Hello, Readers!! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas….I am just so glad to be back. Back in DC, back in my cutie-pie apartment and back to blogging. You know, I am thoroughly convinced that the Holidays are a plot…within 5 weeks, people have travelled more, spent more money and eaten more than they usually spend/consume all year. Family gatherings usually have some tension in them regardless of the occasion…long held grudges, dysfunction and control issues are some tough cookies…factor in the stress and energy used to travel, cook, shop and all else that goes into the making things merry and bright..no wonder people snap. I vote to break the holidays up and make New Year’s Eve a separate holiday…it is already one in its own right. We can move Christmas to August….NOTHING happens in August (other than my birthday, which should be another holiday, but so far, no dice from Congress).
So today I am going to rant about my trip home…and I am breaking it into two parts: the bus trip and the visit. I promise not to rant too long…you have lives to lead and I have chores to finish: I am working a temp assignment this week that is looking as if it may turn into something longer than 4 days; working on my last post of the year AND the New Year’s Day post; and I am tracking breaking developments in the Sister Someone/Brother Everything saga…I swear, any minute now those two are going to be national news.
The Bus Trip: Totally disgusting. I am officially yanking my previous endorsements of Greyhound….I am not understanding them anymore. I understand that it is not all their fault…there are a lot of people in America and America has a LOT of cities (over 30,000 incorporated cities and town, and who knows how many off the map places there are) and I think Greyhound services all but two of those cities. Factor in they have some super low fares and you have a lot of people going to a lot of places, all day every day. So I get it…the bus is in demand. However…Greyhound knows how many seats there are per bus, and that the majority of the buses originated elsewhere in America….so why keep selling ticket after ticket knowing no way can 100 people fit on a bus designed to hold 55? Granted, at some of the bigger terminals in the major urban areas (DC, NYC, Richmond come to mind first) a second bus can be pulled into service to help passengers make connections, but by the time the Powers that Be have realized the mistake and rolled out the second bus…one is pretty much in danger of missing their connecting bus.
Okay, the day of the departure I was late….seriously. The bus pulled out at 12:20pm and I was still in my apartment at 11:40am. As usual, I waited until the last minute to do everything (including packing) and I was a mess. I was so rushed and confused I actually watered a plastic plant. I was going to catch the metrobus to the terminal but that would have been cutting it too close as it takes a good 30 minutes to get to the bus station from my place. Then I thought about cabbing it…but who knew when a cab would show up, especially since I had to call for one… and that is my one complaint about my neighborhood…it has everything but cabs. So I ended up paying my neighbor $20 and an apple pie to take me to the bus station and I made it there with 15 minutes to spare and the line for the Richmond bus wasn’t that long…except the bus was late. Which brings me to another rant/observation about the DC bus terminal: did you know there are NO clocks in there and they never make an arrival/departure announcement? Once you purchase your ticket…you are on your own. So the bus is late and there was some flack about back of the line people boarding, but I did manage to get on a bus. As usual, they had to roll another one out but on this bus, I had seats to myself so that was cool; the connection in Richmond was overcrowded, so once again, I was on another bus that was pulled into service….it was more crowded than the first bus but my only complaint was I sat in the very rear of the bus….leather seats that were sitting over the bus’ engine. I had a very warm tush. I talked with a couple of passengers….a guy I called Wrap because every time he said something, he ended it with “that’s a wrap”; a young girl dressed all in pink with burgundy hair and her boyfriend I dubbed Pink and Package Deal, and the Sista from Philly who was travelling to NC also to spend the holiday with her children. The trip down was not too bad…an hour behind schedule but when one thinks of the alternative (NO extra bus pulled into service), I am not complaining.
However, the trip coming back home to DC…hated it. Not sure if it is because it was so early in the morning, the fact that when I arrived Thursday night the bus station was closed and was STILL closed when I arrived Monday morning. Maybe it was all the people lined up to board the bus, not only at my location but all the way up to Richmond…that bus was packed and it seemed that no one was disembarking anywhere. I was cramped, crowded and when I did fall asleep I woke myself up with my own snoring. And how is it that both coming and going, I never had time to eat anything running from gate to gate in order to not miss my bus? Here is another question: why on the way back did I get the exact same seat on two different buses: the one directly in front of the restroom that everyone felt the need to use at least twice? Southern folk have no muscle control….at all, which made my seat a very funky place to be sitting. I am simply done with Greyhound right now….it was not a relaxing trip and my fellow passengers were uninteresting (amazing how I think those folks are there for my entertainment, and really I don’t think that, but if you are interrupting the entertainment I bought with me…please be able to hold my attention)…and I have found out that I am completely anti-social when I am returning to DC. I think for my next trip home, I am upgrading to Amtrak.
The Visit: Not sure how to put this ….all I know is it was not what I expected. I stayed with my parents and got to experience Only Child Syndrome for a couple of days, which was good. I introduced my mother to Jewelry Television… (she kept insisting they did not have them on her cable lineup but I found them!), had long talks with my father when one could finally get a word in edgewise. We did not do the movie…mommy was not up to it and Baby Sister lost interest, so Baby Sister and I went for a pedicure for me (I got my big toes done in a zebra design and all my other toes are red) and eyebrow arching for her, followed by shopping at Victoria’s Secret. My dad and I picked up our honey baked ham (it was my first one) and got caught up in a traffic jam that stretched on for miles (southerners are serious about their Christmas ham). Even though the line was long (out the door), it moved fairly quickly and we almost got hit by Santa (older, larger and wearing the hat) trying to cross the parking lot that held a max of 7 cars….Santa was screaming for folks to get out of his way and LET HIM OUT! We laughed…LOTS. We ate a wonderful dinner and devoured yummy homemade desserts. Baby Sister and I (the two broke chicks) gave out gifts, which were accepted graciously and appreciatively by the recipients. We watched A Christmas Story and a marathon of 1,000 Ways to Die. I smoked outdoors and no one complained. I called Panel members but only Morning Person and Busy Bee answered their phones.
Then, there were the arguments, the nit pickings and the huge after Christmas dinner blow up. The words spoken that hurt feelings, caused tears and curses and uncomfortable silences. The situations that had people playing Switzerland…trying to remain neutral and out of sight…but still, you were found and dragged into discussions you had no desire to be involved in. You saw the issues, the denial and the walls that were firmly in place…and I think it is even worse now that everyone involved is a grownup who knows every four letter word out there. No longer is anyone a child or feels the need to cover their emotions for fear of being disciplined…you don’t like it, I can walk out the door and if you want…you can walk me to it. So, I was happy to be home sweet home with my family, but was even happier to be back in MY home sweet home…where my routine was not upset. My mother actually said she was waking up earlier than usual because too many people ( other than my father, I was the only one there) were moving around in her house. I did not take any offense…it is her home and she has a daily routine just like me…and I know I hate having my routine upset. Suffice it to say, no one got killed or maimed, fences were mended after the arguments and now that everyone is safely back in their homes and routines…we can love each other again.
And that was my Christmas trip…not very exciting but I wanted to tell someone about it. Now, I am going to finish up my/the Panel’s version of Year in Review as we all get ready to welcome in a New Year. Thanks for stopping by, check back soon and enjoy your day!