If you’ve noticed that the only food group in your diet lately has been Free Pasta Salads, don’t worry. It’s not a covert conspiracy between macaroni salesmen and Midwestern moms to take over the world. Alright, it is, but it’s also graduation party season. And in your mayonnaise dressing haze, you may have forgot that in exchange for the free food, you need to bring a gift for the recent graduate (if you’ve crashed the party and are having trouble picking the grad out of a crowd, look for the one giving off the ‘frightened and aimless’ vibe, usually characterized by nervous laughter and a constant darting of the eyes).
Although you are probably broke and your biggest gift to them is a human representation of life choices they should avoid, you should still put some thought into a present for them. As always, I’m here to bail your ass out. Here are some ideas:
This year, what happens on spring break stays on my couch. Because that’s where I’ll be. Without so much as the cable television to watch others enjoying themselves on vacay. I’m resourceful, but not resourceful enough to come up with Cabo cash. Or Vegas cash. Or even Delaware cash. What I can do is camp out in my Bermuda shorts with a microwaved hot dog and a pile of junk and daydream about the next time I get out of Dodge.
Which is how I came up with the little gifty I made for my summer road-trip buddy: a little pre-road trip preparation. While organizing my collage materials (Thrifty New Year’s Resolution. Check.) into categories such as Buildings and Objects, Animals and People, Retro, and Nature-y, I decided to create a clipboard for my Road-Trip Skipper so that we would have a place to keep all our important road trip documents…should we scare up the money to go on another road trip.
Planes, trains, and automobiles. Hotels, fold-out couches, and old childhood bedrooms. The packing. The traffic. The forgetting of really really important things. And the preparation for questions about just what exactly it is you’re doing with your life. Home is where the heart is but getting back there is a pain in the ass. Did I just make that up? Well, color me Dorothy Parker!
Anyone who finds themselves muttering, “Six bucks and my right nut says we’re not landing in Chicago” or “We’d have more luck playing pick-up sticks with our butt cheeks than getting a flight out of here” knows the pain of holiday travel. That’s why this year, I’m going to make things a little easier on my loved ones far away by sending along homemade packing checklists and mixed CDs. It may not make the flight less expensive or the trucker that’s riding their ass less ass-riderly, but I’m hoping that after some stress free packing and holiday tune jamming, they’ll be a bit more jolly by the time they make it to me. I don’t put up with party poopers.
So, the CD player for my car is in the trunk which stinks because I don’t remember to put new music in and then I have to listen to same Beyonce mix or the same Dolly Parton song or the same “sad bastard” music I was in the mood to listen to last week but now find annoying.
Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, if I had someone to carry out this task for me? Wouldn’t it feel lovely to rush out of the house all flustered and tired and out of coffee and late and then to start my car and have “Rise and Shine” by the Cardigans playing? Or better yet, after work, even more tired and flustered and coffee-maxed and getting in and hearing “Obvious Child” by Paul Simon? This is what got me thinking that leaving a great song for someone to hear while they drive would be a stupendous way to show you care.
Hello Panda! Did you know it’s road trip season? June can have the weddings, graduation parties, and family reunions, July is for the open road. Whether you’re driving or flying, camping, or lounging by the hotel pool, a few days off to enjoy the summer sunshine does our aching, still-half- numb-from-the-six-month-Midwest-winter bodies good. I just got back from a wonderful one myself and will be dedicating the next few posts to travel gifts and goodies.