I listen to NPR…and drive a Volvo and I’m okay with it

IMG_9390So I consider myself a young parent. I don’t know why – as I waited to have children almost eight years after graduating college. I keep myself up- keep current with trends and such. I’m active I use skincare (day and night skincare both equally necessary)and listen to current pop music on the radio (sometimes). But something is happening and I don’t know how to feel about it. A strange shift has been creeping up on me even before I know it’s happening! I’m not talking about the lines that used to smooth out after I was done laughing or smiling or the forehead lines that are ever present – not just when I’m surprised or angry.

Something far deeper than that in happening within me. And I don’t think Botox will fix it.

Let me explain-

I bought a new car recently. (A volvo- yes a tough fast powerful sleek sexy 4 cylinder Volvo. Safe. Oh and safe, its safe and fuel efficient with plenty of storage. For tools and camping gear- or in my case able to handle I trip to any shopping center you can imagine!)

The Volvo has a touchscreen menu where everything in the vehicle is controlled. It has different pages, a slide-up menu and a slide-down menu- similar to an iPhone more like an iPad. It’s cool, sometimes a bit slow to react, but after the first minute of starting the car it’s great. But wait, that minute seems like 7 or 8 minutes when I’m in a hurry and it’s not working or lagging when booting- up. So I stare at the screen that reads “loading…” hoping mu gaze is putting pressure on it to move it along faster. Which brings me to another point- faster…quicker…seconds…minutes. Time. Time is weird. I can get on Instagram at 12:07 AND next thing I know it’s 12:56?! My life is passing by so quickly. Another hour gone. Another hour older. But, when I’m waiting (and watching- yes I watch don’t judge me) for the gluten free pasta noodles to cook …seven minutes takes FOREVER! Not to mention the eons it takes to bring 2 quarts of water to a brisk boil. And I watch it happening, it’s the only way)

Back to the car. So, I haven’t mastered finding the radio stations and programming them quite yet on the touchscreen. Too many steps. I end up scanning through with the steering wheel controls. One day I stumbled accross NPR. It’s the best. (Did I just write that?) So much information! And the nice relaxing invigorating music bits between each segment really get me. I feel productive, responsible, informed, and dare I say it distinguished.

Flashback to kid me- I remember being 9 years old and going on a road trip with my dad to Espanola, NM. A couple hour drive from Albuquerque. First thing is he only brought a bag of dried fruit – apricot and two prehistoric looking leather water canteens for the drive. No juice or soda or chili chips from “A mi Gusto’ drive-up liquor store my mom would get me (along with an adult drink for her for the road. I guess I should elaborate on this at another time, maybe with Miriam my estranged therapist. I guess at that time drinking and driving was …okay? Maybe even encouraged as every couple blocks there were drive-up bars…. I’ll get back to that at another time. But I will say to me at that time somehow that seemed more civilized than eating an emaciated old fruit and drinking stale water from a leather sac.

Back to the drive with my dad. He listened to NPR for the whole drive! And, get this – he didn’t allow me to take a nap in the car! He wanted my “company”- but I couldn’t talk, just listen. So by “company” I guess he meant he wanted me sitting -up, eyes open, breathing, and listening along with him. Silently listening to NPR with your 9 year old on a 2-3 hour road trip- that’s what you call father son bonding. I was on the verge of tears, boredom, and longing to be in my moms truck listening to Shaka khan or Prince or Betty Wright (“tonight is the night”- my moms favorites. I’ve had the whole song memorized since I was 6 years old) the Beastie Boys or Billie Idol. Even the Pointer Sisters on repeat would be maybe better than listening to this. But there I sat, ears numb, tortured. It was like the radio was speaking another language. My brain couldn’t comprehend what was being said on NPR?!? “Sandinistas” I don’t even know what or who or where that is. Too much work. Too much needless information. Who cares? Old people like my dad that’s who cares. Old boring people.

Back to today. As I reached my doctors appointment. I sat in the parked car and listened to the end of a good segment on steel and aluminum importing. You know China produces the amount it steel and aluminum in one month that the US produces in a year! And we used to be the top producer.

So when I’m running late- it’s not because I’m hung -over or slept in (impossible with two kids) it’s because I had get to the end of the segment on NPR …in my Volvo. A bottle of water and a ziplock bag of pitted dates by my side. And I’m okay with it. “Quiet kids!”

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