I am not what some will call a ‘vacationer’. I’m very comfortable in my own home, and love my free reign of food, television, my own bed, and the internet. As we all know, we can’t always get what we want.
Each year I take a trip in a three hour, congested traffic car ride to South Bend, Indiana to compete at the National Baton Twirling Competition. Since I was seven years old, I trucked the three hour tour from the boarder if Illinois and Wisconsin, to Irishland Indiana. I couldn’t stand the music my mother played in our cooped up van each year, so it was time for a change.
Last year, I made the journey not with my mother, but with a mother of one of my teammates. She picked me up the Monday before the competition at six thirty in the morning. Not only am I NOT a vacationer, but I’m definitely not a morning person either.
It took twenty minutes before we were on the highway, and I was sound asleep. Of course though, I couldn’t be left to sleep. I had the beautiful alarm clock of a car horn and a ‘WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING IDIOT!’ I was in the backseat of a road raging baton mom.
For some people, this could be quite intimidating, but I however have planned out a few ways to protect yourself when found in a case such as this.Tip One: Do NOT play license plate games. ‘Road Ragers’ tend to be very competitive, and causing an argument with someone who is in control of the wheel, is not good. I know this, only from experience.
To try and pass some time, my teammate and I started playing the game where someone tries to find all fifty states on a license plate. Her mother overheard us playing and decided to make the game a little more interesting. After the three cars in front of us had been declared as Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio; the game was at a standstill — or so we thought.
My teammate’s mother began zigzagging through cars exclaiming ‘LOOK GIRLS, ITS A MINNESOTA! NEW ONE!’ Needless to say, I felt not only terrified, but now nauseated. Tip Two: Reading Harry Potter can pass the time, but also be found quite unsatisfying. After the night before of waiting four hours in line for a Harry Potter book at midnight, I decided it would be best to read one.
Turns out, these ‘Road Ragers’ turn into your pesky eight year old cousin when you are reading something. I hadn’t been reading longer than ten minutes when the RR had an outburst at me with ‘You know Snape kills Dumbledore right?’ I quickly closed my book and put it in my bag. So much for finding out the big twist I waited four hours in cold for.
Tip Three: ALWAYS go to the bathroom if you stop. RR’s are very diligent people, and if you have a tiny bladder [like mine] you might not survive. We had been driving for an hour and a half when I got a good ole’ call from nature. I told the RR I had to use the bathroom but of course. ‘WE’RE MAKING GREAT TIME! WE CAN’T STOP NOW’. So I was forced to sit cross-legged and hopping all over the backseat to avoid peeing myself. My mother really was right; always use the bathroom before you leave. Tip Four: Don’t try to get truckers to honk at you. As handsome as the fifty year old men in wife-beaters may be; according to some RR’S they can ‘follow us’ and we might have stalkers on our hands. As untrue as it may be, it will cause more of the zigzagging puke inducing driving. I eventually did make it safely to Notre Dame University. I finally got a hold of a bathroom, read my Harry Potter book in peace, had some other twirlers honk at our painted on windows, and even found 39 states and some Canada licenses in the parking lot of the competition. Two days later my mother finally made it down to the competition for the remaining week with me. It’s true, you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I appreciate my mother driving me places, and love that she’s willing to take me to my competitions. As adventurous as it was to be with my friends’ family for a few hours, I will be driving myself next year.
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