My twenty-year-old daughter recently informed me she had had enough of her “sabbatical” from college. (Try to get her dad to buy that term; he tended to consider her a “drop-out”.) After three months of taking a semester off, holding down two jobs and getting no monetary funds from either madre or padre, she felt like she had given the real world her best shot and was ready to go back to school.

She asked me if I would come to Colorado Springs and help her move home. Naturally, being the good mother that I am, I agreed.

She had arranged to rent a 5 X 8 trailer to haul behind her Explorer. Never, ever having hauled anything behind a car, I was somewhat leery. She assured me that she had pulled trailers several times and there was nothing to it. Okay, so I believed her.

After reading the pamphlet supplied by the rental company, my leeriness turned to sheer panic. How could one possible remember all this? How do you know if you have at least 60% of the contents in front of the trailer axle? How can you be sure your tire pressure is correct? What if you have a flat? What if the load shifts? God forbid, what if you have to back up? What if the trailer came unhitched? What if the driver came unhitched? I tell you it gave me an entirely new respect for these semi-truck drivers.

After enlisting the help of a so-called “expert trailer packer” (who also happened to be an ex-boyfriend, which made me somewhat nervous) we were ready to begin our great road adventure. I was Thelma and Lissa was Louise. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I was the mother and she was the daughter. A dangerous combination in the best of circumstances.

Our first confrontation came when Lissa pulled out her reggae tapes and I pulled out my country tapes. That’s okay, I thought. I can handle this. We’ll take turns.

The problem arose when after an hour and a half of Ziggy Marley and only 20 minutes of Faith Hill I realized her self-recorded tapes were much more prolific than my Columbia House tapes. Before long Ziggy and Faith were at each other’s throats, reminiscent of Thelma and Louise.

Up to this point, I had been doing all the driving. I think they call it a control thing. I insisted that since this was the case I should by all rights be entitled to listen to my choice of music. Louise insisted that since it was her car she should be able to listen to her music. I won the argument by insisting something about having the money and being the mother.

We made it back to Oklahoma City all in one piece. I have to admit it is nice having my daughter home. Did I say home? Did I say nice? Actually, we only lasted in the same house for two days. We came to a mutual understanding that she and Ziggy would fare much better at her grandmother’s house.

I’m just waiting for a call from her grandmother insisting something about having the money and being the grandmother.