed to slam the door because we “were all being too loud while she was trying to sleep”. She’s since apologized. I’ve since stopped rolling my eyes like a little jerk.
– We load into car. Abe’s still crying. Have I mentioned that?
– A car in front of me is taking about 3 minutes to take a right turn into an empty parking lot. I’m unhappy. Chicago driver comes out of me. I honk. Perhaps excessively. Perhaps. I’m a jerk, again.
– I admit my immaturity in that situation to my wife. Thank God for clarity. And a sense of humor. See what’s next…
– Mom tells me to take a left down another road for a “shortcut”. Shortcut road looks like an old country highway. I drive accordingly. Shortcut road speed limit is not 47mph. It is in fact 30mph. I have an encounter with a mildly sarcastic Bethel Heights police officer to thank for that information. And a $170 ticket. Believe it or not, I wasn’t even a jerk to the cop. If you know me, you know that’s a miracle. Like water to wine. On a side note…I’d be a lot more okay with paying ridiculously high traffic citations if the money went to a charity or a mission field. Wouldn’t you? To know my nearly 200 bucks was going to fresh water wells in Africa? I might get me a Hemi.
– Back on the road, driving 10 miles under the limit, Mom offers to pay my ticket. It’s her fault, she says. Because she made me take the shortcut. I get upset with Mom for the offer. Don’t want her trying to take care of me like a child. I’m a big boy. I can pay for my own ticket. I’m also a big jerk. Again.
– As we pull near the marina, Abe begins to choke on a bite of food in the backseat. Screaming ensues. I snap. Man, I wish I was making myself sound better here. Nope. Major jerk this time. For no real reason. Abe’s okay, but is crying hysterically in the chaos and fear of the moment. Tiff number two occurs. The word “tiff” may have been used incorrectly in that last sentence.
– We arrive at marina. Safe and sound. It’s about 9:45 in the morning. And the day is just beginning. No kidding. I’ll save the rest for tomorrow. Believe it or not, it doesn’t end here.