The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Judgement

You know those people that say they were born in the wrong decade? Usually this comment is pertaining to the desire to live in a time without words like “yolo” and “swag” or because they prefer music from the 80’s… In my case, it is because I feel like I am 75 years old living in a world of children.

My family has called me a grandma since I was 14. I never really fit in with my peers, always liking the English classes when we read Shakespeare, and listening to what my sister lovingly refers to as “lame” and “embarrassing” music. I don’t enjoy parties and I do enjoy scrap-booking. I have collections of seashells, floral vases, and postcards. I also apparently dress like a grandma according to my family, but we don’t have to get into that.

In case anyone is not yet convinced that I am actually much closer to being that old geezer that yells at the kids on his lawn than a millennial in the 21st century, have I got the proof for you.

My family went to Colorado this spring break, (we are actually still in Colorado, hence my late posting…), and as we are a family of 5 and really enjoy getting on each others nerves, we drove here.

Road trips are never smooth sailing for my family (for a laugh, go read “Getting There Is Only Half The Fun), and this 14 hour drive was no exception. We actually managed not to over-pack too extremely this time (or maybe we have just gotten better at tetris), and had plenty of room to make my dog Max a throne. And by that I mean he had the best seat in the car. Figures.

The fact he was being treated better than all of the human beings present, and the fact he had been in the car dozens of times before did not keep Max from crying for the first hour of our trip. He whined harder and louder than any toddler I have ever met. It was bad enough that our headphones couldn’t block him out and Edie even tried to put headphones on him as a distraction. To no avail.

10 minutes in:

Me: Max stop crying.

30 minutes in:

Mom: Max, shut your face.

He was so anxious he started climbing on top of us AND crying.

It was terrible. We started making small talk to draw our attention away from what was, at the time, the most annoying sound in the world.

Dad: Roadkill up ahead.

Mom: What?

Dad: Waze told me there is roadkill up ahead.

Mom: I am pretty sure it doesn’t tell you that.

Dad: There is a little animal icon.

Then we drove past what was probably a whole cow carcass strewn about both lanes of traffic.

Dad: That is like…an ANIMAL.

Me: As opposed to…?

Dad: Well it’s not squirrel, that’s for sure.

We eventually decided we would try to drown out Max’s anxiety with a movie.

Ava: Thor or The Sound of Music?

Let me interject quickly to explain that me and my sisters have now come up with a movie picking process to avoid confrontation in the car. It involves us choosing 5 movies we all agree on, then each of us get a “veto” pick of a movie we want that no one else likes. My veto was The Sound of Music.

Surprisingly Ava was on board with actually watching the musical with me (while Edie was asleep of course), so I eagerly jumped on the opportunity that I was presented with.

Me: The Sound of Music for sure.

Mom: That is the lamest road trip movie ever.

Ava: *singing* The hills are alive with the sound of music…

Me: Ah ah ah ahhhh.

We started the movie, my mother muttering about how she cannot believe that we were actually watching this- even going so far as to post a poll on Facebook asking if The Sound of Music was a road trip movie.

Ava: How do you solve a problem like Maria? You kill her with the rest of the Jews.

Me: Too far Ava!

Ava: My bad.

We sang along loudly to every song, much to my father’s dismay.

Ava: I love nuns. Is this just nuns singing for other nuns?

Me: I think they are singing for Jesus.

(This commentary continued the whole time the movie was playing).

Max actually calmed down for a bit and watched the movie with us.

It might have been the fact that the Captain was calling his children with a dog-whistle…but at least someone was riveted by this musical masterpiece.

Unfortunately when the crying stopped, Max’s anxiety manifested through his flatulence.

The first time it surprised even him.

He looked around at us all ashamed-like, apologizing with his eyes.

The second time he knew what he was doing.

And not a single care was given.

It was potent enough to roll the windows down, only once we did that all of the hair that he had shed previously began swirling around in tiny tornado-like tufts, getting in our eyeballs and our mouths making it even harder to breathe.

We also made the mistake of opening the sunroof to air out the vehicle, which just so happens to be one of Max’s favorite things. He likes to stick his head out and bite the air. He also does this with water, we don’t know why. We apparently have a knack for ending up with the dumbest dogs in existence.

Max lept up out of his own stench and poked his head out, snapping his jaws and eating the 80 mph wind that was rushing at his face.

We watched in amazement until “Favorite Things” began playing.

Ava: I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it. (Singing the Ariana Grade song that totally ripped off Julie Andrews).

Me: I hate you. Do not ruin this for me.

Ava: You can call me Ari.

I got over her betrayal as we sang the duet “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.”

Then came that scene where Julie Andrews and the children yodel and play with goat puppets and I audibly heard a sigh from the driver’s seat as my mother busted into laughter and began rubbing my father’s shoulders. Ava also put headphones in, realizing that she was not as into musicals as she thought.

Shortly after…

Dad: Will you hand me a Snapple?

Me: You already had one and we have to ration our snacks.

Mom: You better hand that man a Snapple or he is going to Snapple your neck. Do you recall the yodeling scene?

Me: Touche.

Dad got his Snapple and remained quiet for the rest of the film…unfortunately, after intermission our disc started skipping, so I was unable to actually finish the movie. I didn’t even get to the action. I am still not convinced that my dad didn’t take the movie out of the player at a gas station and sabotage me, but retrospectively I can understand if he did.

I put headphones in for the rest of the trip so I wouldn’t annoy my family any further with my choice of entertainment. We stayed the night in Amarillo, and the last few hours of driving the next day I decided to sleep to avoid further judgement.

Before I slept however, I checked my mom’s Facebook to see the results of her poll.

Out of 11 votes, 9 of them voted “true” that The Sound of Music IS a road-trip movie, and while one of those votes was mine, the abundance of affirmative responses only confirms my belief that there is never a wrong time for musical theatre (though it doesn’t negate my label as “grandma).”

As I sit in bed, making my playlist for our drive back to Texas, filling it with The Temptations, ABBA, the soundtrack from Into the Woods (original Broadway cast recording of course), and podcasts about the detrimental effects of social media on young minds, I fully accept my characterization and have begun my countdown until the day I can collect my Social Security benefits like the senior citizen that I apparently am.

One thought on “The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Judgement

  1. Proof that Max has Parmelee DNA. Born in the middle of 5 brothers and a father who taught us how to light one….I was raised on flatulence. Great reporting…posting…blogging…You nailed it.


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