(This is the back of The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson. I took pictures of the front,too, but it is awash with elderly tourists, so I chose this picture instead. Because I honestly have no idea how to edit people out of photos. And I just decided I don't ever care to learn how.)
Last week, my sisters and I planned an impromptu trip to Nashville, Tenn. We chose Nashville because (a) it was sort of halfway between Memphis and Atlanta and (b) there seemed an outside possibility we would run into Connie Britton while we were there.
Lots of fun and unexpected things happened on our trip. (Come to think of it, ALL of it was unexpected, including the trip itself. That's why they call it "impromptu.")
For example, one sister took an interstate exit ramp, in the dark, going about 70 miles per hour, resulting in (I am convinced) the car briefly obtaining liftoff, and in the sister in the backseat being unable to convince her now-firmly-locked seat belt to let her move one inch until the car was turned off.
Also, we got to meet the Governor of Tennessee while we were there. He was an incredibly nice man, who sat and chatted with us for a good long while, though I am certain he had much more pressing things to tend than graciously querying us about our children and such.
Right before we went to the State Capitol, we stopped by the home of Andrew Jackson. I read a very interesting biography about President Jackson several years ago. My take-away from said book was Jackson had a rather sad childhood, then grew up to be a crazy guy with a serious mean streak. Then I remembered reading this hysterical article last year, and read it aloud to my siblings to great delight. Read it here for perspective, then come right back. (The article does use some colorful language, so please use caution if you are easily offended. Everyone else be aware it will make you laugh out loud, so please prepare your excuses for your loud laughter when your kids ask to see what you're reading. Because the answer will need to be no.)
So anywho, one of the sisters realizes she can't wear jeans to meet the governor, so we have to make a stop at Target so she can fetch herself a pair of pants. Now, I am sure this area of town was pure rolling green hills and peaceful countryside back in Jackson's day, but modern-day this area looked good and sketchy to me. So, sister one springs out of the car, takes the keys with her, and LOCKS US IN THE CAR while she goes to fetch her pants.
Which would have been just fine if sister two had been satisfied to wait quietly for the other one to reappear. But no .... she waits just long enough to forget we are locked in the car to decide she has an emergency need for TOENAIL CLIPPERS (don't we all at high noon on a Tuesday?), flings open the door of the car, which ... wait for it .... sets off the car alarm. Then she proceeds to RUN AWAY FROM THE CAR. I swear if there had been a cop I would have pointed and screamed "She tried to CUT me!"
So there I am, trying to look confident and nonchalant while the car I am sitting in screeches in tandem with flashing its headlights.Top notch, folks.
You know those people, when you're loading your groceries and you're thinking, "um, why the hell isn't someone turning OFF that car alarm? It's been going off for 10 minutes???" Well, maybe they are just sitting in that car waiting for their sisters to come back. With pants and toenail clippers and keys. So stop judging. (Oh, who am I kidding. Judge away. It is super annoying.)
Anyways, I couldn't help but think Andrew Jackson would have gotten a chuckle that Americans these days have motorized vehicles that will sound an alarm if someone tries to get OUT of the car. Or that ties them down to said car if someone makes a swift turn. Of course, Jackson would have just clocked anyone who looked at him funny with his cane. But clearly I lack Jackson's moxie. And I don't have a cane. So.
But I think Jackson would totally been on board with us trying to find Connie Britton. Which we didn't. But at least we had neat nails and nice pants.