Monday, November 15, 2010


When I was thirteen, my parents decided to start visiting Oak Island, N.C. every year for our summer vacation. We'd wake up at three in the damn bloody morning, haul our suitcases in the mini-van, and get on the road.

Y'know, it sounds so inconspicuous when it's put out in writing. Chaotic would be the word that best describes what really went down on those trips.

My sister? Felt the need to pack no less than five suitcases (much to my eternal consternation - they took up my leg-room), Dad was screaming at us to hurry it the hell up because he (goddamn it) did not want to hit traffic, and Mom...Mom was doing her best to hold it all together and not smack her husband for being an idiot.

After many hours (ten, to be precise) of cursing delightful conversation, we'd arrive at Oak Island, N.C. It's supposed to take twelve hours to get there, but Dad liked to compete with the previous year's time - he once got the trip down to 8 hours (much to our horror).

It was nice and secluded. It was a nature preserve with a beach. Adorable baby loggerhead turtles used it as a nesting site, and whenever we went we seemed to see the little tykes hatching in the dusk and flapping their way towards the ocean (y'know, when they weren't getting run over by the tourists).

I...I was all over that shit.

Like white on rice baby. Like white on rice.

My sister, on the other hand, hated it. She was horrified that the nearest mall was over an hour's drive away, and she didn't like the "bugs, dirt, sand, ugly ocean water, and like, ohmigawd fish like, totally poop in there."

She's a special type of girl. Bless the man she winds up trapping marrying...poor sonovabitch.

I remember sitting on the deck in the morning while everyone was asleep, watching the pelicans fly by and listening to the waves crash. Oak Island is my special place. I remember sitting on the beach, watching old women with skin like leather sit and slather on suntan lotion like it was going to do something for them. Elephants have thinner skin.

I also remember the year that hurricane Charley hit.

I remember sitting in the backseat of the mini-van, watching the palm trees bend in the wind. They were nearly perpendicular to the ground, and I distinctly remember thinking that if Dad killed us on the way to the beach, I would totally kill him. Again. (I was in the middle of my "rebellion" stage - by this time I was a whopping 19 years old. Rebellion hit me later in life).

So after driving through the winds, we finally hit the eye of the storm. Both literally and figuratively - my mother had been peppering our ride with a colorful mastery of the English language that I, dear readers, have not seen an equal since.

So, we're down there in the coastal region of North Carolina, about to cross a bridge to get to Oak Island.

I didn't think Dad was suicidal up until that point. It became clear to me that he? Was going to take us all out in a hurricane-induced blaze of glory. So he's about to drive over this bridge and - surprise surprise - there was a cop awaiting for us at the entrance.

So of course the cop tells us to turn around. Dad's response?

"Sir, this is a Chrysler Town and Country. I think it can handle it."

Le Sigh. This is the type of class I come from people. I can only hope that one day my future children (if I ever settle down and decide to have the little poop machines) will know exactly how special their family is.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because I'm needy.