Tuesday, February 07, 2006


So I’m standing next to a Port-A-Potty at three in the morning in a desolate, silt-slung neighborhood in New Orleans, shivering and clutching a roll of toilet paper and wondering at what point, specifically, I’d lost control here.

Perhaps it was the moment Josh the Pilot—he who also once channel-surfed to a dirt bike race and said, "Awesome!"–asked me on a date to Bourbon Street, which was a sweet way of saying, “Do you mind driving for nine hours across the Florida panhandle, which God forgot to add on the third day of creation so he pulled an all-nighter and just kind of slapped it together at two in the morning on Day Six?” and I said, because I am stupid, that it sounded like a lot of fun.

Apparently if you really love somebody, you need to stuff yourself into a Ford Escort with him for 34 consecutive hours and see who emerges with the most limbs still attached. You know a trip with a significant other is going to be a long trip, a potentially homicidal trip, when an argument precedes the interstate on-ramp. This particular argument, which lasted from Daytona Beach to Jacksonville and required the intervention of an armed UN task force, dealt with a life-altering issue that has ended marriages and destroyed entire kingdoms: Whether or not we should stop at McDonald’s to pick up dinner.

Like all good arguments, this somehow fungused into a tense-fest referendum on the entirety of our relationship, and what this all really meant, and if I was of the opinion that Josh’s wheat bread and peanut butter in the back seat weren’t good enough for me. It included such sentences as “I’m terrified that if we get married, I’ll have to totally give up my independence and wander the Earth without McDonald's, forever" and “I’m going to have a peanut butter and honey sandwich just to spite you."

After that, what you missed for 800 miles was even more of this:

more when I wake up at: mb@blondechampagne.com


dondiaz said...

Come on, people. The post's been up for over an hour. Pithy, witty, insightful, emphatic comments, anyone?Anyone? Buehler? Buehler??

John B. said...

That is why the wife and I purchased satellite radio...nothing like listening to the decadence of the 'all 80's' channel to keep a marriage strong.

David Bowie and The Cure saved my marriage...

dan the reader said...

Marriage is no different than any long-standing friendship. If you spend enough time with anybody you eventually develop some dislikes which fester.

The difference is that we, your readers, would get to see all of it occur in real-time, thus propelling you to new heights as The New Jessica & Nick Newlyweds Show. Imagine the fun! The hijinx! The profits!

And think what a wedding would bring! Maybe a new car to replace that hunk of junk you're currently driving. Maybe a honeymoon aboard the space shuttle.

Hmmm, porta-potties... you know, THIS would be nice to have, doncha think?

2xgtld said...

Best advice- Roads trips are NOT a metaphor for a life together, unless, of course, you make it one. It's the interpretation that's important, not the actual experience.

That being said, my husband and I fought the entire distance of I-80 across Pennsylvania over when to stop. He wanted to take breaks, I wanted to JUST GET THERE. Since I was driving, I had the right to determine when and where we stopped, right? You stop when you get low on gas- that's the law in my family. He would have us stop and have a sit.down.lunch... snore. So, now when we take road trips, I drive first until we get low on gas (300 miles- 4.5 hours), then he drives and has the right to stop when he likes until we get low on gas again (300 miles- 7.5 hours).

How IS New Orleans doing?

Laney said...

MB - It’s nice to see that my husband and I are not the only people that have this problem. We drove from Memphis to Orlando (10 hrs) a few years ago. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. We fought over his driving, my driving, where to stop and eat, what exit to take, and whether or not we needed 5lbs of Georgia pecans. (I said no, and I won. Redheads rule!) If it had not been for all the “adult” truck stops in Georgia we might not have made it back. Not that we went to them, but they took our mind off the heated discussions. We especially like the “couples welcome” signs. I hope you and JTP can laugh about this soon.

susan said...

Who claims the most remaining limbs?
Did you eat any muffaletas?

AKgirlinFL said...

You know MB, I can sympathize, but I still have every single one of you beat. My husband, myself, and my 9 month old son (at the time) drove all the way from Anchorage, AK to Orlando, FL. That's 5000+ miles folks. And guess how long it took us...7 days! And that included a 2 day stop in Flagstaff, AZ as well as a 1 day stop in Ruston, LA. He only let me drive 300 miles out of the whole trip, and I felt like driving the truck off a cliff, just so I wouldn't have to put up with him anymore. Needless to say we made it all in one piece, even though we were going 1000 MPH the whole way, with a screaming baby in the back. And we only got one speeding ticket in the Middleofnowhere, Canada (which for anyone who would like to speed thru Canada, doesn't show up on your record if you pay it within 30 days). So, don't feel bad MB, it could be a lot worse. =)

susan said...

