How LONG does it take to leave your house??? Just another weekend trip for the ocean of estrogen…

OK, I took a week off from writing…to my audience, I apologize…won’t happen again…had a busy week with the usual BULLSHIT, most of which you all have in your lives as well…long time ago, I heard an expression that stands the test of time…”Excuses are like assholes…everybody has one and they all stink.”  It applies…rant off, away we go…settle in, this is a longer read, but hopefully, it’s worth it.

As you all know, this travel softball thing is our LIFE…we have two girls, 13 and 12, and they both play, on different teams, of course…that means we are literally shuttling one or both of them around town all week to fields for practices, batting cages for pitching, hitting or catching lessons, and, oh, yeah, games and tournaments, most of which DO NOT take place in the Las Vegas metro area…in fact, most of them are in the surrounding states of Utah, Arizona and of course, California…practices or lessons are usually Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday…Friday, we all come home from school and work and collapse, unless of course, we are going somewhere for a tournament or, what’s known in the world of kids’ athletics, “friendlies.”

For the uninformed, these friendlies are simply exhibition games played in a round robin format at a set of fields…the teams get a schedule a few days in advance, they show up, they play 3 games on Saturday, they play 3 games on Sunday, and everybody goes home…they are very useful for getting the kids valuable reps in a game…the score is kept but it is truly not important…don’t get me wrong, some coaches treat these games like the seventh game of the World Series, but, for the most part, it is simply gaining valuable game experience that you simply cannot recreate in a practice situation.

Nevertheless, we go to these things all the time…with two kids on different teams, that usually means we are doing these things on opposite weekends…I go with the 13 year old because I am a coach of that team…we have an understanding when we go…it’s a business trip…we go, we play, we eat, we go to sleep, we get up, we play, we eat, and we go home…NO BULLSHIT…I give her the itinerary, she packs her stuff, I pack mine, we have a time of departure, everything is run to the minute…there are 13 other girls and two or three other coaches depending on us so it’s a tight ship.

On the other side, the 12 year old goes with Mama and the three year old…and they have their routine…they pack differently, and the only thing they have to do is make sure the 12 year old is where she is supposed to be at the right time…then it’s up to Mama to make sure she has her chair, her umbrella, the wagon for the baby, the baby’s toys, snacks (NO BULLSHIT, the SNACKS are the most important thing), and who knows what the hell else…it’s a way different trip than the coach trip.

A few glorious times of the year, we get to do it all together…maybe one of them is off and the other is playing…or funds are low, and we can only go out of town once a month instead of twice…sometimes, Mama and the ocean of estrogen have the time off and can come watch the show of me coaching and the 13 year old playing…or, we are off and we get to go just be a family watching the 12 year old do her thing…these trips become our little family getaways, complete with me captaining the ship in the ocean of estrogen.

Last weekend, a rare instance came up…the 12 year old’s team is moving up to the 14u division, and they needed a player…they asked us if our 13 year old would like to guest play with them…pitch a couple games and get some reps in the field along with some at bats in a place called Lake Elsinore with her sister…hell, yeah, we are in…I get to go watch the kids play from the stands, spend time with Mama and the baby, and we are all together for 48 hours…what could POSSIBLY go wrong???

Mid-week, we make the plan…we will leave on Friday between 4 and 5pm…Mama is off on Friday so she can do all the loading and packing while I am at work…all I ask is please get the oil changed in the van because it’s due…last thing I want is van problems on the 4 hour drive in 110 degree heat in the middle of the damn desert…I pack my bag Thursday night so I can get home at 4:30, go to the bathroom, change and go…this is what happens on my coaching trips…I get home, load up, gas up and hit the road…

I am at work on Friday, and I get the text around 2 pm…I can’t get phone calls in the sportsbook most times because it is busy…so text is the best way to reach me…problem is if I am talking to a customer, taking a bet, counting money, etc, I cannot respond right away…so, in this case, the text comes, and I get to it when I get to it a few minutes later…”we need new brakes on the van…what do you want me to do?”  WHAT!?!?!?!

The van is a little over a year old, has 25k miles, and it NEEDS NEW BRAKES???? TODAY???  Hey guys, I have to take a walk, cover me for a few minutes…I go sprinting out of the book and speed dial Mama…there is no hello…as soon as it’s answered, I unleash a “ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?”  Not my finest moment…”Why are you yelling?”  Fair question, but, in typical man fashion, I ignore it…the next three minutes are spent asking each other what our problems are, how our driving styles differ, how this always happens when SHE takes the car in for service, and everything else except the damn brakes.

