I had been trying to convince my mom to take her first plane ride for years. She has always been the stereotypical employee that lost vacation time because she did not use it. I have never operated that way; I always use all of my leave plus extra. Life is too short to go to work everyday and then go back home.
She even took her passport photo, but never filed her passport application. I knew that if she was going to go anywhere, I would have to take the initiative to plan it and force her to show up. My eyes had been on the National Museum of African American History and Culture since it opened, and I knew I just had to get there. It dawned on me that my mother would love the NMAAHC just as much as me. Why don’t we go together?
Now I’ve done road trips with my mother, and I hated it. I’ve done day trips with my mother, and I hated it. She is the worst person to travel with because she literally just shows up and hops in the car. She doesn’t give any thought to anything; she’s just tagging along. She never offers a suggestion until after the fact when she has the audacity to complain about how something was too long, or the food wasn’t good, or perhaps we should have done this instead. She doesn’t even offer to drive halfway, and refuses when I ask. No one wants to chauffeur anyone around for long distances, and find food, and find a place to stay. It’s exhausting to be totally relied upon!
I placed the responsibility of finding lodging on her because she was more needy than me. I didn’t particularly care about amenities as long as I had a safe and private place to lay my head at the end of a long day. She needed a microwave, refrigerator, free breakfast, and a bathrobe for a ridiculously low price. Those amenities are few and far between these days.
A month went by without a word on bookings. I looked up hotels and prices were increasing because we were going on MLK weekend. I visited her for a weekend, and told her she needed to find a hotel ASAP. She proceeded to look at Youtube videos. I was in awe! I booked a hotel room that is $100 more than when I originally viewed it because she lallygagged for a month. At this point, I wondered why I was even surprised. This was how it had always worked, and this was how it would continue to work. I concluded that we are just going to do whatever the hell I wanted to do because she wasn’t lending a hand. I booked everything, and drove to and from the airport.
I began praying two weeks before the trip. I already knew how this was going to go, but I needed God to help me hold my tongue and keep my blood pressure elevated. Mom was going to be mom, and I needed Her to help me deal with her.
The trip went as expected. She complained about the food and the fact that we visited so many art museums. “Sorry not sorry I like art. You didn’t offer any alternatives.”
She fussed at me for not blessing the food before we ate each meal. Out of all the phenomenal experiences from the trip and out of all the firsts, she was most impressed with Uber. Fucking Uber. I prayed to sweet baby Jesus for weeks to get tickets to NMAAHC and Uber took the cake as the highlight of her trip.
But on the funnier side of things, I learned that my mom is the most photogenic person I know. She really needs to be on Instagram because her selfie action is out of this world. She coordinates her fashion meticulously, and ensures that her lip gloss is popping at all times. I just don’t have time.