I traveled to Corvallis in a rental car today. Well, I use the term “car” loosely. It was more like a brick on wheels. That is what it feels like to drive a Dodge Charger, my friends. It’s all dashboard and bonnet, with a tiny windshield. I felt like I needed a phonebook to sit on in order to see over my steering wheel. Also, it was keyless ignition, which is just plain weird. What is with this entire “press foot on brake then push button” to start and stop your car? There was nothing I liked about that brickmobile, except for the automatic lights,
But even those automatic lights betrayed me on the drive home. If anyone was driving on I205 between Albany and Keiser today, let me extend my apologies, because I drove for god-knows-how-long with my brights on. Yes, I saw the little signal on the dash that indicated my brights were blinding oncoming motorists. I thought it was a mistake because the dial was turned to “automatic” and not on “brights.” It then dawned on me that I clicked them on when I was fiddling around with the turn signal. Yes, folks, I was that jackass who was blinding you in the white brickmobile on the freeway this evening. I did graduate college and have operated motor vehicles since I was 17. I know, that’s no excuse. Sigh.
When I dropped off the brickmobile, I pulled in to the airport parking garage and saw where it looked like I was supposed to drive, but in front of my was one of those spikey things that you see on Cops and bad movies that they throw out into the road when they are trying to pop a perp’s tires. “I can’t possibly drive over that,” I thought, so I stopped, then pulled forward, then realizing I was crooked, reversed it and pulled in straight. I parked right in front of the spike strip and stared at the sign for a good two minutes debating on what to do before realizing that, YES, I can drive over it. So I gingerly put the car into drive and prayed to the brickmobile gods that I wouldn’t kill the tires. One of the rental car employees started waving me in, just as I got a text message from Boyfriend that said, “That was cute.” I had no idea what he meant until he told me that I drove right past him and he watched the entire episode of me not knowing what the hell to do with the brick. That was pretty super. I’m glad I gave someone a good laugh.
You know what else I don’t like? The fact that because I didn’t have keys to leave in the ignition, I dropped the fob into my bag and inadvertently absconded with remote controls. That’s right, folks: I got home to find the fake keys in my bag, and had to call the rental company to let them know. Luckily they were really nice and understanding, and despite my embarrassment, we had a good laugh. Tomorrow I get to take an additional trip to the airport rental location to drop them off. Sigh.
The reason I was in Corvallis with a rental was for a work conference. I haven’t been to Oregon State since I was a kid and my FauxFather taught ROTC in that white dingy quonset hut on campus. After the conference, I drove through my old stomping grounds, passing by my high school and through the neighborhood I lived in, which still looks almost exactly the same. That town has somehow managed to be so changed, yet still exactly the same, which I think is some kind of small town witchcraft. The craziest part of my visit was walking through Fred Meyer, because I realized that Albany is pretty much Roseburg, if Roseburg were to snag some kind of industry to put people to work. Camo, bad dye jobs, and overalls are just a few of the hot messes I spied in the store.
When I finally made it home I noshed on some pasta and had this spectacular exchange with my mother, which I’d like to title “Heartwarming Conversations with Mom, #246.”
Me: It was weird driving through Albany. It was really weird being at OSU and seeing the old quonset hut dad worked in. It’s changed so much since I was there last. God, it’s been like, 16 years. I was just a kid.
Mom: You know what’s weird? Just think, when I was your age, I had a 13 year old.
Me: Awesome. You had a 13 year old at 31, and your 31 year old daughter is unmarried, childless, and can’t hold onto a man for longer than a Kardashian marriage. Super.
Mom: *erupts into laughter* Oh, punkin.
Now that’s family love right there. Until next time.