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Monday, August 23, 2010


When the Captain and I travel, it’s more like a study of modern art than a road trip. Nothing on the map looks like it does in real life, and I’m so busy staring at the lady in the Hummer painting an extra eye on her face every time she hits a bump, I don’t notice that the route I’ve chosen to follow ends in an intricate sculpture composed of exit ramps, clover leafs, and left turns that lead directly down the Highway to How Did We Get Here?

Cap doesn’t understand the trouble I have with maps. To him the whole thing is as plain as the two noses on your face.

Another difference in our traveling styles involves pit stops. He doesn’t make them. I brake for anything with a handle, just in case. I once wheeled into a car repair shop because their sign said, “Flush for winter.” I thought I wouldn’t get another chance until July.

Floating past a slow moving Buick like Picasso’s paintbrush, he sighed contentedly and pondered aloud, “Which exit do we take?”

Flipping the map over in an effort to locate the northern hemisphere, I figure I can answer this question two ways: multiple choice or essay. Either way, I’m pretty sure I can see the end of the marriage superhighway looming in the distance.

It’s times like this I should whip a U-turn in my thought processes. But when my mouth goes into overdrive, somehow my brain always seems to yield to the traffic flow. My kids say it’s been parked in a tow away zone for years.

“Does it matter?”

He clutched the steering wheel until the bones of his knuckles broke through the skin. He looked like Wolverine.

“Not if we don’t care whether we end up at David’s house where we can have supper, or the Emerald City where we can choose between brains, courage, or little red shoes.”

Personally, I’ve always been partial to red shoes, but as usual eating wins out. Maybe my priorities are out of order, but given the choice, I’ll sing along with the Burger King instead of humming “If I only had a brain” any time.

“I always take that road that goes past the Japanese steakhouse that’s been there since we were dating, and then I go up and turn at the intersection that goes past the milk shake place. You know you’re on the right road when you pass the hot doughnut sign.”

Just thinking of Bavarian Cream gives me happy trails.

Cap travels using road signs. I go by major food group. I can’t read a map, but if I can find a route that covers everything from gooey to gourmet, I can find my way by smell.

On the other hand, he can track anything. If we’d ever had a child together it would be an Indian scout named Paula Deen.

He sighed. I’ve noticed that the longer we’re married, the more he sighs. In a couple more years it’s going to be like living in a wind tunnel.

“According to the map, where do we turn?”

“According to the map, we’re already two creases and a wrinkle past his house.”

“Let me see.”

“No. The last time I gave you the map while you were driving, it took us two hours to go half an inch.”

“That half an inch was a 150 mile path through a rock slide in the mountains.”

“So it’s my fault you didn’t get four wheel drive?”

“Those rocks were bigger than your. . .never mind. Just tell me when we pass the Jamestown exit.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because we passed the Jamestown exit when you were giving me the geology lecture.”

Before he could finish up his lesson plan a transfer truck packed from tail lights to tooter with gourmet ice cream blew past us headed toward the next exit.

Without a second thought, the Captain of my Dessert Cart winked at me and whipped in behind him.

We might not agree on the best way to get there, but sometimes the best part of the trip isn’t the easy way.

It’s the Rocky Road.

1 comment:

Beth Bartlett said...

Good advice! When in doubt, follow an ice cream truck! Hilarious stuff.