Lo, as I type these very words, the Olds are on their way back home. After an exhausting week of relaxation, sunshine, ocean, eating cake for breakfast and lunch, lounging by the pool, day drinking, evening drinking, night drinking, drunk dialing/texting all of their offspring with blurry photos of what appear to be flamingos and old women in various stages of inebriation, sober-texting me requests not to dispose of rotten produce and helpful housekeeping tips (No. I am not cleaning the caper closet. Assholes), eating at gourmet restaurants while I subsist on dry cereal and peanut butter eaten from a spoon (ran out of milk and bread around Tuesday), and ignoring any of my texts that need answers–
“Out of silverware. Please advise”
“Bread has ended; no spoons, no way to consume peanut butter please send help NOW”
“The dog has been stolen” (Didn’t actually send that–although that one they would have responded to, but there would have been no need to worry, since no one would keep her for more than an hour without paying us to take her back)
–after all of that, they are, right now, traveling from Florida to Indianapolis.
Since I have had the misfortune to make this journey with them in the past, not to mention all of the other trips I have taken with them as a freeloading adult, I would now like to describe what it is like to Travel With the Olds, so that everyone can understand why staying at home, doing laundry, cleaning the refrigerator, and eating bits of leftover stale food for a week is preferable to a week in Florida. For me, at least.
5:00 AM: Oldest Old wakes up in panic. MUST GET TO AIRPORT ASAP!! FLIGHT LEAVES AT 10am!!! HURRY HURRY HURRY! (falls back asleep)
5:32 AM: Oldest Old wakes up again. Hears other Old and her sister, Aunt Old, in other room having coffee, not having the hangovers they deserve, and cackling.
5:33-6:49: General rushing around of all three Olds. Lots of asking each other if have seen this or that while trying to eat all the leftovers in the fridge and putting whatever leftover liquor they have into leftover orange juice which they purchased to drink for breakfast and which has in fact only been used as a mixer all week
6:50: Oldest Old shoos other two Olds out of condo, so he can do a last walkthrough to check for anything they have forgotten.
6:51: Other Olds stand in parking lot giggling and making hurtful but honest observations about the absolute ridiculosity that the Oldest Old thinks he can find ANYTHING.
6:55: Oldest Old reappears and asks why the hell they aren’t in the car yet.
6:56: Aunt Old cunningly says that her coffee has kicked in, and can she have the key for a minute as she has something to attend to.
7:05: Aunt Old opens door of (already running) car, gets in, hands Oldest Old his wallet and iPad, and does not look at the other Old so as to prevent unladylike whoopings of laughter.
7:06: Oldest Old peels out of parking lot and refuses to speak until they reach the airport 30 minutes later.
7:56: After stressful job of returning rental car and having to go back and search it twice, once for his wallet and once for his suitcase, the Oldest Old is once again not speaking to the other Olds, who are positively bursting at the seams with mirth and delight at how unhungover they are, how annoyed the Oldest Old is with everything in general right now, and how so much of that annoyance is directed at them in particular.
8:04: He continues not speaking to them while they check in at the counter. Within seconds, he disappears into a crowd of other Olds all wearing khaki old man sunhats and Blue Blocker sunglasses, who, like him, are racing towards their gates to catch flights which will not leave for several hours yet. Since he is tall, sometimes his old man hat can be seen bobbing above the crowd, but eventually it is impossible to tell which pastel pink hatband is his in the distance.
8:28: Other Olds arrive, panting and exhausted, at gate, to find Oldest Old calmly reading a newspaper and finishing some kind of delicious breakfast pastry, of which he has pointedly purchased only one. He nods in greeting and stiffly returns to his paper.
8:29: Other Olds take seats near him whispering and giggling, and then ask him loud questions about how long until they are supposed to board and do they have time to get coffee and does he want anything even though he must be full after eating whatever that was that he didn’t share
8:30 Oldest old mumbles something about having plenty of time and turns down offers of anything.
(Fun fact: Flight does not leave til 11:00am, not 10:00 as previously thought. All this means to Other Olds is more time to find a bar serving Bloody Marys before 9:00am)
8:31-10:20 Consumption of Bloody Marys. Approximately 19 trips to bathroom. Continued pouting from Oldest Old. More giggling and whispering from other Olds, punctuated by incredibly loud text alerts from their phones, as they have just discovered how hilarious it is to text each other things about the Oldest Old while sitting right behind him.
10:21 Boarding announced. Oldest Old immediately apparates to the front of the line, while the Other Old and Aunt Old take tearful leave of one another.
10:23 My Olds disappear into plane. Aunt Old collapses into wild, uncontrollable laughter and goes in search of bar.
Right now, they are still in the air. This means I have approximately 2, maybe 3 hours during which I must clean the entire house, procure groceries I lied about getting two days ago, and also find the dog.