My mom gets all knotted up around this time of year, which means I get to earn my keep as Official Stress Relief source. It’s not a role I chose when I got adopted.
Here’s what happens. My mom Cathy hates to drive. That’s why she moved to a city. She rents out her garage space.
Okay, she’s weird. She actually loves riding buses. She would rather ride buses than cabs. “The drivers gab on their cell phones,” she says,”or I have to talk to them and listen to their political views. On a bus I get to read or sleep. We help the environment. What’s not to like?”
I like buses in Seattle too. I get to sit on my mom’s lap and look out the window. The bus drivers like me. Other passengers fuss over me.
But then we go visit her friends. When it’s time to go home, my mom wants to take the bus. “It’s safe,” she says. “It’s free because I have a pass. It’s very comfortable and I can sleep or catch up on my email via cell phone. And it’s usually faster than driving because buses barrel through the lights and barge past the cars. What’s the problem?”
The problem is, her friends get upset. “It’s dark. It’s a holiday. We can’t let you take the bus.”
My mom won’t let them drive her. “If anything happened on a dark holiday night,” she says, “I’d never forgive myself. Anyway, why should they make a long car trip? The bus is 2 blocks away.”
So she ends up either refusing the invitation (even though she likes going and the friends enjoy having her over) or calling a cab that costs almost $40 (plus listening to the driver’s cell phone chatter and having to explain that “the dog is friendly and doesn’t shed much”) and resenting the whole thing.
Today she was discussing the problem with my Aunt Sara, the dogwalker, while I waited patiently to get going. Aunt Sara is usually on her side, but this time she said, “No way. I won’t let friends take a bus, especially on a holiday.”
Aargh. My mom hates it when she can’t change people’s minds. See, if I’d waited long enough, I’d have been adopted by a rich owner with a couple of Mercedes who really liked to drive…