Yes, it’s another damn list . . . but this one is a checklist for travel. TRAVEL!! Woo Hoo!! I promise you that this is NOT more things about me . . that was completed in the post below. THIS is a list that will save your life:
1. Tank full of gas. At 1.89 a gallon, which I’m thankful for because I was paying 2.73 at one point. CHECK
2. Bottled water so that I am not thirsty on the way down. Dasani only because I know that you ALL think that all water tastes the same, but it doesn’t, that damn Aquafina is sewer water, I’m certain of it. CHECK
3. Ziploc Bag. Yep, gallon size. And I’m going to tell you this story if you swear not to judge me. Sworn? Alright. Freshman year of college there was 18 ton of road construction going on and EVERY idiot in the state of Arkansas (and, it seemed to me, most of the continental United States at large) was on I-30 traveling West. Needless to say there were massive wrecks and huge delays. By huge, I mean that the normally 2-hour drive took me . . wait for it . . . 8.75 hours!!!!!! At one point, I was stopped for a full 3 hours with NOTHING in sight. Of course, this is when I HAD to pee. Damn that Dasani. I had a Ziploc bag with first aid thingees in my glove compartment (unfortunately it was like a PINT size one, but okay, in a pinch) . . . so I got out of the vehicle, grabbed my blanket out of the back of the vehicle (always be prepared, always have a blanket or sleeping bag in your vehicle), wrapped it around my waist, shoved my skirt up, my panties down and a Ziploc between my legs. Pissing commenced. NOT my finest moment, but damn it I HAD TO GO!!! The Ziploc full of piss was dumped, hours later, at a rest station. I had contemplated buying some Depends instead of the Ziploc bag, but the idea of sitting in my own urine . . . shudder. CHECK
4. Rockin Out Tunes. Uh huh. Have two of my 250-CD holding binders in the passenger seat. Not to mention some classic mixed tapes – YES, Trueborn, tapes – from when I was in junior high and high school. (Remind me to e-mail Toyota and thank them profusely for still putting tape decks in 2005 loaded vehicles – I understand the stripped down models have only the CD changer). CHECK
5. At least two books. “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire and “Sex with Kings” (historical non-fiction, NOT some cheesy sex romance novel, guys) by Eleanor Herman. I’ll be damned if I am stuck in traffic with no reading material. CHECK
6. Cell phone charger. I can’t live without internet access (partially for work purposes, partially to keep in touch with my adoring fans . . you). If my cell phone goes down, I have no way to contact the State Police when a guy inevitably (this truly does happen on EVERY road trip I take) tries to pull me over because he thinks I’m cute or shows me his privates (this has happened FOUR times) and no way to check my email to see the comments you lovely people leave on my site. CHECK
7. Clothes. Yep, a plethora, everything but the kitchen sink. NOT because I overpack, but because this is Arkansas and the weather changes faster than Michael Jackson’s nose. Two days ago it was 89 degrees Farenheit. Today it is 38. WTF??? Also, two pairs black shoes, two pair brown, one pair killer red ones just in case I go out with . . . an old high school mistake. Many changes of underwear so that I don’t embarrass my mother if I’m in a car accident. A bathing suit - because you should always have one just in case. Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry (nothing gold, well except for the heart). CHECK
8. Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Some because I have to take them everyday. Others are preventative medications needed when visiting family. Migraine medications because I am smart and KNOW that my family will MOST CERTAINLY give me a migraine of epic proportions. Topomax, Zomig, Maxalt. Throw in some over the counter, too, just in case it’s not THAT big a migraine (uh huh, yeah right) - Advil Migraine gel caps. CHECK
9. Alcohol. Because you never go to a family gathering without alcohol. My father’s rule. I stick to it. It just makes sense. Case of beer, bottle of red wine, bottle of white wine, Jose Cuervo Especial, Kahlua for mudslides. CHECK
10. Baby or small child. Thus to ward off any and all remarks about how I’m 25 yrs old (stop the presses, people) and not yet married or with child. You know, I don’t even think they care about married now. I think they would just be happy to see me knocked up. (Thank GOD my mother and father don’t ascribe to any of this hooey. But my extended family does . . boo hoo hoo). Does anyone think the cabbage patch doll I threw in the back seat will fool anyone for more than 5 minutes?? SO UM NOT CHECK
11. Make-up and Hair Fixin Fixins. Yep, I was mostly raised in the South so I have all these things packed first. In fact, I keep a bag of these things in my vehicle at all times. A Southern woman is NEVER seen without her hair done and make-up pristine. Having said that, I am a disgrace to most of the women in my family because I believe in the less is more approach. I actually LIKE the natural look on myself. This is a SIN. I will be flogged upon approaching gathering and re-made-up to look like Baby Jane upon entrance. CHECK, kinda
