I am a road warrior.
C and I have been away from home, traveling from one place to another for the last three weeks, which is not actually unusual for him during this time of year, or for his job. His co-workers up here do basically the same thing during March and April (aka mud season). This time is full of marketing events, staff hiring, speaking engagements, meetings, trainings, conferences, and in some years, a form of vacation. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t true for us this year. Yet.
I’ve still got my fingers crossed.
Have you ever gone on a really long road trip with someone? What I'm thinking of is not the kind of journey that brings you to Las Vegas or Disneyworld, or even to the beach. It’s just a long ride in the car, like driving to Alaska. At your best, it’s possible to sustain an adventurous spirit, or even a feeling of solitude while making the drive. However, do you remember that feeling you get when you’re about half-way into your trip? This is when the excitement has worn off, and you are ready to either 1) Be at your destination, 2) Turn around and go home, or 3) Stop altogether and go get a milkshake.
At this point, you’re also completely over the person you’re riding with. Don’t get me wrong – I totally love my husband. He likes the same music as me (Willie Nelson notwithstanding), lets me snort when I laugh, and does Chewbacca impressions when we’re driving through the city (think palms banging on the roof and short burst of guttural screaming). He’s generally my favorite guy.
Except when we’ve been together for 21 days straight. Then I'm a monster, and no one is my favorite.
This is when I every little movement or utterance becomes emotional shrapnel. If he changes the music, I want to tear his fingernails out. If I glance at the spedometer [again], he debates driving into the median. When I gasp at a quick stop, he imagines tying me up and dangling me from a railroad trestle. Heaven help him if he farts in the car – and this is the truth. Each and every time until the day we die or lose our licenses, I will have him roll all of the windows down in whatever weather and rue the day he was offered his first French fry. Snow? Down it goes. Hail? You should have thought of that before you ate that fifth cheeseburger.
Honestly, it’s amazing that we don’t arrive at our destination with our hair torn out, raspy voices, and some serious relational trauma from the hateful glances we’ve been shooting at each other for hours.
Oh wait, that last part is true.
Perhaps you’ve made this kind of road trip. If so, please share some survival tips so that we can live through next spring’s adventure. The last three weeks have been a little like the circumstances above, but luckily we’re home now. The sun is shining, it’s a remarkable 39 degrees already this morning, and we’ve each had a little time to ourselves, so we’re back in happy marriage-ville.
That is, until we get back in the car.