MB, wake up we need details
Did you eat any crawfish? What about etouffe, beignets, gumbo, drink JAX, see any strippers. See the blue and red candles lit at the police and firefighter's chapel at the cathedral?
Ooh a day in Ruston. How did you stand the fun?

mand_a_lion said...

Okay..there's some tough competition out there, but I have to say that this takes the cake:

We spent our two week honeymoon driving around the UK. Nothing like jet lag, roundabouts, opposite side of the road, and my husband's discovery of lamb potato chips to really test a relationship. Add in that in order to keep track of which side of the road he needed to be on, he convinced himself that right was left and left was right. Something he forgot to tell me, the navigator.

Me: Hey baby, take a left here.
(He turns right.)

Me: I said left, not right!

Him: I did turn left.

Me: Noooo...you turned right.

Him: I think I know my left from right. I turned left.

Me: What the hell are you on?!

Suffice to say, what doesn't kill you (or your relationship), makes you stronger. :D

And as masochistic as it is, we took the trip twice more.

susan said...

Honeymoon trip included drive from Lousiana to Virginia with my just-met-that-morning mother-in-law. We were in 2 cars equipped with CBs. In a long-running CB discussion MIL kept trying to convince newly-married us to sleep on the floor at one of her friend's homes to save money.
Later, I heard truckers laughing about the entire mess. Yes, folks, truckers discussed my wedding night over a CB.
And I had two more days of CB comments from MIL to go.

Owen the Reader said...

Ah, the Blunt Force Trauma Inducing Road Trip(c). And hon, you did NOT come all the way over here to wait at a port-o-let, didja? Jeeze, next time TELL us! Hook you up at the Mason, at the very least, three stars, little noise, close in the Quarter, no waiting. Yes, child, we have many things down here ... none of which in any way whatsoever resemble porta-potties. No, really, running water, indoor plumbing, and everything! <3

bethany_okc said...

Worst trip I took was to move from Southern California to Oklahoma with my now-ex-husband (the trip might have contributed!). Drove straight through, stopping only for food or gas, eating the car, no hotels. Left CA at 12pm, got to OKC at 6am the next morning. We alternated on who slept for the three hours, and then drove the next three until my rollerskate, I mean Kia, needed gas again. I really started to resent him in Amarillo, when he started playing his favorite game..."Baby Touch the Window." Nothing like being stone cold asleep with the heater on in the car, and being told to touch the window, and finding your hand stuck to the glass. It's a wonder he made it to this state alive.

Jenib said...

BWAAHAAHAAA! My hubby does that crap t me too. He will actually pack a lunch to go places instead of stopping for food on the way. I drove from Texas to Virginia and the only time I got fed meal from a restaurant was when we stopped for gas (cheapest place on the interstate is usually the Flying J) and he could not run fast enough to stop me from entering the buffet line.

Was the "date" any better?

Waxhaw5 said...

Take comfort in knowing that if you & JtP marry & procreate that future roadtrips will be in some ways better (and in others pure bile) because a.) you will see each other as the only other sane person in the car, and b.) JtP will worship McDonald's, double if it has a PlayPlace, and see the exploded skein of nasty red yarn over Ronald's head as a halo.

From a veteran of a recent one-minivan-one-husband-three-small-boys-one-puking-cat-and-a-drugged-up-dog 700-mile move.

Have a great weekend, MB!

Josh The Pilot said...

Are you really from Waxhaw, NC? That's where I went to high school!
And BTW folks, my car is an Escort, not a Focus. lol

Anonymous said...

Sorry, dear one. I fixed it.

Imagine that, me not knowing something about cars.

Mike Marchand said...

JtP: my car is an Escort, not a Focus.

Next time, just say it's a Focus. :D

Jenib said...

JTP-my truck eats escorts for lunch...

Janet The Reader said...

Such a good girl, always wearing her seatbelt. Even when it cuts off the circulation to her, umm, face...

answer-man said...

ps I'm having a little trouble sending comments so if I do it twice please excuse me and I apologize.

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