I remember learning that people have a certain number of words that they feel compelled to speak in a given day. If I recall correctly, women have a much higher word-count than men, but I haven’t really noticed that personally. Basically, if I am craving quiet, I can count on the person across from me being a chatterbox, regardless of gender. Easter weekend had me wondering how many words a man can stand to hear in a given day.
Our three and a half-hour car ride to the in-laws took a little over 5 hours each way. I sat in the center of the second seat in our van. In that position, everyone else in the vehicle felt like they were sitting right next to me. As such, I was the logical choice for conversation…for all six of them.
Charlotte wanted me to quiz her on world capitals, while Cooper asked me questions about each of the Little League teams he will face this year – as if I’ve been doing extensive scouting on the boys from Packwood.
Callum was asking me what I thought the outcome would be, of endless hypothetical pro-wrestling match-ups, while Clane sang a preschool song about fingers, over and over again.
Cady had no specific request of me but that did not deep her from saying, “Dad” ten thousand times.
My responses went something like,
“What is the capital of Venezuela? I can’t imagine they’re any better than you are. What Cady? King Kong Bundy. Batavia is pretty good, I think. Ultimate Warrior. You missed your pinky finger that time. No, that’s Bolivia. What Cady? Which one is sister finger again? Rick Flair is a woman.”
I did not take a breath for five hours.
I was glad to reach the in-laws’ place so I could have some adult conversation. But, the car ride up may have spoiled me for the entire weekend. I’m sure I couldn’t properly appreciate Uncle Ed’s vacation stories because I was just worn out. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that every trip recap came complete with the price of gas at every fueling station within one hundred miles of his vacation spot. In fact, under different circumstances, I would be absolutely fascinated with the subtle differences in protocol between car rental facilities in different regions of the country. And, I would have surely chimed right in on every weather conversation that I walked into, if I hadn’t been so spent.
It’s probably a good thing I did doze off a little during Uncle Ed’s oral tour of North America. Otherwise, I might not have survived two hundred verses of “Daddy Finger, Daddy Finger,” on the ride home.