When the yelling ceases and all the name calling is over, yes, fix the brakes…thank goodness, they are covered under some plan that I insisted on when we bought the van…ZERO out of pocket…the expense was dodged, but now the time became an issue…how long is it going to take?  Who knows, it will be done when it’s done…so she is there with the 12 year old and the 3 year old while the 13 year old is home doing laundry because OF COURSE, the shit couldn’t be washed any time during the week…we knew a WEEK in advance that we were going, but we weren’t home ONE TIME ALL WEEK to do the damn laundry…

Now, I have to get home ASAP to make sure the 13 year old procrastinator is actually doing the laundry so we can leave before dark…did I mention that Mama doesn’t like driving in the dark???  Isn’t that some BULLSHIT??  I was hoping to come home after working a full day and catch a nap while she drove the first two hours…think again…I am driving the whole way…

I make it home by 4:30…the oldest is home, music blasting, washing machine and dryer both functioning, and she is actually following instructions…the text comes “we are still waiting at the dealership.”  I know I am driving so I take the small window of opportunity and take a nap…I confide in the oldest…”don’t tell your mother, I am taking a nap…and WAKE ME UP before they come home.”  Mama is dying a slow death waiting for the brakes to be done with two starving children who have eaten nothing except hot cheetos and pop.  Last thing she needs to know is I am in bed passed out.

About 6:30, I am woken up by the 13 year old…”Mama called, they are on their way home.”  Good job, thank you…at least that land mine was not detonated…the door barges open around 7pm…all three of them are hungry, tired and annoyed…pleasantries are exchanged, and I get the question…”What time do you want to leave?”  Three hours ago is what I was thinking, but thank God, my mouth got the word from the other side of my brain that said “SHUT THE HELL UP!”  Instead, sheepishly, I muttered a low tone, “Um, whenever…as soon as we can, I guess.”  Years of training in the ocean of estrogen.

Then, I did something which I did not think was a bad idea at the time…I decided to take a shower to refresh myself for the drive…I was tired too, but my state of mind did not matter at this current moment in time…I figured I would be out of the way while all these females yelled at each other, packed their shit, and got ready to hit the road…apparently this was not a good decision…as the bathroom door swung open, me standing next to the shower completely naked, water running, it comes loud and clear…”WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”  Ummmmm…I froze…

“ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TAKING A SHOWER RIGHT NOW???”  Is this a trick question?  I took a small step backward and nodded…”OH, that is great…I guess we will just pack everything ourselves, load the car ourselves and feed the baby ourselves.”  Honestly, that sounded like a FANTASTIC plan to me…I mean, I would be ready in 15 minutes and I was driving…Mama stormed out of the bathroom, yelling who knows what to who knows who…I stepped into the shower for some quality me time…

It was now 7:40pm…I was showered, dressed, packed and ready to go…I tip toed down the stairs, and everybody was doing something…Mama was loading up the coolers, the 12 year old was helping, the 13 year old was supervising, and the 3 year old was playing with her Shopkins on the floor while Sponge Bob was blasting on the TV…I dropped my bag by the door, and I asked what I thought was a simple question in a calm tone…”Hey, what time are you thinking that we are leaving?”

It was like the movie “the Matrix” when everything stood still…I swear, even the TV paused…the entire ocean of estrogen stopped and stared…you could hear a pin drop…the silence was deafening…I glanced over my shoulder…what the hell were they looking at?  Then, it came…in the Mama tone, loud and direct, “REALLLLYYYYY?”  The 13 year old District Attorney chimed in with “SERIOUSLYYYY?”  I looked at the 12 year old, and she just shook her head side to side…was it that bad of a question?  After more awkward silence, I was ordered back upstairs and told to wait there for further instructions…

I don’t know exactly what went on downstairs for the next hour, but I heard it all…see, we have a monitor upstairs to hear downstairs…I know a few jagoffs, an asshole or two, maybe a dumbass here and there were thrown around…nothing I haven’t heard before, but at least I wasn’t in the line of fire…around 9pm, the 12 year old comes upstairs and says, “Daddy, you can come downstairs now and load the car.  Mama said everything is ready.”

Not sure how it goes in your house, but when we go anywhere, I pack the car…it is a challenge for me to pack everything so it doesn’t move, it is low enough to not block the rear windows, snacks are readily available, and it is an easy unload when we get to the destination…just get the shit to the car and get out of the way…keep in mind, we are going for 48 hours…two days…we have to take softball equipment, yes, but really, how much do we need?  In the ocean of estrogen, every one of these females have their own bag…there is also a hair stuff bag, a toy bag, and for this trip, two coolers packed with food for the fields.

For readers of the blog, you know we have a 12 passenger Ford Transit 350…you would think we have enough room…I know we do…but my women come up with the bright idea that we have to remove two of the backseats to fit all the stuff…I hold my ground…”We don’t need to take out any seats…seriously, I’ll pack the car and we will be on the road shortly.”  As is the case most times, I am overruled…I step away from the van and, in the 102 degree evening heat, I watch Mama climb into the back of the Transit to remove the seats…”Relax, jagoff, it will take two seconds.”

Oh, it took two seconds alright…as she angrily pulled the plastic piece up that releases the seats, there was the noise…”CRUNCH!”  Hercules pulled out the lever, snapping it completely off…she steps out of the van and looks at me…”GREAT…that will be $200 to fix…still think we need to take seats out to go away for the DAMN WEEKEND?!?!?”  I start pacing in circles in the street…the tables have turned…”Girls, get in the car while Daddy loads it, NOW.”

