Dear People Driving on I-89 S on Sep. 7th, 2021 around 12:30 pm,
I realize you’re a select bunch and that this letter is long overdue. I want to address something you may have seen and assure you that there’s a very reasonable explanation.
Back in September of last year, our family had been fortunate enough to spend a week at our dear friends, Lindsay and Vassilis’ place on Lake Sunapee. It was the kind of thing you hear about happening to other people, and you’re like, “I wish I had friends like that!” Well, we do have friends like that and don’t think for a moment that we are not eternally grateful for them. There’s a reason they were on my Best of 2021 list.
We left the house on a Tuesday. We wanted the house to be even cleaner than when we had arrived, both to show our appreciation for this tremendous gift and to make up for someone (Matty) breaking Lindsay’s CD player/stereo while attempting to play a U2 CD. You know, something you can only hear on CD because U2 music isn’t available anywhere else, like Spotify or Pandora or ON YOUR IPHONE WHERE THEY FORCE FED US THEIR ALBUM IN 2014. (We haven’t forgotten, Apple.) Anyway, we woke up early-ish and cleaned like the dickens. We planned to leave around 10 am, so we could grab some lunch on the 2-hour drive home, and still have plenty of time to spare before my interview at 2:30 for a freelance job. But I don’t know if you’ve ever cleaned like the dickens, or more specifically, cleaned like the dickens with Matty, who puts the “dick” in “cleaning like the dickens,” but it is time consuming. We ended up not leaving until right around noon. Which would have been fine if I was a normal person who could skip a single meal without becoming murderously rageful, or if we were good packers. Unfortunately, neither of those things apply.
Here’s some relevant background: I’m a terrible packer. I always forget stuff and I overcompensate for it by overpacking. Like, maybe I have no underwear, but I do have this fascinator in case the queen invites us for tea! And a second fascinator in case the first one clashes with my underwearless outfit. Also, I usually get ready for a vacation approximately one day before vacation, which makes it hard to do things responsible people do like eat all the perishable food in the fridge or give it to a neighbor who will put it to good use. So, we ended up putting basically our entire fridge’s contents into a large cooler plus a portable cooler bag that I figured we could use to bring snacks to the beach on vacation. (Which we did, high five, over-packer!) Then, while we were on vacation, we bought more food, but didn’t want to leave it all half-eaten in Lindsay and Vassilis’s fridge, so we packed it back in the coolers. Important foreshadowing: I found some string cheese and I made a mental note that they would make a good emergency snack in a pinch. Then we packed all of our stuff into two cars (again, overpackers, but also in my defense we had the dogs and their crates) and I made sure to put the cooler bag in my passenger seat so I’d have easy access to snacks. Matty took the kids and I took the dogs, and with traffic and my 2:30 interview, I reluctantly accepted that we would not have time to stop for lunch on the drive home.
Here’s some additional relevant background: If I haven’t eaten in more than 2 hours, I get angry, then mean, then panicky. I’m basically like Paul Blart: Mall Cop in that I need someone to pop some candy in my mouth before I pass out. So, now I’ve set the tone. I’m already going in at a deficit. It’s been a few hours since I’ve eaten (as obviously I had to eat breakfast before the dickens cleaning sesh), it’s lunch time, and I have a 2-hour drive ahead of me. I manage to find some of my emergency snacks (Tootsie Rolls) in my center console. But they’re the tiny ones that costs 1¢ at the penny candy store and they are not quelling the beast. With one hand on the wheel, I use the other hand to unzip the beach cooler and feel around for the cheese sticks. There’s a giant container of yogurt, a block of cheddar cheese, a package of carrots (adults with peel and stems, not babies), a head of lettuce, a carton of eggs, an ice pack. I can’t feel the cheese sticks anywhere. Panic is beginning to set in.
I’m sorry for that excessively long preamble, People Driving on I-89 S on 9/7/21 @ 12:30 pm, but hopefully you can see that it was necessary for you to understand why you saw me driving down the highway, rabid-eyed and shameful, biting into a hunk of Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese like it was an apple.
I want you to know that I only ate the slenderest bites at a time, as if they were cracker-cut slices, despite what you may have thought you’d seen.
And just to wrap up any loose ends, the cheese sticks were in the big cooler in the trunk of the other car and I did make it home in time for the interview, which I nailed, thanks to my belly full of cheese and Tootsie Rolls.
Thank you for your understanding,