Thursday, April 21, 2011
My mom thinks you're CHEAP
This may seem like a "weird" (thanks Pat for the spelling. Love it when you and Mom read my blog and correct my spelling errors. What's next Dad providing videos?) thing to say, but my father-in-law, Grandpa Kennie was painting the interior of his great room and he agreed to watch the kids so I could check some stuff out at Lowe's and bring along my mother-in-law because she gives really good advice on remodeling and decorating and stuff.
My oldest daughter, Hallie, turns to me and says, "Yea, I told Grandpa Kennie that you think he is CHEAP, and they all start giggling in unison. Perrrrrffffeeeecccctttt. Can anyone say "damage control"?
Rewind. The kids and I are in the car following Brad in Grandpa Kennie and Mimi's car to the airport after having to go all the way to the north edges of Westerville to retrieve Brad's car from the night before. We then had to drive back to Arlington (an easy hour, roundtrip), pick up my in-laws' car and got to the airport, where we are to deposit the car in the parking lot of the airport hotel there. The kids were bitching and fighting with each other in the back. I had already fed them and they had their electronic devices, but they had grown bored and had started to try and annoy me - a mechanism they have honed and perfected from their father.
So, I'll be honest, I was bitching up a storm, ALOUD, which I don't really do, but I couldn't get my best friend on the phone so I was having the conversation I should have been having with another adult, with my three children (ages 9, 7, and 4). Inappropriate, I know.
"Why are we going to the airport again?" they asked (and was answered) for the third time each.
"I TOLD you, remember, five seconds ago when your sister, (who is literally butted up against her, because of all of those irritating car seat laws) asked me the exact same question?"
"Oh, I didn't hear you because I was texting on my ITouch. Now...what?"
"Grandpa Kennie does not like to pay for parking or a cab ride to and from the airport so we have to leave his car in the parking lot for when he flies home so he does not spend any money."
"Why doesn't he want to pay for a cab ride?" she innocently asks.
OK. I'll bite, I think. Here it comes, the annoyance had built up inside of me and it was bubbling over, "I'll tell you why he doesn't want to pay for a cab ride. He doesn't want to pay for a cab ride because he does not want to spend thirty dollars more to take a cab home after his two week cruise to the West Indies or whatever because in his mind, he believes that that is why he is able to afford the vacation in the first place - by cutting corners elsewhere!" I am really worked up now. "SO therefore, your Dad and I (it takes two, see?) am required to not only retreive his car at the airport, the day he leaves for a trip, but also, return that car at the end of one of his trips, when he comes home!"
"Where is Dad?" my four-year-old, Eva, asks.
"I told you two times ago that he is in Grandpa Kennie's car in front of us so that we may drop off his car!"
"Oh." she says to me in the rear view with those big brown eyes. "Is Mimi with Daddy?"
Oh my God, I am going to kill myself. This line of requestioning has gone on for 45 minutes.
"Wait...Mom..." Hallie's wheels are finally turning, "why doesn't Grandpa Kennie just leave his car at the airport hotel for the entire trip and then we wouldn't be involved at all?"
"Grandpa Kennie, heard, in one of his men's only coffee meetings of one of his friends getting his car towed in an Airport Hotel parking lot, so now WE have to endure this routine. I mean, I could've driven to freakin' Louisville by now, for as long as I have been in this car..."
"Wait...Mom," Hallie's signature beginning of every sentence she utters to me, "How much does a cab cost to get to his house from the airport?"
"A lot less than his month long cruise he just went on!"
"So what? He just spent all of his money and he doesn't have anymore for a cab? Is that it?" She is obviously imagining poor Grandpa Kennie in his Hawaiian shirt pulling both of his pockets out on the tarmac of the Columbus Airport, (Yes, he takes the shuttle, too!) only to make little bunny ears with the insides of his pockets - like that character on Monopoly.
"No, Hallie, because he is CHEAP and he does not want to SPEND the money!" Oh, shit I had taken it too far. I reeled it back in. "Listen, Grandpa Kennie takes us to the airport and picks us up on every trip we have taken. I am not being fair. I am just tired of being in the car and answering all these questions. Now this is in house talk. In House Talk is our family code for not telling outsiders what goes on inside our house.
We finally pull into the Airport Hotel parking lot. "Come to think of it - I could take care of this with one phone call to a towing company and we would never have to do this again," I say as I hold up the my phone. "Who wants to make the call?" All three kids raise their hands, even Eva. Priceless.
The damage was done, though, and apparently Hallie has reached the age where she has decided that "in house talk" does not apply to her anymore. I am sure we will all have a good long chat about this conversation at Apple Valley Lake this weekend where Grandpa Kennie and Mimi and Hallie and Brad and Mills and Eva and I will all be holed up together for three straight days. This is my attempt at preemptive damage control. I'll let you know if it works.
SO, fast forward, we're at the Old Bag and I explain to Hallie what "taking something out of context" can do to a familial relationship and she starts crying and runs to the bathroom. Good times.
Anyway, Grandpa Kennie if you are reading this, which I am sure you are, because I am going to send it to you. I want to apologize for calling you CHEAP in front of the kids. I love you and I think I speak for all of us when I say that we just wish you had never gotten your hands on that book "The Millionaire Next Door." Now watch this shit go VIRAL throughout the Underwood Family. Weeeeeee.
So my advice to you, today, is not to fuss with cabs and parking fees when you are going away on a trip. Park at an Airport Hotel, leave your car there, and then call your family members repeatedly on the separate legs of your trip to make sure they have retrieved your car. I know a very nice man who does this and it works like a charm for him. Oh, and don't forget to take the shuttle!
P.S. Love the girl in the background wearing red. Is she crying or sweating. I'm gonna go with sweating.