The Odyssey, and Feeling Down

If you drive any distance with me you’ll notice two things: first that I drink an insane amount of coffee, and second that I have an exceptionally iron – clad bladder.  This can be both immensely helpful and immensely bad, depending upon circumstances.

My sister has the bladder of an 85 year – old man.  Our trip to New York, therefore, was an interesting mixture of conflicting needs.

At first it was fine having to stop at every rest area since we were making great time.  Driving on Memorial Day seemed to be a fantastic idea as we zipped through No.Va. and D.C. in no time flat and got all the way through Maryland and into Delaware quicker than I have in years.  Maddie would need to stop and I’d think it was a great time for a refill.  The GPS put our ETA into Saratoga at around 4 pm.  Awesome!  Plenty of time to relax and maybe swim a bit before having a leisurely dinner downtown.

That’s when we hit Jersey.

Bumper to bumper, slow moving and at times dead – stop traffic.  What’s worse is that occasionally traffic would break and we’d get up to the speed limit for awhile before hitting more congestion and we never once saw a single good reason for the congestion to be there, other than the jackasses who continually were jockeying lanes for a better position, forcing everyone else to constantly hit the brakes.

But I digress.

By the time we got out of Hell with bad hair Jersey our ETA has shot up to closer to 6:30.  AND I was in need of more coffee.  At the first rest area in New York I grabbed a Venti Frappucino from Starbucks and we were happily cruising along again.  It was familiar territory, there was no traffic to speak of, and I was feeling all nostalgic and happy.  I hadn’t used the rest room at that last stop because I hadn’t felt the need, and I figured Maddie’d need to stop right about when we hit Albany, so Venti Starbucks aside and despite that small nagging feeling that was creeping up on me  I was confident my iron bladder would do just fine.

Then all traffic came to a screeching halt just south of Kingston.  This was odd.  It’s been awhile since I lived there, but I didn’t think there was much call for that kind of back – up in that part of the state.   That’s also when I realized I was feeling that “need” a little stronger now.  I started plotting out the rest areas on the Thruway and wondering how long this stoppage of driving would last.  Eventually I couldn’t remember if there was a stop between Kingston and Albany so we decided to play it safe and head into Kingston should the cars in front of us ever move again.  And they did, after much cursing and a more pronounced need to pee snowballing on me.  I was mad at myself for taking my iron bladder for granted and not going at the last stop.  Now we had to take an unplanned detour.  I was also mad because we had finally gotten to a flashing sign that announced the right lane was blocked and we all needed to merge right.  So we did.  Only to discover that it was actually the left lane and it was blocked by a tow truck.

I flew into Kingston and headed straight for the Grand Union plaza right off the highway, glad that I remembered at least how to get around that town.  We hopped out of the car and ran into the store and found the bathroom was locked. Stupid me.  I made the executive decision to screw this and go to find a fast food place or gas station.  I headed to the town’s main thoroughfare.  Which looked like it should have been condemned years ago.  Now, I knew it wasn’t going to be as nice as I remembered it, but still. Plus, no real open businesses of any sort.  My bladder started to become uncomfortable.  I hit a bump and may have whined a bit.

Then, A Dunkin Donuts!  And it looks relatively new!  And it’s open!!!  We’re saved!

Not.
Little sign hanging on restroom door.  “Out of Order”.

Told Maddie I was just going to go use the train tracks.  Only half – joking.

I remembered there used to be a Stewart’s gas station and convenient store further down so we headed that way and found a Burger King!!!!  I’ve never been so happy to see the King.  This time there was no sign on the door.  Sweet merciful Lord I thank thee.……it’s locked.

I’m in here!!!

Maddie started to laugh.  I was nearly hysterical myself, but I was just relieved we found a potty that worked, ocupado or no.  So we sat and waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Then Maddie had the brilliant insight that she’s probably pooping in there.

Great.  Am I that desperate?  Yes.  But…..still.  A bathroom that’s going to be rather sketchy to begin with……..hey is that Walgreen’s next door open?

We made a mad dash across the street and found the jackpot.  Or jack – Pot. Then we had a nice laugh about how I should have just held it and we’d have made it all the way to Albany by now.

To add insult to injury, there IS a rest area not far north of Kingston.

We didn’t make it to Saratoga until 8:30.

Seems like better times to me right now.  T0day’s been a rough one.  Oona had to have all four top front teeth removed.  She fell and broke two of them right before Christmas and they started turning black not long after.  It spread like wildfire and by the time we could get her in to the dentist they wanted to cap them (for an ungodly sum of cash, to be pre-paid in full).  Then once we finally got to the appointment date (today) the nerves were involved to the point where there wasn’t a lot of hope for saving those teeth.  So they gave her that bright red cherry – flavored medicine to knock her out and she promptly threw it up all over me in the waiting room.  Then she acted drunk and mean for about an hour before they got her to sleep and pulled her teeth.

She is absolutely, 100% fine and happy.  I, on the other hand, am so traumatized I came home and cried my eyes out.  She’s going to have no front teeth until her permanent ones grow in.  Neve’s adult  front teeth just grew in a few months ago.  All I can think of is that we have 3 years of waiting and feeling guilty and wondering why these children have to constantly make me feel like the worst parent in the world.  3 years of toothless pictures and difficulty eating corn on the cob and apples and even, possibly, lisping.

Now excuse me while I go give thanks for Cymbalta.

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