four people in a little car and a funeral

It was the road trip from hell.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but according to my husband, I’m prone to exaggeration (insert eyeroll here.)

Yeah, he may be right, but it was still the road trip from hell.

Mike and I had to travel to Florida to his grandmother’s funeral on Saturday. It’s a six-plus hour trip and the plan was to drive there, go to the funeral and other assorted required family funeral related functions, then hop back into the car and drive home. So that’s roughly 13 hours in the car in one day.

Did I mention I drive a Kia Soul? Oh, and we were taking two teenage girls with us? Yep…Road. Trip. From. Hell.

The trip there was only mildly miserable. We listened to music, chatted…I read…napped…the usual car trip stuff. Oh, except for the fact that two of us had to stop every hour or so to take care of “female issues”.

Right, because having “female issues” while on a road trip is life’s way of laughing at us. Especially when the driver (my husband…a guy who stands up to pee) has no understanding of why we might not want to stop at every icky gas station along the way to “take care of things”.

After the first stop, where I had to roll my pant legs up to my knees and completely cover the toilet seat in half a roll of toilet paper, I opted to hold out for better accomodations.

And life, that cheeky bastard, decided to get me with the ultimate road trip prank.

Apparently, one should never hold out during “that time of the month” while on a road trip. This, as I discovered after ruining my favorite pair of linen pants, and giving a YouTube worthy show to the patrons of the local Target, somewhere along the way, is a very bad idea.

Of course, my husband said wearing linen pants was the very bad idea, and I probably would agree with him, if I hadn’t been thinking of ways to dispose of his body along the way for speaking to me after something so horrifying.

But I digress.

Lucky for me, I was traveling in my comfortable clothes, and had funeral clothes to wear for the rest of the day…and night.

And so I did. I wore black for the rest of the hot, miserable, Florida-variety hot, trip. While I was not only dealing with “female issues” but also my possible hernia (or GERD or some other nasty, as of yet undisclosed, stomach disorder) and that pesky kidney stone that has, thankfully stayed put in my kidney only causing me mild discomfort rather than disabling pain. I guess one should be thankful, right?

Right, because this day could only get better. We still had a funeral to attend.

And it was a lovely service. Everyone should be so blessed to have such a nice send off from friends and family. It’s very hard to make jokes about a funeral. And I tried. I really did. I tried to be appropriately reverent during the entire thing. But I couldn’t help myself. I slipped…my thoughts that is. But just for a minute or three…the time it took the man with the lovely voice to sing the church hymn with an upbeat tempo. Because the entire time he was singing, I imagined he was singing dirty show tunes. But seriously, it was a very show tune inspired arrangement. And his facial expressions were way too cheerful for a funeral. And because I, myself, have been known to swap words around to make up dirty show tunes, I decided at that moment to go there. In my head. For just a few minutes. And trust me, I punished myself for it. I had to hold back the laughter for the rest of the service. Because, in my head…the guy was really funny. And I felt very guilty for thinking so.

Ok, I told my husband as soon as we got in the car, and he sort of agreed with me. So I didn’t feel quite so guilty anymore. But one should never laugh at a funeral. Even if someone sings church hymns with the gusto of a dirty show tune.

Just don’t do it!

And then we went back to his grandmother’s house to eat. Because, let’s face it, there is always an abundance of food after a funeral, and if you’re going to be in the car for almost seven hours afterwards, you should definitely eat yourself into a food coma first.


Wrong. You should never eat yourself into any type of coma prior to climbing into the car for several hours. So instead, we visited with family for a while longer…and then got into the car…well after dark. And then…it was on. Road. Trip. From. Hell.

Four people can NOT sleep in a Kia at the same time. Well…three people. I expressly forbid my husband from sleeping while he drove. And he refused any offers to take the wheel for a while because he wanted, “to get home at some point.” And clearly, the rest of us were not up to the task.

Which was fine with me. I had a fully charged Nook and I was willing to use it.

I also had my favorite pillow and blanket because I definitely think ahead.

The girls in the backseat did NOT think ahead and were, therefore, very uncomfortable. And very vocal about it. But I wasn’t about to share my blanket…or my pillow. So sue me…I’m not sharing. And trust me, they would not have shared with me had the situation been reversed.

But don’t worry…life got me back. I had to stop along the way to use the bathroom (more than once I’m afraid) and after midnight, the only place open was a Waffle House somewhere in Alabama. I won’t go into details because it was just that gross, but I will say, they totally need to fix their toilet…and when I told the girl at the counter that, she just smiled and said, “Oh, it’s always done that.” And I vowed to never ever eat there as long as I live (insert shudder here).

We finally made it home alive. And tired…so tired I didn’t even care that it was the first real internet connection I’d had in almost 24 hours. I just wanted to fall into bed and sleep.

And that’s why this is so late. Don’t judge me…I’ve had a bad few days.

Until the next time…I’ll be sleeping.


Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on August 26, 2012 .