Home Big To Do - BG's Dating Strategies




Big To Do
About Us

Our "Going Out" Guide e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

Part Four of our Travel Special!
Part One: Flying the Friendly Skies
Part Two: London for Singletons
Part Three: Italy for Couples

You're Driving Me Crazy:
Roadtripping for Love

or, Well, Here's One Way to Get Out of a Long-Distance Relationship...

by Joshua Allen

We're all spending our summer doing a wide variety of monotonous tasks, and buried within that monotony, like a painful splinter, is the heartache of desire for someone far away. That splinter throbs on days like these, when it seems ridiculously dark and airless inside and ridiculously bright and alive outside. Dogs are barking! Babies are laughing! Skin is being tanned and ice cream is being licked and somewhere out there is the source of that desire and I'm here to tell you that there's no better time to drop what you're doing and hunt that source down.

Friends, I'm talking about Roadtripping for Love.

Think about the roadtrips you've been on. Making the trek to school? Moving to a new town because of work? Spring Break 2000? Zzz. Oh, I'm sure they were mind-blowing and meaningful and whatnot, but for a roadtrip to have real flavor, you need a goal, and that goal needs to be both Personally Important and Potentially Ill-Advised. Only when love is that goal do you get the real one-two punch of lust and danger, the essential ingredients to any journey that will truly live on in your memory.

Be Careful of Your Blind Spot

I'll be the first to admit that this is sketchy advice. One morning a few months ago, I got up, quit my job, threw away most of my belongings, packed up the rest in my car, and drove from San Francisco to Philadelphia ... for love. Can you believe that nonsense? Now, you may not be ready for that level of commitment to the roadtrip experience, so allow me to recommend a few warm-ups:

The Small World Roadtrip
This old chestnut is just a grandiose variation on an old theme: "I just happened to be in the neighborhood." Sure, some people might be flattered that you drove 3,000 miles just to see them and declare your true feelings, but most encounters, in my experience, have gone more like this:

YOU: [wilted daisy in hand] Sweetheart, I have crossed great deserts and vast oceans to see you once ag--

THEM: And how did you get my address?

YOU: Baby, baby, please, don't do me like this...

THEM: I'm giving you to the count of two to get off my front porch.

Why taint your visit with the stench of desperation? Play it like you just happened to be in town when you remembered that your soulmate lived nearby:

YOU: Hey! What a small world! I was just driving through and I just happened to see your car! I knew it had to be you, what with that old "Picard/Riker '88" bumper sticker! You're looking fantastic! Almost unbearably attractive!

THEM: Your serendipitous arrival in my life must be the work of Fate. Already you are filling the aching emptiness that's been threatening to consume me since we last saw each other. Please love me. Nurture our love and let it grow into a blinding, white-hot flame.


The Homecoming Roadtrip
A popular variant, this one involves a voyage back home to see the folks and hunting down that high school sweetheart in an effort to relive glory days and/or avenge long-buried traumas. The key here is that even if you live in a squalid suburb of Squatsville, you're still the Outsider, the Romantic Wanderer who's been out to see the world and is now back to tell your tale.

Another benefit, common to many of these low-end Love Roadtrips, is ye olde "I've only got 12 hours of shore leave, baby, so let's make the most of it" expiration date. If it doesn't work out, well, you'll be hitting the road again tomorrow and can put the whole ugly encounter behind you.

The Awkward Internet Love Roadtrip
You met in a chatroom. You exchanged prolix, lascivious emails. You swapped digitally enhanced (or perhaps completely false) photographs. Now it's time to take it to the next level: The in-person encounter.

Can there be a more nerve-wracking Roadtrip d'Amour then the one where you're going to spend a weekend with someone with whom you've shared your innermost thoughts and secrets and desires, but never actually met? What if their online persona was merely a manifestation of one of their 19 sociopathic personalities? What if they decide your back hair is no longer "adorable"?

Just remember to have at least three escape routes ready. In extreme cases, you can always have someone call you on your cell phone in the middle of the initial meeting. If you don't have a cell phone, be familiar with the primary symptoms of appendicitis and be prepared to use them.

Son, Let Me Show You How to Drive...

There are other examples of the Love Roadtrip, including Hitchhiking to Destiny, Rearview Mirror Eye Contact, and I Think The Motel Maid Likes Me. But if you really want to "get extreme," as they say, you should forget this kid's stuff. Follow in my tire treads and go for the...

Ultra-Dramatic Complete Life Change Love Roadtrip.

As I blazed across the country, radio stations squealing and exploding into static, the floorboards strewn with half-eaten sticks of beef jerky, all my worldly belongings violently knocking together with every pothole, my knuckles white, my eyes red, my jaw clenched -- I was truly alive. Sure, it was a feverish, insane version of being alive, but there's nothing wrong with that if it only lasts for a week or so.

But before you can embark on such a journey, you'll need the following:

  • An operational stereo system. I can't stress enough the importance of having a ready supply of mix tapes. As you know, mix tapes are especially effective for both roadtrips and expressing those romantic feelings, so here is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one 90-minute cassette.
  • Beef jerky.
  • A valid driver's license. Might seem obvious, but I forgot this item and came to regret it.
  • Tunnel vision. You can't drive mile after mile while being plagued with concerns like, "What if she doesn't feel the same way?" or maybe "For the love of god what have I done?" Stay focused, use your obsessive nature for good instead of evil.
  • The intestinal fortitude to throw your entire life away and start over someplace else.
  • Comfortable shoes. Remember that it's illegal to drive barefoot. I forgot this and came to regret it.
  • Some bottled water.

Yes, the Love Roadtrip is risky. Yes, it could all backfire. Yes, people might think you're crazy. But screw all that. You can't deny the aching intensity of steering three tons of vibrating machinery into that greatest of unknowns. You're here, the person you love is way over there. Do you want to spend the rest of your days wondering what could have been?

Get in the car and close that gap.

Joshua Allen is the dark and turbid genius behind the suspiciously convenient Fireland Text Products. When last spotted at the Big To Do, he diagrammed Love in the Burbs. His personal favorite gameshow has no survivors.

Back to Main To Do Page | Next Date


blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2008 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez

The 10 worst first-date locations

True Story: I even moved to be near him

3-Day Free Trial Offer

Next To Do
What's This?

Web BG.net

Friendly Skies
Spring Fling
Serial Dining
Mix Tapes 2000
Rock Climbing
Legal Contact
Vintage Love
Opening Lines
Gallery Talk
The Burbs
Grad School
Twin Towers
New Kid
Staying In
San Fran
New Years
Look Back
BAR Tampa
Dawson, NC
Blah Blah
Big Sib
Change of Heart
10 Things...
TalkBoy Pen
Oscar Party
Kurt Elling
Amy's Machine
V-Day TV
Sex on the Web
1st Saturdays
Il Buco
Mary Jane...