Tuesday, October 23, 2012

not so trivial things

Traveling with an elderly parent is like childbirth. Painful and conveniently forgotten as the brain erases all memories of the event insuring you will become impregnated again and keep the species going.  And so I agreed to take another trip with my father and I had forgotten all the mishaps that seem to happen when I travel with the old man. As we were standing in the security line at O'Hare my father told me he had no picture ID on his person and I realized it was going to be a very long trip.

It was a full 45 minutes before we were cleared past the stone-faced airport officials.  Dad kept beeping as he went through the metal-detecting doorway.  Keys, huge outdated mobile phone, coin purse (who has one of these?), suspenders and belt. And he had full shampoo bottles and toothpaste, razor blades and tweezers in his carry-on bag. He was a walking 88-year-old national security threat and I thought his Coke-bottle glasses might offer some protection but this was not the case. I love this man, but I need to monitor his situation more closely.

We are on our way to Florida, land of overly refrigerated rooms and mailboxes in the shapes of sea glass-studded dolphins.  My niece is getting married at Boca Raton which translates as "mouth of the rat." Despite the unfortunate moniker it is a lovely town and we are here to celebrate and eat some really good citrus and catch up on trivial and not so trivial things.

My brother is a Republican but I still spend time with him because he possesses an inexhaustible supply of information on any subject. We are in the back of his van, way back because the middle seat is missing as he is transporting counter tops for his customers back to the home town. He is a small business man and that explains his vote for Romney, the majority of his paycheck goes to Uncle Sam and he's mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. He is driving and arguing with my father and he says he doesn't fault Mitt for making legal decisions that would result in personal profit and then I need to rouse myself from my tropical daze and get into this misguided discussion.

We travel through West Palm Beach, a town of grunt workers and it's designed purely for the purpose of keeping affluent Palm Beach afloat. You can't park a garbage truck in Palm Beach and staff  must be out by 4:00 just before the first martini gets poured.  Construction halts on November 1 so the richies returning from the French Riveria for their six-week respite in their oceanfront mansions won't be offended by the sight of real citizens working.

Back at the home front my nieces struggle with 500 roses from Ecuador wrapping them into bouquets and boutonnieres and the rest into square glass vases. We are having a wedding and although I am not a big believer in the institution I am feeling buoyant about the whole thing. My brother's daughter is one classy dame and I know the day will be a series of carefully crafted delights.

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

And those roses do rock...