Sunday, February 27, 2011

Driving me crazy

Here are the important things to remember before driving from Milwaukee to Chicago for a funeral:

1. When SH drives to Chicago or to almost anywhere, including the arduous ten miles to downtown Milwaukee from our house, he uses a radar detector and he speeds. I do not use a radar detector. I do not speed.

2. "Chicago" means "the Chicago area," which means a huge area that is far bigger than just the 84 miles from my door to my friend Lenore's door in Morton Grove. A funeral in St Charles is not just next door to Morton Grove.

3. Even if SH looks at the google map of the funeral location and says offhandedly, "When I go to Schaumburg for work, it takes me about an hour and a half," it is important for the person who is actually going to the funeral to check the mileage from our house to the church because guess what, it's not just an hour and a half, it's 140 miles, which is <> to an hour and a half of driving, even at SH speeds.

4. Just because something is a "highway" does not mean it is faster than a "road." Illinois State Highway 31 meanders through towns at about 25 mph. Randall Road might not be a highway, but it's straight with few stoplights and a speed limit of 40 mph. I learned this after the funeral, not before, when it would actually have been useful information.

5. Everyone speeds on Chicago highways, especially the people who are right behind me, even when I am in the right-hand lane. I am not speeding because 1. I have Wisconsin plates, which are as a magnet to Illinois law enforcement and 2. I am always the one who gets caught. Always.

All of this means that when I was in the wrong lane in my exit from 294 to 90 and couldn't get into the proper lane to go west instead of east because the proper lane was full of 18 wheelers and what did they care that I needed to get into their lane? Hahahaha lady you should have thought of that before even though there was no notice that one had to be in the far-right lane to get onto 90 west. I ended up on 90 east and not only was I on 90 east but I was also in the cash lane for the toll road instead of the I-Pass lane so I had to stop at the toll collector booth and tell him, "I'm late! I'm late for a funeral! And I'm going the wrong way!" He told me to take a deep breath and asked where I was going and told me that I just needed to take the second exit and that would let me turn around which was true but I was delayed even further because in Chicago, YOU CAN'T TURN RIGHT ON RED in many places because why? I don't know! Is turning right on red a bad thing? No! Make people wait! Make them wait!

But being in the wrong lane and ending up going the wrong direction didn't even matter because I wasn't three minutes late for the funeral, I was 40 minutes late. I made increasingly frantic calls to SH, asking where the stupid highway was and had I missed it and WHERE WAS HIGHWAY 31?

It was wayyyyyy down the road. Wayyyy down Highway 90. I found the church at 1:30 p.m. The funeral started at 1:00 p.m. I walked in after communion. Is there anything more tacky than being late for a funeral?

Wait! Yes! There is! Being late for a funeral, sneaking into the back, sitting down and have your stomach growl so loudly that the people in front of you turn around to see what the noise is.


Anonymous said...

Ouch. Sorry for the suck. If it makes you feel any better I got lost once going from the church to the cemetary in a strange town when a college friend died. The funeral procession went onto the interstate and was chopped up with traffic and construction detours. Half of us got lost and they had to delay the grave side service.

Richard in NY said...

At least you know that the guest of honor did not care.

Lindy said...

I drove from Milwaukee to St. Charles once and was completely unprepared for how long it took. It was tramatic for me, too, even though I wasn't going to a funeral.

Class factotum said...

Snapper, that is really bad! At least it wasn't just you.

Richard, except I wasn't going for the guest of honor - it was his daughter who is my friend.

Lindy, it looks a lot closer than it is.