Ray and I are about to embark on a journey that I am not entirely sure I’m emotionally prepared for. We are driving from Virginia to Maine. Thankfully I was able to convince him to break it up into two days so I didn’t have to launch myself from the moving car on to the New Jersey Turnpike. I also convinced him to drive through the night to escape traffic as I do not handle traffic well. When me and 6,000 of my closest friends are parked together on I-95, I want to get out and walk to the cars ahead of me and ask them not so politely why they slowed below the speed limit to begin with. If only we all just kept moving we’d all be where we were going!
Ray is an excellent road-tripper. He’s driven from Florida to D.C. too many times to count. He drove a large truck across country. He sings songs, he chugs energy drinks, he listens to chat radio, he pretends to be a Nascar driver by weaving back and forth in the lane. Upon receiving my best side eye he explains that he’s, “Warming up the tires!” I, on the other hand, do not tolerate time in the car very well. The lack of food, water and sleep really takes its toll. I require snacks. I require a bathroom at my disposal whenever I decide I need it. I can’t stand to listen to the same radio channel for more than two songs. I can’t sleep sitting up. I can’t read. It doesn’t take long for me to become completely exasperated.
Ray quickly learned to prepare to appease me in the car. It always starts out so well. We get a coffee, he listens to radio stations he knows I like. He packs snacks. We hold hands. It’s adorable. Insert us into any romantic comedy about a couple lovingly traveling the world together. Fast forward several hours and I’ve eaten all the snacks, I’ve chugged all the water we packed, I have to pee and I’m hangry. I try to sleep and may actually doze off a bit and Ray takes the opportunity to switch the radio from a peppy Katy Perry song to football talk shows. I wake in a blind rage and tell him, “I just want to go home! What are we listening to?! I hate this stuff so much.” After he reminds me that I decided to marry a sports fanatic and that I should just go back to sleep and I remind him that I needed to pee three hours ago, he pulls off at a WaWa because he knows that I know that they will have soft pretzels delightfully displayed by the cash register.
*There is a God.*
After devouring the pretzel in record time and making sure the radio is back on The Coffee House radio, I give Ray a winning smile and try to take his hand. “I’m in the zone,” he states, but I know he’s proud of his ability to find me my favorite snack in a sea of road rage desperation.
*Repeat this 3-500 times.*
We will no doubt arrive in Maine with Ray fully jazzed up and ready to conquer the great outdoors and with me smelly, broken down and in need of at least four hours of alone time with no noise and no social interaction. Because we’ll be meeting the 10 other members of my immediate family including four children (9, 6, 3 and 2) I suspect my desire to recharge by not communicating will not come to fruition. Here’s to moose and puffin spotting, wild blueberry picking and family game nights galore.