Mama This Surely Is A Dream
by GringoSoos

You either know those girls or, as in my case, you are that girl.

The girls who will scream ROADTRIP! every time a potential vacation is considered, the girls without licenses or car, without any sort of idea of how big the United States really is but the vague impression that driving from New York to California won't take too long (“a couple of days right?”).

Like my exuberant companions around me screaming ROADTRIP!, I knew in the back of my mind that no such feat could in reality be mastered. Despite the plans we made, the finances we budgeted, the bikini outfits we devised, we would never have the kind of experiences the pre-college teens seem to be living out in PG-13 movies. No drive-thrus, no hitchhikers, no road trip playlist.

Two weeks ago, on my way from Charleston, South Carolina to Daytona, Florida, I realized I was wrong.

I have been on so many ten or fourteen hour plane rides that the six hour drive between these two states seemed like a breeze, no big deal. I thought we'd leave Charleston after breakfast and make it to Florida in time to catch some rays and get at least a little uncomfortably sun burnt. This was where my realization, nay, my epiphany occurred.

We'd just left the Wendy's drive-thru, I was sitting shotgun and a very old song came on the radio. Well, when I say old, I mean mid-90s. Old enough for it to be a pleasant surprise when it came on the radio, but new enough for my big sister to have listened to the very same song on a very similar road trip over ten years ago when she was my age. It made me realize the unaging tradition of road trips and our ability to be affected in the same way as the people who took them before us. My sister and my Dad and my aunt, even Jack Kerouac, all got in a car with their friends and drove through America. Like me, I'm sure they didn't consider it a big deal either to begin with, just a means to an end, but I bet when they got out of the car at the other side, they privately savored the lack of a quick ninety minute plane ride (because come on let's admit it, all you can see on a plane is the clouds and perhaps a surprisingly sad rom-com, that, no, what, I swear I'm not crying at, I'm just tired, and this cabin is dusty).

So for all the girls like me who nodded along with the suggestion of a road trip, while secretly rolling their eyes and doubting its ability to live up to the Hollywood hype, you just have to sit back and be patient and you'll eventually find yourself in a car with the right people, at the right time, experiencing a rite of passage. Oh, and don't forget to turn on the radio.

1 comment:

  1. Loved you're comment about that surprisingly sad film on planes. There is always one. In my most recent trans-Atlantic flight, there was tears all around as customers were treated to 'Dear John' having just left their friends and families!