Well, not Electra really. Let’s just say, very bad teen behavior.
The summer before my junior year of college, my mom and I hatched a plan: we would drive together from Seattle across the country. We would see the West and then stop for a few days in Indiana. She would spend time with her cousin in Indy and I would go down to Bloomington (where, ironically enough, I’m blogging from today), to see my boyfriend.
Somewhere in South Dakota, things went horribly wrong.
Our 1974 Checker--a very cool and much lamented car--was making an ominous knocking. We stopped in Mitchell, South Dakota to get things checked out. A few hours turned into a day, then two, then three. With each passing hour, my time with my boyfriend--a hard won commodity--shrank. With each passing hour, my panic, my pure, egotistical sense of the unfairness of it all grew.
We were trapped. We spent our days in a budget motel off I-90. We would wander over to the GM dealership and track the progress of the massive repairs to our engine. Parts were retrieved from across the Dakotas. We would wander back and catch a few game shows. I remember, in a calmer moment, agreeing with my mom that it would be good if “that nice teacher from Michigan” kept winning since he was so agreeable to watch.
That seemed like a bad sign.
I remember, too, walking across an empty, grass-grown lot and raising my arms to the sky in a passionate scream.
My elegant and calm mother was horrified. So was I.
And I remember crying, and crying, and blaming my mother for ruining my life. And begging her--humiliating myself to beg her--to use the phone to just talk to my boyfriend again.
Somehow, through three days of this, three days of my tears and recriminations, my operatic expressions of grief and entitlement, not to mention the meager, unchanging salad bar across the street from our motel, we made it out of Mitchell. And, miraculously enough, the boyfriend is long gone and my mom seems to have forgiven me.
We had a couple great posts on suspense yesterday. For my mom and me, suspense was focused on how long it would take the parts department flunky to get back from Grand Forks. Still, it was a plenty bad vacation. To read about more of that pit of your stomach bad behavior--the horrible things that jealous and unhappy people say, do check out The Cottagers…