Today is my birthday. It is also my mum’s birthday (yes, I was that mean child that decided I was the perfect birthday gift. Most days she disagrees).

So I feel the need to tell you something about my mother but I’m not entirely sure where to start, because, well, I love my mum but she can do some crazy funny shit.

She also taught me how to swear, so if you ever are offended/impressed by that, blame/thank her.

So I need to preface this so no one thinks I’m being insulting and rude about the birthday girl. I fucking love my mother, she’s amazing. But sometimes she does things that just make me go: “Hold on. Keep doing that while I fire up my camera.” Like the time we threw my uncle a surprise party and the whole family’s in the garage waiting to surprise him and my mum gets down on the ground, ass in the air, to look under the door’s tiny crack to see when they’re there. Totally took a photo.

But to be honest, my favourite instance of this would probably our trip to St Thomas. We had gone there for vacation, but it was also my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary and they wanted to go back to where they honeymooned. It was pretty, but really awkward if you thought about it too hard.

So for those that haven’t been to the island, it’s way super easy to get lost. Our directions to the hotel included the direction ‘turn at the red building/former police station’. It failed to mention that the building was like 5 minutes from being condemned and a sun-bleached pink. We ended up on some strange journey into the scary parts of the island and I got yelled at a lot. Didn’t help that you drove on the left side of the road in an American set up car. It’s weird. Trust me. You feel like you’re doing everything wrong and just want to pull off to the side of the road and cry.

Which segues perfectly into what this whole story consists of. But to be fair there will probably be some pit stops along the way.

Let me preface by saying my mum HATES to let my dad drive. She thinks he’s out of control (he is) and unsafe (just a tad) and likes to do it herself. So it says something significant when I say that she was so uncomfortable driving on this island that she made my dad do it. There was more than one time I told her to turn right and she totally turned left – almost into a car. It stressed her out so much that she gave up entirely and let dad drive.

This is where it all goes sideways. So we are heading into “town” (read: tourist central) to go have lunch or shop at the kiosks or whatever…I forgot the details because the journey there was so damn scary/hilarious/scary that I forgot what happened after I took the picture of my mum at the end of it. We end up somehow on this upward slanting road trying to find a parking spot and eventually curve around, realising that we’re on top of a mountain and now we must head down.

Also, there’s no parking.

So we head down this mountain, at probably at 50-60 degree incline and slowly begin to realise that this is a one way street on this side of the mountain. And we’re going the wrong damn way. There were two instances where we had to pull over and back up so that the car going the RIGHT way could go around us, but the one that nearly killed my mother was when we had to back up about ten feet, take a 90 turn onto a driveway, and head up a 70 degree-ish incline. Yea. Can’t believe we didn’t die.

Best part, dad kept going the wrong way down the mountain when we finally got out of that situation.

And the whole time my mum is swearing that when we get down she’s going to kiss the ground for letting her live.

And she totally did. It’s on my “Mum’s greatest hits” picture reel…okay, if I had one it would be…

She was kinda pissed I made her hold it so long, but I’m pretty sure it only made her seem that much more grateful…

-Renee

PS. If you’re ever wondering why I don’t really talk about my dad, it’s because he’s funnier than me and I don’t want you to feel cheated. Sad, but true.

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