On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dear State

Because the road trip to see Sissy is long, long, long long long. Long for so many damn reasons, long. Thus The Dad and I had to find ways to amuse ourselves. And places to pee. (and now he's going to throw something at me because I just discussed our bodily functions in a public venue. Oh yeah, and Dear? I have about 200+ people reading daily, just fyi. xxoo love you.)

I'm SO going to pay for that

Unfortunately, the road trip from our home town to the city where Sissy's hospital is has nothing in between. Let me restate. The interstate has zero, zip, zilch, nada, not one single solitary worthwhile place to stop for 140 miles of pine tree mind numbing hell. Oh sure, you can stop at a gas station in which you have to ask the gas attendant that is from another country (usually near, in or next to India) for the key to use the whole-in-the-wall toilet out back. Or you can stop in some nasty 85% health code rated fast food joint that MIGHT have toilet paper on a roll in the stall (but those can be fun because if you watch long enough, some poor sap will inevitably come traipsing out of there with some toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoe unbeknownst to them.)Or you can stop at the one and only rest stop in between. OK. that was a lie. There is one other rest stop. It's about ten miles from home. So usually there's no need for that one, coming ... or going. (pun intended).

I've made this trip so many times that I've written down which exits have reasonable toilet and or food accommodations. The list is short. Exits 130 and 114 are safe. State Rest Area 53 at mile marker 109, also safe. (I should point out that the rest area closest to home has been raided several times for homosexual solicitation so even if I really had to pee that badly and couldn't wait the ten miles to home, I'd probably pee myself first.)

Today, I was driving. The Dad's arm is still not healed and to add insult to injury, he got a nasty case of bronchitis. I needed him to come with me, no way in hell was I making the trip to see Sissy alone and so that required that I anted up and drove... round trip. Thus, a travel mug full of coffee, we headed out of town at 9 am sharp and began the monotonous journey to Sissy's hospital. (seriously, if ever there was a time I wished that I was smart enough to engineer a tractor beam that could beam humans from one destination to another, this road trip would be it. I would gladly walk 500 miles(shameless plug for corey's fundraiser) than drive this 140 mile trek.) and yes, I did indeed put a parenthetical comment inside a parenthetical comment. sue me. it's been a sh!tty day.

Knowing that I had toilet options at mile markers 130 and 114, I gauged my kidney's progress for filtering the coffee I was guzzling. Except The Dad and I started gabbing so when I said, "I'm stopping at 114 to pee" The Dad said, "uh, we just drove past it."

Damn. Damn Damn. (quoting Doc from Back to the Future)

"Oh, right. Rest area mile 109. no big deal. I can make it."

(yes, really, this is how bad the drive is. I really, truly have to know where and when to stop. NOT making that up and NOT suffering from a severe case of OCD.)

So we make it to the rest area.

It was overgrown.

Let me restate. The weeds were two feet high. And since it was overcast and rainy today, the affect was ... spooky. But hey, clean toilets that flush themselves, toilet paper, soap, sinks and hand dryers and no loitering, unkempt, strange, waif-like men trying to pick up my husband, what more can a girl ask for? OK. So I was asking for some mowed grass. It was a bit kitschy. Plus, hello? In our state, tall grass is an invite for some scary critters of the poisonous, legless persuasion. Thus began our banter and some hilarious road trip commentary. The following is the result (and hats off to The Dad because this is a collaborative blog effort. Yes. We discussed the fact that this was blog worthy. yes. We're THAT kind of people. So sue us. Really, we don't care. It was a sh!tty day.)

Dear State,

Today we had the occasion to use Rest Area 53 on the Interstate. It was severely overgrown. We respectfully request that you send a crew out to cut back the grass.

Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer,

We have received your letter and acknowledge your concern for the appearance of Rest Area 53.

We have also investigated your taxpayer situation and would like to point out that the state is currently footing the bill for your child's psychiatric hospitalization. It is costing the OTHER tax payers in our state a great deal. So much so that we've had to cut the budget in other areas, in particular, the grooming and maintenance of Rest Area 53.

The state respectfully requests that you return the favor by doing a civil service and mowing the grass yourselves.

Best Regards,
The State

Dear State,

While we accept and gratefully thank the state's assistance in providing hospitalization care for our federally deemed medically disabled child and agree that we could do our civic duty to make restitution to the state, we have a counter offer.

Have you considered the amount of money it would save in the mental health budget if you had the residents of hospitals grooming and maintaining Rest Area 53? It could be billed as "recreational therapy."

Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer,

We have further reviewed and scrutinized your family's individual case. We are gravely concerned about your idea of putting sharp, cutting tools in the hands of patients with self-harming and threatening behaviors! Not to mention that many patients are a flight risk.

The State

Dear State,

We're sorry for the alarm, we did not mean to cause a ruckus. Of course we would never expect you to give them implements of destruction. Have you considered the potential for time and money saved that several thousand fists of angry residents yanking up grass and weeds could have on the state budget?

We would be glad to cite several psychiatric references to the benefits of outdoor time for the psyche. Our children's therapists at the state hospital swear by it.

Furthermore, Where will they run too? Have you BEEN to Rest Area 53? There is NOTHING there. Nothing but overgrown grass, toilets and some vending machines behind bars that only a toddler's hand can fit through to reach the snacks one pays for.

Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer,
The state has decided that your child has made a miraculous recovery and will be discharged from the hospital immediately. We are so happy to tell you this news first hand. It has cost the state a great deal.

Best Wishes,
The State

Dear State,
We have found that it is in the best interests of our family and our daughter's mental health to move to the desert of Nevada where there is no grass and if our daughter is a flight risk, it won't matter because we'll still be able to see her even if she's 10 miles away.

We regret that you will no longer be getting our tax dollars from our income, our small business or our purchases.

By the way, Rest Area 53 still looks like shit.

Taxpayers of Nevada


GB's Mom said...

LOL- I am glad you put the long ride to use and put a smile on my face this morning!

Trauma Mama said...

That is awesome!

Kelley said...

You seriously crack me up :) Good job!!!

cinch said...

Well thought out and a job well done!!!!

waldenbunch said...

Now that's some funny stuff! Sometimes it's the weird wacky humor that keeps us alive. Love 'ya!

Tara - SanitySrchr said...