What is it about roadtrips that bring out the best worst in people? When I was younger, all family road trips were marked by my sister’s inevitable stomach ache and the eight hours of whining and threats of throwing up that followed.
As we got older the stomach aches were replaced with incessant complaining about having to spend valuable weekend time with family instead of friends (it also didn’t help that for a short period of time the family vehicle was a 1980 turquoise station wagon complete with interior turquoise felt lining).
In college, roadtrips were a temporary mark of freedom. A brief escape from the campus bubble and class sillaby. These road trips are so good they’re almost enough to overthrow the bad rep all those family trips created.
Sadly, college roadtrips only last for around four years.
Today my roadtrips are home to a sudden onset of bickering and control battles with my boyfriend who believes it’s necessary to check the oil, tire pressure, washer fluid and cleanliness of the car before going ANYWHERE. While I know it’s all in my best interest, these pre-trip (even one to two-hour trip) rituals have a way of shifting my mood. And not for the better.
I don’t like to be told I should do something. A side effect of my stubborn will and older-sibling attitude, I don’t respond well to commands.
Therefore, after the back-and-forth battle of the pre-trip ritual (“I do just fine on trips without you checking my oil!!!” I show a big display of defiance when my boyfriend tells me to get the GPS set up.
Now this defiance comes for a couple of different reasons. One is that he just told me to do it and my stubborn-will says no way I’ll show you I can do it without you telling me what to do. And two because every time I try to set the GPS up it falls off my window. And every time it falls of my window my boyfriend comments on how I didn’t do it the way he told me to. Sure, I know the way he told me to is right, but I don’t need to be told how to do something! (except clearly, in this case, I do).
So, after a few wrong turns and the discovery that I do in fact need to set up the GPS, I do.
We carry on the road trip in silence until a song that we both love comes on the radio and we start singing and cracking up as we realize our identical need for control is nothing short of ridiculous.
You have reached your destination.