This little adventure was the trip to Boston that ended in a tattoo for Buh and me. I guess that I was so focused on the 'Inked' part of the trip that I totally spaced out what happened when we first struck out.
Since I knew I would be way too tired to drive straight through from Rockland to Boston, I asked Buh if she minded driving for the first half. In my mind the obvious point to change drivers was the Kennebunk Burger King rest stop. You know, nearly out of Maine but not quite.
Buh took this to mean that we would switch in Portland...right before the three to four lane highways began. You know, at the end of Maine.
Naturally, we both thought that the other person understood where the switch off would take place. Yeah, right.
As we were approaching Portland on 295 Buh asked where she should pull off to trade places with me. I sort of looked at her like "huh?" and said that I thought we were changing in Kennebunk at the rest stop. She did seem to grip the wheel a tad too tightly but nodded and kept going. I didn't think anything of it.
I should have heard the alarm bells that were clanging loudly when Buh then proceeded to get onto the interstate, see that we now had three lanes of traffic, hitched herself practically on top of the steering wheel, and said to me that she thought that Maine ended when the two lanes of highway ended. Again, my reaction was "huh?".
I did not realize that she had never driven south of Portland before (literally as the driver) so that was her frame of reference I guess. I told her that we were most definitely still in Maine and she had only about another fifteen minutes of driving and then we could switch places. I, mistakenly, thought this information would calm her. But when I chanced a glance over at her I could see how very wrong I was.
She was white knuckling the wheel, eyes staring straight ahead and wide with panic, sitting as close as she could have possibly gotten to the steering wheel without it getting perverted, and I think she might have even been sweating.
I decided she needed some words of encouragement and basically told her to suck it up and that she was not going to turn into the type of woman who could not drive outside of Rockland. I know, she is blessed to have me in her life.
Now, of course, I was having my own anxiety about driving in Boston and just could not muster up any sympathy for Maine driving.
We made it to Kennebunk and Buh went flying in on nearly two wheels in her haste to get out of the driver's seat. She had us twirling around that stupid rest stop a few times before I asked her what the hell was she doing? She informed me that the sign said no entrance so she didn't know where to get in and I lost it. I was laughing so hard as I told her to just pull over anywhere in the parking lot and stop the crazy circling pattern she had going.
We came to a screeching halt, checked on the Toodle Bug and switched places. That was when Brianna left and Ted Kaczynski, you know, the Unabomber, took her place.
We got back on the highway and when I looked over at Buh she had on HUGE sunglasses like you would wear if you were about a hundred and had just had cataract surgery, she had pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up over her head and was all hunched in on herself with her Ipod ear buds in listening to (and I'm guessing here) some Christian Salvation. She looked completely insane.
And she wasn't talking to me. At all.
I was kind of worried but still thought it was funny. However, I was freaked out enough to leave her alone. The only person talking to me was that 'Bitch in a Box' Garmin GPS. I was fluctuating between being in hysterics over what I was witnessing in the seat next to me to being really, really irritated. I mean, I was nervous too and a little company would have been nice.
We got to the Tobin Bridge when I finally broke the silence and said to Buh, "Hey, Ted, when you're all done writing your next manifesto over there in Crazyville you wanna help me navigate just a bit?!"
With a very reluctant and put-upon sigh she put away the ear buds, put down the hooded horror and started to pay attention to street signs. She only spoke when necessary.
We made it to the hotel and I swear to God, before I had even set down my bag, she had herself and The Toots in pj's and in bed with the covers up. I just cracked up. And by this point, she was no longer having a nervous breakdown so she even joined me. We laughed over that for hours.
She finally fessed up that she had gotten really nervous driving on the three lane highway and that was what started the whole downward spiral and that she was mad at me for making her drive when she was so nervous. She went all 'Unabomber' because she needed to just try to remove herself from the situation for a bit.
I was very compassionate when I heard why she got so nuts...
and then I made her drive home...