I meant to write this post a week ago when I actually was on the road...but life sort of got in the way and here I am a week later just now having the time to get my thoughts in order.
So I just took my first overnight Capitol Steps trip since before Lucy was born. I was a little nervous about leaving her overnight - ALL ALONE (umm...you know, except her Daddy), without her MAMA! What was she going to DO??? Well, she was going to be absolutely fine, that's what she was going to do. So I may or may not have shed a tear or two as I kissed Lucy goodbye and gave Grandma and Grandpa some last minute (totally unnecessary, I am sure) instructions, locked the door behind me and got into my car. So I'm a sap.
But then a funny feeling overtook me. I really couldn;t place it until I was at Starbucks 10 minutes later getting my Iced Chai Tea Crack and breakfast wrap for the road. I gathered my food and beverage and was about the hightail it out and get back into the car to get on the road. I stopped and thought "Wait a minute". No one needed me ALL DAY. I didn't have to be anywhere until 5:30 that evening. My drive was only 3.5 hours. I could sit and read the paper if I wanted to. It was only 9:00 am! It was then that I identified the feeling:
I could do whatever I pleased, without asking anyone if they needed me, if it was okay, if they had something to do that required me to be around. I won't call it "freedom" because I don't actually feel "unfree" (enslaved?) in my everyday life. I just feel - and with good reason - that I have to clear my schedule with others before I am can do what I want/need. So this feeling of absolute autonomy was a revelation. A really good one.
So I sat and read the paper. Ate my food, drank my drank. And when I was ready, I got back into my car and began my drive.
So the ability to make unilateral decisions about where to eat my scone notwithstanding, I had a number of fairly ridiculous revelations on this brief 30 hour trip to Christopher Newport University.
One. If you are at Starbucks, and your order starts with "I just want..." you CANNOT continue by saying "...a venti, quad, two pump vanilla, room for cream, no foam, extra hot cappuspresso in a personal cup." This is not an exaggeration. I may have gotten some of the components of this uber-drink wrong, but I swear the man went on ordering for 30 full seconds. "I just want..." is reserved for "a small decaf" or "a medium peppermint tea". You can't even say "I just want..." and use the official Starbucks lingo for drink sizes. It just doesn't go. This wasn't so much a revelation as the crystalization of a universal truth.
Two. My car CD player has a shuffle setting. For the last month I have been dealing with my CD player annoyingly going to from track 4 to, say, track 18 for no apparently good reason. I first discovered it when my mom gave me an audiobook on CD to listen to. I love a good audiobook. This one was not really great, mostly because it was written about high tech stuff and the internet...in 1998. So to say it was dated is an understatement. Anyway, I pop the CD in and am dismayed to notice it skipping around randomly from track to track, making the already fairly dull story incomprehesible. I couldn't figure it out, so I just manually moved the tracks forward and chalked it up to a faulty CD. When I was driving to Newport News, it was happening again. When I had heard the same song 4 times in an hour because the "CD was messed up", I happened to glance down at the display and saw the letters RAND underneath the track display. It was highlighted. "RAND?" I thought, "What does RAND...wait a minute..." Random. I pressed the button under the RAND and amazingly, the CD was no longer messed up. I have had this car for 6 years. My powers of observation are sharp as a tack. Of course if you are under 25 you are probably thinking "Why didn't you just play your iPod?"
Three. My phone takes video! Kevin sent me a video of Lucy eating dinner (SO CUTE!). I played it for everyone in the cast. And at some point I said "I wish MY phone took video"! T says "your phone plays video but doesn't take it? Weird." This gets me exploring a little. In about 12 seconds I have found the menu that takes me to the video setting. So yeah. My phone takes video. I have had this phone for 3 years. And yes. I have had the same phone for 3 years. Don't judge.
My laptop has an SD card reader. My camera battery died. I was irritated that I had to charge my the battery before uploading photos by using the apparently archaic and virutally barbaric method of a mini USB cable. I did a little exploring...and wait! Could this little slot on the front of my laptop - could that possibly be a card reader??? Why yes, it is! An SD card reader! Right there! I don't have to go looking for the USB cable? What??!? Too good to be true! I have had this laptop for 2 years.
I did the show in Newport News. I ordered a glass of wine. I watched TV. I slept for 10 hours. I got room service for breakfast. At 11 am I checked out of the hotel. I stopped at Starbucks (I just want...), I sat and read the paper...but I was starting to feel the autonomy slipping away. I missed my little girl. I missed my hubby. They were expecting me at home aometime around 3:00.
And you know what? It was good to know.