I came up with a little list last night, during a particularly stubborn case of insomnia. It’s my list of the five things a woman may find useful when traveling cross-country alone:
1. A credit card. This is useful for food, lodging, and fuel, which are the only things you really need to make it across this vast country. There’s a big drawback to using it for fuel, though. You swipe the card, fill the tank, and don’t actually interact with anyone. That makes me feel lonely.
2. A roll of paper towels. Since there is no gas station attendant, you need the paper towels for wiping the dipstick when you check your own oil. Better lonely than dead, I think scrubbing the sad remains of a giant bug off the windshield with my paper towel.
3. An iPod. I use this for mood modification — I put polkas on it to cheer myself up, so that when I pull out of the gas station, I won’t feel lonely on the highway.
4. A black lace bra. Unseen by others, this is a secret confidence-building item. Once I have cheered myself up, I wear it into a rowdy midwest bar under a flannel shirt with jeans and sneakers.
5. An orange satin backless evening gown. This is the ultimate way to combat loneliness. Once you are brave enough to interact with the people in the rowdy midwest bar, you accept a dare that you won’t wear an evening gown into the bar. Everyone in the bar knows how tiny your car is, and assumes that you are joking about carrying an evening gown. One quick circuit of the room in that dress and you can pretty much get what you want. Specifically, I have always wanted to drive a tractor, so that is my goal for the exercise.
If all goes well, there may be a photo of #5 tonight. That’s more likely, and more interesting, than any photos of #1 thru 4.