The Luv Doc: Road Trip!

Traveling is stressful – especially for people who like everything screwed down tight

The Luv Doc: Road Trip!

Dear Luv Doc,

Over the holidays, my fiancé; and I went to visit my relatives in Michigan. It's a long drive – about 20 hours, but I usually don't mind it too much. I listen to music, books, and podcasts, and I usually take 2-3 days to make the drive because I like to stop at places that interest me. Sometimes I go through Nashville, sometimes I go through Chicago and St. Louis, and I stop just about any place that looks like it might have good local food – at least that's how I used to do it. This time, however, my fiancé insisted that we go the fastest route (I-40 through Arkansas – ugh), and he got irritated every time I wanted to stop. He also insisted that we only eat in chain restaurants because he was afraid of getting food poisoning or something ridiculous. Basically he was a whiny little bitch the whole trip, and I am not sure if I want to travel with him anymore. I have heard that you should always take a trip with someone before you marry them. I think this is a fail. What do you think? Should I ditch him or try to teach him how to travel?

– Grrrr Ratelakes


Damn Grrrr, you are still road raging. My bet is that it's because your lower GI is crammed full of Big Macs, Whoppers, and chicken tenders. Before you kick ol' whiny to the curb, I recommend a three-day juice cleanse and a Swedish massage. It may not change your mind, but it will certainly take the edge off. Traveling is stressful – especially for people who like everything screwed down tight. My guess is that ol' whiny showed at least some resistance to change long before you hit the road.

That's not surprising. Laid-back people are often attracted to uptight people and vice-versa. As you've seen, it definitely keeps things spicy. Ricky and Lucy ... Luke and Lorelai ... Drake and Josh. Uptight people offer the stability that laid-back, roll-with-the-punches people occasionally crave, but won't admit to. Of course, that stability is completely illusory. We're all hurtling through space at 67,000 miles per hour on a big, rotating hot rock (and getting hotter), prone to all sorts of cataclysms, catastrophes, and craziness. The very idea of stability is both arrogant and insane. Those two qualities are in no way mutually exclusive and may, in fact, be precisely what make humans so tenaciously adaptable.

Those of us who willingly and enthusiastically embrace the unknown probably have an evolutionary screw loose. Yes, doing new shit takes curiosity and courage, but those traits can easily be defined as stupidity depending on the outcome. For instance: A decade or so ago, I stopped at a locally owned Mexican buffet in Ozona, Texas, on my way back to Austin. That turned out to be a stupid decision. By midnight, I was a completely empty vessel. Does that make your fiancé right? Hell no, although any time you're eating food served out of chafing dishes, you're rolling the dice.

The same could be said of relationships, and if you keep coming up snake eyes, you might want to quit the game, but no smart gambler gives up on the basis of one bad roll. So ask yourself: Was this trip just one bad roll, or are you on a long losing streak?

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Luv Doc, Dan Hardick

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