Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Slow is Smooth...

"Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.", I said to myself.

"Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."

I mean, it worked for Mark Wahlberg in that movie, The Shooter, right? 'Cause he was slow, smooth, fast, AND could shoot things that were like 2500 yards away, right?

This will work.

Trust me.

We'll just...you know, take our time, move along at a slow, steady pace, not get all worked up about anything and get there when we get there.

I mean, it's not like what I was about to do was STRESSFUL or anything. Just a run-of-the-mill textbook sort of vacation. A trip to see the family. A "coming home" of sorts.

With FOUR kids in tow.

Oh, and, of course, BY MYSELF.

"Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." I repeated a few more times.

We set out from the house about 9 am.

Then we stopped at the place in town and had the oil changed, filled up on gas, and stopped at the bank. Oh, and the post office.

We made it all of 15 minutes down the road when I started feeling... Sleepy??? Really?! Yep, sleepy.

Great. Only 6 more hours of fighting off this drowsy feeling to go.

We stopped at the next town and did a slightly different sort of fueling up.

Okay, back on the road we went. A pit stop or two and we were in - Grand Rapids!

Now I had this little plan in the back of my mind about how I was going to jump off the freeway, stop at the mall, make two returns (I had my returns, the receipts, everything needed all bagged and ready to go) stop at a walmart, make another return, (I hate doing returns but I really wanted that little bit of extra spending money for the trip, right?) grab lunch, pee and water the troups, and be back on the freeway in under an hour. I even had my printed out directions to follow IN MY HAND.

It gets a little fuzzy between taking that exit and ending up in timbukno-where-near the mall, but I do remember the distinct realization that my second mistake (I still have no idea what the first mistake was 'cause I tell you I followed those printed directions PERFECTLY) was to listen to what google maps was telling me to do on my new snazzy phone that has, like, this uncanny ability to KNOW right where I am just by where my PHONE is. I know, crazy, right?

So here I am, following the directions on google maps, and getting thismuchcloser to the mall than I was before. And we were hungry. And needing the bathroom. And sick and tired of looking for the mall. So I followed the nearest sign for the nearest freeway and continued SOUTH without looking back.

Well, until the next couple of pit stops had me repeating my new mantra, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."

"I can DO this!" I said under my breath as we neared the exits for South Bend.

I know right where the mall is and I can just shoot off, make my returns, and we'll be back on the road in under an hour...

Yep, sounds familiar, I know.

So.... two hours later when I was attempting to get back on the freeway after an incredibly frustrating time with an airhead employee at the FIRST store (hey, it's not MY fault that abercrombie and fitch insists on hiring people that inspire to be a&f models and have no concept of customer service nor care to) and giving up on attempting the other two stores, I was again listening to google maps tell me how to get out of South Bend.

And while I'm on the subject - it's not my fault that abercrombie and fitch went ahead and decided to follow this strange new trend where all the mens shirts are cut like womens shirts in the shoulders. I mean, really?! Who decided it was the thing to do to change the classic shirt that I rebought Colby (okay, so it WAS my fault that I ruined his favorite shirt and needed to replace it, but still) in the same size as his last one, but would have fit ME in the shoulders, not HIM. And by the way, a&f employee/inspiring model - after you go EAT something and can think straight again, try to catch this concept: when someone is trying to exchange like for like (straight across, exact shirt) they are NOT trying to rip you off just because they bought the shirt online at a lower price. Really. I promise. If you'd take that pounding music out of my head I might have tried to talk you into that concept but no, pounding music + 4 little kids does NOT a happy momma make.

Okay, where was I?

Oh, yeah.

I saw WAY more of South Bend than I ever did when I lived in the area and WAY more than I ever, ever, EVER wanted to, believe me.

What did we learn?

Don't listen to google maps with its little blinking green light on your phone saying, "it's okay, listen to me, I won't get you lost!" while leading you all sorts of astray!

Just a few more pit stops and we were *almost* to our Indiana destination.

And then the phone rang.

"Are you at such-and-such a road or have you already passed that? Where are you?"

She spoke so fast I had a hard time deciphering what on earth she was saying.


She repeated it and I picked up a little more, or at least enough to slam on the brakes as I came to the very road she was talking about right then.

"Okay, what am I doing again?"

"Just turn right, okay? Then go down to the second street and..."

"Oh, man! I was supposed to turn right? I just turned left!!!"

And so went yet another round of "Who's on first?" for half an hour until I finally found the place I was looking for and picked up the missing paperwork that had been floating around at the wrong address for a while.

Without any further ado (or pit stops!) we made it! (that was day ONE. just wait till you hear about day TWO!)

It only took us 12 hours what should have taken 6!

Turns out, slow may be smooth, and smooth may be fast, but sometimes... slow is just...


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