How would you like to live in a glorified tin can for a year? Call me crazy (hey, wait a minute. I’m the shrink. If anyone’s going to call me crazy… ) but that’s exactly what we did. Me, my husband, Tim, our dog and two cats. Tim’s the one who proposed this idiotic idea of taking a midlife career break and traveling all over the U.S. in a bus. He wanted to live his dream. How nice.
Why couldn’t we live my dream instead – sitting in bed all day eating bon bons watching Oprah? Because Tim wouldn’t have lasted an hour – he likes to keep busy, you know, doing stuff. By 9 a.m. on a Sunday, my husband has done more than I’ll even think about doing the entire week. (I never did understand that Army commercial. Is getting up at the crack of dawn to work your butt off really supposed to be a selling point?) He also loves roughing it in the great outdoors. I don’t see anything “great” about it. I’m a pampered Princess from the Island of Long whose idea of “roughing it” is staying at the Holiday Inn. I was not looking forward to my promotion to Queen of the Long Narrow Aisle.
Would this marriage of polar opposites survive being together 24/7 for an entire year? Or, as two shrinks, would we be forced to commit each other to padded rooms – just to get some alone time? The cats could barely tolerate one another in our 3400 square foot house. What in the world would happen in 340 square feet – with a sixty-pound dog? And even more importantly, where would I put my shoes?
Although I hate to admit it (and please don’t tell Tim I said so because Lord knows what he’ll make me do next) we not only survived, but thrived. His type-A personality actually mellowed to a more manageable B+. I became less materialistic – in spite of that never being one of my life goals. Even the pets learned to get along. QUEEN OF THE ROAD is my memoir of a couple striving to choose the unconventional road (even if one of us had to be dragged kicking and screaming) with all the ruts and wrong turns along the way (in our case, fire, flood, armed robbery, my developing a bus phobia and finding ourselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few). It’s a tale about not settling: in life, at work, or in relationships.
No matter how much it almost killed us.