Kentucky Road Trip

I just got back from Kentucky at 4 a.m. this morning and am back at my office desk, hallucinating from lack of sleep and editing text. Fabulous.

Our action-packed Kentucky weekend had two goals: pick up a car Husband bought and attend Husband’s 20th high school reunion. Unexpectedly, I enjoyed his reunion. His friends were all super nice and contextualized their stories, and because it was a performing arts magnet school, even the jocks had a softer, artsier side. Like one beefy dude turned out to be a graphic designer. (Not at all like my old school.) There was early 80s music blaring in a room full of old people (and I say old, because they’re my age) — plumper, balder versions of their early-80s high school selves flashing in a power point showing at the front of the room. I got to see how the Prom Queen, the Jock, and the Nerds turned out as adults, (Nerds win every time), hear soccer practice stories where the guys would take the city bus instead of running their prescribed routes, and dance with Husband as he proceeded to clear like eight feet on the floor for his moves. When we first got out there, I saw these two mom-looking women freaking out when “Blister in the Sun” came on and run to the dance floor to whip around like Molly Ringwald in the “Breakfast Club.” And the fun part of when you go to one of these things, you might have the first reaction of “who are all these old people?” until you realize you’re one of them. Just like looking in a mirror, dude. At least in certain respects of growing up, Kentucky’s not so different from NJ. Certainly, we too had the feather hair and the upturned collars.

And the car…Husband purchased a 1977 Dodge camper van, complete with fridge, bunk beds, sink, stove, closet, a toy-like dashboard, and a “Three’s Company” worthy decor scheme. Luckily, he has a lot of self-esteem, so he didn’t get mad when I sang the theme of “Sanford & Son” as we pulled out of the driveway. (Bonus: when you call people from your cell when driving, no one can hear you b/c the van is so noisy! It’s like calling from the Space Shuttle.)

I forfeited my flight back so that I could keep him company and awake. Honestly, I didn’t really want to, but part of why I married this particular man is that he is an adventure, so who am I to refuse the call. As it was, we hit stand-still, one-lane traffic in Pennsylvania, an hour out of our way when we went the wrong direction on an Interstate, and plenty of snack/pee/gas breaks. Did I mention we don’t have a radio? So we had to resort to singing every song we knew, Husband recited some Shakespeare monologues, I read my Joan Silber short story book aloud when it was light out, we told jokes, we told stories, we asked dumb questions, we named the car (Beatrice), we recited the dialogue from Missy Elliott’s “Under Construction,” till finally, after 18 and 1/2 hours (the trip was supposed to take 12) , we rolled in front of our building at 4 a.m. We are Storm Troopers. I don’t know how we managed, but we won’t ever do that drive in one day again.

But now that I’m sitting at my office, upright due to coffee and energy drinks, I look back on this past trip and all the country we drove past, I have to admit, Kentucky is growing on me.

7 Replies to “Kentucky Road Trip”

  1. Nobody’s commented? I laughed so hard when I read this at work yesterday. We were all singing Sanford and Son at home last night, even Ruben (now 4), who said it was a cool song. Bow bow bowdon… But where do you park a 1977 Dodge camper van in Brooklyn? Are you going camping in it?

    Also, you’re not old. I’m old, I’m ancient, I’m like prehistoric.

  2. oh my god, gabe, how are we parking? how are we rounding corners? at one point, I actually drove the car but the break requires me to stand on it with a lot of my weight and the steering kind of drifts left and right, so you constantly have to adjust — for me, it took a lot of upper body strength, and i just weaved — cutting my time short behind the wheel.

    we found a lot (david found a lot) that is 175/month, better than the usual 300-400 around here and the overeager cops who ticket you before timelimits with tickets with later times. yeah! we’re going to go to ikea with the car!

    i’m so glad you know that sanford and son theme! red foxx! woo hoo! re; being old, it’s okay. i am. it was weird when i saw the two women freak about the violent femmes song b/c I DO THE SAME THING.

  3. The INTERN at work is turning 30. He started while he was an undergrad. He’s not an intern anymore, he’s a senior artist, but he’ll always be an intern to me (in a good way).

    Thanks for the Sanford & Son earworm.

  4. I am so so jealous that you have a Dodge camper! But the description of how you have to drive it (standing to break, handling the big steering wheel) has gotten me superanxious. Be careful!

  5. i have no desire to drive it again. i just have a strong urge to throw a house party in it. trying to figure out where we can park where the neighbors won’t freak

  6. Wait, you did what? And why have you not had a party in it yet? If/when you do, you must invite us! Camper party! Road trip! Sleepover! (Sorry NNK, I stole your lines.)

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