Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In the driver's seat

"It's good to be the passenger" my husband said a few months ago, when we were talking about our relationship and financial responsibilities. He meant (I think) that it was nice to not have to make all of the decisions, to not have to make sure all of the bills were paid on time, to not have to wonder if there was clean underwear in the house. He enjoys the sharing of responsibilities, and not having to be in control and in charge all the time. He kind of likes being the passenger - he does his thing at work, comes home, and is a great daddy. He doesn't mind letting someone else take the wheel - literally and metaphorically.

It will come as NO SURPRISE TO ANYONE that I hate being the passenger.
Literally AND metaphorically.

Wait, that's not true, I don't hate it. It's just not my natural state, and I do not enjoy relinquishing control in any form........ergo I do not like being the passenger.

Lately, I have been the fucking passenger, and it is really starting to chafe.

Between my work situation - which is unpredictable - and summer vacation, where every minute is dictated by two kids who never leave my side, my life is not my own these days. Throw in my over-developed sense of obligation and responsibility and you have someone who spends every minute of every fucking day dealing with someone else's problems.

Last night was the penultimate straw, and let's just say it's a good thing I am getting off of this island because I don't know who's driving this thing, but my life is starting to make me carsick.

It all started with an email, asking me to host a vigil for the oil spill. I have friends who are being seriously affected by this, and I thought about it for a few hours, and asked a couple of friends, and then decided that yes, I would do it. No one else was stepping forward (apparently) and I live on an island, surrounded by beaches and ocean and it would really SUCK if we had an oil spill here and I was suddenly surrounded by oil. Me no likey.

So yes, a vigil. I emiled the press. I emailed some friends. I posted that thing on facebook every which way, and got some friends to do the same and it got to the point where we weren't sure who was coming, and how many there would be but it was OK we called in some extra bodies and prepared for the onslaught.

Of which there was none.
Seriously? About 5 people showed up.

So apparently, this oil spill does not concern the 2-3,000 people who got a notice on facebook.
What a relief.

Thank god we were having open mic night, and plenty of people showed up later on for music, which was great and I was relieved.

But in my efforts to be environmentally conscious, I had gotten a ride to work......and needed a ride home. One of my co-workers was happy to oblige.....I thought. But during the course of the ride he told me I was kind of, um, shrill I guess is the word. He didn't use that word - he waved his hands around his head and made a squealing noise - but I think the word he might have been looking for was shrill. And then I became overly-conscious of how much I was talking, and what I was saying, and I thought "oh my god, he's right, I am fucking OBNOXIOUS" and then I got all paranoid because he was driving really fast. I couldn't tell if he was just trying to get me home so I would get out of the fucking car and he could have some peace and quiet - but it was starting to feel that way. So I tried to shut up, and I clutched the door handle and I thought "Hm. Interesting how life works. I try to save on gas and not show up to an oil spill vigil I organized in an SUV, and then I get killed on the way home by a co-worker who is just trying to get me to shut me up already. I wonder how much oil and gas gets spilled in a really bad car acident involving a tree and an 86 Honda......"

And it turns out, someone else showed up to the vigil in a fucking Hummer, so I guess I really had nothing to worry about.


Ro said...

A Hummer? Seriously? Oh shit. I really don't even know what to say but at least you made the effort. And even if they didn't come out to the vigil, maybe the gazillion people who expressed interest in the vigil before it took place, actually took a few seconds out of their busy lives to consider the impact of the oil spill all because of what you were attempting to do. So it was a success even if it doesn't look like that. I mean with everything going on in the world, it's pretty hard to get people's attention for a nanosecond, let alone to actually get them to leave their cozy nests and publicly indicate their concern about something happening miles away. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back for trying ... if you're not to sore from experiencing whip lash on the ride home! o_O

Elly said...

Ha! I'm glad you made the effort, even if other people didn't. Good on you, hey :)

Emily said...

A Hummer? Are you kidding me? Was the driver trying to be ironic or something? Because, wow! (Hmmm...I hope that didn't sound too shrill...)

I'm glad you made it home in one piece--and good for you, organizing the vigil!