A great deal has been written about man’s need to spend time with the family. For those of us who reached puberty in the 50’s – decades before the family flight or cruise – this meant – the family drive.
When you consider the number of weekend wrecks, even today, there must be a great many families driving somewhere. For most, the only way to get to Gram’s is to drive. Families drive to resorts, sporting events, campgrounds, to visit friends, relatives, conventions, revival meetings, and rock concerts.
In nearly 59 years, I have not yet met the first guy who ever enjoyed one minute of family driving. Depending on its size, just the varying biological needs of older women, young children and often dogs – require multiple unplanned stops. As most men are goal/result/destination oriented, there is nothing more infuriating.
To be sure, the creation of 9-passenger vans – onboard television – portable CD players have reduced the incidents of the “are we almost there?” syndrome. But the extraordinary patience required to try and satisfy multiple needs in very close quarters over prolonged periods of time, while navigating at high speeds on congested roadways can be debilitating.
When a fight breaks out between small children, the baby soils its diaper, the dog begins to bark, and your wife needs a rest stop just after you have passed the last one for 40 miles, the probability of anti-acid dependence soars.
So why do we continue to do it? What are our options? Do the ends justify the means?
Even more overwhelming is the knowledge that once you have arrived, you have to prepare yourself mentally for the return trip, with the same cast of characters, who now have nothing to look forward to.
This is a condition as old as the internal combustion engine. I am reminded of the adage “as a rule a man’s a fool – when it’s hot he wants it cool – when it’s cool he wants it hot – always wanting what it’s not”.