12. Mental dictionary and plethora of witty come-backs. All my family was provided this at birth. It is a necessary survival tool. We show love and affection by hacking at one another with words. The bigger the words, the deeper the cut. Funny fact, alcohol actually HELPS us in these endeavors. My uncle thinks it frees the mind of that pesky “I don’t want to hurt the ones I love” inhibition. CHECK
13. Elastic waist pants. Yeah, so this is a very risky fashion choice. In fact, it is one that only old women and children can get away with. The only elastic waist pants I own are for the gym and the occassional Yoga session. However, I did pack something listed under subsection-B, line-2, fourth bullet. The largest pair of pants I own. You know the pants, ladies. They are your fat day pants, your bloated Aunt Flow is visiting pants, your I can eat a truckload of cake and may want to throw up but I will still have circulation at my waist pants. And they are, of course, gorgeous beyond all reason because everyone knows that your family gatherings are a fashion plate. Um hm, you have to show all these people that you see only twice a year (less than that if you have in-laws, you lucky ducks) that you CAN dress and do it well and therefore are NOT embarrassing them by carrying the family name around in a pair of sweatpants. NOT REALLY A CHECK, BUT DAMN CLOSE
12. Pajamas. Because you do remember that you are NOT in your own home and therefore nakedness is not an option unless in a shower or bath. Also, because your parents turned your bedroom into a library/reading room the SECOND you left for college (while leaving your younger brother’s room a BEDROOM when he left????) and you will therefore be sleeping on the couch in the living room. Yes, that’s right, you will be on public display for all that chose to enter the house before it is the rightful waking hour. Unfortunately, if your male family members hunt . . and congregate at your house as the initial meeting ground, you’re screwed. I have no delusions that at 4 A.M. tomorrow, I will not be awakened by the loud noises of at least 6 of my uncles, 18 (this is a VERY conservative estimate) of my male cousins and at least 2 dogs entering our dining room, directly off the living room. I will then be subjected to my Uncle Roy yelling “Hey, Meg, you still sleepin?? Get ur ass up, girl! It’s late! You got work that needs done.” I have oft wondered if I pretended to enjoy hunting, would the male relatives provide me with a rifle that I may eventually use on Uncle Roy? CHECK
13. Money. Lots of money. Preferably in rolled coin format. This is to allow you to buy off your younger cousins (and the children of your older cousins) so that they don’t rat you out to your mother, grandmother or aunts when you are hidden in the back room watching football instead of doing. . .those womenly things. You know, peeling potatoes, stuffing turkeys, slicing (oh vomitous) cranberry jelly, buttering rolls, etc. Now, IF there was a TV in the kitchen, I’m all about helping cook. I’m a great damn cook. But there is NO television in the kitchen and I’m not missing football to cook for men who get to tramp around the woods while I cut my fingers to ribbons while peeling potatoes. I’m going to watch football. I will deign to butter a few hundred rolls during half time. I promise. CHECK
14. A pocket knife. It is a long standing joke, though it’s not that funny seeing as it’s true, that EVERY member of my family ALWAYS has a pocket knife. Always. This is more helpful at Christmas when needing them to cut open boxes and such. But you never know when you’ll need one at Thanksgiving. Last year, because I’m always overly prepared, I was Queen of the Thanksgiving festivities because I was the Thanksgiving Savior. The electric can opener broke. I was the only one (male or female) who had a Leatherman (think Swiss Army knife, Southern style) which happened to have a can opener. It may be the only five minutes of my family gathering life where someone was not harping on me because of my lack of children or spouses. CHECK
15. A prayer list. Yes, a prayer list. My uncle (one of the many) is a Baptist preacher. We will all engage in a very lengthy prayer before consuming dinner and every family member is expected to have a short list of prayer requests. This year, my list includes Chairborne . . though how I will explain who he is is a mystery, and have no doubt, I will be asked (mainly because ANY male name exiting my mouth is pounced on as a spousal prospect) and the other men and women that serve our country. CHECK
And that should conclude the list. Yes, there are other things I probably have packed or should have packed, but those are the main necessities.
I hope you ALL have everything on your list and are safe in your travels! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
As for you Aussies and other fantabulous out of country blogging friends - don't do too much while I'm gone, it takes me FOREVER to catch up on your blogs . . reading every post since I left, reading the hundreds of comments, commenting myself. Actually, do whatever you want, it will give me something to look forward to after the family festivities and then huge bonfire gathering of friends.