Things About Road Trips

I wrote like six thousand words yesterday when we were driving. And then I lost it. It's kind of like burning a batch of cookies that you were Really Excited about eating.

 Anyway, what I wrote yesterday went something like this:

Long Road trips are not the best time to have deep and controversial relationship conversations with your spouse. It seems counterintuitive, I know, because with 9 hours of uninterrupted "alone" time, what could be more productive? But the reality is, three hours into the middle of nowhere in a vehicle going over 60 miles an hour is something  like being trapped in a coffin underground. The only difference is that you know at some point you have to stop for gas. There are not rooms to stomp out of on a road trip, no doors to slam. No escape. I try to avoid initiating any conversations of a Potentially Delicate Nature unless I can see that we are under a half of a tank of gas. Then I can run away at the gas station if I need to. Or at least hope for the distraction of Hot Tamales and a long line for the bathroom. 

It seems like sometimes, when you're trapped in a fast-moving vehicle with someone that you Love Deeply, any conversation holds the potential for disaster. 

"Why did you do that?" 
"Do what?"
"Turn on the air conditioner. I was waiting until the top of the hill"
"Because I couldn't breathe"
"Drama much?"
"You're a jerk"
"I'm conserving gas. Last time I checked we were trying to get ahead of our bills. And SOMEBODY needed a latte today." 
"Jerk"

This conversation is a mostly fabricated compilation of several different talks we had. But they all ended similarly. Unless we talked about truly volatile things like fiscal responsibility, sex, disciplining children or whether Bon Jovi is the greatest musician that ever lived. Then things would get nasty. 

Sometimes I think it's a small miracle that we stay married with the number of conversation riddled road trips we have taken. I've tried to introduce books on tape, but we both get bored listening to someone else's voice talking about topics totally unrelated to our lives. 

We've talked about seizing the opportunity and viewing it as a productive and positive relationship building time, but Josh says it's really stressfull and un-fun, and I have to agree with him. Although I have yet to go on a road trip of any nature with my Precious Boy that isn't hatefully stressful and a regrettable mistake for him. This is unfortunate, because I've always liked traveling, and can't understand why he gets worked up every time we run out of gas or get a flat tire or our average fuel economy is under 13 mpg. I've always considered those little road blocks part of the unfolding adventure.  It's only money, right? And time. Both things that represent hard labor (in the most punitive sense) to a man who desperately wants to be able to quit his dirty and pain-filled profession. 
I try to understand. And then I start to think I'm one of those terrible entitled people because my belief that things will always work out is totally reliant upon his back breaking diligence, and I have not earned the right to not be stressed. The poor boy carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and all I seem capable of doing is picking fights with him. Accidentally. Because contrary to popular opinion, I DO NOT LIKE FIGHTING. Especially with Josh. He's intimidating. But I really truly believe that there is something better on the other side of not settling, however frustrating and uncomfortable it gets from time to time. I mean if it was always comfortable, it would be settling, right? Or maybe we would have arrived... Or maybe Bon Jovi really is the greatest artist that ever lived. And who really needs air conditioning? 



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