It’s almost time for our September trip to Mexico, and I was reminded about how anxious I get when I am between places. I am a terrible backseat driver on car trips, and exhaust myself bracing for impending car crashes. Ron is a great, safe driver, but I worry about other drivers on the highway. It doesn’t help that Ron keeps up a constant stream of patter about the “Idiots” on the road. “Oh, look at this clown! He doesn’t see the big truck in front of him in the left lane. Right. Rush on up there! There go the brake lights. Moron!” Or, “This guy is in a big hurry. Look how he is weaving between lanes. He thinks he’s going to get in front of us. No way.” Then Ron lays on the horn and I brace for gunshots coming from the idiot in question..
I am a tense driver with both hands gripping the wheel. When Ron has worn himself out cussing and honking, he asks me to drive a while so he can nap. He has the rare ability to close his eyes, cross his arms, and be instantly sleeping. Small snorts and long snores come out of his mouth almost immediately. I grasp the wheel, ease back on the interstate, and in my eagerness to get to our destination, pass every other car on the road. Luckily, Ron’s naps end as instantly as they begin. Fifteen or so minutes later he wakes up refreshed and tells me to pull over. Worn out from the intensity of driving, I gratefully pull over and resume my knitting while he takes over.
I am even worse when we fly. First, I have to get to the airport hours before the flight “just in case.” My eyes are glued to the road on I-26 as we approach the airport, terrified that a sea of brake lights will appear, indicating an accident or unexplained delay. I triple check our passports, tickets, itinerary. Yes. All here. Plenty of parking at Asheville airport thank goodness!Going through airport security is ripe with pitfalls, though. It seems that Ron gets pulled to the side every time and his bags are searched. Don’t understand why, even though he sometimes has a knife in his pocket, but more often he is pulled for no apparent reason.
Once we are in the air, I am fine. I am not scared of flying, just of missing my flight. We try to fly out of Asheville and change planes in Charlotte, and that’s where my anxiety amps up.The minute the chimes indicate we can remove seat belts and we are liberated from the Asheville flight, which seems constipated with travelers taking forever to get their bags together and drag themselves off the plane, I am like a race horse let out of the start gate. I look back over my shoulder to see Ron lagging behind and shout to him to hurry! When he fades from sight, I shout over my shoulder, “I’ll make them hold the flight for you!.” The area of the airport where the small planes land is miles from the general concourse, involving long straight stretches of lanes, some of those moving sidewalks, and several flights of steps. Even though I plan trips with hours of time between flights, it still seems to take every second to get from one gate to the next. I do make it to the gate before Ron, but he inevitably arrives in plenty of time. We still stand around in aimless groups waiting to board, and once we are settled in our seats, I can breathe again until our return trip. Next time, I plan to use some Xanax.