This June, T and I embark upon our fourth consecutive summer adventure in the Wild: Small town America.
Okay, sure, laugh now. But when deer are suddenly lurking on every road and hiking trail, when movie rental stores aren’t completely extinct, when your boo can successfully use the phrase, “This ain’t my first rodeo” (true story; I think I fell in love with T all over again, in that moment), and when you come across a rowdy gang of cowboy-hatted youths hanging out in the back of a pick-up and rocking out to some country song about a small-town gal who moves West and meets a lonely city boy who leans against things, what else are a pair of “with it” (kids still say that, right?) San Franciscans supposed to think other than we’re in a FOREIGN (but oddly charming and totally grows on you like a Chia Pet) WORLD GONE MAD?
To our friends and family, we say we go every year to write. And while that’s absolutely true (the past three years have seen us writing and editing our co-authored novel in addition to our individual writing projects), these retreats have become about far more than just our professional pursuits: they’re also about our friendship. For two weeks we’re basically attached at the hip – spending every waking second together, relying on each other and our combined knowledge of absolutely nothing – and I think it says something truly amazing that not only have we not even experienced even an inkling of a desire to kill each other, but also that we genuinely enjoy each other’s company (and the inevitable hilarity that ensues) so much that when the two weeks are up, we immediately start looking ahead to the next time we can go back and do it all over again. Our friendship blossoms during these vacations and so do we – two bumbling idiots desperately chasing after gnats with slippers in hand.
What with it being our fourth year and all, T and I have these get-aways – these boo-cations, if you will – down to a very precise science. Everything we need to make the most out of our two weeks of quality bestie time is written out right here for your convenience. So grab your boo, and go conquer the fuck out of your own wilderness!
1. The Road Trip Playlist
One of my favorite parts of the whole trip to the Wild, is the drive: the long, open, winding road (that I’m not driving down because I actually don’t know how to drive and I think I’m doing the world a favor by keeping my distance from the steering wheel) and hours of T and I wailing gloriously off-key to our favorite jams. At this point – because we’ve been adding to it periodically over the past four years – our playlist probably goes on longer than the drive itself, but the real beauty of it is that it contains the perfect balance between the kind of music she loves (electronica, Italian pop, French rap, dance, ’80s classics) and the kind of music I love (classic/alternative/hard rock, heavy/death/alternative metal) so that even with the playlist on shuffle each person gets about equal playing time. What’s more, we get to share and appreciate each other’s musical preferences – and there’s nothing more magical than being able to sing-a-long with your boo at the top of your lungs, thereby scaring the shit out of all the other drivers who happen to look in your general direction.
2. The Every-Genre Movie Marathon
It should come as no surprise that T and I each bring an assortment of bromantic movies to watch together every year. (This is Spinal Tap, I Love You, Man, and The Big Lebowski to name a few. This June I’m bringing The Sandlot and Easy Rider.) We also somehow always end up getting the urge to watch Superbad and having to drag our asses over to the local movie rental place because, stupidly and surprisingly, neither of us owns it yet. But I digress. Point is, just as we like to account for everything in the road trip playlist, we also like to make sure there’s a little variety in our movie-watching palette. Truth be told, you never know what kind of mood you’re going to end up being in, or if whatever you’re doing or writing will suddenly inspire in you an inexplicable desire to watch a foreign film (this is T’s forte – she’s the worldly one in this relationship). So channel your inner boyscout and always be prepared – toss in some crime dramas (or crime dramadies, because who the hell doesn’t love The Boondock Saints?), TV shows, fantasies (motherfucking Labyrinth)…whatever you think would be fun to watch with your boomate. You may find it’ll help your writing, or may find it a comfort to have something that matches your current emotional state, but you’ll definitely find it’ll spark some awesome conversations with your boo.
3. The Celebratory Dress
Whether it’s finishing an Everest of a first chapter, or typing the final punctuation mark on the final word on the final page, T and I like to recognize our victories, large and small. (In fact, today we’re out right now, celebrating the two-week anniversary of this website – WHAT UP!) Not only is it a blast, but it’s encouraging; knowing that there’s a burger and a chocolate malt somewhere on the horizon is one of the best ways to keep me motivated, and the motivation lasts well after I’ve already attained it (mostly because burgers and chocolate malts never get old, but also because it’s nice as fuck to get rewarded for something – positive reinforcement, yo). So on your own boo-cation, find cause and reason to go out and look your best – we’re talking hair all did, face done up, flouncing around in a dress, and yes, even heels (fuck, if I could do it, you can do it – and I’m not a girl who’s usually about that shit). And especially make a point of celebrating each other, and the landmark occasion in your lady bromance of being away and on your own, together.
4. The Booze and the Food
I’m only going to say it once, so you have pay attention. Ready? GIANT. BOX. OF CORN DOGS. It’s basically its own major food group for me and T, and an embarrassing amount of our daily decision-making revolves around how many corn dogs we can possibly allow ourselves to eat in one sitting. But even if corn dogs aren’t your thing, you and your boo will inevitably find yourselves lusting after some deliciously unhealthy treat, and I say fuckin go for it, because you’re on fuckin vacation! You will also probably want to make yourselves Midori sours or some other kind of alcoholic beverage, and while that will DEFINITELY make your movie marathons and celebratory outings infinitely more exciting (if only to your drunken-ass self), I only ask that you never EVER allow yourself to go beyond your limits. Take heed of this cautionary photo of what T and I have dubbed, “Three-Drink Jayne”:
5. The True Bestie Love
You’ll be sharing a living room, a kitchen, a dining area, a bathroom, a car, a space. You’ll be cooking together, eating together, shopping for groceries together, going out together. She will be the first person you see in the morning and the last person you see at night (unless, of course, the serial killers come, as they are wont to do). You may occasionally startle and annoy her with your random assortment of loud, unnecessary noises (me), and she may occasionally wave her sock in your face and announce that even in 70-degree weather, it is most definitely sock o’clock (T). You may take forever in the goddamn shower and even longer getting ready (me), and she may sneak up behind you while you’re brushing your teeth and start moon-walking back and forth across the floor while singing “Jessie’s Girl” (T). You will kill many, many bugs together, be frightened of barking dogs together, work out and look generally gross and sweaty together, and may even get cabin fever to the point where you wander outside the villa you’re house-sitting and laugh maniacally together into the darkness (#LivermoreNeverForget). But if you truly love each other, and your lady bromance is strong, you’ll love the fuck out of all these things, and love even more than you know them and were there to witness them. Because at the end of the day, your boo is the shit, and you’re lucky you’ve found each other.