As you can imagine three kids, both parents working, sports, school, outside activities, birthday parties, (a minor social life) for the parents, and sleep … doesn’t leave much time for ol’ mom and dad to have any in-depth conversations. Be it about the household, finances, things you each may have said or done that may have hurt the other’s feelings, or something you may have said that really made your partner happy.
But I can tell you that a four-hour car ride alone together is the best $150 in gasoline you will ever spend to converse with your significant other (without the children in the car, of course). My husband and I, recently, were fortunate enough to escape for a quick weekend getaway with a group of friends; we had to leave in our own car because our departure time was a little bit different than everyone else’s, but that’s OK, it gave us some great quality time together to talk and discuss things, which sadly have needed to be talked about for probably a couple months now.
Our conversations went from playing the “Alphabet” and “Number” game on license plates, to our next family vacation, to building our house, to how the boys are all doing. It was actually really nice to be able to open up and talk about everything we needed to talk about, playing marital catch-up so-to-speak. Being trapped in a car together is probably the best marriage counseling $150 can buy these days. Because I mean really …WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GO? Are you going to pull a “Bo or Luke Duke” maneuver (from the Dukes of Hazzard) and roll out of the car onto the highway to escape? Probably not! So like it or not, you are stuck with your significant other for a while.
My hubby and I even took the time to go so far as to discuss some minor defects (or frustrations, for lack of a better word) we were having in the communication department with one another, so as to prevent any future disagreements that everyone has from time to time from not understanding what the other person is needing … but we were able to iron them all out. They were minor; they were just some adjustments we’ve needed to make on how we could communicate a little clearer with one another.
And low and behold we figured out the problem. ... He’s a man, and I am a woman! Who knew? Our species (man and woman) just don’t think or communicate in similar fashions, at all. No, but seriously, we were able to strengthen and mend any communication gaps we may have been having.
Now the ride home was a completely different story … we drove down in a rental car due to my husband’s work. But we returned home with some of our good friends that went on the weekend with us. You think riding in a car with your significant other can be entertaining … try riding in a car with your friends. All I can say is I have never laughed so hard in my entire life. I won’t name names, but I got to see just how other people drive down the highway, especially when they are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on I-35.
I thought my vocabulary was colorful, when frustrated … I’m actually really, really boring behind the wheel. While sitting in the backseat with the other wife, we got to listen to our two husbands figure out and decipher not only the ways of the world, but how the world should exist in their eyes … was the most entertainment I have had in years.
First of all, I adore my husband, but he and the other husband, I swear, were cut from the same clothe when they were born. So of course during our car ride they both came to the conclusion that their theories and outlook on life were the correct ones, and everyone else should follow suit to their ways of thinking and existing.
Add to that the trivial talk we listened to from the backseat. One example was when we passed a man in an orange shirt. Granted, I’ll give you the fact that it was a really bright orange shirt … but to listen to these two go on and on about the color of this shirt was mind boggling.
“Wow that is a really orange shirt.”
“Yeah it’s not even burnt orange like the University of Texas; it’s really a bright orange.”
“I know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an orange that color.”
You get the idea…
So imagine this conversation going on at that pace for at least five minutes. When it was all said and done my girlfriend and I were sitting in the backseat in hysterics listening to the depth that these two went into over a shirt. But yet when we need to discuss finances, or the children, or work we get one word answers … go figure.
I have to say though, traveling with your significant other, family or friends, definitely takes your relationships to a whole new level … a level of intimacy that you would never see on a daily operational level. Sometimes you literally just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a local columnist based in Corsicana. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following Samantha’s blog at http://samantha-daviss.blogspot.com and on Twitter at @SamanthaDaviss1.