What’s with men and their schedules?
There are some traits of men and women that seem to cross all generation gaps.
Last weekend reminded me of one of those traits that seem to stand the test of time.
Jason and I joined his brother and wife on a road trip to Atlanta. We had tickets to a Neil Young concert we were all anxious to see.
Like most men, Jason’s brother Eric had a schedule in his mind. Men for some reason believe in a timeline for all activities, stops, restroom breaks and radio changes for road trips. They’ll have it down to a science like NASCAR pit stops.
If it’s not on the schedule, there is a good chance you are going to have to beg for it.
Eric said the bus was leaving at nine that morning. He stressed nine sharp.
Well, my sister-in-law Tresa and I were running a little behind. So at about 9:30 a.m., the men were standing by the truck, which was already pulled out into the street. They had their arms crossed. And they continued to look at the time on their cell phones.
“Well, at least there is an opening act,” Jason said.
Taking a sigh or two, the women loaded up into the truck. With a gas tank full, water bottles tucked away and a music selection already in progress, the Patterson clan headed out.
As Jason and Eric began talking about what songs they hoped to hear later, I noticed Tresa looking through her purse.
“Oh no,” she said. “I left my phone at the house. We gotta turn around.”
The men then starting taking heavy sighs as we turned around.
After a brief stop at a coffee shop, we actually hit the highway at around 10 a.m. An hour late wasn’t so bad.
We were all excited, and the next hour or so was filled with talking, good music and bits of trivia.
At the Alabama border line, Tresa and I thought it would be a good idea to pick up the latest copy of Rolling Stone magazine. There was a special edition of the greatest 500 rock songs of all time. It would provide great discussion for the next three hours. And it would give me an opportunity to hunt for a CD that I wanted for the trip.
As the women made their way into the store, the men stayed behind. Not finding what I wanted, I headed back to the truck.
After a minute or so, Eric and Jason started displaying those all too familiar signs of men growing impatient.
Eric began tapping his thumbs on the steering wheel. Jason began fidgeting and looking around. Soon Eric put the truck in park and proceeded to make his way into the store to speed along the process.
Tresa must be a psychic because within seconds she was out the door, waving the latest edition of the magazine in the air.
After stopping to get a bite to eat, we had to make an additional stop because the leftover food was really starting to stink up the truck.
And the men continued to sigh.
Then I had a craving for a Coke and a candy bar.
Finally, Eric announced that there would be no more stops unless it was a true emergency. Only “authorized” stops from this point on, Jason added.
Of course their declaration went unnoticed because there was another restroom break shortly afterward.
We arrived in Atlanta at a perfectly reasonable hour. We were able to sit down to get a bite to eat and mingle with friends. At 8 p.m. on the dot, we were in our seats and ready to be entertained.
The drive home wasn’t as serious. There were random stops, and we even debated stopping at an outlet mall.
Women like to take their time on road trips. The point is to be relaxed, at ease, comfortable. If a bathroom break, Snickers bar and a copy of Rolling Stone will help, then so be it.
Men, on the other hand, have to be in a hurry. You have to be blue in the face before a restroom break is taken. And they always seem so uptight about getting somewhere “on schedule.”
But what I find so funny about Eric and Jason in particular is that they won’t stop if you need to stretch your legs. Two restroom breaks within an hour is out of the question. And a great sale that would only take a minute will never happen.
But when those two see an Arby’s sign from the highway, and the smell of those beef and cheddar burgers hit their noses, it’s all over.
The turn signal is applied. Cars are nearly knocked out of the way on the exit ramp. Trucks are put on two wheels.
And the Arby’s cashier is greeted by two smiling grown men who are begging for extra sauce.