Miraculously, the van gets loaded in minutes, much to everyone’s amusement, including my neighbor who is out enjoying the show…I did not stop ranting and raving the entire time…you know, break the damn seat that we didn’t need to move, pack enough shit that we could be gone for two weeks, load up the car in heat dripping in sweat, and I have to drive at night whether I like it or not…Usual BULLSHIT….

We bid our neighbor a farewell, and off we go…to McDonalds, three minutes away…because, of course, everybody is hungry…pull the bus into the drive through, and no shit, order maybe one of everything off the menu…one of those orders where they tell you at the pick up window, “Please pull forward to space number one.”  Oh, yeah, why wouldn’t we have to wait for damn food when we just want to get on the road!!!  So, we pull up and wait…and wait…wisely, nobody has chosen to sit up front with me, as the heat coming off me would give a passenger first degree burns…they are safely sitting in the back, trying their best to contain their laughter, as my blood pressure is rising with every passing minute…

It was now 9:40 when the TWO gentlemen came outside with our food neatly placed in McDonald’s shopping bags…SHOPPING BAGS…no BULLSHIT, who knew they had SHOPPING BAGS???  Food was passed back, and we started the trek to Lake Elsinore.  Waze said we would be there at 1:30am…Waze didn’t know that we had the ocean of estrogen in the car who, despite all going to the bathroom before we left, would inevitably have to go at least once along the way.

Cruising along a dark desert across I-15, we are moving…everyone wolfed down their food and passed out…once, Mama woke up and fired this gem from behind…”Are you OK?”  Does it matter?  You don’t drive at night anyways…”I’m fine.”  Follow up question…in the ocean of estrogen, there is always a follow up question…”Why are you driving so fast?”  Hmmm…because I haven’t been cleared for take off…WTF?!?  I just want to get to the hotel and go to sleep maybe…

I was hoping to avoid the bathroom stop, but, alas, at 12:15 am, it came…the innocent 3 year old, complete with her elephant neck pillow, belts out, “I have to go potty.”  On cue, the 12 year old announces, “I have to go too.”  HERE WE GO…Mama, the human GPS, wakes up from a stone cold sleep and says, “Stop in Barstow.”  SURE, why not?  We pull off the exit we always stop at and head to the travel center that we always stop at on this drive…you know the one, tons of bathrooms, food choices for everyone, and clean…

Well, we have never stopped there at 12:15am before…it looks very different…everything is closed and locked up…there is a bum sleeping on the steps, complete with his ass hanging out of his shorts…the baby is wide awake and yells out, “Mama, look at that guy’s bum!”  Yeah, we can’t stop here…but if we don’t get somewhere fast, there is going to be an ocean of piss in the back of the van…quickly scanning the street, I see a convenience store that I have never seen before, lit up and open, with a sign that says “REST ROOMS”  I take the bus across six lanes of traffic to the store…

A quick prayer that one, the bathroom is open, and two, it is clean…the DA pipes up, “Are you sure this is OK?”  It’s either here or the sidewalk, you pick…the girls all unload and run to the bathroom together…the door opens and they all shuffle in…I pull into the parking spot right outside the door, as it outside the store…minutes pass, and here comes the 12 year old…”Everything OK?”  “We need wipes, there is no toilet paper.”  We have wipes everywhere so that is no problem.  “Did everyone make it?”  YES…excellent!

The girls all pile back into the air conditioned van, and I say, “Alright, I am going to go now.”  World War three ensues…”What, I can’t go too?”  I storm out of the van and slam the door…I mean, seriously, I can’t piss too?  I go to the men’s room…it’s locked…I wait a minute…nothing…survey the scene quickly, the only eyes looking at me are my girls…I make a break for the women’s room and jump inside…never did that before, but when you over 40 and you have to go, you go…do my business and back in the car…upon buckling my seat belt, the 12 year old goes, “Daddy, you went in the girls’ room?”  YES I DID…”You know you are not allowed to do that, right?”  YEAH, KELS, I KNOW…DON’T TELL ANYBODY…now go back to sleep…NO BULLSHIT, these kids don’t miss ANYTHING!

Bottom line, we pulled into the Holiday Inn Express in Lake Elsinore at 2AM, safe and sound…we survived the weekend heat, the kids played, and there were two highlights of the weekend…one was when the older one came into pitch while the younger one was catching…a sister battery…strike out, strike out, single and a 4-3 ground out to get out of the inning…it was a sight to behold…the other came with the older one in right field and the younger one at first…I yelled out to her, “On a single to right, you better be ready at first because she is going to come up throwing on a line to you.”  NO BULLSHIT, on cue, the next batter hit a one hopper to right, Ky charged it, scooped it and fired a seed to Kels waiting at first…OUT BY TWO STEPS!!!  YES SIR!!!  OK, we can go home now!!

I am sure you have all had family trips that you have stories from…thank you for taking the time to read and share my BULLSHIT…please pass the link along and like the Facebook page…



2 thoughts on “How LONG does it take to leave your house??? Just another weekend trip for the ocean of estrogen…

  1. It’s about time Dave! I’ve missed you my dear friend. Keep the BULLSHIT coming!! See you on the softball field FRIEND.

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