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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Road tripping

Have you ever hosted a party that's so fun it's insane?

You know the kind. Hors-doeuvres, ice cubes shaped like Kokopelli, banter, mini-desserts, novelty cocktail napkins that say, "In my day we didn't need all this therapy; we had a little thing called the martini," maybe a few rounds of charades (if you grew up surrounded by musical theater performers), a healthy debate on whether objectivism begets existentialism (if you attended an Ivy League school), absolutely no straight-male romantic prospects (if you grew up surrounded by musical theater performers / attended an Ivy League school), third or fourth helpings of whatever was served (if you are Italian)?

Whatever the case, this party feels consequence-free...unassailed by the cares of the real world...with endless possibility stretching before you into the late night/early morning hours. I mean, you never want this party to END!

So everybody stays; eats more, talks more. The food becomes more scarce. But still people stay. The laughter becomes more hollow, less frequent. But still people stay. The party rolls on. On and on and on...into the night...until every musical theater score has been sung through in its entirety. And the party literally. Will. Not. End.


This, my friends, is how I would describe my road trip from New York to Chicago over this past Halloween weekend -- an adventure I shared with one Gentle Rambo (a.k.a. my muscular boyfriend Marshall (if you haven't read my memoir yet (what is WRONG with you), you missed learning about how he cooks wearing nothing but an apron)) in celebration of our two-year anniversary.

When we conceived of our 800-mile brainchild as a fun bonding experience, we had no idea how taxing not one, but two 14-hour days of labor would be. Indeed, due to the governing laws of the physical world and the fact that teleportation has not become widely available, we had to take the trip there -- and back. In other words, we didn't birth just one fat deformed 14-hour car ride baby. We had twins.

(To clarify: this is a metaphor. I am not actually the mother of twins.)

Looking back, I present to you, Reflections on Our Really Long-Ass Road Trip, Or, Ways to Amuse Yourself If You're Really Bored, Or, The Most Romantic Anniversary Celebration I Have Ever Had

1. Much like my extended description of a party "so fun it's insane," our road trip started off AWESOME! I mean, what was there not to love? There were no rules, only open road! I felt like an early American pioneer, except with a car instead of a fleet of oxen. And instead of twigs and grains, our snacks were gas-station bought, as per the rule that car-snack healthiness should be inversely proportional to car-ride length (something Marshall came up with), i.e. we packed absolute sh*t (Pringles, Oreos, Snow Balls, etc.) and stuffed our faces while listening to a variety of female pop singers belting at absurdly high pitches for about three hours. So, I guess you could say we were blazing our own Oregon trail, to Chicago, in a car, and actually the two have nothing in common.

2. I kinda like driving. At least for the first ten hours. In general, I did enjoy the scenery, especially now that it's fall. With all my subway riding, I had missed that freeing rush of propelling at high speeds while not underground in a subterranean tunnel surrounded by screaming children and the sound of five different songs blaring though other people's headphones.

3. Rest stops in Ohio are beautiful! We literally could not believe how clean and pristine they were! At one point, nearing the 11th hour on the trip back, I told Marshall that we should just live in an RV in the rest stop's parking lot, because we would literally have all we needed. He did not disagree. I'm actually writing this from an Ohio rest stop, where there is WiFi, and also I live there now. Only kidding.

4. When you're bored, you latch onto any source of amusement. For example: town names. Did you know there is a town in New Jersey called Buttzville? Neither did we. But isn't that hilarious. Other example: car games. When we're bored, my boyfriend and I tend to enjoy good ol' fashioned harmonizing (Marshall usually takes the high soprano line). But after our voices got tired we resorted to rapping at each other. Eighties rapping, that is. As in, the Eddie Murphy song "Boogie in Your Butt," that has the recurring line:

"I put a _______ in your butt."

The game? Fill in the blank, switching off, and see who can come up with more rhymes. (Feel free to play this game in your own down time. We're not collecting royalties. Yet.)

5. Coming home, the last leg of the journey (New Jersey into New York) was a nightmare. We had absolutely no traffic the whole way, and then I literally had to steer my car through a construction site, and then essentially fly over the river while dodging flaming balls of fire. Seriously, are there even rules of the road in the tristate area? The takeaway: Regular driving : New York driving : : preschool : prison.

6. All in all, while our road trip was like a party that would never end, on my two-year anniversary with my washboard-abbed boyfriend -- who cooks, harmonizes, and watches Batman cartoons -- it confirmed what I had always thought: when the trip is long, I want him by my side. (Collective awwww/gag.)

Thanks for reading!



  1. Your writing can brighten the darkest of days. Thanks for sharing your hilarious musings with the readers. This is definitely more effective than psychotherapy!

  2. Cool to hear what other people come up with to wile away the time on roadtrips. Growing up an Air Force family, we got used to practically living out of our van. My parents actually pulled of a 14 day drive from Alaska to Maryland with my brother and I aged 4 and 6, and none of us went insane (though my brother getting chicken pox mid-trip gave them a run for their money). Now we actually crave road trips and try to do at least one a year. It really is all about the company, and I'm glad you have a great copilot in your life. :)

    True story - One road trip the car overheated 4 hours from our destination, so we limped the rest of the way there with no A/C or radio. To kill the time, my mom and I sang the whole score from Wicked from memory, dividing up the parts or singing all of them in different voices, twice. It helped keep us (arguably) sane.

  3. Your Buttszville, NJ comment made my mom think it was a question on a game show and I am still laughing about it. ;-) Sounds like you had a great trip.

  4. Wish my roads trips were that entertaining!! :) Did you know that the guy who originated the role of Fiyero in Wicked on Bway (that's a lotta prepositions!) was Norbert Leo Butz? At least it's only one T.

  5. Hannah the extremely excitedNovember 7, 2011 at 1:59 PM


  6. This is hilarious!!! There's also a town in North Carolina called Bat Cave. Stealthy much??? I believe that Alfred needs to be fired...

  7. I notice you mentioned mini-desserts. . . check out my "small" business for some teeny treats. Perfect for shoving in your mouth by the handful while reading a certain behind-the-scenes-memoir. . .