Rheta Grimsley Johnson(Photo: Advertiser file)Buy PhotoCONNECT>TWEET>LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
You should know that I have this thing about long road trips with a turnaround planned but not realized until there are a lot of detours and meanderings and good music that doesn’t require a ticket. I’m overdue.
My friend, Sandy, also needs a break and a dramatic change of scenery. We’re billing it as the Thelma and Louise trip, though we’re hoping to have a happier ending than those women. We’re turning around in New Mexico, not flying over a cliff holding hands — at least, not intentionally. Just in case, we’re driving a rental car.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why “girl” trips are in some ways the best trips of all. I’ll be accused of sexism here, but I’ve been accused of worse. What is it we females do that males seem incapable of enjoying?
We talk, for one thing. We don’t drive hundreds of miles without uttering a single word. We use a kind of shorthand that every woman alive knows, but, even so, it takes a lot of words to say all the things we’ve been saving up to tell someone who’s even marginally interested.
We play our music loud. You cannot enjoy Lucinda Williams, for instance, as background noise. She has to have the floor when her raspy poetry begins. That’s the time to shut up, and so we do, usually because we’re so exhausted from nonstop talking.
We don’t plan trips around food. We eat, for sure, but some fancy restaurant in some town is not the destination. Spending lots of money on food is a waste, and most women know that. We save ours for silly souvenirs.
So, we pack a cooler. What’s the use of paying a diner $10 for a tomato sandwich when you can make your own?
We get lost and don’t mind. When we get lost, we ask directions. Then we ignore the directions. Because we’re hopelessly lost by now we see things we couldn’t anticipate and wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Getting lost is part of a road trip’s appeal.
We don’t make hotel reservations, unless it’s unavoidable. How can you know when you’ll want to stop, or, conversely, when you’ll want to keep driving into the night singing along with the music? What if you see a concrete teepee in New Mexico, and you want to stay there but have reservations at some boring Holiday Inn up the road? That doesn’t happen when you are flexible, which most traveling men are not.
We laugh till our stomachs hurt. It’s OK to laugh at nothing. Nothing can be funny.
We pack things we don’t need. I’m taking, for instance, a log I won’t write in, a swimsuit I won’t wear, some high heels that hurt my feet and a dress two sizes too small. The reasoning on the latter is that I may lose weight on this trip not centered around food. Well, it could happen.
We shop for oddball things. Not that anybody has any extra money for this particular trip, but if we see some longhorn steer horns and think they might look good on the hood of the rental car, we might indulge.
We talk about our trips for years to anyone who’ll listen, thereby getting our money’s worth out of any travel. Did I mention photographs? Else, nobody will believe the fun we had.
See you later, boys.
Rheta Grimsley Johnson most recent book is “Hank Hung the Moon … And Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts.” Comments are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source : http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/life/2015/08/12/thelma-louise-story-kinda/31519595/