Among the many amazing talents I possess as a Mom is that of taxi driver. I am on call from 7am to 7:30pm* for three small gentlemen who have places to go and friends to see, all at a head-spinning rate of frequency. There are schools to visit, math, karate and soccer lessons to attend, play dates to enjoy and birthday parties for the sole purpose of seeing how much sugar and noise each kid can tolerate before they collapse in a bundle of nerves at my feet whining "Do we HAVE to leave?"
It never seems to stop.
Which bring me to a day, much like those before it, where I was, SURPRISE!, in the car driving. Oddly, it was just me and the babe. Even more oddly, the radio was off**. It was really off-puttingly silent.
Then it happened. Another vehicle decided I looked like I needed to have every muscle in my body contract, all the hair on my arms stand at attention, and my overfull purse fall off the chair, cascading long forgotten, half-sucked peppermints, kid's socks, and other treasures deposited by my children, onto the floorboard. He cut me off, coming a breath away from my front bumper, going about 60MPH!
After my neurons stopped firing I assessed the situation, realizing
1. WHEW! He didn't hit me.
2. Thank goodness nobody is going to rear-end me.
3. Praise the Lord! I didn't soil myself.
THEN, I got a wee bit edgy. But, instead of shooting a one-finger salute*** or hitting my horn for an inordinately long blast, I did something so very odd that it wasn't even in character for me.
I started singing a HELEN REDDY song. Not just any Helen Reddy song. One of the most ANNOYING songs on record: "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady"****.
Now on which level of Dante's Inferno is this song being played non-stop, as elevator music for the masses of burning souls? I ask because singing this song is Hellish on too many fronts to count. Among them:
a. it completely reveals my ever-increasing age, as this song was recorded somewhere around 1915
b. the lyrics are so grammatically incorrect that they cause nerve damage to those of us qualified to teach English
c. it's a whiny song. I get enough of that at home from my kids. Just leave the guy already and STOP SINGING ABOUT IT, HELEN! With all the money you've made off this drivel, you can afford to be alone for awhile.
So, I break into song, at a deafening level*****. After about three passes of the refrain (because it's all I knew before looking up the lyrics), I realize that I have an audience. My audience-of-one is looking at me in seemingly extreme pain. His face expresses he is mortified******, disgusted, and about to cry, especially if I don't stop IMMEDIATELY. Which, I do. Followed by the statement, "Oh, I'm sorry, honey! Helen Reddy is really annoying, isn't she?"
Without a hint of sarcasm or hesitation, he says, "No. YOU are."
DING, DING, DING. Give the man-to-be a prize. He's right! I was being annoying. Helen Reddy was nowhere to be found, probably recording another catchy, offensive tune somewhere in Canada.
Which brings up a good point for ALL taxi-driver Moms everywhere: shouldn't we have carte blanche to do what we want in our roadsters? I mean, given the number of miles we log, with no remuneration, aren't we entitled to a little stress-induced, Helen Reddy-producing reaction every once in a blue moon? It's not like we're dragging our families to karaoke night every Tuesday at Sushi To Go to sing "Like a Virgin".
I'm not sure this query has a good answer. All I know is that, in my golden years, I'm getting a two-seater convertible, so when I get the urge to sing, I can throw the top back and belt it out. Since my only passenger will be my purse*******, I'm going where I want to go.
Hopefully, my voice won't cause birds to spontaneously combust and fall to the Earth in rain showers of death.
And, if I'm REALLY lucky, by then I'll have long forgetten Helen's insidious, evil refrain.
*If the little darlings had their way it would be later. But, darn, they need their beauty sleep.
**I like to listen to preacher's preach when I drive. Keeps me from killing rude commuters who can't have any place more important to go than I.
***Which the babe, being of the age of imitation, would have shown the church secretary AND the Bishop.
****QUICK! Sing something, anything, else before the abhorrent lyrics get stuck in your brain and you can't help but sing it to yourself!
*****With as much gusto as a wanna-be contestant auditioning for American Idol.
******Did I mention I don't sing well?
*******Which will contain only a credit card, lipstick and non-sucked-upon mints. Oh, and Mike wants it known that he'll have his OWN convertible. But no purse.