We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

The Next Family

By: Ann Brown

Road trip tomorrow.

Here’s what I’ve packed:

Five books, two magazines, tweezers, a journal,  a hundred little envelopes of EmergenC, Tylenol, Say YES To Carrots 15 Minute Hair Mask, two books on CD, Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels, non-mushy Braeburn apples, and a bathing suit that I am afraid to try on because there is no way it is going to fit.

Here’s what Robin has packed:

The little vial of Kama Sutra edible oil that I bought him as a joke in 2004.

Uh-oh.

His vision: front seat blow jobs on I-5, hotel sex, shade.

My vision: back seat naps on I-5, hotel maid service, sun.

Why do couples even travel together? When I rule the world, men will go on safe-sex/adventure junkets and women will stay at beachfront resort spas. When we return from our respective vacations, we will meet at, say, Denny’s, for a Grand Slam breakfast and then catch a romantic comedy matinee before going home together to snuggle and nap. And then, maybe when we wake up, we will have sex. IF the house is clean.

I am not a travel junkie. I used to be a bit of one, but now when I leave home it’s just so everyone will get off my ass about it. I fantasize about being put on house arrest. I was so jealous of Martha Stewart when she was incarcerated at her 150-acre farm in upstate New York. If I thought I could get a sweet deal like that, I’d get me a crooked broker today.

I especially hate staying in other people’s houses when I travel. Yuck. And yes, I realize that my friends’ bedspreads contain way less stranger semen than can be found at your Interstate Red Lion Inn, but still. I really should just travel in a Hefty trash bag with two eyeholes cut out.

Here’s what I LOVE about traveling, however:

Takeout cups with lids and straws.  I love refilling my cup with ice and soda and climbing back into the car. Or having the flight attendant refill my glass.

I also love food in single serving packages. And that paper strip on a hotel toilet. And maps. Maps soothe me; they reassure me that I am somewhere between where I’ve been and where I am going to be.

I love putting my dirty laundry in the plastic bag the hotel provides. I enjoy watching as the ratio of clean clothes in the suitcase to dirty clothes in the plastic bag moves from heavy on the clean, to 50/50, to heavy on the dirty, because I know I am nearing home. Or that I get to go shopping for more clothes.

I love making a miniature home out of my plane or car seat, setting up my shit where I can reach it, taking pleasure in the orderliness of it all.

As fucked up as I am, I am pretty easy to please. And at this point, with ten months of rain under my belt, I will totally just set up a beach chair on the fucking Interstate wherever the the clouds disappear, crack open a book and call it a vacation destination.

Honk if you see me. And, while you’re up, wouldja mind refilling my ice?

.

Ann Brown

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