A friend revealed the latest in what I’ve come to think of as a “Menopausal Miscue” — those moments that we’ve come, if not to expect, at least to be less troubled by in these, our advancing years. I chuckled when she recounted being lost, without her cell phone, in the parking lot of a rest area on a recent road trip that she and her teenage son embarked upon over the Thanksgiving holiday.
She confessed to feelings of panic and concern. She wondered just how long she’d have to roam the lot before he worried and set off to find her. Her confidence that he would launch a search at all was pretty impressive and it’s what I’ve chosen to take from her story.
I suppose if The Fanganini’s were out on the road, in strange environs, my absence for any extended period of time might raise a red flag. I’d like to think that either Fang or Fangette might come looking for me. I wouldn’t bet on it, though. Unless they were hungry. Or in need of money.
I’ll guarantee that precious minutes would be lost — minutes where I could fall deeper into the ravine — the one that I’d slipped into as I sought the higher ground, as those survival shows always advise you to do, in an attempt to “get my bearings” in an unfamiliar place — while they played a few rousing rounds of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” — you know, to see which one would be forced to begin the search.
I would certainly hope that this is where I’d be. Falling into a ravine would make for a far better story than the more likely reality — that I had somehow become locked in a Port-O-Potty. (Isn’t that everyone’s worst nightmare?)
Whether at the bottom of a ravine or inside a portable lavatory, I’d still need rescuing. Dehydration would probably set in while Frick and Frack flipped coins, drew straws, and argued about which one of them would leave the comfort of the car to make even a perfunctory effort to find me.
My husband would, no doubt, be bitching about how I probably ran into a long-lost friend out here, in the middle of nowhere. (“Your mother sure can talk! I’ll bet she ran into someone she knows. Somehow she knows someone everywhere we go. Even out HERE. IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!”) He’d be cursing me out, moaning about how I have no consideration, how I can’t ever stop yakking! He’d be lamenting about how my “pulling this stunt” has ruined the “good time” we had been making on our journey. (What is it about men and car trips? Suddenly mine becomes uncharacteristically goal-oriented. If only he could apply this same vigor to vacuuming!)
I really hope I’m in the ravine. He’ll feel really bad about making his blabbermouth comments then, that’s for sure!
As for my daughter, the lovely Fangette, she might get ten feet from the car, realize that she’s now in a Wi-Fi hotspot and use the opportunity to catch up on the twenty-seven text messages and nineteen pictures of cats that she missed in the fifteen minutes she was out of cell tower range — those precious minutes he was stretched out along the back seat and I was in the bottom of a muddy ditch.
It’s difficult to look for missing persons while texting and LOLing.
If I was them, I’d just hope that I was locked in the Port-O-Potty because the chances are good that if I had become entangled in some wooded environment, there’s a good chance that I’d have broken something. And then what would they do? Who would cook, clean, and do the laundry? Don’t even get me started on the vacuuming.
I’m glad my friend shared her story with me. I’m going to consider it a cautionary tale. I’m thinking, for purposes of safety, that we’d all better stay together in rest stops from now on — to guard against the possible memory glitches that I’ve come to associate with menopause.
Together, I hope that they can help me to avoid the dangers of faulty Port-O-Potty locks and the pitfalls of slippery ravines. Barring this, I could just obtain one of those vuvuzela horns and stick it in my bag. I imagine that thing could be heard even from the bottom of a ravine.