On the First Day of Whitsmas: Travel Time

My true love didn’t give me squat. Atreyu gave me a big ol’ kiss on the nose, though. I think he found a booger, because he was very satisfied.

In a few hours, I will embark upon the 32-hour drive back to the Mile High City. I can’t tell you how excited I am.

bored cat
I am approximately this excited.

Before I leave, though, I would like to remark upon the zillion things I have worried about in prepping for this adventure:

1. Tires. I’ll be driving through cold weather, and I checked my tires. My front ones were bald. Like, way bald. My back tires were cracked. I wanted to survive this trip, so I had to buy new tires. Then I had a heart attack because tires are really, really expensive. Now I’m worried because the lady said they are “really good for snow” AND WHAT IF I DON’T DRIVE THROUGH ANY SNOW?!?!?!
And then I remember that she sold me tires that were cheaper than the ones I had on my car before, by five bucks a tire. And I worry that I have shitty tires. So now, maybe, I’ll crash and be stranded because my tires were not $155 a pop. Was she trying to give me the best deal AND get me the best tires? Or was she stiffing me and my tires will fall off as soon as I hit the highway? These are my very serious concerns.

Used Tires
I’m so TIRED of it…

2. Coldness. I’m not a big fan of driving in freezing weather, because I like to drive fast. But Whitney, I hear you say, driving fast? Doesn’t that worry you? And of course it does. But know what I hate more than driving fast? Being stuck in my car on a 32 hour road trip for any longer than I have to be. So if it’s freezing and the roads are icy, I will probably have a panic attack about having to spend more time in the car. Also, I am terrified I will spin out and be trapped on I-80 in the middle of nowhere and Atreyu and I will have to snuggle and hibernate to survive. He will eat me after his food runs out. I will let him, because I’m a good pet owner.

3. Money. Gas, hotel, gas, gas, gas, gas, gas, gas, gas. Tolls. Ugh, I can’t even. Driving across country is like having the government reach into your pocket, take your money, and then smack you in your face with it, and then having to watch them put it in the g-string of the dirtiest stripper in the history of the world (think, one tooth, bald patches, crazy eyes, and literally covered in dirt) and then smacking you in the face with it, again.

Disney - Poisoned (Explored)
This is what the stripper looks like. You’re welcome for the nightmares you will now have.

4. The very distinct possibility that I will go insane. The thing about road trips by yourself means you have no one to talk to about anything. I can talk to Atreyu, and I’m 90% sure he understands me, but I’m also 100% sure that he can’t respond in any meaningful way other than his prolific burping ability or the sad puppy eyes that he gives me when I have to put him in his kennel. So I’ll talk to myself. A lot. And I’ll find myself having very meaningful conversations, or debates–let’s be real here–about various things. And that’s when the crazy hits, and I arrive home with birds in my hair and a pack of new “friends” sitting in the backseat, whom I picked up hitchhiking near a correctional facility.


Already reading this over, and “whom” doesn’t look like a word. I’m so, so screwed.



15 thoughts on “On the First Day of Whitsmas: Travel Time

  1. There are millions upon millions of people driving today with cheaper tires than $155 per. The Flintstones not only survived but flourished by sheer force of will and the soles of their feet. You are the 1% when it comes to road-readiness. As one who spent decades dealing with the treacherous winter conditions of Buffalo/Rochester, I understand your concern. This, too, shall pass.

    If, while driving on icy roads, confronting the Catch-22 of “driving fast = death/driving slow = more time on icy roads, which = death,” you’re able to detach from yourself as participant and view yourself instead as an observer…it’s actually, narratively, a pretty sweet pickle you’ll find yourself in. Sweet pickles tend to lead to flash fictions. Flash fictions tend to eventually be misinterpreted as prose poems. Prose poems tend to endow you with a vibe of nuance and depth. And nuanced, in-depth people driving on icy roads are sexy in a quasi-invulnerable way. Jayne Mansfield? Grace Kelly? Princess Di? Not sexy in a nuanced/in-depth/quasi-invulnerable way. Carolyn Bessette? Oh yes. She was. That’s why she died in a private plane crash. The lesson? Don’t fly to Denver in a private plane.

    To be fair to your stripper: she does clean up nice.

    I love talking to myself on long road trips! Not in a “You say ‘A’ but I say ‘B,’ so you should say ‘B’ too” kinda fascist way…but it’s like a secret epiphany. Whenever you arrive at your destination, the people greeting you have no idea that you’ve just completed your own private trip to Mordor and back entirely within the confines of your appropriately-tired automobile. It’s like getting to try on new clothes while driving, if the clothes were made from ontology.

    This is likely a roundabout way of hoping to see a before and after shot of you before and after your trek.

    Southampton won’t be the same without you, by definition. But will you get any time without you, too? And if so–or if not–which you will return?

    Safe travels, Frodo.

    1. My tires are just the most “regular” type of tires that I could get, though they were better for snow than the original tires I had on my car!

      And you don’t want to see the before and after shot. It’s been hell.

      Thank you, kind narrator. It hath been appreciated.

  2. Those tires ARE expensive, so hopefully that means they are as good as they say. Drive carefully, don’t talk to yourself too much, and when America bitch slaps you in the face, slap her back!

  3. Yes! Yes! and Yes! I too love to drive fast although for different reasons. And I never really feel too worried about that. But I am constantly thinking my tires are going to burst (explode, tear apart, spontaneously combust? what is it that tires do besides go flat?) Anyhow, I worry that my tires will be the end of me.
    Also your #4 is delightfully hilarious. I hope you have a peaceful and safe road trip!

  4. Didn’t they invent planes to avoid this sort of thing? Good luck – and don’t get eaten/frozen/crashed/smashed/bashed.

  5. You’re going to be just fine. Play some fun music (all upbeat) and count all the hybrids on the road. By the way, just get regular tires and buy chains. It’s best that way.

    1. I DID just buy regular tires! All tires now are all-season. Mine are just more expensive based on the size of my car? I guess? Or something? Plus, with what happened today, I couldn’t have used any chains… and the plot thickens.

  6. “I’m so TIRED of it”….heehee!! I hope your journey went well (assuming you made it back to Denver without being eaten by Atreyu) and I wish you happy holidays. 🙂

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