February 20, 2012 by Kim
The other day, I was on the freeway… driving
Because that’s what you usually do on the freeway… Drive
and change flat tires…
and stare hopelessly under your open hood…
The sun had all but completely dipped into the horizon and darkness was quickly surrounding my car
I quietly drove along, dividing my time equally between road watching and people watching
Wait…. “quietly” is another word for singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” at the very tip-top of my lungs, right?
OK, good… I hate using words incorrectly
So, one of my favorite past times is people watching… especially if the person, in question, has not a clue that they are being observed
This can usually be accomplished, while driving
The other drivers normally don’t have a clue that they have become part of your latest little reality series… the one that’s constantly going on, inside your head
That is, unless they too are people watchers… and the most awkward thing, in the world, is when 2 seasoned people watchers lock eyes.
Neither wants to look away… One is on the others turf and there’s only room for 1 professional people watcher, in these parts
The stare-down will continue until someone remembers that they are currently behind the wheel of a car
and they should probably be looking at the road
So, back to the other evening…. An SUV came into my range
By then, my surroundings were completely cloaked in the night
From the depths of the SUV, I could see the small screen of a TV with cartoon characters running amuck
Kids nowadays don’t have a clue what a real road trip is like…
They have their DVD players, pre-packaged snacks, a pillow and blanket, handheld game systems and a backpack filled with a million and one activities… in case of boredom
My mind immediately shot back to my childhood road trips…
We had nothing….
Personal DVD Players? I think not, that’s what the window was for…. to watch stuff
Moaning about boredom, to the parents would receive one of two replies….
Look out the window…. or go to sleep
Sleeping in the back of a car, in the mid-eighties, was anything but comfortable.
Pillow and blanket? Hahahah! Funny…. try, take off your jacket… roll it into a ball… stick it under your head. Voila instant lumpy crap pillow
and why would you need a blanket when you can just tuck your legs up under your shirt?
When given the option of the window or sleep… you usually chose the window
because you had heard the following a million times
“Just go to sleep and by the time you wake up we’ll be there”
and it have never happened. Not once.
There were no comforts of home, during a long distance car ride. The most that I was usually able to bring, consisted of the following…
a book, usually of the Sweet Valley High or the Taffy Sinclair variety
*however the book would have to be abandoned after 30 minutes, as reading in the car always left me with a massive headache*
and ummm… well, that was it
So, out the window I would look…. for miles and miles and miles
Maybe that’s where my people-watching skills first evolved?
I really think that someone should pitch a new reality/game show type of thing…
Take a couple of modern kids…
Stick them in the backseat of a station wagon, with nothing except 2 books and a jacket
and tape their journey from California to Florida
They’d never make it…