K’s friends Paul and Tom came to visit us one weekend from NY via Kauai. We grilled lobster tails on the lanai and had it with rice and poke. The World Series was on and we got to see the Yankees go-ahead run before going down to the beach to watch the full moon.
We spent most of the next day driving all over Oahu. K was working so it was just the three of us. I’ve come to love driving. I marvel at how just a few weeks ago I was terrified of driving on highways. Now, as K predicted, I prefer driving on highways to the stop and go of downtown. I love driving. I actually feel markedly happier when I get into my car to head off somewhere.
I had to parallel park with Paul and Tom in the car. I usually can do it when I’m by myself but if there’s anyone in the car with me I get super self-conscious. I told them this and Tom talked me through it. In two turns of the wheel I was in the spot. Tommy was singing my parking praises and even talked about taking a picture of it because it was such a perfect parking job. I smiled on the outside but on the inside I also did a little dance.
So one day I wasn’t a driver and the next day I was. I have a rented car that we’ve affectionately dubbed Suzu (it’s a Suzuki) and can now get myself around unlike last year.
It’s been a mini earthquake in my brain to accommodate thinking about driving. It’s not easy. Especially when you’re 35 and your total driving experience prior wouldn’t amount to 24 hours.
The day after we got the car K made me drive all over the place, mainly our Meals on Wheels route so that I would be comfortable doing it alone if he was working. That first day I drove 75 miles over the course of 6 hours. It was great–liberating even.
Then came the first day that K left for work and I was going to spend most of the day alone. I dilly-dallied around the house for hours doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, answering emails… I felt so much pressure to make good use of my day. To take the car and go do some ‘good’ with it, when all I really wanted to do was focus on my chores.
The way I felt made me realize how different my days have been when K isn’t around and that even though I wished so badly that I could get around on my own that there were parts of it that I looked forward to. Days being home for 14+ hours alone, far away from anything and anyone became almost an imposed meditation. Not that I really produced anything (aside from this blog) but I had found ways to be comforted by my routine.
That’s different now. Now there’s really nothing stopping me from being part of this place outside of the confines of our house and it being part of me. That is, if it was mobility holding me back. I guess we’ll see.
K saw a bumper sticker on the road that he thought was hilarious. It said ‘Eh! Try wait!’ Since then he’s been looking for it. Someone at work told him that he might find it at Town and Country, a surf shop at Ala Moana.
They didn’t have it but a salesperson steered us to a lower level kiosk called ‘You Name It!’ Again, no luck but they did have three ‘pages’ of Filipino car stickers! Incredible! K and I were marveling that there probably isn’t any other place in the US that you can go to the most upscale mainstream mall and find dozens and dozens of Filipino themed car stickers. Hawaii is awesome.
I got one that says ‘Ilocano’ and then I got paranoid and called my mom to ask her if I was in fact half Ilocano and she quipped ‘no your American’. She was on the phone with someone else and said she’d call me back. Later she told me ‘I am Ilocano, your dad is Bikolano and I like to say we’re Bilocano.’ And then she started to go into this whole spiel and I told her I just needed to know if I could put this bumper sticker on our car.
Later I thought about it and told K, ‘so what if I wasn’t actually Ilocano, it’s not like I’m an elephant’ (in reference to our Ganesh bumper sticker). He said that that in fact was very true.