The Road Trip Test

This weekend, 007-b and I took our first ever Road Trip to a quaint mountain town in {REDACTED}. The town was friendly, welcoming, the air was thin and clear and the water tasty from the tap. It was the perfect setting for us to spend our first ever “24 hours together” together.

The Road Trip test is a key part of any relationship that’s going anywhere (get it – going anywhere hahahaha, seriously, I crack myself up). You have to agree on music (we mostly do, even though I didn’t indulge his “gangster rap” request for longer than about 3 minutes), you have to trust each other behind the wheel (I let him drive my Subaru. I’ll say that again. I let him drive my Suabaru) and you have to actually enjoy each other’s company and conversation for hours on end without much distraction.

Here’s how our Road Trip shook out:

007-b told me to be ready Saturday morning by 0620. I told him the only time I had seen that hour in the past two years was when I was pulling a long shift at work and heading home. He generously gave me an extra 10 minutes and said he would be at my house at 0630 and I was to be ready to go (there may have been a joke about me being ready, present and accounted for, standing in formation in my front yard, but I’ll spare you the eye rolling humor of that one).

I woke up at 0515. I had an alarm set for 0520, 0525, 0530, and a 0620 “ten minutes to go” alarm. I really didn’t need those alarms and back up alarms because I was so excited for the trip (and so nervous about not being ready on time), I was up every hour of the night. Being in the Coast Guard, we’re taught to never be late. “When you’re early, you’re on time. When you’re on time you’re late. When you’re late, people die!” I’ve always been a chronically late person. Nine years with the Coast Guard and now I’m a chronically late person with crippling anxiety about being late.

I jumped out of bed and into the shower. I scrubbed, shaved, exfoliated, moisturized, shampooed and deep conditioned. I hopped out of the shower, moisturized some more and got dressed in an outfit I had chosen the night before. I had time to blow dry about 78% of the water out of my hair. I was hoping to get back to the 22% before 007-b pulled up so that I could surprise him with REALLY BIG HAIR (he’s from Texas, remember?).

I packed my overnight bag, double and triple checking I had everything set. I was in a great mood. I was so excited! I looked at the clock: 0610. What the heck!? I wasn’t actually close to ready. I got a text message from 007-b asking Do you want coffee or a muffin? I didn’t understand why there was a coffee or muffin ultimatum and shot back, Coffee would be great, thanks! Cream no sugar. (Once I was more awake and caffeinated, I figured out he was offering me coffee and/or a muffin and it wasn’t really an ultimatum…)

That’s when my morning started to fall apart. I had twenty minutes. I needed to put on make up and gel eyeliner is not for someone rushing with shaky hands. I needed to do all the little things I had planned on doing the night before: Writing a check for my dog sitter, putting clean sheets on the bed, putting away my dishes, taking out the trash and recycling, scooping the litter boxes, feeding the animals… My heart started to race. I began to panic. Once I started to panic, my animals started to panic. Suddenly, all four of them were underfoot and running around like it was the Zombie Apocolypse and we were all going to dieeeeee.

Here’s a fun fact about me: In real emergencies, I keep calm and cool. I default to logic and remember my good manners. You’ve never seen anyone flip their dad’s Toyota 4Runner over on a mountain highway and calmly remember to turn the car off and say “please and thank you” to the good Samaritans that held the door open for me as I stepped onto the steering wheel and climbed out. This was all happening while an oncoming Semi barrelled downhill onto the accident scene and we thought for sure it wouldn’t be able to stop for the tipped over Toyota.

In imaginary emergencies like having to put on the facade that I have my life together in ten minutes requiring me put on make up while scooping a litter box, I fall apart. I get flustered, shaky, anxious, and really cranky.

Unfortunately, 007-b did not see the Ms. “I woke up on the right side of the bed and am full of sunshine and joy because you are taking me on this trip” that I had been prior to 0610. He walked in fifteen minutes later into the apocolypse of “I can’t handle my life right now!”

Instead of greeting him with a hello and a kiss, the first words out of my mouth were, “You are FIVE MINUTES EARLY so I don’t want to hear anything about me not being ready to go. I get five! more! minutes!” I’m a little surprised he didn’t take the coffee he bought me right out my front door and drive away without even a glance to the rear view. I wouldn’t have put up with early morning tantrum Erin. But, 007-b might just actually be a really good guy. Like really.

We got in the car, I took a sip of coffee. I apologized. I told him mornings are really hard for me, but I was trying. He asked me if I had packed a jacket. I got out of the car, went back in the house, got my jacket and offered him my keys, “Ummm, maybe it would be better if you drove and I drank some coffee and took a few deep cleansing breaths?”

Handing over my car keys is kinda a big deal. It carries with it a lot of trust. I trust you to drive my car with respect for the gears and the engine. To neither ride nor pop the clutch. I trust you to drive safely and get me to our destination in one piece. To not frighten me, take risks, showboat or get into a scary road-rage incident. I trust that you are an insured and responsible driver. This is a LOT of trust to put in someone. And I didn’t even ask him for proof of insurance (although I did ask him point blank if he had it).

We arrived safely at {REDACTED} in time for breakfast and a full day of exploring the town, visiting with his old friends/extended family and some hiking. The next day was more delicious food, good company and exploring the mountains.

We talked a lot. I learned more about 007-b and his family. What it was like for us growing up and we laughed and shared memories of family road trips. We determined that neither of us killed the other one or stormed off, leaving the other stranded in {REDACTED}. We considered the trip a success and I even suggested a trip later this summer Steamboat, where I could show him some of my favourite childhood haunts.

On the trip back, 007-b noted that I was a little quiet. I was trying to think of a good way to bring up some feelings I was having and spending a lot of time in my head. Instead of talking about my feelings, I suggested he offer a topic of conversation.

He said, “Ducks. What kind of ducks do you like?” I then informed him that Ducks are rapists – the males have developed an exceptionally long phallus to assist them in raping females (who are otherwise content with their monogamous mates). That killed that conversation in about 45 seconds.

I then decided to talk about my feelings in the only way I knew how: directly, bluntly, with no warning.

Me: “So, my feelings were a little hurt this weekend…”
007-b: (Concerned look on his face) “What? Why?”
Me: “I felt a little gross.”
007-b: “Did I do something?”
Me: “Well yeah. When you made a comment after I used the bathroom this morning and my stomach was upset….”
007-b: (interrupting) “OH MY GOD, I WAS JOKING WITH YOU! It wasn’t that bad, I was just making fun of you!”

I started to laugh/cry (something 007-b has learned to take in stride)

He went on to tell me if he ever makes a comment that is hurtful, I should say something on the spot because maybe it was a joke gone wrong and he doesn’t want me agonizing over it in my head.

I laughed a bit more, and said, “Well, I’m still sorry for stinking up the toilet.”

For the record, I dropped an atomic shit and it was THAT BAD. I would have held it in longer, but since we were loading up the car, I didn’t think there was any chance of him going back into that bathroom…

Whatever, Femme Mystique is so overrated. Its time to stop pretending that girls don’t poop.

About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
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