I usually love long car rides with my dude. We play silly road trip games (BEAVER WAGON, NO PUNCHBACKS!!!), sing to the oldies, and usually have at least one heartfelt talk about our relationship and how much we fucking love each other.

Not this weekend.

When we left Toronto for the five-hour trek to my boyfriend’s parents place he was grumpy because he’d had a bad week at work and I was grumpy because he was grumpy. Things exploded about an hour in when he tried to absentmindedly fondle my boobs.

“Don’t touch them!” I screamed.
“There’s hardly anything to touch anyway!” He screamed back.

And so begun our drive of hell.

The first thing my boyfriend does in retaliation to my boobie block is to turn the radio waaaaaay up to make it clear that no, he does NOT want to talk about this. And of course, to add insult to injury, the play list he selected is one he knows I absolutely despise. But do I politely ask him to turn it down like a civilized human being? No sir, I do not. Instead I find a retaliation method of my own – turning the heat up from our pre-compromised “middle” setting to the “hot” setting (because I am always freezing and he is always boiling).

The score is now tied one to one when he does the unthinkable – misses our regular restroom and chocolate stock up spot (which I LIVE for on the drive, both because I have a bladder the size of a pea and because I go into withdrawal if I don’t have a hit of sugar every 4 hours). Since he has just crossed the line from retaliation into madness I decide I’ll be the adult here and try to make peace. I do this by bringing up a non-threatening conversation topic in my super sweet I’m-not-mad-at-you-anymore voice.

“So, where did you and Kevin go for lunch this afternoon?” I ask, batting my eyelashes at him as I slowly turn down the music.
“I don’t remember,” he replies coldly, turning the music back up, HIGHER then it was before.
“YOU DO TOO REMEMBER!” I yell, totally abandoning my I’m-not-mad-at-you-anymore voice. When I fail to elicit a response I cross my arms and smugly say, “Well then fine, maybe I won’t remember how to hold my pee and I’ll go all over your car.”
He looks over at me, eyebrows raised. “Are you grumpy?” he asks.
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I thunder.

We ride in silence for the next 50km when he wordlessly pulls over at the next rest stop. He turns off the engine but neither one of us makes a move to get out of the car. I know he’s looking at me, but I’m not giving him the satisfaction of looking back. Suddenly, he bursts out laughing.

“What?” I snap.
“Your face… It’s funny.”
“How dare you, this is my angry face!” I say. I look at my scrunchy face in the review mirror (and realize it does look a little funny). I try soooo hard to keep it together anyway…
“Don’t laugh.” he tells me and that does it, now we’re both laughing.

We get out of the car together and walk inside. He reaches for my hand but I slap it away. “Alright, alright,” he says, “what kind of chocolate bar do you want?”

Ah, the ultimate peace offering.

He buys me a Caramilk while I go to the washroom. We ride the rest of the way with the heat turned to “middle”, mutually agreed upon music blaring, and sugar induced happy comas — my love for road trips restored.


  1. Anonymous
    May 26, 2009

    it kills me that in 2009 people are still using the “r” word..

    use of this word is horribly offside, and frankly i’m surprised it made it onto SDTC. i doubt i need to share the history, and extremely negative connotation associated with this word and hope you’ll pull out your thesaurus and find a more suitable, and less offensive word next time.


    May 26, 2009

    I’m not a fan of the “r” word myself and I think I overlooked it when reading Lauren’s column because I knew she didn’t mean it to offend. Thanks for bringing it up so we remember to be mindful because it is an offside term. We’ll edit it for future readers.

  3. laurenvalentine
    May 27, 2009

    Thanks for your comment! I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended by my ‘mentally challenged’ mistake.

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  6. Anonymous
    April 20, 2011

    I think this board is the proper place to ask you about the activation proccess. My link is not working properly, do you know why it is happening?,

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